Ukraine call TRANSCRIPT: 2/7/20, The 11th Hour with Brian Williams
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I truly believe we can build
a better America. It`s going to take all of us but we can.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Senator Elizabeth Warren, thank you so much for
your time tonight.
WARREN: Thank you.
HAYES: We are just getting started. Much more with our panel, more
candidates and, yes, more of their great audience here in New Hampshire.
Don`t go anywhere, we`ll be back in just 10 seconds.
Good evening from Manchester, New Hampshire. I`m Chris Hayes. We just saw
the final Democratic debate before the state host the first primary of the
2020 presidential election. We`ve already heard from our audience and
undecided New Hampshire voters. We hear from Democratic candidates live
from the spin room. We`ve got more experts to help us breakdown what we saw
tonight. But if you`re just joining us, after a strong showing by Pete
Buttigieg in Iowa, the other Democrats on stage came after the South Bend
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think this going after every
single thing that people do because it`s popular to say and makes you look
like a cool newcomer, I just – I don`t think that`s what people want right
now. We have a newcomer in the White House and look where it got us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We`ve got a great group of folks to discuss here. My colleague
MSNBC`s Lawrence O`Donnell, Alicia Menendez, Joy Reid and Chris Matthews.
Give them a hand.
So we saw that those exchanges on Mayor Pete. I want to play this bit. This
is number six on the shoot we have right. This is Bernie Sanders responding
to the socialism question, which, Chris, you brought up earlier. It`s
something that Amy Klobuchar brought up as well. This was how Sanders
talked about it. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump only thinks this label socialism will
work. At the State of the Union he said socialism destroys nations. He`s
never going it let socialism destroy American health care. And before the
Super Bowl, he joked with Sean Hannity about your honeymoon in Moscow.
Those hits are going to keep coming if you`re the nominee. Why shouldn`t
Democrats be worried?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Because Donald Trump lies all
the time. It doesn`t matter what Donald Trump says. It`s a sad state of
affairs, it really is. He will say terrible things about Joey Hans (ph),
ugly, disgusting things about Elizabeth and anybody else who is up here.
But I think, George, that at the end of the day, the way we defeat Donald
Trump – and everybody up here, by the way is united. No matter who wins
this darn thing, we`re going to stand together and defeat him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Two things that were interesting, Lawrence, I thought about that
answer. One, the sort of call for unity, which Sanders very clearly
understands is a sort of imperative from – coming from his lips in front
of those big stages, right? He declined attacked Joe Biden, went to a
surrogates, bet against him was read to him, he basically took a pass on
it. He`s clearly very focused on that.
And second of all, I mean, his sort of response to the socialism question
is basically like, I don`t care what the guy says about me because you
going to say ugly things about anyone. What do you think about that?
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, “THE LAST WORD” HOST, MSNBC: Yes. He – I`ve never
heard him actually say this is how I will respond to that. He really just
says, as you say, basically, I don`t care. He will be – if he`s the
nominee, he`ll be the first socialist nominee anyone`s ever seen. And so
it`s very difficult thing to predict exactly how it would go. But it`s
coming at a point in the curve of the understanding of that word that
really has never been better.
This economy is filled with socialism. It`s filled with capitalism. Every
economy in the world has a mix of capitalism and socialism and they vary.
Sweden has more socialism than we do. North Korea has no capitalism. That`s
the only place. Every other places of mixed economy, everybody knows that,
I think everyone in this room knows that. So the word doesn`t scare people
the way it did in the 1950s, 1960s.
And Bernie Sanders is one of the beneficiaries, and by the way, the guy who
made that word less scary by embracing it and saying, I personally I`m not
afraid of it. And so the word is living in a different environment now. And
I can`t predict for you just how much of a liability that might or might
ALICIA MENENDEZ, MSNBC ANCHOR: I do wonder if it is going to be scary to
Venezuelans and to Cubans and Florida.
HAYES: There are a lot of Floridians who are very worried of that, yes.
MENENDEZ: I also, though, to your point about unity and about Sanders
understanding how important it was for him to give that full call for
unity. I also wondered if Pete Buttigieg does end up becoming the nominee.
How then Sanders reconciles the attack he made tonight, which is to say
there are two sides. I`m on one, the mayor is on the other. Now he`s the
nominee, how he then does it turn about to support him.
O`DONNELL: They do it every time.
HAYES: Right, that`s the other thing. I mean –
O`DONNELL: This state remembers the phrase, voodoo economics.
HAYES: Yes, exactly.
O`DONNELL: The guy who accused his opponents of voodoo economics became
that guy`s Vice President, OK? So, there`s nothing you can`t take back when
it gets to the general.
HAYES: I want to play something that Vice President Joe Biden said tonight.
Biden, of course, is in a, I think, somewhat tenuous situation in the arc
of his campaign. He came in fourth in Iowa, he`s pulling at third or fourth
year in New Hampshire. His campaign says, look, the first two states don`t
matter that much and they`re not represented in the Democratic Party. But
he went – in number two, he talked about Mayor Buttigieg also because that
clearly, I mean, if you look at the tracking polls in New Hampshire, it is
a one for one trade that`s happening, literally between Joe Biden`s numbers
and Pete Buttigieg`s numbers and so he went after him a bit tonight, take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are Senator Sanders and Mayor Buttigieg to bigger
risk for Democrats?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you know, you know that with
regard, to just understand who`s the President wants very much to stick a
label on every candidate, we`re going to not only have to win this time. We
have to bring along United States Senate. And Bernie`s label himself, not
me, a Democratic socialist. I think that`s the label that the President`s
going to lay on.
Everyone running with Bernie if he`s the nominee, and Mayor Buttigieg is a
great guy and a real patriot. He`s a mayor of a small city who has done
some good things but has not demonstrated he has the ability to – and will
soon find out to get a broad scope of support across the spectrum,
including African-Americans and Latinos.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Mayor Buttigieg briefly cloned himself there in that shot. The
reason that I play that, Chris, because he didn`t really go after him, like
– and you can see that the staff is telling him, you got to do it. He`s
got these things set up. He had something about the Recovery Act, but when
it comes time to do it, he doesn`t really do.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, “HARDBALL” HOST, MSNBC: I can hear the same thing you hear,
and I can only imagine. Today, we heard that Anita Hill who`s a smart
Democratic media consultant –
HAYES: Anita Dunn.
MATTHEWS: Anita Dunn, rather. What did I say?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anita Hill.
MATTHEWS: So maybe she`s good maybe a consultant –
HAYES: She is very smart but not a media consultant
MATTHEWS: I wouldn`t know but she`s often on my mind. I think that they
made a decision for the first time in months and actually – whenever Joe
Biden decides to run for president, which was probably when he was 13, they
did a Sunday show. They`ve agreed to do this Sunday show this week with
George Stephanopoulos. Why all of a sudden they change. They`ve been
basically hiding from the tough media questions. They think they catch
people that are going to be nice to them, and they get tough questions from
them, too, because everybody`s going to ask the obvious question about he
and his son.
It does, you know, we ask why is your son got this job over here at x many
millions of dollars. Why is – when you got the portfolio for Ukraine, and
then he gets the contract for Ukraine, people who have to remind us that to
say, what`s going on here. It`s a reasonable question. I don`t think you
should have asked the Ukraine President to investigate it, but it`s a
reasonable question. When there`s smoke, people want to know if there`s
But I think that the Democratic Party has to figure out its ideology. In
Britain, we had the Liberal Party. I was in Guana (ph) beginning the last
century with the Liberal Party, they were overtaken by this Socialist
Party. Labor became the main thread, the main challenger, the Tories,
Churchill went back to the Tories. We know that a lot of us know that
history. A lot of us will be sorting things out, if the Democratic Party
runs this socialist candidate. That`s a change from the Democratic Party.
The Democratic Party has been to the left to the Republican Party on the
issue of mixed capitalism, more social programs. They put Social Security,
Medicare, Medicaid, enormously popular programs. I think, ACA Obamacare has
also which that follow through with it, make it work. I think most
Americans would be happy to have a public option and have Medicare fall
But I don`t want to get into – you know, I want every night – and let the
Democrats figure this out. I have my own views of the word socialist, and
I`ll be glad to tell them, share them with you in private and they go back
to the early 1950s. I have an attitude about them. I remember the Cold War,
I have an attitude towards Castro. I believe that Castro and the Reds had
won the Cold War. There were executions in Central Park and I might have
been one of the ones getting executed and certain other people would be
there cheering, OK?
So I have a problem with people took the other side. I don`t know who
Bernie supports over these years. I don`t know what he means by socialism.
One week it`s Denmark. We`re going to be like Denmark. OK, that`s harmless.
That`s basically a capitalist country with a lot of good social welfare
programs. Denmark is harmless.
HAYES: Pretty clearly in the Denmark category.
MATTHEWS: Is he?
MATTHEWS: Are you sure? How do you know? Did he tell you that?
HAYES: Well, I mean, that`s what he says and that`s what his agenda calls
MATTHEWS: Yes, yes, yes, yes. Well let`s see, let`s see, let`s figure that
JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: But we haven`t seen a campaign yet
where video of him praising the other verse –
HAYES: Right, and –
REID: Castro has been used. It will be used.
HAYES: That`s the question of how –
REID: You must see how that in place.
HAYES: – what the effect that has – I mean –
MATTHEWS: Well, what did you think of Castro? That`s a great question. What
did you think of (INAUDIBLE). We all thought he was great when he first –
I`m going to cheer like mad for him when he first went in and then he
became a communist and started shooting every one of his enemies.
HAYES: OK. Hold those thoughts on Cuban revolution. I have to go back to
the spin room and Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang.
ANDREW YANG, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hello New Hampshire.
HAYES: How you doing, Andrew? You had a moment tonight where you cited
MLK`s support for universal basic income, which aligns with the sort of
signature policy proposal. But you were sort of supporting it in a kind of
– as an alternative to, say, race conscious forms of redistribution. MLK,
of course, himself thought both were necessary, right? He believed in
affirmative action, he believed in racially conscious redistribution along
with the universal base income. What do you say to people who say that any
kind of universal basic income is not enough to redistribute or close the
wealth gap or address all of those historical inequities?
YANG: I would agree with them 100 percent, Chris., that we need have a
universal basic income, a freedom dividend as a foundation in floor. But
then we need continue to build on top of it. I`m pro-affirmative action.
I`m pro-tailored policies that are specifically trying to close the wealth
gap that is getting bigger and bigger all the time, unfortunately.
HAYES: What was the thing that struck you most tonight in terms of the
terrain that you got to cover that perhaps you hadn`t covered before?
YANG: I think the ABC folks talked about a lot of things we had talked
about before, honestly. But I enjoyed the conversation and I appreciated
the fact people are honing in on electability. The fact is the number one
criteria that Democrats have for the nominee is defeating Donald Trump. And
we need someone who`s going to appeal to Independents, Libertarians,
Republicans, as well as Democrats and Progressives. I thought that theme
came out loud and clear tonight.
HAYES: But do you think that you`re the most electable candidate in this
YANG: Well according to one study, 18 percent of college Republicans would
choose me over the President, 10 percent of Donald Trump voters in New
Hampshire, in one poll said they would choose me over the President. By the
numbers, I am the best person to take on and defeat Donald Trump for the
general election because I am drawing many of his supporters as well as
Independents, Libertarians and people from all over the political spectrum.
HAYES: All right. Andrew Yang, we got to hit a break here. Thank you so
much for making time tonight. I really appreciate it, sir.
I also want to thank my panel of MSNBC all stars. Give them a hand, Chris
Matthews, Alicia Menendez, Joy Reid and Lawrence O`Donnell. Thank you all.
We have much more to come here from the Granite State first in the nation
with these wonderful voters. We`re going to talk some of them right after
we come back. Don`t go anywhere.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Here we have a situation
where the world – one of the most volatile places of the world has just
become more dangerous at the hands of a President who has no regard for the
military, not only punishing a war hero today with what he did to Colonel
Vindman, but pardoning war criminals in a way that undermines the entire
sense of good order and discipline and military honor. We deserve a better
commander and chief.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor, Pete Buttigieg. Mayor Buttigieg,
Amy Klobuchar had some tough words about your experience and she also said
something I want to get your response to because I don`t think you got a
chance to respond. She said, you know, your attacks on the people up there
who do have Washington experience, she said was to kind of be one of the
cool kids and there was something kind of distancing and condescending
about it that you were belittling the work of people that were actually
doing very difficult work in Washington D.C., sitting through the
impeachment trial. What`s your response to that?
BUTTIGIEG: Look, I understand the importance and the difficulty of the work
that the senator and others are doing in Washington. My point is there is
frustration with Washington as a whole and we`re going to need a different
mindset in order to win and in order to govern. Look, we`re coming up on a
situation where the future president is going to face issues that are
fundamentally and profoundly different than anything we`re used to, on top
of the conventional and traditional issues of security and in our economy.
And one thing that I am seeing across the country, certainly in New
Hampshire, when I speak to Democrats, but also when I speak to
Independents, who will hold part of the key to defeating Donald Trump is a
desire to make sure that we finally turn the page, leave the politics of
the past in the past and bring something different to Washington.
HAYES: There`s a sort of consensus, I think, they`re both up on the stage
and among the voters, we talked about electability being at the front of
people`s minds. And so – and I`ve heard you make your case, but I want to
ask for someone who was two-term mayor of a town last year won election –
won your last election with 8,600 votes, ran state wide and got walloped.
Why should someone think that you are more electable, more palatable to
voters and someone like say say, Amy Klobuchar who`s won successive
statewide races in a pretty close state in the Midwest?
BUTTIGIEG: Well the process of actually proving it is underway. We just had
an election on Monday. We`re about to have another one this coming Tuesday.
And so after a year of each candidates trying to tell how each of us will
get votes in a residential election, this is the first chance to actually
show it. And we have the support that we have because of our approach. But
I also recognize New Hampshire is an independent-thinking state full of
folks who aren`t going to be told what to do by Iowa or anything else. And
I know that I`ve got to come out here and earn that support as we go on to
Tuesday and then beyond.
HAYES: If you weren`t running for president, or if you don`t end up as a
nominee, the president, you`ve – you were obviously quite young. You have
had a successful career as mayor in South Bend. Could you win a statewide
race in your home state of Indiana?
BUTTIGIEG: Depends on the race and depends on the year. Look, I don`t go
looking for offices to run for. Every time I`ve decided to run for an
office, including this one, and every time I`ve decided to not run for an
office, it`s been a process. It`s about looking for what`s needed in a
particular office and then wondering if I have something unique to offer,
sizing that up and lining it up. And what I`m seeing right now is a
presidency that requires a new approach.
I see a situation room that would benefit from a commander in chief who`s
worn the uniform. I see a party that is struggling to connect with
communities in the so called Rust Belt, like the one where I let it turn
around in Sound Bend. And I believe that both in order to win and in order
to govern, what I have to offer is just different and is what it`s going to
HAYES: You had strong words about the President`s pardoning of war
criminals tonight, and I don`t think I had heard that mentioned on the
trail before or in the debates even, the President is planning according to
reports to campaign with some of the men that he pardoned. What kind of
message you think that sends?
BUTTIGIEG: It`s a gut punch to those who serve honorably. Not only that, it
actually plays into one of the worst things that is said about those who
have served in conflict, which is the idea that everybody who`s ever been
in a conflict zone in uniform is somehow involved in in war crimes and
harming civilians. The military has very clear laws on the difference
between being sent into combat, being sent into those situations and
committing a war crime. And for the President to throw out military justice
is an insult to the military itself. It plays into the idea that there`s no
difference between a war fighter and a war criminal. And folks in the
military are not happy about it.
HAYES: On the question of health care policy, which people have gone around
and around and around on but, you know, there`s a critique that you`ve
offered and others have offered of Medicare for All as proposed by Warren
and Senator Sanders. But isn`t the case that there aren`t the votes to even
pass what you would want to pass anyway?
BUTTIGIEG: Well, here`s the good news. Even compared to what President
Obama had to work with a decade ago, there`s a historic majority of
Americans that wants to see this happen. Now, of course, the problem we`re
living through is a majority among the American people can`t quite seem to
get any action among the American Senate. And that is why we need
presidential leadership ready to engage that majority. And that`s why I`m
so focused on a politics of belonging that holds that majority together.
But most Americans, even in conservative states think we ought to raise
taxes on corporations in the wealthy, and use that to pay for better
investments in our infrastructure, education, and health. Most Americans
are demanding we do something about gun violence, expecting we do something
about climate change, and you can only defy your own voters for so long.
That`s why I think the best use of the big blue and white airplane that
comes with the Oval Office is not to fly it among golf courses with your
name on it, but to take it into the backyard of a member of the Senate who
is defying not only what would be my White House but their own voters in
refusing to act on these things.
And that is the uniqueness of our moment here in 2020. Again, compared to
even a few years ago, is we have an American majority hungry for action,
ready to go. We have a responsibility to galvanize and not polarized that
majority to make sure that even this bad faith Senate can`t ignore the
American people anymore.
HAYES: All right. Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana. Thank you
BUTTIGIEG: Good to be with you. Thank you.
HAYES: I want to get some more feedback from the crowd here. Get my stick
microphone. I`m going to come to you. Hi, how are you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good, how are you?
HAYES: Are you a New Hampshire voter?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am.
HAYES: Are you undecided?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am.
HAYES: So what did you think of tonight`s debate?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was grateful that they talked about democracy
reform. They talked about public funding and overturning citizens united
and voting rights. I feel like that`s the first time I`ve heard them really
talk about those structural changes and I – in order to get anything done,
we need to fix the structure of democracy.
HAYES: Although I didn`t notice at one point tonight, Joe Biden was, you
know, going after Bernie Sanders for the impossibility of Medicare for All
or the political will, which is a legitimate attack. But then he sort of
mentioned in passing, like, we`re going to get a constitutional amendment
to overturn citizens united, which is a good idea, but also pretty tough.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is tough, but I think in order – we need
politicians willing to lead to fix democracy first and to pledge to do that
as the first thing that they`ll do.
HAYES: Did you find yourself being kind of tipped in one way or the other
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did think Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren did a
great job as the two female candidates on the stage but I, you know, I have
had a chance as a New Hampshire voter to meet all of the candidates and,
you know, I still want to hear more about their –
HAYES: Come on, want to hear more. You guys are insane up here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have a 10-year old daughter who`s met most of them
HAYES: All right. Next year or next four years are doing Bronx primaries,
OK. We`re the first in the nation, the Bronx. What did you think of Mayor
Pete`s back and forth me just now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am deeply concerned about how much money he`s taking
from billionaires. And it`s a legitimate concern. He does want to fix our
democracy and pass policies like H.R.1, but I just don`t know how you can
do that while playing the game that we`re in.
HAYES: So you – that line of attack the fact that he has been fundraising
from super rich donors, that really matters to you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It does.
HAYES: All right. Well, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
We are here in Manchester, New Hampshire, where literally every person in
this room has met every candidate 57 times and they`re still undecided. And
we`re going to come back with some more, don`t go anywhere.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM STEYER, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The question is who can go toe to toe
with Mr. Trump? Who can take down Mr. Trump because he`s the real threat to
the country? And let me say, you have to have experienced to take him down.
This is not a question of he`s a nice guy who`s going to listen, we need
people with experience. That`s why I`m worried about Mayor Pete.
You need to be able to go toe to toe with this guy and take him down on the
debate stage or we`re going to lose. And that`s actually the issue in front
of Democratic voters. I have heard this debate so many darn times and I
love all these people, and they`re all right. We can, if we win, we can get
the right thing, Bernie. I am with you.
If we win, we can get the right thing Pete and Amy, but we got a win or we
are in deep trouble and we keep not talking about the facts, Mayor Pete.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Here to talk about his night of candidacy, Democratic candidate for
president, businessman, Tom Steyer.
Mr. Steyer, I notice in that clip we just played you talk about your
concern about experience, vis-a-vis Pete Buttigieg is a two-term mayor of a
– of a college town (ph) Indiana. Why should anyone think that you have
the experience, given you`ve never won elected office in your life to be
the person that defeats Donald Trump?
TOM STEYER (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, Chris, what I`m saying is
Donald Trump is running on the economy. He took out a full-page ad in the
Manchester Union Letter, I don`t know if you saw it. Which is half was
touting how he good is on the economy and the other half was saying how
lousy Democrats are on the economy. So we know that`s where he`s running
on. And if we can`t beat him on that, if the candidate can`t go to toe-to-
toe with him and doesn`t have the experience and expertise to take him
down, he can win.
And I spent 30 years building a business. That business could not have
succeeded if I didn`t understand job creation, prosperity and growth.
Everybody on the Democratic side gets economic justice, we`ve all got it.
He doesn`t have a clue about economic justice. But he`s going to try and
make this about jobs and growth. And if we can`t beat him on that, it`s the
economy stupid. He can win. And I`m the person – I`m worried Pete
Buttigieg has a couple of years with McKinsey. That does not give you the
ability to take down Donald Trump. He`s a liar.
When he talks about growth, all the money is going to rich people. When he
talks about jobs, you can`t live on the jobs. Every single one of the thing
he say is baloney. But you got to be able to take him down real time, you
can`t be intimidated and you`ve got to actually know what you`re talking
about. So the further he goes, the further you can go and show that he`s –
what he`s always been. He`s a fraud as a businessman, he`s a failure as a
president and he`s lying both times and that`s what it`s going to take.
HAYES: There are few questions tonight about Mike Bloomberg who is in the
race but is not competing in the early states. He spent, I think, $160
million. I think you spent around $100 million in television advertising.
And there`s been complaints from people over that stage, if there`s
something fundamentally unjust and inequitable and skewed about having
individuals with vast personal fortunes coming into the race, spending that
and being able do you get on the debate stage, bump their numbers up in
polls that it skewed essentially the fundamental basics of the Democratic
nominated process. What do you say to that?
STEYER: Look, Chris, this nomination is going to be won or lost based on
message. Do you have something differential to and important to say to the
American people? And can they trust you to represent them and actually do
the things you`re promising to do? And so, when I look at Mayor Bloomberg,
he`s going to win or lose based on what he has to say and whether people
can look at his record. I`m a straight up progressive. I`m running to break
the corporate strangle hold on the government and I have 10 years-plus
fighting corporations and never losing to them.
I`m the person who said climate is my number one priority. I`m the only
person who will stay it and I`m the person that goes after it from the
standpoint of environmental justice and more than 4.5 million jobs created
every year, good paying union jobs. And I`m the person who take down Mr.
Trump on the economy. I have a message, Chris. I – that is what will make
me win or lose that – is what will make Mr. Bloomberg win or lose.
And yes, that, you know me. I – this is what did on impeachment, this is
what I`ve done for over a decade. When I see something wrong, I go after
it, full bore as hard as I can, including putting in money to try and do
the most important things in America. That`s what`s I`m doing now. And if
that`s the worst thing I ever do, I`ll be OK.
HAYES: All right, Tom Steyer, thank you so much for joining us.
HAYES: So Vice President Joe Biden won`t be joining us here tonight. We do
have someone here to speak in his behalf, the man who sits in Biden`s
former Senate seat, Senator Chris Coons, Democrat from Delaware.
How are you, Senator?
SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): Thank you again (INAUDIBLE).
HAYES: Have a seat.
COONS: Thank you.
HAYES: We`re very close here. You were – so, you`re sort of campaigning on
Joe Biden`s behalf?
COONS: Just a little bit.
HAYES: I want to ask – I hate asking people in the context of campaigns.
There`s a trop that happens, where you like you ask a candidate why aren`t
you polling better? And the candidate is like, I don`t know, I`m just –
what do you want me to say, I`m just trying to get peoples vote. But I do
think that part of the vice president`s pitch is electability, that his
head to head polling numbers against Trump have been fairly good.
HAYES: That Trump is scared of him, hence the actions for which he was
COONS: The last two weeks of jury duty I finished, yes.
HAYES: And yet, there`s also the case that, you know, there is a little bit
of proof in the pudding, right? That if you – if voters who get the most
exposure in this early states come away thinking, I don`t know how good
that guy is on the trail, I don`t know how ready he is to take on Trump,
that that hurts the case. What do you say though – to say that?
COONS: Well Chris, let`s see where we are after the first four contests. I
think it`s important that we sort of reserve judgment. I think what you saw
on the stage tonight was Joe Biden the fighter. Joe Biden, who`s been
knocked down by life several times, hard, and always gets up and knows what
it means to stand with people who get up and go to work and make a
difference in their communities and move forward with their lives despite
really hard things that have happened to them.
You saw a fighter on the stage tonight. And as we go through the next three
primaries, the very first early ones, we`ll move to states that are more
representative, no disrespect, than Iowa and New Hampshire where he has
consistently done better and poled better. And frankly, once we get through
those four and move to Super Tuesday, I think we`ll then much better
representation of who`s really best position to mobilize America, to engage
folks, to bridge some of the divides in our country that Trump has crack
open wider and then they confront Donald Trump on the stage.
I think that Joe Biden you saw on this stage tonight is ready for that
fight and ready to win.
HAYES: Something I`ve heard from some people I`ve talked to and these are
people who like Joe Biden, who are have affection for him and admiration
for him. They say that, you know, that what the president did in terms of
Ukraine was –
HAYES: – outrageous and wrong and he deserved to be impeached. But also
I`m just worried there`s this thing out there and now he`s created all this
disinformation that attached to Joe Biden. And I worry that the way that
Fox News operates this is going to like have its effect.
HAYES: What`s your response to that?
COONS: As we heard on the debate stage, I think it was Pete who said this
first, frankly, Donald Trump will makeup something to attack whoever is our
COONS: Right? He`s got slanders, he`s got nicknames, he`s got lies. I think
most of you remember when he famously made up an attack on Senator Ted Cruz
that his father have been involved in assassinating JFK. Whoever we put up,
they will swift vote, they will go after. Remember it was in New Hampshire
that our party decided we`re going to put up John Kerry because he`s a war
hero, against George Bush.
COONS: And that they figured out a way to attack him for not really being a
war hero. So I frankly would let that make up your mind. I would look at
who`s got the heart and the compassion to connect. Who do average Americans
look at and say, yes, he knows me? Who`s got the experience to actually put
us on the world stage as the leader that can solve climate collectively,
that can solve some of our big issues globally. And who has the experience
to pick a great running mate, a great cabinet and then move forward. I
think that`s Joe.
HAYES: Final question for you. You know, Senator, Vice President Biden came
up in a Senate that was very different from this senate. I mean he was a
senator from the time he was 35 years old. The constitution eligible –
COONS: Twenty-nine years old.
HAYES: Yes, 29 – I`m sorry 29 years old. That`s right 29 and then he sworn
after 30. And, you know, he serve with this sort of old segregationist
senators, he served through the 1980s and `90s.
HAYES: There`s a critique of him that he essentially has a model of how the
Senate works that`s dated. And he`s a model the way that government works
HAYES: That his keeps thinking of the times of deal making that doesn`t
COONS: Clearly that`s wrong. Because, yes, Joe Biden has been 36 yeas in
the Senate, he chaired the Judiciary Committee, chaired the Foreign
Relations Committee. He has a lot of experience. But he went with Barack
Obama to the White House and as vice president, he went back up to the Hill
and fought hammer and tongs for some of the biggest things they got done,
whether it was on health care or climate change or the Recovery Act, he
knows Mitch McConnell. He knows exactly what Mitch McConnell di to shut
down Barack Obama`s agenda. And he, better than anyone, understands what
it`s going to take to win and what`s posable to get done in the Senate.
Yes, he was part of the Senate of 30 or 40 years ago. He fought the fights
that are literally relevant today. So when I hear Mayor Pete say, oh these
are completely new challenges, no, no, the challenges that we face in 2020,
are the challenges we face in 2016. And we need someone who understands how
to fight and win. Last, he crisscross the country in 2018 and campaigned
for dozens and dozens of candidates. He will do a better job of helping us
win back the Senate than any other candidate the top of the ticket.
HAYES: Delaware Senator Chris Coons, good to have you here. Thank you very
HAYES: We`ve got another panel coming together discuss as well as Michael
Moore, coming up. Don`t go anywhere.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Democratic Party`s last presidential nominee,
Hillary Clinton has criticized Senator Bernie Sanders` record in the Senate
saying nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him. He got nothing
Senator Klobuchar, you served with Senator Sanders in the Senate. Is he
going to be able to get the support? Not if you like it, but is he going to
be able to get the support that he needs from Republicans?
AMY KLOBUCHAR, SENATOR: OK. I like Bernie just fine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: All right. We`re not go having to a chance to speak to Senator
Bernie Sanders tonight. One of his surrogates is here, Michael Moore,
Oscar-winning filmmaker. Great to have you here, Michael.
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: I`m very glad to be here and what a great room of
people here. This is really wonderful.
HAYES: So I want to ask, this came up several times in the debate and it`s
come up with people I`ve talked to. It`s interesting. There is a huge
generational divide on this question on the socialism word, right? Not just
how people feel about it as a first order question but how they worry other
people will feel about it because that`s really the worry, right?
HAYES: The worry is he will nominated and they`ll drop a billion dollars,
literally a billion dollars of advertising on his head telling everyone in
America, they guy is a socialist and he loves Castro and he love – you
know, and that will, that will really hurt. What do you think – how do you
respond to that?
MOORE: Well, first of all, he does love Julian Castro. That is true. The –
listen, I hope they do do that because what it will really remind people
and what I`ll be and Bernie will be and others will be reminding people the
last time in this past century, when we had to fight fascism, bigotry,
white supremacy and all that, it took a Democratic Socialist, Franklin
Delano Roosevelt to defeat that and to stand up and give us the things –
HAYES: Oh he didn`t call himself that, just to be clear.
MOORE: Although that term didn`t exist then, just like –
MOORE: No, it didn`t just like there`s thing from 1972 that Bernie wrote
this op-ed saying that there should be no law discriminating against
anybody who`s in love with somebody of the same gender. The word gay rights
did not exist three years after Stonewall.
This is why Bernie is always been ahead of the curve. And this particular
issue, the idea of Democratic socialism is simply the first shall be last
and the last shall be first. And the rich man will have a harder time
getting into heaven than a camel will have getting through the eye of a
That was another famous Democratic socialist before the term was invented.
But here`s really the choice in front of us this year. The Democratic Party
– do we want the Democratic Party and the Democrat that`s on the ballot?
Do we want somebody who is going to be of – essentially a President like
FDR? Or, do we want the Democratic Party of Goldman Sachs? That`s our
We don`t want Goldman Sachs. This is the wrong way to go. It is not – and
playing it safe – whenever we played it safe, we lose. Mondale, Dukakis,
Kerry, Gore –
MOORE: No, that`s back too far.
MOORE: Nobody would –
HAYES: I see, you cut off the example. And –
MOORE: Well, no, from the `80s on.
HAYES: Right, right, right.
MOORE: Yes, but there`s – yes. No, no, we lose, we lose when we go safe
HAYES: Well, but here – let me ask you this.
MOORE: We win when we take a risk and nominate somebody whose middle name
MOORE: That`s when we win. When everybody goes, oh my god, I like him, I
like Obama but – and you start thinking of who these people are that
you`re trying to please.
MOORE: It`s your conservative brother-in-law at the Thanksgiving table.
Stop worrying about him.
MOORE: We need to bring out the 100 million Americans who do not vote. If
we can convince just two million of them to come out, we will have the
HAYES: OK. So then that segues to my other – the other question I have
which is about, you know, part of the Sanders` proposition for electability
is precisely that organizing, right, bringing out new voters, turning
You know, the first pilot runway that was Iowa. The turnout was roughly the
same as 2016, a lot of people thought it would be much, much higher and it
wasn`t. The percentage of first time caucus goers was down slightly. It
just seems to me that as the test of the Sanders thesis, the number in Iowa
don`t necessarily bear out the theory.
MOORE: Well, I was in Iowa two weeks campaigning with Bernie. It was very
clear to me that the American people are in a malaise. There is a despair
across the country. And I saw that. It wasn`t so much of who was running
MOORE: It was after three years of Donald J. Trump, people are very – too
many people have kind of given up and I don`t want them to give up.
MOORE: I don`t want them to give up at all. And then when they hear the
thing about socialism, I want them to think that the biggest socialist we
have in this country is Donald Trump. He believes in socialism for the
rich. Tax breaks for the rich, socialism, giving free stuff to
corporations. Tax breaks for corporations. All this –
HAYES: They handed out $30 million in – money to big agribusiness.
MOORE: Yes. That is –
HAYES: By themselves.
MOORE: That`s socialism for the wealthy. They love socialism, the people
who got the money. They want more money for themselves to spread, to
redistribute. They believe in redistribution. They like to distribute our
money and give it to large corporations, agribusiness. We`re down the whole
It`s – I`m telling you, my friend, it`s like I want this debate. I want
this. So does Bernie. You want a fighter. You – that is Bernie. He will
not relent. He can`t be bought. He will not sellout. And I just want to say
too, this debate tonight, I really enjoyed it.
HAYES: I did too.
MOORE: I clapped, I think, for each candidate. Every candidate said
MOORE: You know, what they said about war and peace, what Tom Steyer said
about race, but – they were all – and even – and Amy Klobuchar, you`ve
got to love her.
HAYES: She had a wonderful night, yes.
MOORE: Because she also is just honest.
MOORE: Well, you see, that`s the real deal. She`s not trying to fake an
answer and pander to you. She`s going to say what she says. And when she
said that to Pete Buttigieg about you said that you were bored with the
trial that you`d rather watch cartoons, and then the camera cut to him and
like a cartoon character he raised his hand like this. I`m like, woah,
don`t do that.
HAYES: Like I did.
MOORE: But it was really – he really saw how kind of – you know, look it
didn`t get said tonight. Let me – I`m sorry to take – but let`s have a
round of applause for the fact that we have maybe a tie for first. I think,
you know, Bernie won the popular vote. But we had a game man in the United
States of America won a primary, a tie –
MOORE: A primary and –
HAYES: Along with Bernie Sanders.
MOORE: – this is a great moment.
HAYES: Michael Moore, thank you very much.
MOORE: Thank you.
HAYES: We got some of the other friends stopping by in just a minute, don`t
HAYES: We are back here live in Manchester, New Hampshire. I`ve got with me
here, Brittany Packnett Cunningham, co-host of Pod Save the People. Sam
Seder, host of Majority Report and David Corn, Washington Bureau Chief at
You know, we were just speaking before we went on the air that it was,
again, I thought it was a very good debate and very substantive. And there
were the moments where people went at each other that were clearly kind of
teed up, but nothing really past that.
BRITTANY PACKNETT CUNNINGHAM, CO-HOST, POD SAVE THE PEOPLE: Yes, it felt
like a little bit like they sang kumbaya before they came out onstage,
which frankly I think a lot of us were pleased to see.
HAYES: Right, exactly, because they are trying to appeal to the Democratic
voter who is super nervous about too much fighting.
SAM SEDER, HOST, MAJORITY REPORT: You know, I`m not convinced of that. I
mean, honestly, I don`t get the sense that when people talk about the Iowa
numbers, people not coming out, Bernie got big, big numbers on youth. Like
they beat 2008. But I think there`s a lot of Democratic voters whose
attitude is like, pick somebody.
HAYES: Yes, totally. Let me know when you`ve got a nominee.
SEDER: I`m not so invested in this.
SEDER: I want somebody to run against, and I don`t know who.
HAYES: And in fact, I`ll do you one more than that. I think there are
people that feel a feeling of dread triggered by the primary. They want to
get past it because once the decision`s been made, they don`t have to make
a decision anymore.
HAYES: They don`t have to deal with this. They feel like they`re being
given an exam they don`t know the answer to, which is like who is the most
electable? It`s like I don`t frickin` know. Why are you asking me? I`m just
know who going to be president. I know the things I believe in. Why you`re
asking me who`s electable.
DAVID CORN, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, MOTHER JONES: You were talking earlier
in the hour, and I met people like this too in the last couple days. Well,
who are you considering? Well, Warren, Buttigieg, Steyer, and maybe
CUNNINGHAM: And Michelle Obama and Oprah and all of them.
CORN: It`s like what do you want to eat for breakfast?
CORN: You can have steak, chicken, eggs, cereal, oranges. How do you
CORN: And what we have now is we don`t have lanes. People talked about
lanes. There`s the moderate lane and the progressive lane. When I talk to
voters, they`re – what they`re looking for is outside any lane. They want
who they think can win, who they feel connected to, particularly in New
Hampshire, someone who carried their groceries in for them.
CONR: You know, it could be any of that stuff, and they all are kind of –
kind of acceptable. I don`t see anybody hating, any voters hating these
CUNNINGHAM: I don`t know that I would wholeheartedly agree with that.
CORN: Who do you hate? Who do you hate?
CUNNINGHAM: I`m not saying I hate, but I think there`s something really
important that we have to make sure is in the conversation because part of
the dread that people are feeling is a worry about whether or not they can
actually trust this electoral process, after everything that happened in
Iowa and the ways in which people were continuously disenfranchised in
2016, in 2018. People are dreading going to the ballot box and all of that
effort, all of this conversation, all of these debates being for absolute
I`m very, very glad that Amy Klobuchar finally mentioned voting rights on
this debate stage because frankly it doesn`t matter who carries your
groceries to the car if we do not get that part right.
CORN: And let the security and I have to say, you know, I wrote a book
about this. I care about it a lot. But we just don`t even have, even in the
aftermath of this impeachment, which had to do early started with the
Russia scandal and attacking the last election, we still don`t have too
many of the Democrats when they have a high profile debate like tonight
talking about what needs to be done to make sure we have a fair election at
home and in terms of foreign intervention.
CUNNINGHAM: Yes. And to be fair, right, I mean, people of color in this
country have never actually –
CORN: That`s right.
CUNNINGHAM: – tried (ph) a fair election. So we`ve been talking about this
for a very long time.
CORN: We share your pain now.
CUNNINGHAM: We`ve been talking about this for a very long time, and there
is a question. You know, they talked about the fact that somebody shouldn`t
be able to pay their way onto that stage. But there are – there is one
thing that Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg could pay for with the billions
of dollars they have. It`s the fines, fees and restitutions that are
standing in between a million Floridians and the ballot box. That`s a
HAYES: I agree. I don`t understand how no one has written that check. You
can write that check.
CUNNINGHAM: That`s a choice that they can make if you`re really committed
to our democracy.
SEDER: Bloomberg wouldn`t notice it was missing.
CORN: That`s true.
SEDER: Can I just one thing that Chris Coons said when he was talking to
you struck me, because I was thinking about during the course of the debate
which is in 2004, you remember this – we remember this election quite
well. They swift voted a guy who literally had a medal from –
HAYES: And who was literally nominated precisely on the exact same thinking
HAYES: – of who can go up against Trump in the time – Bush in time of
war? Oh, the war hero. Let`s nominate the war hero.
SEDER: And Bush had some very strong weaknesses on that.
SEDER: And it occurred to me tonight that to the extent anybody laid any
punches on anybody it was on Pete Buttigieg, it seemed to me. And a lot of
came at him. You know, he was talking about I`m going to get up there and
talk to Donald Trump about, you know, my relationship or our relationship
to God and the relationship to service. And he had one other element that
where he was from.
And I think, you know, one of the mistakes that I think Democratic voters
tend to make, they want to fall in love with somebody. And I think Donald
Trump has a playing court. He has a court, right? And that court is
individual bona fides.
Hillary Clinton was probably the most qualified president –
HASY: Whoever run, right?
SEDER: – we have ever had.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
SEDER: I mean politics, I had some issues.
SEDER: But in terms of a resume, but because she fought on that terrain,
he`s a horrible person, which I think everybody here would agree. And –
but as soon as you take him onto that court, he has an advantage because he
has no shame.
The candidate I think that`s going to win is going to come up there with a
policy set that is going to ignore what he says personally and is going to
move forward. And I think that`s what occurred to me when I heard about
that swift voting.
HAYES: You know, that connects to something that was interesting to me
about the state of the union response which happened this week, which is
Gretchen Whitmer got up there and it was just like – it was just like this
very kitchen table kind of laundry list kind of elder care and things like
that. At some level, you feel like, no, but did you hear what that guy did?
What are you talking about elder care? Like did you see what that – but
it`s like no, no actually. That`s what – that is – the message has to be.
CUNNINGHAM: It does.
CORN: But this is the question.
HAYES: Listen to question. Yes, I don`t know what the answer.
CORN: Can normal beat abnormal?
HAYES: That`s right.
CORN: We don`t know. Hillary couldn`t figure out how to do it. And if you
bring Bernie into the equations, it`s all the question –
HAYES: It`s not normal, abnormal.
CORN: It`s policy versus personality.
CUNNINGHAM: Reality TV.
HAYES: No, like literally can you attack him on he wants to cut Medicaid,
and either cutting Medicaid –
HAYES: – right now and he gave a lot of money into rich, or is it just so
impossible in the maelstrom of his message –
CORN: That`s right.
HAYES: – that you can`t quite that.
SEDER: If you can`t cut through the chaos with just policy, you`re not
going to be able to cut through the chaos because he`s going to beat you
when it comes to throwing mud as a person.
CUNNINGHAM: So I don`t believe in trying to join him at the – on the floor
where he is, right, or pass the floor as it were. I fully believe in the
fact that we can energize people by cutting through that noise and making
sure we put up somebody not just with a policy package but with the
temperament to be able to stand up next to a bully and speak to us anyway.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that`s –
CUNNINGHAM: I think that in particular the two women on the stage tonight
CORN: Yes. Like Chris, I`ve written and reported on policy forever. But at
the end of the day, it`s still one person versus another person. That`s how
HAYES: Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Sam Seder, David Corn, thank you so
much for being here.
That does it for us tonight live in Manchester, New Hampshire. This was so
much fun. We`re going to do it again soon. Thanks, everybody here.
To all our undecided voters, I hope you make up your mind by Tuesday. We
will be back here live on Monday at 8:00. Good night, everybody.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the