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NBC "Hardball with Chris Matthews" - Transcript - Oklahoma Tornado

Interview

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Location: Unknown

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

MATTHEWS: Wow, throwing again (ph).

Anyway, Todd Lamb is Oklahoma`s lieutenant governor.

And, Governor, thank you for joining us. I think that`s the spirit around
my office. We`re here to help and whatever we can do. This day is not a
time for politics.

Give us a sense of the need, though. We want to know what you`re going to
be going to Congress for. What do you need from FEMA? What do you need
just to get through this?

I can`t believe it`s just been 48 hours ago. I can`t believe this time has
been so packed with horror.

LT. GOV. TODD LAMB (R), OKLAHOMA: It has been packed with horror. And as
you just saw, it`s been packed with recovery as well. The electrical poles
are up. Residents at 3:00 today, they were allowed back into their homes.
I say allowed back into their homes, but some were kept out and just
brought in a bit at a time so they could get their property. But they`re
all back on property looking for their things that they cherish and try to
dig things out of their rubble.

Chris, everything -- to answer your question, everything we`ve asked for
from FEMA, the federal government we have received in Oklahoma. I had an
at length conversation with Congressman Tom Cole this morning here on site.
He`s going to remain on site for several days ahead. My staff will work
with his.

And he`s going to be the leader on Capitol Hill in both houses to make sure
Moore is taken care of and any federal relief that needs to come through
will come through.

You just heard what the Oklahoma state Senate did today, $45 million out of
our rainy day fund to the Office of Emergency Management. That will be
passed by the state House of Representatives tomorrow and on to the
governor for her signature. So, it`ll be $45 million from the state of
Oklahoma to address some of these needs.

MATTHEWS: You know, I`m still overwhelmed by the ability of the people in
Moore, Oklahoma, and its surroundings to basically protect themselves. The
horror of losing a couple of dozen people is real, and there`ll be funerals
and the emotional loss within those families and the real personal loss is,
of course, permanent.

But the fact that all this devastation has occurred, the proportionality
amazes me. This much physical devastation could occur.
What was the secret to getting so many people out of harm`s way, Governor?

LAMB: Well, off to my left, on another camera, is one of our
meteorologists. I just walked up to him before this interview, put my arms
around him and I said, thank you. Thank you for what you have done. Our
meteorologists in Oklahoma are second to none, absolutely first rate.
We were warned about the tornado on Monday that wreaked this havoc behind
me. We were warned about that tornado Monday. On Saturday and Sunday, for
the potential of high tornadic activity on Monday. The forecasting is
absolutely incredible. The automobile tornado sirens were, of course,
working. 16 minutes` advance notice which doesn`t sound like a lot of time
before a tornado. That is a lot of time.

And Oklahoma`s good. I say that someone unfortunately, we are good at
responding to tragedies like this because we get a lot of practice as it.
And the Oklahoma standard is just that. We respond. We help. Oklahomans
are doing that.

But, of course, we have a lot of out of state help right now. People have
driven up from Texas. We`ve had people from Arkansas. As a matter of
fact, a retired police officer from the state of New York, I visited with
him just yesterday.

MATTHEWS: You`re a great guest and you`re a great man, I can tell.
Governor, thank you so much for joining us.

Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb of the state of Oklahoma.

LAMB: Thanks, Chris.

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