tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC October 6, 2020 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
to invest in our communities, in our clinics, in the essential workers who treat everyone- rich, poor, and in-between. whether it's this pandemic or the next health crisis, vote yes on prop fifteen. for all of us. that is going to do it for us tonight, but i have a feeling this is going to be one of those nights with -- where the news doesn't stop. i'll see you again tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. eastern for our pre-debate coverage ahead of the vice presidential debate and then you can watch the whole vice presidential debate live without interruption here on msnbc. i'll see you then. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. good evening, lawrence. >> good evening, rachel. what do you mean stop? who would want the news to stop? a little breather would be welcome. a little -- a little slowdown. i'm in favor of that.
>> i don't usually pay attention to what the president says, just as a matter of course, like i watch what he does, not what he says is kind of my thing, but i am worried about the president's mental state a little bit, and so i've been paying a little more attention than usual to what he's saying and right now his twitter feed is like a super soaker of nonsense and it is going off, like, every 30 seconds and he's contradicting himself and things are getting crazy and i just have a feeling this is going to be one of those nights, lawrence. this is going to be one of those nights. >> well, if we -- if we knew the exact timing of when he gets some of the doses of some of the things he's taking, maybe we could have the medical experts explain to us where he is in any psychic cycle at any moment. yeah, that twitter feed is going to be something to watch tonight. >> yeah, it's -- or maybe not. >> or maybe not. good choice. good choice. go home.
go to sleep. thank you, rachel. >> i will do. i will. thank you, lawrence. well, as donald trump's twitter feed tells us, tonight it is very, very likely that the president of the united states is panicking, and this time he is panicking on steroids. donald trump is confronting two sets of numbers tonight, each of which is enough to panic a person whose physical and mental health we now know to be unstable. the first set of numbers he's been staring at all day are enough to sicken him almost as much as the coronavirus. the new cnn national presidential poll of likely voters shows donald trump falling far behind joe biden in a poll completed after america discovered that donald trump's irresponsibility has infected him and an increasing number of the white house staff, which tonight includes stephen miller with coronavirus. the cnn poll shows that 63% of americans say donald trump's irresponsibility led to his infection and the infection of people around him.
the other set of numbers, which should have donald trump in a panic tonight, are the numbers that describe the collapse in the stock market that donald trump personally caused today. no president has ever obsessed over the stock market the way donald trump has, and so we know donald trump didn't mean to collapse the stock market today, but it's all of a piece. in the 1992 clinton campaign, the james carville mantra on the wall of the campaign headquarters was famously," it's the economy, stupid." the 2020 rewrite of that is, "it's the stupidity, stupid." stupidity has left donald trump running behind joe biden in the polls all year. polls that are now getting worse and worse for donald trump by the day. it's the stupidity that has led donald trump to violate all of the cdc guidelines on trying to control the coronavirus.
it's the stupidity of donald trump to attack joe biden in the first presidential debate because joe biden wears a mask responsibly. and we now know to a virtual certainty that donald trump was infected with the coronavirus when he said that in that debate because donald trump continues to refuse to reveal when was the last time that he tested negative for the coronavirus, and donald trump is hiding that fact because he knows -- he knows exactly when he last tested negative for coronavirus, and he also knows just how bad it would be if he released that information. it was nothing but stupidity that led donald trump to tweeting this afternoon that he personally has decided to kill coronavirus relief legislation that would deliver desperately-needed financial support to americans, american voters and american businesses. and he issued that tweet an hour before the stock market closed because of stupidity.
and that tweet crashed the stock market today. i have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election. in an accompanying tweet, donald trump said, the stock market is at record levels. not after that tweet it wasn't. now, donald trump will absolutely reverse himself on this. he will tweet the reopening of negotiations now that he has seen what he did to the stock market. and now that he has seen what that very, very stupid tweet means to his re-election campaign. axios reports several trump advisers told axios, jonathan swan, they are utterly perplexed by the decision. they need this like a punch in the face. a trump campaign adviser said of the president's decision to own pulling out of the talks, you have to try to be this politically inept.
what is going on in the white house? after donald trump announced his decision to kill the covid relief legislation, house speaker nancy pelosi told democrats on a conference call, quote, believe me, there are people who thought -- who think that steroids have an impact on your thinking. so i don't know. maybe we do know. the steroids might be new, but the stupidity isn't. the steroids don't explain another very important number that came out today that will be for the most part ignored in news coverage, but there might be no single number in what we discuss tonight that demonstrates more fully the hardcore, relentless stupidity of trump thinking. the most important economic claim that candidate donald trump made as a presidential candidate four years ago was that he and he alone knows how to handle international trade.
he knows how to get manufacturing jobs back in the united states. he knows how to fix trade agreements. he knows how to reverse the trade deficit created by the fact that the united states purchases more goods from foreign countries than it sells to foreign countries. donald trump was going to fix that. >> we have right now a deficit with mexico, a 58 -- trade deficit. $58 billion with mexico. we have a $500 billion deficit with china. can't have this. >> we have a trade deficit with china of $500 billion a year. that's not gonna happen with me. >> yeah, it's happening and it's happening because of stupidity. we have 100 years of increasingly clear economic scholarship and consensus on the stupidity of tariffs. that's why you've never seen a president do what donald trump has done with tariffs, all of
which was -- all of which were illegally imposed by donald trump using a national security provision of international trade law that does not apply in any way to the tariffs that donald trump has imposed. donald trump has just gone wild with tariffs all over the world, something that no other president in your lifetime has tried to do, and here's the result. as of today, the trade deficit has reached another new high under donald trump and donald trump now has the highest trade deficit in 14 years. a higher trade deficit than ever existed during the obama/biden years. that trade deficit is the product of relentless stupidity. a relentless defines of the consensus of economic experts happening at the same time that donald trump and mike pence and the white house staff have relentlessly defied infectious disease experts like dr. anthony
fauci. today facebook and twitter had to take action against donald trump's stupidity. facebook removed a claim by donald trump today that the seasonal flu is deadlier than the coronavirus. twitter labelled that tweet misinformation. donald trump's stupidity is deadly. as of tonight, the united states has reported 7,527,704 cases of coronavirus in the united states. that number does not yet include anyone who attended the trump white house superspreader event that proceeded the reported infection of the president, three senators, chris christie, kellyanne conway, now stephen miller and others. we don't know how many of those deaths in -- that this country has suffered are attributable to donald trump's homicidal stupidity. 100,000?
150,000? one? how many deaths by presidential stupidity are acceptable? we would have millions fewer infections if the president consistently urged the country to follow cdc guidelines and never interfered with cdc guidelines. just imagine tonight, imagine tonight how many people, fathers, mothers, grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins, dear friends would be alive and healthy tonight if the president of the united states had been smart enough to say this. >> wearing a mask is not a political statement, it's a scientific recommendation. social distancing isn't a political statement, it's a scientific recommendation. testing, tracing, the development and all of the approval and distribution of a vaccine isn't a political statement, it is a science-based
decision. >> leading off our discussion tonight, olivia troye, who served as a senior staff member of the white house coronavirus task force and homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to vice president mike pence. also with us john heilemann, national affairs analyst and nbc news and msnbc. he is the executive editor of "the recount" and co-host of showtime's "the circus." and we have breaking news. as i was speaking, donald trump has begun his reversal of his utterly insane tweet, shutting down coronavirus relief legislation. he's just tweeted, the house and senate should immediately approve $25 billion for airline payroll support, $135 billion for paycheck protection program for small business. both of these will be fully paid for. and, olivia, as we know, that would all be part of a larger
coronavirus relief legislation package that was being negotiated, that the president shut down today. and i want to get your reaction to that as someone who worked with this president, was in the room with him, spent a lot of time with mike pence. when you saw him do that, it struck me as very much a part of the way he has defied the experts on the coronavirus task force and defied experts consistently in his presidency. >> correct. when i saw that, i just thought to myself, every single economic adviser around the president and the vice president right now is sitting there stunned. in stock. thinking what did you just do, donald trump, with this tantrum? but what are you doing? and i'm sure that what you're seeing right now is that somebody finally got to him, probably placed a call and said
politely, mr. president -- and explained to him the magnitude of what he had just done. also because we all know that the president is solely focused on his image and the election that's coming up in a couple weeks, and that is everything that drives everything that he does, i'm sure they reminded him that this was probably politically not the best move. >> john heilemann, i'm going to defer to you as i think the leading expert on drug-induced behavior on this panel tonight. what is your sense of the steroid effect as we are watching the president tonight? >> high, lawrence. and i mean that in every sense. i think the effect is high and i think the effect is to make the president high. you know, look, i've not taken the corticosteroid the president is on right now. like many americans, i've taken prednisone and my understanding is this corticosteroid is much stronger than prednisone. if you have respiratory issues that cause you to take
prednisone, you know what a standard dose on the beginning of the course what prednisone makes you feel like, which is like superman. it is -- it makes you, you know, it makes you want to go paint all your neighbors' houses and mow all their lawns and roof -- redo the roof on their houses. you really feel like you can do it, work 24 hours a day and take on all causes. and, you know, if you think about that, this president, given his physical condition and you take him to a drug that is an iv version of a corticosteroid that is as strong as this one -- the president -- i think the only explanation for a lot of his behavior over the weekend was he was having something like a manic episode on sunday when he took that ride in the suv up at walter reed. and i think his behavior since then is indicative in a very serious way. i mean, we can joke about this, but the president is taking a drug cocktail that has never
been administered to anybody else, according to doctors. and i think everything that he's done, the videos he's made, the behaviors he's evinced, the tweets that he's sent speak to someone who is -- who is -- is unstable and is suffering from a kind of drug-induced -- the president's often irrational, lawrence. he often is not in full control of his faculties, but we have seen something over the course of these last 96 hours that is genuinely scary and i would say almost certainly drug-induced. >> okay. but, olivia, i haven't seen anything that strikes me as different from what he would do than if he was consuming nothing but water. >> right. and, quite frankly, i mean, if this is donald trump at his finest moment right now, i say, well, to the doctors, i mean, you know, if you're trying to save his life and you're pumping him full of steroids and doing
everything you can, quite frankly, my hat's off to you. i appreciate it and keep doing what you're doing prior to the election because the more clearer picture that we get of who the president is the better off we all will be, and i'm not encouraging it. you know, i wish the president well, but this display of complete insanity in such magnitude that he has displayed over the last couple of days is just on a whole new level of -- of embarrassing, despicable behavior. and, you know, but no different than what we've seen when he's not on meds. so that is actually the real tragedy here right now for americans. >> yeah. let's listen to what kristin urquiza told hallie jackson today because we saw the president return from the hospital and make statements completely ignoring the now 210,000 people who have died from coronavirus, telling
everyone that you're gonna beat it. if you get it, you're gonna beat it, as if they would have access to the care that he had access to. let's listen to this moment today with hallie and kristin urquiza. >> the president telling americans not to let coronavirus dominate your life and get out there. your reaction to what you heard and that tone. >> what -- my reaction is pretty simple. this man is the most dangerous person on the plant who is essentially telling the american public that our loved ones, people like my dad mark who died, are suckers and losers for not having the immune system to overcome this virus like him. and it is an insult to me and every single person who has gone through what i've gone through, something that i would not wish upon my worst enemy. >> and, john, with 210,000 dead, if you just think of how many
people kristin is speaking for there, it's a minimum of 1 million people, minimum, maybe 2 million people who knew and loved -- more than that, knew and loved these 200,000 people who are now lost, who the president has completely ignored. >> yeah, well, i'd say more than -- more than ignored, lawrence. i think it's, you know, the tweet yesterday was both a dangerous tweet in the sense that it was wildly irresponsible in encouraging people to behave in ways that could be -- that could cost them lives, and also profoundly disrespectful of those -- of the dead and of everyone who are around the dead, the friends, family and so on, and i think you know it is in some ways the apotheosis to the way donald trump has handled this crisis, and that is to say that he is doing something that is obviously incredibly politically damaging.
you look at the polling across the country right now. it's not like the country is not noticing. the country is seeing donald trump's behavior. you wonder why is it that joe biden is crushing donald trump with seniors, one of the more demographic flips of this election. democrats haven't won seniors since 2000 when al gore did it. joe biden is crushing donald trump with seniors. this is all about this behavior and he's about to pay i think a severe political price for it when we get to the polls about a month from now, i guess a month from today. >> olivia troye, before you go, what question would you like to see asked tomorrow night at the presidential debate where your former boss mike pence will be appearing? >> i think i would ask him, what -- what response does he have for the families such as kristin, who spoke about how it
made her feel when the president went out on the balcony, took off his mask and messaged something completely undermining of what the task force has done and the work that they've done and what the vice president has done. and how does he explain that? i would love an explanation of how do you explain all of the work that we have done for the past, you know, since january, all of these months on this pandemic to keep americans safe. how do you explain the behavior of the president? and how do you stand by it? >> olivia troye, john heilemann, thank you both very much for starting off our discussion tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. and when we come back, we saw the breaking news on rachel in the last hour. michael hayden, former head of the cia in the bush administration, announced his endorsement of joe biden for president. another former head of the cia, john brennan, joins us next. john brennan, joins us next.
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breaking news from "the rachel maddow show" tonight, retired four-star air force general michael hayden, who is the only person who has ever served as the director of the cia and director of the nsa has released a video endorsing joe biden for president. >> if there is another term for president trump, i don't know what happens to america. truth is really important, but especially in intelligence. president trump doesn't care about facts. president trump doesn't care about the truth. he doesn't listen to his experts. if trump gets another term, i think many alliances will be gone. and america will be alone. and that's a real, real problem. i absolutely disagree with the -- some of biden's policies, but
that's not important. what's important is the united states. and i'm supporting joe biden. biden is a good man. donald trump is not. >> today the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general mark milley, and other members of the joint chiefs are in quarantine. that's right, in quarantine for the first time in history after admiral charles ray, the vice commandant of the coast guard, tested positive for the coronavirus. joining our discussion now is someone who has served with michael hayden, former director of the cia, john brennan, author of the new book "undaunted: my fight against america's enemies at home and abroad." thank you very much for joining us tonight, mr. brennan. i want to get your reaction to michael hayden, who's a republican, making this decision and announcing it tonight to support joe biden. >> well, michael hayden is one
of this country's true patriots. he has dedicated his life to the security of this country, and i think it's quite poignant that although his voice has been affected by stroke and aphasia, he has a most powerful voice now in terms of how he speaks so eloquently on the future of this country resting on this coming election. so i am quite proud to say i've known and worked with mike hayden for many years and he is, in fact, living up to his reputation, which is speaking truth to power and right now he is speaking truth to the american people. >> director brennan, what went through your mind today when you learned for the if first time in history the joint chiefs of staff are in quarantine? >> well, it just shows how quickly and widely this coronavirus pandemic has spread. because of i think the callousness as well as the lack of common sense on the part of donald trump and the direction and guidance and modelling he is
giving to other officials. i have full confidence that the military chain of command, which the joint chiefs of staff is not in, but they are the primary advisory body to a president and to the national security council. and so therefore the fact that they are quarantined really, i think, just elevates our concern that at this time, given the vulnerabilities that our country has under any conditions in terms of cyber attacks and other types of things, that our national security hierarchy is now felled in many respects by the coronavirus pandemic and i'm just wondering what our adversaries are trying to take advantage of that right now. >> your subtitle of the book is "my fight against america's enemies at home and abroad," which is an odd title for a former cia director who i always thought was supposed to be fighting against america's
enemies abroad. >> well, i certainly spent my career doing that in the national security environment. working at cia and also working at the white house. but also i find that we have a lot of enemies within this country. in terms of those politicians who abuse and misuse the authorities of their office. and so in the book, my memoir "undaunted," i talk about my battles with donald trump certainly since i have left office, but also with some other individuals, such as the lindsey grahams of the world and the mitch mcconnells of the world, the ones who really do give, i think, a great credence to the concerns of the american people about corruption at the highest levels of our government. and so in "undaunted," i try to talk about my experiences around the globe working in national security, but also some of my interactions with politicians, biggest government officials from both parties, so this is my opportunity to try to at least provide my account of some of my engagements over the years. >> have you seen a change in people like mitch mcconnell and lindsey graham over all of the
years that you've been dealing with them? >> yes, there's something that has happened to them as a result of donald trump's, i think, toxic influence and impact on the republican party. you know, i'm not a democrat or republican and i worked across the aisle for many, many years, but ever since donald trump has become their president in the oval office, he seems to have influenced these individuals to not carry out their duties and obligations faithfully. and so i, you know, lindsey graham, who is somebody who has, you know, put a lot of time and effort and energy into national security and was a soulmate in that respect to john mccain. and i think, you know, any principles or ethics or integrity that lindsey graham had unfortunately was buried with john mccain. >> you tell the story in your book of briefing, among others, mitch mcconnell in 2016 about
the russian interference in our election and mitch mcconnell just reacted as if you were working suddenly for the -- cia was working suddenly for the democratic party. was that a moment that you could not have anticipated with mitch mcconnell? was that the first turning point you saw with him? >> well, i think, you know, mitch mcconnell was always a very strong partisan fighter, which is his right as the leader of the republican party in the senate, but when he takes the -- his support for donald trump to the point of refusing basically to accept and acknowledge the considered intelligence judgements of the cia and the intelligence community, claiming that we were politicizing the process just to try to prevent donald trump from becoming president, yes, i think that he has abused his -- his office, and, unfortunately, people like mitch mcconnell and devin nunes, who were and are in important positions in the congress, continue to carry out donald trump's wishes, and, unfortunately, i think they are
betraying their obligations to their constituents, to this country and that's why i think this coming election is the most important certainly in my lifetime. >> john brennan's new book, very important book is "undaunted: my fight against america's enemies at home and abroad." director brennan, thank you very much for joining us once again tonight. >> thank you, lawrence. have a good evening. >> thank you. thank you. when we come back, joe biden went to gettysburg today and delivered his best speech of the presidential campaign, possibly, possibly given the moment his best speech ever. that's next. up to what's possible with rybelsus®. ♪ you are my sunshine, my only sunshine... ♪ rybelsus® works differently than any other diabetes pill to lower blood sugar in all 3 of these ways...
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the unfair money bail system. he, accused of rape. while he, accused of stealing $5. the stanford rapist could afford bail; got out the same day. the senior citizen could not; forced to wait in jail nearly a year. voting yes on prop 25 ends this failed system, replacing it with one based on public safety. because the size of your wallet shouldn't determine whether or not you're in jail. vote yes on prop 25 to end money bail. with just 28 days to go in the presidential campaign, joe biden went to the civil war battlefield in gettysburg, pennsylvania today, saying that there is, quote, no more fitting place than here today in gettysburg to talk about the
cost of division. >> every generation that has followed gettysburg has been faced with a moment when it must answer this question. whether we'll allow the sacrifices made here to be in vain or be fulfilled. this is our moment to answer this essential american question for ourselves and for our time. and my answer is this. it cannot be that after all this country has been through, after all that america's accomplished, after all the years we have stood as a beacon of light to the world, it cannot be that here and now in 2020 we will allow the government of the people, by the people and for the people to perish on this earth. no, it cannot and it must not. >> in the 22-minute speech, joe
biden never mentioned donald trump's name, but he did directly attack trumpism. >> i believe in law and order. i've never supported defunding the police, but i also believe injustice is real. it's a product of a history that goes back 400 years. from the moment when black men, women and children first were brought here in chains. i do not believe we have to choose between law and order and racial justice in america. we can have both. there have been powerful voices for justice in recent weeks and months. george floyd's 6-year-old daughter who i met with, who looked at me and said in her small child's voice "daddy changed the world." also, jacob blake's mother was another when she said "violence didn't reflect her son" and this nation needed healing.
and doc rivers, the basketball coach, choking back tears when he said "we're the ones getting killed. we're the ones getting shot. we've been hung. it's amazing why we keep loving this country when this country does not love us back." i think about that. i think about what it takes for a black person to love america. that is a deep love for this country that has for far too long never been recognized. what we need in america is leadership that seeks to de-escalate tensions, to open lines of communication, to bring us together, to heal, to hope. as president, that's precisely what i will do. >> after this break we'll we joined by renee graham and professor christina greer. want to brain better?
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democrat. but i will govern as an american president. i'll work with democrats and republicans. i'll work as hard for those who don't support me as those who do. that's the job of a president. >> joining our discussion now, renee graham, opinion columnist and associate editor at the "boston globe." the "boston globe" published its endorsement of joe biden tonight, as did "the new york times." also with us, christina greer, associate professor of political science at fordham university. and, renee, what we just heard joe biden say, that he will work as hard for the people who support him as the people who do not support him, is something that donald trump wouldn't even attempt -- wouldn't bother to say. he knows that no one would ever believe it. >> he would not say it because
you're right, it's something he would never do. he has only ever worked and thought about what will appeal to his base, you know? and that's why he's also in the political trouble he's in now because in four years he hasn't expanded his base at all. you know, i thought that biden's speech -- after sort of yesterday's fascist stagecraft at the white house balcony, you know, biden's speech was like a national palate cleanser. it was compassionate, it was empathetic, it was sincere, and he manages to get all of this across without ever mentioning donald trump's name. and all of the things that he conveyed in that speech is, you know, qualities that have been missing in the executive branch for the last four years. >> professor greer, what was your reaction to the biden speech today? >> i thought, you know, just as renee said, compassion is where biden resides and does well. and does best, honestly. i mean, the deep love that he has for this nation and the respect that he has for this nation definitely comes through. i thought so many aspects of the
speech were important. one, the location. this is, you know, thinking of abraham lincoln, someone who had to deal with deep-seeded divisions in this nation because of the brutal history of white supremacy and anti-black racism that are the foundation of this nation, so the geographic locale where biden chose to give this speech is important. and then secondly, acknowledging our sordid and brutal past, but also creating a vision for the future of unity and have we have to tackle some really difficult questions that the current president has tried to calcify as far as divisions and racial animus and dare i say white nationalist sentiments through and through, especially for these last four years. so it was a speech of hope, but also a forward-looking speech about how we can try and bring the country together and in a partisan way to think of ourselves as americans, especially in the backdrop of covid-19, a virus that clearly knows no boundaries when it comes to race, class or partisanship. >> i was struck by the realism of the speech. speeches like this tend to --
especially by vice presidential candidates -- tend to kind of overinvest in american virtue. and i think when vice president joe biden used the term better angels, he tweaked it in a way. let's listen to this. >> by fits and starts, better angels have prevailed just enough, just enough against our worst impulses to make a new and better nation. and those better angels can prevail again now. >> renee graham, presidential campaign speech writing usually leaves out the "just enough" and likes to give people the feeling that in our past our better angels have always triumphed and completely vanquished the darkness. >> you know, i think it was very important for joe biden to look at america as it is and not
america as it believes itself to be. i think that was really the key in this speech, when he sort of made that point about the better angels. he wasn't talking about how we've prevailed. what he was really talking about, to me, was in the ways that democracy still remains unfulfilled. and that's why i think the comments he was making, as christina mentioned, about black america and how this nation has treated black americans, was so important. you know, he talked about being touched about the comments that doc rivers made, the basketball coach, about loving a done that doesn't love you back, and joe biden really touched into that unrequited love that black america has for a nation that marginalizes us, disenfranchises us -- disenfranchises us and too often murders us with impunity. what he's trying to get to is saying, this is a moment, this
is a time to fulfill what we didn't do in gettysburg when lincoln spoke there in 1863. this is a moment to seize, to make sure that we honor what happened at gettysburg, but also honor all of the things that have happened and all of the people who have sacrificed their lives for this country and for its ideals. >> and joe biden had a tough act to follow today because his speech was delivered after michelle obama made her closing argument speech on video for joe biden. let's watch this. >> they're stoking fears about black and brown americans, lying about how minorities will destroy the suburbs. what the president is doing is once again patently false. it's morally wrong, and, yes, it is racist. >> professor greer, michelle obama's speech was a few minutes longer than joe biden's and did not in any way pull any punches. >> no. now's not the time to do so. i mean, i think it's pretty poignant that a first lady, a former first lady is coming out
with such a declarative statement about the current president. we know that michelle obama continues to enjoy great public opinion poll numbers from democrats and republicans because she is smart, because she has lived a life that is filled with not just politics but real world experiences, and there's a lot of respect for michelle obama from many people in this nation, and the respect that michelle obama has for joe biden is palpable and i think transferrable for a lot of people. >> renee graham and professor christina greer, an honor to have you both join us tonight. thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you. >> when we come back after this break, sanity and decency cannot be restored in american government if mitch mcconnell remains in diabolical control of the united states senate. our focus turning to texas tonight with democratic senate candidate m.j. hagar.
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thank you very much for joining us tonight.ve we really appreciate it. i want to get your reaction to senator cornyn now saying that donald trump let his guard down. i haven't heard him talk that way about donald trump before. >> well, frankly, i think the people of texas are waiting to hear john cornyn admit his own mistakes instead of necessarily calling out other peoples. john cornyn was right there with the president down-playing this virus, spreading misinformation. in july when he said we weren't sure whether or not kids could catch and transmit covid there had been over 1,700 positive cases of kids in texas with covid. so, you know, i'm -- i would love to think john cornyn has all of a sudden grown a backbone and going to stand up to his to party bosses. i don't believe that's the case. he's consistently shown he'll side with them and not supporting universal background checks and bipartisan comprehensive immigration form
and others. protecting pre-existing conditions. there are things he needs to stand up for texans for. i would love nothing more than him to make this campaign harden on me because he all of a sudden stands up for texans, but i'm not optimistic. >> beto o'rourke was on this network a couple of hours ago saying both you and joe biden could win in texas this time a you're both polling behind. you're polling behind john cornyn, but john cornyn is not polling over 50 the way incumbents are supposed to if they're going to win their elections, and beto o'rourke made the point that the democrat always underpolls in texas. he closed much higher than his polls indicated that he would in texas. in 28 days what is your strategy for closing this gap? >> the more people learn about john cornyn and his actual record, not his pretty words but his actual approval record, the higher we go in the polls.al
but frankly people in texas are not going to vote for me just because i'm not john cornyn, so it's really important i get out there. i was raised here in very rural texas. it's important i get out there and talk to texas about what my vision is for the state because i have built that vision through a lifetime of living in texas and campaigning in every corner of this state and talking to people who are facing the challenges of every working every day texans. so my vision for this state, my plan for this state, my values are more closely aligned with this state and the people here than john cornyn's lack of action and his really terrible voting record. and so the more people learn about this race and we have a debate coming up on friday. that's going to be a great opportunity for that. we feel strongly like we're going to be able to close the gap because there's still a hugb undecided factor because, again, i have to earn peoples vote here in tex. they're not just going to vote for me because i'm not him. >> john cornyn voted to repeal the affordable care act.co
which is to say he voted to tear away health insurance for texans who have never needed it more than they've needed it now. what is the general awareness of that in texas? >> oh, it's absolute. texas has been the worst uninsured rate in the nation the entire time john cornyn's been in office. so you would think in 18 years in d.c. he would have done something to stand up for that and get access to health care for his constituents. we had 1 out of 5 of us without access to health care before this pandemic. and now in the middle of this health care crisis we have 1 out of 3 working age adults don't have access to health insurance in the middle of an a pandemic. he's voted over 20 times to teardown the affordable care act. just recently voted in favor of the lawsuit coming before the supreme court.t he pretends like he wants to protect pre-existing conditions, but the protect act that he's touting as the replacement for the affordable care act would actually keep insurance agencied from being able to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, bua
they can deny coverage for that pre-existing condition and anything that interacts with it. come if you have a pre-existing condition basically everything you need coverage for is going t to have something to do with that. so if people are in the hospital recovering from covid with underlying hypertension and diabetes or something then their insurance agencies can deny coverage for that.nges people just need to pay attention to what's going on, t and i think texans are paying attention. and our access to health care is the number one thing i hear on the campaign trail. and more and more texans every day know john cornyn is fightine to rip that protection away. >> she gets tonight's last word. thank you for joining us again tonight. >> thank you so much for having me on. >> "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts now. well, good evening once again. day 1,356 of the trump administration.
28 days, exactly 4 weeks now until election day. 22 hours until the first and only vice presidential debate. we have not seen a photo or video of the president today w heard from the president in photos or on video. since his positive coronavirus diagnosis late last week. and again today, no one in the administration will say when trump was last tested negative for the virus. itga might just have something do with what "the new york times" isve reporting tonight. quote, white house officials conceded on tuesday that there had beennc an impression create that mr. trump was getting tested every day and a reliance on testing as if it were a curative measure as opposed to a diagnostic. yet the president himself was not tested every day. seniorry administration officia would only say on tuesday that mr. trump was tested regularly. the