All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 06/30/15
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN –
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I am proud to
announce my candidacy for the Republican nomination for president of the
United States of America.
HAYES: Fourteen candidates and counting.
CHRISTIE: You`re going to get what I think, whether your like or not.
HAYES: Chris Christie is in. But did he already miss a shot? And
can he get past Donald Trump in the polls?
And then, a brawl in South Carolina over the Confederate flag.
Tonight, why the resistance we`re seeing to taking down the flag today
is much different than what we`ve seen before.
Given, the latest evidence that President Obama is Reaganing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You may be witnessing history here.
HAYES: I`ll ask Robert Reich if Hillary Clinton can take advantage.
And as marriage a quality sweeps the nation, how the winners of the
culture wars should treat the losers.
MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If I become president, I
just want to remind people that please don`t complain if I were to put a
nativity scene out during Christmas.
HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Four years after the donor class was begging him to run for president
against Barack Obama, less than two years after he won reelection by
landslide in his home state, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie official
entered the 2016 race today, and what may be the low point of his entire
political career. Announcing his run before a friendly crowd at his high
school alma mater, where the former class presidents claim he ran in
different circles than classmate David Wildstein, the one time appointee
indicted in the bridgegate scandal, Christie tried to position himself as a
straight talking outsider with crossover appeal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIE: I am not running for president of the United States as a
surrogate for being elected prom king of America. I am not looking to be
the most popular guy who looks in your eyes every day and tries to figure
out what you want to hear, say it and then turn around and say something
When I stand up on a stage like this in front of all of you, there is
one thing you will know for sure, I mean what I say and I say what I mean.
And that`s what America needs right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: But the former front-runner has a long way to go to recover
the stature and support he once enjoyed. Christie`s approval rating in New
Jersey has dropped to its lowest point ever, just 30 percent of how he`s
doing as governor, compared to 55 percent who disapproved.
In the latest survey at the Republican presidential field, he is
polling at just 2 percent, well behind the likes of Mike Huckabee, Ben
Carson and Donald Trump. And Christie is only second to Trump in the
number or percentage of Republican primary voters who say they could not
imagine voting for him, 55 percent versus Trump`s 66 percent.
But those aren`t the only problems for Christie, who`s now the 14th
Republican candidate to announce. He is lagging behind in the money race,
according to “Politico”, and now expected to raise just a fraction of what
his top opponents will rake in. With a few candidates already
consolidating support in some of the early primary states, Christie is
betting on New Hampshire to give him a chance to comeback. He is spending
the whole week there, sticking around through the July 4th holiday. And
this hour, he just wrapped up a first of several town halls.
But even if the voters remain ambivalent to Christie, there is at
least one person who`s celebrating his announcement. MSNBC`s Joy Reid who
drew him in our 2016 fantasy draft.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joy Reid, we come to you. Joy, you have George Pataki, you
got Jim Webb, you got Rick Perry.
REID: Blandest ticket ever.
HAYES: We still got HRC on the board. Where is she Joy Reid?
REID: And I`m believing on god for 19.
Ready for Hillary. HRC on the board. HRC. No. Chris Christie.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNOUNCER: Chris Christie from the shadow of the George Washington
Bridge comes the pugnacious politician from Piscataway. He loves the
Cowboys, Springsteen, and telling people to shut up.
CHRISTIE: Sit down and shut up.
ANNOUNCER: He is stronger than the storm, but is he born to run?
CHRISTIE: Shut up.
ANNOUNCER: He is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I think that is my favorite one we have seen so far, Chris
REID: You know what, I feel like yelling at a teacher am.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now is Steve Kornacki, host of “UP” here on MSNBC,
and our resident expert on all things New Jersey.
So much – so much to parse here. Why the high school? I mean, (a),
I think it`s a little weird to declare in your high school, but also, there
is, of course, the Wildstein connection, which is something you would
imagine he wants to kind of distance himself from as much as possible. But
that seemed incidental to him today.
STEVE KORNACKI, UP: Well, in a way, it`s where it all started. I
mean, it sort of explains why he is doing this, with the political world
telling him you are not going to win, the bridge thing has destroyed. You
have no chance. Why are you going forward with this?
I mean, this is sort of I think a textbook illustration of the kind of
guy that this is not uncommon in politics who I mean – he has had his eyes
on this kind of a moment, this kind of an opportunity, his whole life,
starting in high school. He was a student politician in high school. He
was the class president at the University of Delaware. He moved up through
the county ranks in New Jersey.
He caught a lot of breaks along the way. But he always was sort of
eyeing, you know, how can I maneuvered myself, how can I position myself
basically for political glory? In a couple of years ago, it all opened up
for him. As you said at the top, I mean, this was the guy to beat just
two, three years ago. And I think he looks at that and he`s like, I`m not
going to go down without a fight right now.
HAYES: Right. Well, you`re tweeting earlier today during the
announcements, a fascinating trajectory in his biography saying he had sort
of been down and out in politics before, before he became governor and
worked his way back in, which gave him the idea, don`t count me out.
KORNACKI: Yes, that`s right. Where does the confidence come from?
He certainly doesn`t lack for confidence.
And where it comes from is 18 years, in 1997, basically on this same
day in 1997, his political obituary was written. He was in his mid-30s.
He had lost county office in New Jersey. He held the job, he alienated
He got thrown out. He came in dead last in the primary. He ran for
the state legislator, came in dead last, it looked like he was absolutely
And he caught the break of a lifetime. What he did was in the 2000
presidential campaign, he became a big fundraiser for George W. Bush. His
legal counsel in New Jersey raised big money. When that election ended,
Bush made him U.S. attorney for New Jersey. He was a controversial pick.
He used that job as U.S. attorney over the next eight years to do one high-
profile corruption bust after another.
Became one of the most visible and popular people in New Jersey to the
point where in 2009 he was able to run for governor, get elected. He has a
few YouTube moments in 2010, and here we are.
HAYES: Well, a key point about the fact that the way that he got his
way back in was to be a bundler essentially, which is – it`s not when you
think about Chris Christie, it`s not high on the resume he gives for
himself. But that was – you know, he was a mocker, he was a rain maker,
he was a, you know, big corporate lawyer, and he knew enough people to get
checks in to George W. Bush`s pocket.
KORNACKI: Absolutely. And he was very smart along the way, too, in
New Jersey. When he was U.S. attorney, he wanted run for governor early.
He wanted to run in 2005. He went to the state Republicans that year.
He learned lessons from his earlier failure. He said, I don`t want to
go too soon. He said to Republicans, look, I`ll run if you all endorse me
He didn`t have unanimity, so he waited until 2009. And something I
think about now because people are saying, look, Christie missed his
opening in 2012. He should have run against Obama in 2012. They were
begging him to run.
The reason he didn`t was, that was the lesson he learned from his
entire career before that. He had been punished for being impatient early
in his career. He had been rewarded for being patient in the middle of it.
So, faced with the decision in 2012, he said better to wait until 2016.
These things take time.
HAYES: And there`s a theme I`ve seen played out, which is that the
lesson of Barack Obama in 2008, was when the moment comes, seize it. I
remember the discussion around Barack Obama particularly in 2006 and 2007,
which was, the guy literally just got here. There`s no plausible way he
can run for president. It`s ridiculous.
Yes, he`s popular, yes, clearly talented, yes, there`s desire among
the grassroots and donors, but he can`t do it. It`s just too early. He
defied that, he ran, it worked out for him.
You`re seeing now with Bobby Jindal and Chris Christie what happens to
rising stars who wait past their term.
KORNACKI: Except – I don`t want to oversell this, but I will say –
I mean, one thing that also keeps Christie going is he is looking at that
debate stage. He`s thinking of that first debate on FOX about a month from
now, 10 candidates. He`s thinking about the YouTube moment. A question he
can turn around on the moderator.
One thing I`ve been told by team fairly close to Christie is he is
looking forward to being on the debate stage specifically with Donald
Trump. I think what he has in mind is, people saying how are the
candidates going handle Trump. I think what Christie has in mind, he can
be the guy who shuts up Donald Trump.
HAYES: Well, the hilarious thing, I mean, you would not have
predicted a year and a half ago, that Chris Christie is behind – this
Donald Trump is running for president. That Donald Trump is polling ahead
of Chris Christie. That Donald Trump is taking up oxygen as the straight-
talk, blunt, frank, outspoken, truth teller in the race, that Chris
Christie is now staring at the back of Donald Trump in the file line to get
to the White House nomination.
KORNACKI: And I`m just picturing the scene, though. Trump is up
there on stage – hey, Jeb Bush, you`re a wimp, you won`t stand up to me.
Marco Rubio – they don`t know what to do. If Christie is able to knock
him down that stage, he will be doing the party a big favor. You think of
Newt Gingrich in 2012. The whole campaign`s over, he`s asked the leadoff
question, the South Carolina debate is about open marriage.
KORNACKI: He manages to turn that around, bring the audience to its
feet. He jumps 30 points in polls in three days. So, I think that`s what
– to the extent Christie is thinking I can still win this. That`s what
he`s thinking. Funny things happen with these moments.
HAYES: Yes. Steve Kornacki is going to stick around with us.
Now, the rationale Christie`s presenting for his campaign centers on
tenure as New Jersey governor. He ran for office pledging to bring an
economic revival to the state. Today, he offered his record as evidence he
can get stuff done. The state of New Jersey`s fiscal health tells a very
According to one study, New Jersey`s pension system is the most
underfunded of all 50 states. Its credit was just downgraded for the ninth
time under Governor Christie. And there`s his claim that he successfully
worked across the aisle with New Jersey Democrats.
One of those Democrats is here with us now, State Senator Ray Lesniak.
If the sale to America is, I can reach across the aisle, I can work
with Democrats, as a state senator and a Democrat, what`s your – what do
you want to tell America?
STATE SEN. RAY LESNIAK (D), NEW JERSEY: Well, first of all, don`t
include me in that bunch. I have not worked with him, because he has taken
What he`s done, his straight talking is straight talking to get his
Republican support in the presidential primary. He cut women`s health. I
mean, tests for cancer, birth control, because he wanted to be – Planned
Parenthood, he wanted to do something against Planned Parenthood. He
turned down $170 million of food stamps from the federal government, $170
million of food stamps for children who go hungry.
He does all these things to get his presidential aspirations.
Meanwhile, the state is left in the lurch.
HAYES: The state`s finances, it strikes me, are going to be a problem
for him, specifically in the Republican primary. I mean, this is something
that conservative writers have focused on. There was a big cover story in,
I think it was “The National Review”, “The Weekly Standard,” basically
about how New Jersey`s finances are a wreck.
He`s going to have to go to explain to the voters, who are Republican
primary voters, why the state`s been downgraded nine times and why its
pension funds is underfunded?
KORNACKI: Yes. I think it`s one of the things, too, where you`ve got
to think about the broader implications of bridgegate, because when these
governors from different states come and run for president, they`ll always
give you the best version of, hey, we`ve turned everything around in my
state, but people say, but look, this says you didn`t, this statistic says
And ultimately, the questions are, are they going to get the benefit
of the doubt from the influential people in the party? And there are so
many influential people who look at Christie and they say, bridgegate, like
the trial will start on the eve of the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire
primary. Do we want this guy with this baggage to be our nominee?
So, they`re the ones I think they start using that stuff about the
credit downgrade to try to take him down.
HAYES: Do you we`ve heard the last of bridgegate, or are we going to
hear more about it as the trial starts and the campaign continues?
LESNIAK: And David Sampson is still hanging out there. No, we`re not
going to see the end of it. There`s going to be more and more and more
things that come out. But I think the killer for him is that fiscal
record, the fact that our economy lags behind the rest of the nation. He
really hasn`t done a good job for the people of the state of New Jersey,
and that`s going to be brought out by his Republican opponents.
HAYES: Yes, in some way, Jersey has been the kind of anti-Texas.
When Perry ran, Perry got to say, look at all the job growth and GDP
growth. And there were lots of way to parse those numbers, as Steve is
saying, in terms of how growth was coming from.
But Jersey in terms of – just in terms of GDP growth, in terms of job
growth, it ranks near the bottom. It has had one of the most sluggish
recoveries of any of the 50 states.
LESNIAK: And his cornerstone achievement, pension reform, has fallen
apart. He lied, he`s not making the payments that are due, and it`s
ultimately going to go bankrupt.
HAYES: This is the ultimate irony of Christie because his big message
was, New Jersey has elected a series of cowards who are unwilling to make
the hard choices and look people in the eyes and say, no, you`re going to
take less money and short the pension fund. That was it.
LESNIAK: Look them in the eye and lie to `em.
HAYES: That was the defining feature! That was the whole thing.
People forget that the theme of tough talking and taking on the teacher`s
union was all about this central policy issue, which was getting the
pension finances right. And here he is, you know, a term and a half in,
and the pension finances are still a mess.
KORNACKI: Yes, and don`t forget – I mean, the way he got that
pension thing – Senator Lesniak was not one of them.
LESNIAK: I voted no.
KORNACKI: He brought Democrats on board with this. I mean, this is
part – he brought – one of the sort of dirty secrets of Chris Christie`s
governorship, is how does he succeed as a Republican in a blue state
getting something like that through? There`s a big Democratic boss that
basically runs South Jersey, and Chris Christie made an alliance with that
guy and Chris Christie got all those Democrats onboard and that`s how he
got pension reform through.
HAYES: Do you think his skills as a retail politician, which I think
are quite good.
LESNIAK: Amongst the best.
HAYES: Right, you would say this? I mean, descriptively, he`s very
good at working a room, very good at working crowds. I find his kind of
blustery “shut up” thing unappealing. I think some people find it
appealing. But even when he`s not doing that, he`s just very good handling
himself in front of a crowd.
LESNIAK: He says, I`m going to get the job done. Ross Perot, do you
remember him? He says, I`m going to go in there. I`m going to fix
everything. That`s his message – I`m going to get it done.
The confidence he exudes is going to serve him well. But when they
look at his record, that`s when it`s going to all fall apart.
HAYES: There`s also a little bit of this – people have been making
these regional points about how Jersey he is and how particularly kind of
New York metro area. When you talk about the imagine confrontation between
Trump and Chris Christie, which is a hilarious thing to imagine, that is
very much a metro New York kind of shtick coming from both of them, and
there`s a question about how that plays in other places.
KORNACKI: Take a look at the earlier state. And there`s a tacit
acknowledgement from the Christie people, that`s not going to go over well
LESNIAK: He put a lot of work into Iowa, though, a lot of work.
KORNACKI: Now he wants to be president of the New Hampshire,
basically. But I will say, you look at New Hampshire, I mean, this really
is – it is so different, the electorate in New Hampshire, the Republican
primary, is so different than the national Republican electorate. This is
a state that`s had legal gay marriage for five years. The average
Republican will say, I don`t have a problem with it. We`re independents,
These are suburbanites from southern New Hampshire. They flood the
primary. This is a state – I think of John McCain back in 2007, his
campaign was given up for dead. He did the town halls in New Hampshire, he
came back. I can see Christie making a move in New Hampshire. What I
can`t see is what happens next.
HAYES: That`s the blueprint for his strategy.
Steve Kornacki and State Senator Ray Lesniak, thanks to you both.
LESNIAK: Thank you.
HAYES: Up next, the president`s wonderful, remarkable, all around
very good week.
Plus, the bubbling outrage over the colors of the White House on
And thanks to “BuzzFeed”, presidential hopeful Ted Cruz gets animated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: One of the great exchanges between Homer
and Lisa. But, dad, I`m a vegetarian! I don`t eat animals. But, Lisa,
animals are so delicious.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: An actual fight about the symbolic fight over the Confederate
flag is coming up.
First, big news out of the White House, senior administration official
tells NBC News, “We will formally announce tomorrow that the United States
and Cuba have reached even agreement to reestablish formal diplomatic
relations and open embassies in each other`s capitals.” President Obama
and Secretary of State Kerry are expected to make the official announcement
tomorrow. That is very big fuse.
Of course, Cuban-American relations are a hot-button issue for some
candidates running for Republican nomination. For instance, Ted Cruz, the
Texas senator of Cuban heritage by way of Canada, he has, in the past,
called President Obama`s outreach to Cuba a tragic mistake.
Now, speaking of tragic mistakes, “BuzzFeed” released the following
video today of Senator Ted Cruz auditioning for “The Simpsons.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: Smithers, release the hounds. Excellent.
Hidely-ho, neighbor. Okily-dokily, neighborino.
Kang and Kodos, in one of the great classic episodes when they run for
president, I`m running for president now, and, you know, it`s really tough.
Forward, not backwards, upwards, not downwards. And always twirling,
twirling for freedom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Vote Quimby.
We`ll be right back.
HAYES: President Obama is up in the polls after a week both
supporters and detractors would agree was a monumental week for his legacy.
The approval rating for the president`s job performance is now at 50
percent, the first time in more than two years it`s hit that point.
And that compares to approval ratings of 50 percent or above for both
President Clinton and President Reagan, at this point in their respective
second terms. President George W. Bush, however, hovered at about 30
percent approval rating by this time in his tenure.
Today, President Obama spoke about his political capital and said that
yesterday`s announcement of executive action to make millions of more
Americans eligible for overtime pay is just one example of how he intends
to use it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, the list is
long and my instructions to my team and my instructions to myself have
always been that we are going to squeeze every last ounce of progress that
we can make when I have the privilege of – as long as I have the privilege
of holding this office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Today, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton quickly endorsed
the administration`s move on overtime pay, another indication of the
possibility for a seamless trajectory of the Clinton/Obama coalition.
It is difficult at this point, particularly given the last 10 days, to
honestly rate the Obama presidency as a failed presidency, though many will
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK PERRY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The truth is, we`re at the
end of an era of failed leadership.
CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And obviously, he is
failing as a chief executive.
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And the truth is, with all due
respect, he is an utter and complete failure.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: President Obama has
been a failure, not because he was only in the Senate for four years, he`s
been a failure because his ideas are bad.
BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I started to talk about all
the failures of the current administration, but I figured that was too
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
HAYES: Joining me now, former secretary of labor, Robert Reich, whose
film “Inequality For All,” available on Netflix, iTunes, DVD, and on
demand. Robert, let me first start with this overtime announcement, which
is in the grand scheme of things, relatively small, but a huge amount of
workers, about 5 million who could be affected by it. Your reaction to
that announcement by the White House?
ROBERT REICH, FORMER LABOR SECRETARY: Well, it`s a big deal, Chris.
You know, the old overtime threshold was about $24,000 over that, if you
were earning – even if you were a salaried worker, an hourly worker, it
didn`t matter. You didn`t get overtime.
Now, the threshold is up to $56,600. That means you got millions of
workers coming in, getting time and a half for overtime. That`s a lot more
money in people`s pockets. That`s going to help the economy. It`s going
to help the middle class.
HAYES: You know, it strikes me that it was very interesting to me
that the – that Hillary Clinton sort of endorsed this, right after
President Obama did it, not because you would expect she would or wouldn`t,
but in terms of where the politics of this moment are.
I`m curious – you know, you survived some of the early Clinton
battles. You were the kind of progressive lefty in this cabinet that had a
lot of kind of centrist DLC types. How do you read the politics of now,
this moment and this upcoming election, versus, say, 20 years?
REICH: Well, I think the politics have shifted dramatically. There`s
something of a realignment going on, Chris. I think that economic populism
is now coming into the fore. Not just in the Democratic Party, but you`re
hearing Republicans at least using the phrases, like crony capitalism. Not
because they believe those phrases, but because those phrases actually get
huge enthusiasm from voters of whatever persuasion.
A lot of people are very upset about all of the wealth and income and
power going to the top in this country.
HAYES: You know, Nick Confessore in “The Times” had a really
fascinating take on this as well, because I agree with you, there`s a kind
of – there`s an audience response to these messages. But there`s also
something interesting I think happening with the donor class, specifically
the Democratic side. He says that Hillary Clinton faces a more liberal
Democratic fund-raising landscape. Democrats now get far less money from
Wall Street, military contractors, health care companies, and other
industries that for decades ladle out cash more evenly to both parties,
according to a “New York Times” analysis.
You`ve seen a kind of polarization among the donor class that in some
senses might be somewhat liberating for the eventual Democratic nominee.
REICH: It is liberating. And it`s hugely different from the 1990s,
when Bill Clinton triangulated in part, he could do it, because Wall Street
and corporate America were giving so much money to the Democrats. Now,
Wall Street and corporate America, big corporations, are giving almost all
their money to Republicans.
And where are the Democrats getting their money from? From
environmentalists, from very, very wealthy individuals, who are in favor of
gay rights, or the environment, a lot of women now are economically much
more powerful, and women`s groups like Emily`s List. You have a complete
polarization of funding. Labor is actually more powerful than it was,
although labor continues to shrink, a lot of money is available from labor.
So, Hillary Clinton is moving to the left in ways that Bill Clinton
never even dreamt of doing.
HAYES: Yes, this point also about the kind of rise of the ideological
donor strikes me as an interesting point, too, what you were just saying
about lots of people who care about gay rights or care about the
environment. In the kind of post-Citizens United super PAC area, you know,
the kind of person that is bundling checks to be a Bush ranger or a pioneer
or to be a Clinton fund-raiser tends to be very transactional, and the kind
of person writing a $50 million check tend to be much more ideological.
Now, there are all sorts of bad results from that. But it`s one of
the things that strikes me that`s shaping the contours of this race
particularly on the Democratic side.
REICH: I think that`s right. And a lot of people on the right say,
well, don`t criticize the Koch brothers, because you have billionaires on
the left doing the same thing the Koch brothers are doing. But there is a
big difference. A lot of the billionaires on the right, what they`re doing
is they want – they don`t want regulations, they don`t want government
intervention, because they want to build up their fortunes even bigger than
they were before.
But a lot of the billionaires on the left are really in it because
they believe in the environment or they believe in gay rights or they
believe in women`s rights or they believe in equal protection of the laws.
They are in it not for themselves, but they`re in it for the cause. That
makes a huge difference.
HAYES: All right. Robert Reich, thank you very much.
REICH: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: All right. Much more ahead, but first in or ongoing effort to
bring you the latest from all the top candidates running for president,
let`s check in on the man currently polling as the number two Republican
just about an hour ago in New Hampshire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When I heard Paul Ryan –
and I like Paul Ryan, as a person. But when I heard Mitt Romney chose Paul
Ryan – I mean, what he`s known for is killing entitlements. I said, that
Now, it`s really over, because Mitt choked in the last month, let`s
face it. He choked like a dog. I don`t know what happened to him. But
that was not a pretty picture to watch. I`m not a choker. He choked like
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFEID MALE: This is America. How many of you people want to
pay for your neighbor`s mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can`t pay
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t remember a clarion call that said Fanny
and Freddie are – lend only to minorities and risky folks is a disaster.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: Is there no responsibility at all from the
borrower, if they buy a house that they can`t afford, who do you want to
pay for the house that they decided to buy? They signed their name?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Do you remember during the mortgage crisis of 2008 and 2009,
when certain quarters looked to blame homeowners for the crisis, making the
argument that irresponsible people took out loans they couldn`t pay back,
therefore they had to be held to account, they had to face punishment for
their bad decisions even though, of course, the banks were the ones who
made the bad loans in the first place.
Well, right now, we are seeing the exact same thing play out in
Europe. Greece borrowed more money from international banking interests
than they could afford to pay back. And they are being punished because
they can`t pay back their loans. Even though those banking interests, the
northern Europeans, were outright
enablers of Greek excess, aggressively sought to provide loans to Greece
And here`s the thing. What was true in our own financial crisis is
also true in Greece. Every loan is a two-way transaction. A person
decides to borrow money and a person decides to lend it. And sometimes,
you lend out money that doesn`t get paid back. That`s the risk you take as
a lender. In fact, that`s why you get interest.
And when a loan goes bust, you write down your losses and move on.
No, no, no. But instead what we`ve seen in Europe are demands from
the banking interests that have ground Greece into misery and brought it to
the brink of outright disaster. Under a series of austerity measures and
demanded by its creditors, Greece has seen a 25 percent decline in GDP,
roughly equivalent to our own great depression. A quarter of the country
is unemployed. The country has so many mounting debts, it hasn`t even been
able to pay for medicine since last year.
So if you`re a Greek cancer patient looking for chemo, take it up with
the German banks.
And under the creditors` demands, Greece will still have unsustainable
debt for at least another 15 years.
Well, Greece – Greek people have had enough. Tonight, Greece
defaulted on one of its loan payments. And this weekend the country will
hold a referendum on whether to accept the creditor`s continued austerity
proposals or to default on their loans, opening the possibility that Greece
will be shut out of the Eurozone and would leave the common currency the
Thousands of people rallied in Athens last night urging Greeks to vote
on the creditors` demands. Thousands of people rallied in Athens tonight
urging Greeks to vote yes on the creditors` demands.
And the fact is, there is no easy answer for Greece or for Europe at
this point. But one thing is quite clear, what is being done to Greece
isn`t about morality or fairness, it is, at this point, a sadistic exercise
in sheer will to power by banking interests who is want to make an example
of Greece and its people the same way a loan shark does with a tire iron to
It is morally monstrous and they should be ashamed.
HAYES: The Ku Klux Klan is planning a rally in South Carolina in
support of the Confederate flag. And if, according to an AP Poll, the
votes really do exist in the South Carolina legislature to take the flag
down from the State House ground, it may not even be there by the time
those people rally.
The massive shift in position of southern opinion leaders over the
past 12 days crystallized with President Obama`s eulogy of Reverend
Clementa Pinckney, was
something the president noted again today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It was, I think, a
on the consistent challenge of race in this country and how we can find a
path towards a better way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Yesterday, as about 30 people protested the Confederate flag
at the statehouse grounds, another group of counterprotesters began driving
by in their trucks, about 15 of them, often displaying both the American
flag and the Confederate battle flag. And one of those Confederate flag
supporters decided to
confront the crowd.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Take it down! Take it…
No, no, no! No!
Arrest him! Arrest him! Arrest that man! He incited.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That man, Nicholas Thompson, was, indeed, arrested for
disorderly conduct, according to WIS-TV.
And we now know that just one day after Governor Nikki Haley called on
state lawmakers to take the confederate flag down, the local KKK requested
permission to rally outside the South Carolina statehouse.
One of the group`s leaders promised a peaceful rally on July 18 of
about 200 people and added that the group`s grand dragon lives just 20
miles from the statehouse, quote, that`s where we`ve be holding a cross-
lighting at the end of the night.
Interesting contrast to the supporters of the Confederate flag 15
years ago, when South Carolinians were debating moving that flag from the
capitol dome to the
place it now stands.
Joining me now, civil rights activist Kevin Alexander Gray, co-author
of “Killing Trayvon: An Anthology of American Violence.”
And Kevin, you`ve been around the capitol and in South Carolina for a
long time, watched this debate play out. Compare what`s happening now with
the Klan rally planned to the massive broad support and rallies that were
for the flag back in 2000 and 2001.
KEVIN ALEXANDER GRAY, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVITS: Well, you know what, the
young people are actually taking a lead on some of the protests that are
going on at the
statehouse, and white people are taking the lead on some of the protests
that are going on at the statehouse, opposed to the flag.
Now, no doubt, the people that support the flag are going to be out.
I just drove by the capitol, they`re out tonight. But I think it`s a good
movement experience for young people. I think at the end of this whole
process, it`s a step toward trying to dismantle some of the symbols of
racism and white supremacy in the state.
And the state and the city, Columbia, South Carolina, knows that
taking that flag down is good for business.
When they first took the flag off the dome and they moved on to the
statehouse grounds, as a compromise, many of the people that supported the
compromise on the Republican side said, off the dome and in your face. And
that`s where it`s been.
So I`m supportive of it coming down and I want to see the legislative
process work out.
HAYES: Yeah, well, looks – what`s so interesting, I was just looking
at some footage, a bunch of footage of this fight in 2000 and 2001. And it
is really striking to see hundreds and hundreds of white South Carolinians
going to these rallies in support of the flag in that period of time, all
holding the battle flag. And you realize the breadth and depth of the
support for the flag.
When you compare that to now, it really does seem like there`s been a
significant change in the opinion or the number of people that are willing
to really make this an issue.
GRAY: Absolutely. And back in the late 90s and 2000, you had a lot
legislators in that statehouse that supported keeping that flag up, that
were ardent supporters of the confederacy, like Glen McConnell, who`s now
the president of the College of Charleston.
It was a really tough time. The NAACP was strong back then, although
they said that they weren`t for the compromise. And of course, the boycott
But I think it was a little bit meaner. We went and burnt the flag on
confederate memorial day in the year 2000 and we were surrounded by people
with confederate flags singing Dixie and telling us that we were going to
go to hillbilly heaven.
And of course Reverent E. Slave, Eddy, burned the flag, climbed up the
– had a long ladder and climbed up the flagpole and set the flag on fire.
And of course they arrested him. And he kept going back, and they finally
got a restraining order against him.
So, I mean, – but it`s not a new fight. And I would suspect that
or somebody under Sherman might have been the first person to burn that
flag. And I know Brent Bercy (ph) who was an anti-war activist in the `60s
burnt the flag after the – I think it was the one-year anniversary of the
So, of course, Bree (ph) has energized a lot of young people.
HAYES: Yeah, Bree Newsome, who took that flag down.
When you – I mean, we saw yesterday that these standoffs can get
heated. When you burned that flag and you had people singing Dixie and
telling you you were going to go to hillbilly heaven, I mean, did you –
were you in personal fear? Did you worry about violence against yourself?
GRAY: Well, I had a vest on, but I really wasn`t worried about
anybody doing anything really crazy. If they blocked off the streets, they
surrounded – had me
surrounded by police, but, you know, anybody – anything could happen.
But, no, I think we wanted to make the point that – and just like
you`re saying now, unless you deal with this and deal with it forthrightly,
it can get out of hand. And you`re not going to make people support a
symbol that they don`t support. And you can`t make them pay taxes to
support the maintenance of all these monuments. And it can get out of
HAYES: Kevin Alexander Gray, who`s been witnessing this battle in
South Carolina for decades. That may, finally, this chapter of which,
might be coming to an end very soon.
Thank you very much.
Up next, the backlash and the basking in Friday`s historic ruling on
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I did not have a chance to comment on how good the White House
looked in rainbow colors. That made it a really good week.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In a week of firsts comes news of another hugely important
step forward in our culture. Misty Copeland just became the first African-
principled female dancer in the history of the American Ballet Theater.
She`d already made history last week, when she stepped out as the lead in
Swan Lake at The Met.
Today made history again when she got the promotion of a lifetime.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MISTY COPELAND, BALLET DANCER: I`m just so honored, so extremely
honored to be a principle dancer, to be an African-American, and to be in
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: One of the most famous and celebrated ballerinas in the world
today, Misty Copeland was raised by a single mother, at times lived in a
motel, and at
age 13, she began her ballet studies in San Pedro, California, and was soon
a prodigy. When she joined the American Ballet Theater 14 years ago, she
was the only African-American ballerina there.
Now, she`s the principal ballerina, the first in the company`s 75-year
history, and another part of this being a very good week in America.
HAYES: After Friday`s momentous Supreme Court ruling, striking down
same-sex marriage bans across the country, we showed you this iconic image,
the White House lit up in rainbow colors to mark the occasion.
Seen outfront was festive and jubilant with gay rights supporters
cheering both the Supreme Court decision and the symbolism of seeing the
White House lit
up in celebration of gay pride.
Not everyone, though, saw it that way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: I was a bit surprised to see the White House
doing a victory lap, using actual White House property on Friday.
The people`s house was illuminated in rainbow colors to celebrate the
gay marriage decision.
Now, what about all the Americans who believe that a re-definition of
marriage is not the job of the Supreme Court. I mean, what`s next? A
banner going down saying, liberalism is good?
It was wrong and insulting to light up the White House like that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: For some opponents of same-sex marriage, the decision to light
up the White House in rainbow colors amounted to the co-opting of a
building meant to be a symbol for all Americans, sort of like when Cobra
took over the White House in the
terrible 2013 film, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.”
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Cobra revolution has begun.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We`ve all watched a massive cultural shift take place during
the Obama presidency, one that has intensified in recent days as
Confederate battle flags have come down, as gay pride flags are being waved
ever more proudly, and for the victors in the culture war there`s a real
question around how to relate for the losers in the culture war, the
Americans who is feel left behind as their country changes around them.
When we come back, we`re going to talk about that. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VDIEO CLIP)
MIKE HUCKABEE, 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When the president lit up
the White House the other night with rainbow colors, I guess that`s his
prerogative. If I become president, I just want to remind people that
please don`t complain if I were to put a nativity scene out during
Christmas and say, you know, if it`s my house, I get to do with it what I
wish, despite what other people around the country may feel about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Evan Wolson, founder and president of Freedom
to Marry, and MSNBC contributor Howard Dean, former Vermont governor and
former chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Evan, let me start with you. First of all, you`ve been in this battle
as long as anyone, one of the first people to really work on marriage as a
civil rights issue. You guys have announced your – Freedom to Marry is
going out of because party next week? Is that right?
EVAN WOLFSON, FREEDOM TO MARRY: Well, we prefer to think of it as a
celebration of how far we have come, but then we will head into wind down.
HAYES: Well, it`s sort of amazing. I mean, it never happens, an
organization says, we exist to achieve “X,” and they achieve “X,” and say
well, we`re done.
So how do you understand how the victors in this particular cultural
battle should think about the people who are still opposed to them?
WOLFSON: I think we should approach those people in the same way we
began approaching the American people when we didn`t yet have a majority.
We need to approach them with respect and engage in the real questions they
have, take those
questions seriously, and give them information they need and the time to
absorb it. And they will move, as the majority of Americans have moved.
When people understand that this is about real people, when they
understand who gay people really are in their lives, in their
neighborhoods, in their communities, in their workplace, when they
understand the shared values of love and commitment and respect, they move.
And most people will move and they will continue to move. One of the
most important things, Chris, we have now won the Freedom to Marry in the
law across the country, but the marriage conversation is only just coming
to many parts of the country.
And we now have the opportunity to use that extraordinary, powerful
language and visibility that marriage brings to shared values, to move
hearts and minds, in the places where we haven`t yet won people over. And
we will win them over.
HAYES: Howard, you saw this up close. You had one of the earliest
most brutal marriage battles in your state, when you were governor. The
battle over civil unions in Vermont.
HOWARD DEAN, FRM. GOVERNOR OF VERMONT: Right.
HAYES: It was really – it got very nasty. It was very difficult to
navigate politically. You, at that point, were not a supporter of same-sex
marriage in the way the law is. You did support the civil union bill. And
I imagine you had to do a lot of back and forth with people that thought
madness or some sort of biblical, horrible fate that was befalling Vermont.
And I`m curious how you think about what that conversation looks like.
DEAN: Well, the real battle was that we couldn`t have gotten anything
through at all, if we`d insisted on marriage at the time. So, this bill
actually was designed by a Republican chair of the judiciary committee, an
openly gay – the only openly gay, I think, at the time member of the
legislature was the vice chair of the judiciary committee who invented
civil unions, which was essentially was the right to everything, except to
call the union marriage.
And it provoked a huge backlash, even in a very progressive state.
The feelings were very, very harsh.
I actually think, two years later, interestingly, after I won that re-
election, I went on to run for president. And two years later, there was
an open seat for governor and neither party even brought it up. Nobody
talked about repealing it.
The thing is, Evan`s right. When you get used to people on their own
terms, suddenly, all the differences go away.
Look, everybody knows someone who`s gay. They may think they don`t,
but they do. And what changes like this encourage people, as the gay
community has been doing for years, to say who they are. And once you say
who you are, people will take you on your own terms. And that`s what
happened in Vermont. It only took two years.
HNAYES: In some ways, Evan, what has happened on – and we just saw
polling out, I think, today, that showed approval of the Supreme Court`s
decision that looked very similar to the approval of gay marriage more
broadly, which is 55 points plus, a solid majority.
In some ways, it`s a testament to approaching people that are not in
your camp, with a certain degree of charity and faith they can be
persuaded, because in
some ways, it really has worked out quite well on this specific issue.
WOLFSON: That`s exactly right.
And the strategy that Freedom to Marry followed along was exactly
that. We said, we are going to – we trust that people will move and we,
it`s our job to engage them. My mantra for years and years and years is,
there`s no marriage without engagement. We have to engage people and give
them what they need in order to rise.
Now at the same time, we also had to fight political battles and legal
battles. We had to do the hard work that was real of closing the deal.
But the way we built and moved and the way we ultimately succeeded was by
working to engage people and move people and create the climate that would
encourage political leaders and judges to do the right thing.
You know, the legal arguments, the political arguments were always
clear. It was getting people, whether it be ordinary Americans or decision
makers, to have the courage and the empathy to connect the command of the
constitution to real gay
people. And that was the lift we had to make.
HAYES: Howard, do you think the Democratic Party, liberals more
broadly, progressives, are doing a good job at reaching out past the
coalition they have, as opposed to mobilizing the people that already agree
I remember that quote you had about wanting to be the candidate of
Confederate flags and pickup trucks, which was a sort of metaphorical point
about getting outside of who we already have in the tent. Do you think
we`re doing a good job of that?
DEAN: Not as well as we could.
But the times are very, very difficult, very, very polarized. There
are those in politics who seek to demonize the opposition and polarize
them. And it`s not helpful to the country.
When I said that, and I don`t regret saying that, because I meant it
and I mean it today, you know, people who wear those Confederate flags,
yes, some of
them are racist, some of them are not, some of them are afraid. They`re
afraid of the rapid changes that are happening in society.
But as I said at the time, people like that need health insurance for
their kids just like everybody else does. And we have to find the common
ground as well as push for the social change.
HAYES: Evan Wolfson, Howard Dean, thank you gentleman both.
That is “All In” for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Shows starts
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