All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 09/21/15

John Nichols, Jess McIntosh


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN –

campaign immediately.

HAYES: From the summer of Trump to the fall of Walker.

WALKER: I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to
consider doing the same.

HAYES: Scott Walker becomes the second major Republican candidate to
drop out of the race. Tonight, what happened and who`s next?

Then, Ben Carson is not backing down.

BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would not advocate that we
put a Muslim in charge of this nation.

HAYES: The ongoing fallout from the politics of paranoia.

defend the president.

HAYES: Plus, getting to the bottom of Carly Fiorina`s factually
challenged surge.

And my interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates.

TA-NEHISI COATES: When you see Donald Trump, and you see people
standing up talking about a war on cops, anybody who thinks progress in the
era of prison reform is a done deal, you know, really should be humbled by

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.

A major Republican presidential candidate who led the polls in Iowa
for 24 weeks but whose polling there and nationally has absolutely
plummeted over the past two months today dropped out of the race. Governor
Scott Walker, Wisconsin, calls it quits today in Madison just 70 days after
officially announcing his run for the nation`s highest office.


WALKER: Today, I believe that I`m being called to lead by helping to
clear the field in this race so that a positive conservative message can
rise to the top of the field. With this in mind, I will suspend my
campaign immediately. I encourage other Republican presidential candidates
to consider doing the same so that the voters can focus on a limited number
of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the
current front-runner.

This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and more
importantly to the future of our country.


HAYES: The postmortem for Walker`s campaign began early and often
with the practical effect of his failing on a national stage was simple.
It made fund-raising much harder.

“The short answer is money,” a supporter of Mr. Walker who was briefed
on the decision told “The New York Times.” “He`s made the decision not to
limp into Iowa.”

Liz Mair, who was on Walker`s staff for a single day, was prolific
this afternoon in the stream of tweets, quote, “Things he got wrong:
misunderstanding the GOP base, its priorities and stances, pandering, flip-
flopping, hiring people who spend a lot to build out a massive operation
that would not be sustainable unless financing remained amazing forever,
not educating himself fast enough on issues outside of governor`s remit,
educating himself on some things by talking to the wrong people.” And
those are just a few.

Since his presidential announcement from his home base of Wisconsin,
Walker seemed to lack the surefootedness that got him through his first
election, a recall election, and re-election as governor.

This Real Clear Politics chart of aggregate polling in Iowa with
Walker`s line in orange shows him with a solid lead from mid-February
months before his official announcement until early August, a few weeks
after that announcement. It was in early August that Walker was eclipsed
by Donald Trump shown in light blue. That red line also rising is Ben

All that points to part of the problem: Walker simply stopped
resonating with the GOP base, and his debate performances did nothing to
help. In the first national poll since that second debate, Walker garnered
a statistically insignificant amount, less than 1 percent.

Walker`s political manifesto, “Unintimidated,” apparently not an
effective predictor of the candidate`s longevity.

Joining me now from Madison, Wisconsin, John Nichols, Washington
correspondent for “The Nation” and a veteran Walkerologist, having watched
him up close.

Are you – John, are you surprised by this?

JOHN NICHOLS, THE NATION: Yes. I was surprised that he did it today.
I expected that Scott Walker would quit the race before Iowa because
there`s no trampoline in presidential politics. You don`t go to the top
and then bounce back up. And so, he was in trouble.

But my sense was that he would at least hold on for a little longer.
He had money. That`s not the problem. He was running low. And new money
wasn`t coming in. But he had enough to go on for a while longer.

What I think happened today was a play out of that poll number you
that just mentioned, that 0.0, and the notion that he had actually fallen
to a point where it was very likely that he would be the first major
contender to be pushed out of the main stage debates down to the kid table.
And that – for a guy with Scott Walker`s ego and his lingering ambition,
the fact he still wants to be in politics, the notion of being shuttled off
to the kids` table and having to debate Bobby Jindal, I just don`t think
appealed to him.

HAYES: That`s fascinating because I just saw some reporting saying
that the super PAC allied with Governor Walker still has quite a bit of
money of cash on hand. I think I saw the number, maybe $20 million or –
$10 million, $20 million. I mean, they could finance – the super PAC
could finance this.

You`re suggesting that`s a really interesting idea, right? If that
polling was bad enough, the humiliation, the sheer national humiliation of
having to move from the main stage debate to the kids` table and what that
would do to your brand politically going forward for someone who was in the
scheme of politics relatively young.

NICHOLS: That`s exactly right. Scott Walker isn`t 50. I mean, he
has potentially a lot of political future ahead of him, although I will
tell you, this campaign has been an absolute mess.


NICHOLS: He has been failed from the start of it on messaging.

And interestingly enough, he was even failed at the end. It`s amazing
that you would exit a presidential race by declaring that you are going to
lead by quitting and clearing the field. It speaks to the kind of tin ear
that he`s had as regards this whole year.


NICHOLS: And my sense is, my sense is that he may himself have
started to realize that he just didn`t – he just didn`t get this year.

HAYES: You know, you point to his final announcement, which was truly
bizarre. I mean, look, we`ve got two of these so far. We had Rick Perry.

And Rick Perry`s was generally upbeat. It was very religious. But it
was upbeat. It was sort of like, well, you go get them next time, this
just didn`t work out.

Walker seemed like someone under duress. I mean, if you showed that
video to someone, you`d think he`d gotten indicted or something just based
on the kind of grimness of it, the fact that when he said he was quitting,
one person applauded which was sort of awkward. I don`t know who did that.

Your point about the tin ear I think is important here. I mean, he
seemed to sort of lurch from position to position from the moment he got in
the race even if it meant firing Liz Mair because of some tweets she had
that were anti-ethanol. He was all over the place from day one.

NICHOLS: That`s absolutely right. In fact, I believe we`re up to
like 25, 26 stands on immigration so far. It`s absolutely amazing how many
places he has gone.

And this is really I think boils down to a fundamental reality with
Scott Walker. Scott Walker is a political strategist. He is a guy who
loves politics, he loves the game. He loves getting the donors in place.
He loves planning the schedule. He`s never been particularly interested in

And so, the problem for Scott Walker is that, you know, when he got
his ticket onto the main stage, when he actually got, you know, up to the
highest levels of Republican politics and started being asked – well, what
do you want to do with this gig, how do you want to lead this country, he -
- I don`t think he thought about it.

HAYES: Right. I should note that there are some glee in the national
offices of the AFL-CIO. One of the last things Scott Walker did before
exiting stage was put out a policy proposal that would essentially roll
back 80 years of labor law, essentially get rid of unions in their current
form as enshrined in the Wagner Act during the Great Depression. The AFL-
CIO when he declared in one statement Scott Walker is a national disgrace,
today the AFL-CIO, Scott Walker is still a disgrace, just no longer
national. They got that in.

John Nichols, thanks so much for your time. Really appreciate it.

NICHOLS: A pleasure.

HAYES: Joining me now, MSNBC political analyst former RNC chairman
Michael Steele.

Well, Michael, there is a piece today that BuzzFeed reported out sort
of about the donor class of the GOP sweating what`s happening so far.
Still very early obviously. We`ve seen John Kerry bounce back from being
very far back in 2004 and John McCain in 2008.

But, I mean, the Trump phenomenon and the way the race has played out
has had real effects. Governor Perry and Scott Walker, you could imagine
different versions of this campaign, which they are not just still in this
thing, they are actually very much competitive.

you know, we talk about the impact this has had on Jeb Bush, for example.
But it`s had an even bigger impact on folks like Walker and governor Perry
because they were originally positioning themselves to either Trump, if you
will, Jeb or at least get some of the residual pull from him.

What happened once Trump got in the race, when that oxygen started to
leave the room, they were the first to suffocate.

HAYES: Right.

STEELE: And I think they saw it in their money, they saw it in their
support, and they saw it in organization on the ground. And I want to go
to something that John said, which I think is very important to note. The
Walker campaign also faced a harsh reality that put his friend Reince
Priebus in a really tricky spot, because going into the next debate, there
was already talk that there would be no kiddie table. So, there was no
table to go to in that second debate.

HAYES: Right.

STEELE: And the RNC was beginning to think about shrinking that stage
from 11 to 8. So there was a real possibility that he would not
necessarily be on that stage to begin with irrespective of anything else
short of what he did today.

HAYES: Well, that`s an excellent point. And it strikes to the note
that Walker hit, which was an odd one. Basically, the subtext, he didn`t
explicitly say this was, we need to stop Trump and make sure he`s not the
nominee. The number of possible candidates is part of what`s allowing him
to continue to pull ahead.

STEELE: Exactly.

HAYES: I am taking one for the team by dropping out, which frankly
seems – I mean, you spin it however you want to spin it. But what do you
make of that message? It was a very weird parting shot.

STEELE: Well, it wasn`t as weird as you may think it is. I think
that there have been – I don`t know this for certain. But knowing how the
RNC thinks, operates and typically functions, particularly the
establishment members thereof, that there are already some conversations to
some of the candidates about that very thing. Scott Walker telegraphed
that conversation in so many ways because, like you said, it is kind of odd
to go out and say I`m going to take one for the team.

HAYES: Maybe other candidates will think about it.

STEELE: Yes. So that is a lot of back channel noise, I believe,
that`s beginning to occur that the part party is looking to whittle this
field. As I just mentioned, no kiddie table potentially. The number on
the stage reduced. And this is beginning to focus like a laser on Trumping
Donald Trump, to get him off of that stage or at least to its edge where he
falls off sometime before Iowa.

HAYES: Yes, that I think is very clearly the kind of conversation
happening. It leaves, of course – it leaves I think a lot of donors
looking at Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Marco Rubio as sort of the remaining
folks that I think have been basically the favorites of the donor class so
far. And part of what the Walker thing says to me again is, look, just
because Jeb Bush fund-raising in name, doesn`t mean that he takes this
either or that he survives. I mean, he has to start doing things at some
point to turn around his campaign.

STEELE: Well, I think – I think you`ve got to be careful there,
Chris, because the bush team is a very sophisticated smart team, and while
everyone is focused on that bright shining object that is Donald Trump and
now Carly and Ben Carson, they have been systematically and methodically
organizing on the ground.

Remember, this is not a race to be the most popular kid in the room.
This is to be the guy who has the most delegates going into the convention.
And that organizational structure works to Jeb Bush`s advantage.

HAYES: Yes, and it`s a reminder you can basically play tortoise and
the hare if you`ve got sufficient funds, right? Jeb Bush from the
beginning, the whole idea was huge fund-raising numbers, advertise to
everyone that they have all this funding backing, make that resonate with
people so they don`t start essentially judging you day to day in the way
that happened to Walker. You can keep telling them you`re the tortoise and
everyone else is the hare.

I guess my point is, one of the things we`re seeing with Walker is at
a certain point, the field kind of gets its own momentum. But we`ll see.
I think you`re right about their sophistication long term.

Michael Steele, always a pleasure.

STEELE: You got it, Buddy.

HAYES: All right. Still to come, with two candidates out, who`s the
next to fall? We`ll talk likely demises and, more importantly, how does
this all affect the ALL IN 2016 fantasy candidate draft, the question
you`ve all been asking.

Plus, Carly Fiorina jumps in the polls coming off a strong debate
performance unless you were listening to what she actually said. A quick
fact check ahead.

And later, my interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates about his article “The
black family in the age of mass incarceration.”

Those stories and more, ahead.



WALKER: I will suspend my campaign immediately. I encourage other
Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same.


HAYES: Whether or not his fellow Republicans follow his lead, we know
at least one of the major repercussions of Scott Walker`s decision today.

It means that Sam Seder just lost one of his ALL IN 2016 fantasy
candidate draft picks. Fortunately, he`s still got the points from
Walker`s appearance in the last two debates. He`s now at 1,600 points in
total. Joy Reid, who also lost a candidate when Rick Perry dropped out ten
days ago, is at 1,900 points. Michael Steele`s candidates are all still in
but the lack of Democratic debates so far is hurting his score. He`s at
1,700. Josh Barro is at 2,000 points with his two candidates in both, he`s
1,000 points with his two candidates in two debates.

Jess McIntosh has twice that after her candidates appeared twice on
stage. Right now, Jess is leading draft board, but for how long? Which
candidates will follow Scott Walker`s call to leave the race? We`ll talk
about that next.


HAYES: It is nothing less than stunning that out of the handful of
Republican presidential candidates most likely to be backed by the
establishment and donor class, one of those now gone. With Governor Scott
Walker out of the race, the remaining candidates are arguably now just
former Governor Jeb Bush, Governor John Kasich and Marco Rubio.

At least the candidates they feel comfortable with, possibly Chris
Christie, though, he continues to struggle in polling.

Candidates like Donald Trump. And Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina,
candidates who have never held public office now dominate the overall race.
What`s the GOP donor class`s next move?

Joining me now MSNBC contributor Sam Seder host of “The Majority
Report.” Jess McIntosh, spokesperson for Emily`s List.

Do we want to start with a little ALL IN fantasy draft business?


HAYES: Yes, Jess, well, you`re sitting pretty right now. But let`s
all be clear about what happened. You have Trump basically because of a
judge`s ruling Trump falling into your lap just to be clear.

MCINTOSH: I`m going to take a bank error in my favor.

HAYES: That`s what you have right now.

The big question for how it all plays out, and, Sam, my condolences on
Scott Walker, maybe he makes some sort of comeback.

SAM SEDER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I think it`s possible. He`s leading
from the bleachers. I think it`s possible he comes back in at the last

HAYES: You know, here`s the thing. When you get to the nominee
process in a presidential campaign, we have a lot of political science that
says a lot of that`s baked in. The campaigns don`t matter a ton once you
get to the nominee part because of the ways that polarization operate and
the ways that voting behavior happens. You know, the campaigns at the

In this primary, in the Republican primary, the campaigns have
mattered a lot.

SEDER: Oh, yes.

HAYES: And the sheer disaster that was the Scott Walker campaign took
someone who could have been formidable and turned him into an also-ran.

SEDER: And I have to say, too, someone who has always been very
skeptical of the horse race and whatnot, 0.0 in the polls apparently
matters as well. This guy pulled the Dean Wermer essentially in terms of
0.0, and so he`s gone. So, you know, there`s been a lot of I think –
there`s been a dynamic that I think in some respects at least has been
unique to this point.

I mean, the polls have made a difference because there are so many
people out there. And I`m not convinced that frankly the donors were just
basically on a spending freeze, just waiting until this shakes out because
who do you put your money behind?

HAYES: That`s a good point, Jess, right? If you`re a donor right
now, seven-figure or six-figure donor to Scott Walker you`ve got to be
feeling pretty burned.

MCINTOSH: I mean, Scott Walker was the favorite of the Koch brothers.


MCINTOSH: That`s who dropped out today. If anything`s going to
signal to six- and seven-figure GOP donors that this is the guy that the
smart money is behind, it would be the Koch brothers` endorsement, which he

In the last couple of days, he played his best cards. He said he was
doubling down on Iowa, which is his Midwest governor shtick. He said that
– he put out his hugely anti-union proposal, which is the thing that
propelled him to a pseudo front-runner status in the first place was being
the most anti-labor Republican out there. And it did absolutely nothing.

I think it`s not just the polls. It`s the debates. It`s the polls
mattering for the debates, that is making polls matter this early.

HAYES: The debates have mattered a huge amount. And that point, he
put out this one-pager on policy on unions, and to me that was a perfect
kind of microcosm of what happens to these candidates who have to spend so
much time around the GOP donor class. That`s one of the things Trump has

Those people you`re spending all the time around trying to tell a
story to to give you money, they`re not the base. And those two groups
don`t have – so the idea the base is going to get all like – you`re going
to surge ahead in the polling because you`re going to repeal the Wagner
Act, like I actually don`t think rank-and-file voters in Iowa care about
that one way or the other. That is explicitly a donor class play, but at a
certain point, you need actual genuine enthusiasm.

SEDER: Yes, I would also say that not only did they not care about
the Wagner Act, the Republican base doesn`t seem to care about policy at
all. They are supporting things in supporting Trump that they have sworn
off. I mean, the idea that this guy is leading – still continues to lead
the pack in the most consistent way of any candidate since declaring and is
calling for a single-payer health care system is just absurd.

HAYES: Right.

SEDER: I mean, the bottom line is they are attracted to a disposition
and to an attitude and that is it, and they`ve been trained in that way.
You know, when Donald Trump got grief for not responding to that person who
was asking that question about Muslims, the first thing I remembered was
John Boehner who in 2011 was asked by Brian Williams, what will you say to
the members of your own caucus who do not believe, who have publicly
brought up a bill to say that the president`s not an American? He said,
it`s not my responsibility.

HAYES: Exactly. They`ve been trained –

SEDER: They built it.

HAYES: Here`s this thinking I keep seeing everywhere in the wake of
the sort of Walker demise, Jess, is basically people saying, look, there
are four candidates that were plausible choices of the establishment, that
was Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich.

Kasich is not going to survive the primary because he has views that
the base hates, Medicaid expansion particularly. He talks in a way that
seems designed to antagonize them. Jeb Bush has shown everyone to be a
really not particularly gifted candidate as of now. Who knows how that

Leaving Marco Rubio, who has shot up in the latest polling in the wake
of the debate, what do you think of the sort of mini Rubio bubble that is

MCINTOSH: I think Rubio is getting a bubble by forfeit. Like I`m
starting to develop a working theory about this presidential primary, that
if you are not Donald Trump, the best way to win this game is not to play.
Ben Carson did it in the debates, and we see him rise every time.

I think Rubio is sort of winning-ish by not really getting in there.
And every time Marco Rubio does really get in there, he does himself some
damage. I mean, that first debate, he was the one that started this now we
don`t believe in abortion exemptions for rape, incest, and life of the
mother. That was – that was Marco Rubio who pinned that on many of the
men in the field.

Just today, he was talking about women who go to Planned Parenthood
not being given any alternatives other than abortion, which, of course,
isn`t true. Talking about them being pushed into abortions so they can
harvest fetal parts, which is, of course, insane.

I think that the more Marco Rubio talks, the harder it`s going to be
for him to say that he is one of the credible guys. He entered this race
damaged with an immigration policy that was too moderate, that he couldn`t
then stand behind. He`s not a strong leader.

So, when he starts having to be one, I think it`s going to expose a
lot of flaws.

SEDER: Yes, I mean, he`s yet to actually get involved in an exchange
with any of the other candidates. He just sits there and he`s smart, he
talks just to camera but the moment he gets into an exchange with somebody
I think he`s going to be in trouble.

HAYES: It really is – this metaphor`s been overused but at this
point is really is a game of survivor. The longer you can go, you raise
enough money, you have an operation that`s lean enough, you can keep going,
keep going, keep going, until, you know, people start to actually weigh in
on votes and get into the debates, you`ve got a chance.

Sam Seder and Jess McIntosh, thank you.

Still head, another candidate facing calls to drop out of the race.
Ben Carson`s campaign, however, is holding firm to its rejection of the
possibility of a Muslim in the White House. Others are saying he`s unfit
for the office because of it. That story`s next.


HAYES: Amid calls to drop out of the presidential race, Republican
candidate Ben Carson is refusing to stand down from his assertion that a
Muslim should not be president of the United States. After Donald Trump
came under fire for failing to push back on a questioner`s anti-Muslim
comments at a town hall last week, Carson was asked about religion and
politics yesterday on “Meet the Press.”


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should a president`s faith matter? Should your
faith matter to voters?

CARSON: I guess it depends on what that faith is. If it`s
inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then, of course, it
should matter. But if it fits within the realm of America and consistent
with the Constitution, no problem.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So do you believe that Islam is consistent with
the Constitution?

CARSON: No, I don`t. I do not. I would not advocate that we put a
Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.


TODD: So the Carson campaign later tried to clarify those comments,
telling NBC News, “he believes Americans are far from ready to accept a
Muslim for president. One could run. One should be allowed to run. But
he was merely saying he could not advocate for someone whose faith was
inconsistent with the constitution to lead our country.”

In an interview this morning Carson`s business manager defended the


ARMSTRONG WILLAMS, BEN CARSON CAMPAIGN: He understands that there are
tenets of Islam that hates Jews, will kill homosexuals, will kill Muslims,
do not advocate the belief and value systems that made America into the
country that it is into today. This is why he`s not a politician. This is
why he`s not trying to be politically correct. This is America. It is not
an issue of religion to Dr. Carson, this is an issue of one`s belief
system, of how they`re going to govern.

He believes in telling the truth. You may not like the truth. But it
is the truth. And when you tell the truth, Alison (ph), there`s nothing to
apologize for.


HAYES: For the record, that`s not really the truth on Islam, but that
would take a longer section to fact check.

The backlash to Carson`s campaign`s explicitly anti-Muslim campaign
has been
overwhelming with Bernie Sanders strongly condemning them for the campaign
trail yesterday and Hillary Clinton tweeting “can a Muslim be president?
In a word yes. Now let`s move on.”

And now the Council on American Islamic Relations, CAIR for short, is
calling on him to drop out of the presidential race altogether.

Meanwhile, though Donald Trump had a slightly better answer to the
same question on “Meet the Press,” he`s still entertaining the fringe
theory that Obama – President Obama is lying about his faith.


TODD: Can you imagine supporting or being comfortable if a Muslim
ever became president of the United states?

TRUMP: I can say that, you know, it`s something that at some point
could happen. We`ll see.

I mean, you know, it`s something that could happen. Would I be
I don`t know if we have to address it right now. But I think it is
something that could happen.

TODD: You said you`d have no problem putting a Muslim in your

TRUMP: I mean, some people say it already happened, frankly.


HAYES: With two Republican front-runners mired in controversy, one of
rivals, another candidate who`s never held elected office, seems to be
having a little bit of a moment. A new poll finds that Carly Fiorina, who
is nearly excluded from the second GOP presidential debate, has shot into
second place among Republican primary candidates. Look at that. Behind
only Donald Trump.

Fiorina now stands at 15 percent, up from just 3 percent in early
September. While voters and pundits were impressed by her last debate
performance and her strong speaking style, there are still a lot of
questions about whether she`s got the substance to back all of that up.
That`s next.


HAYES: Carly Fiorina`s surge in the presidential race is due in large
part to what was unquestionably a stylistic impressive performance in last
week`s debate. But the media has spent a lot of time celebrating without
for the
most part bothering to consider the actual substance of what she said.

We`ve already talked about on this show Fiorina`s deeply, deeply
misleading, some might even say libelous description of the Planned
Parenthood videos. And that was far from her only transgression.

Listen to these comments on foreign policy.


CARLY FIORINA, 2016 PRESIDENTIAL DEB ATE: What I would do immediately
is begin rebuilding the sixth fleet. I would begin rebuilding the missile
defense program in Poland. I would conduct regular aggressive military
exercises in the Baltic states. I`d probably send a few thousand more
troops into Germany. Vladimir Putin would get the message.


HAYES: All right. That sounds pretty impressively detailed, right?
I mean, she`s got all these particular things she`d do. But as Slate`s
Mike Pesca first pointed out, in just those 15 seconds Fiorina managed to
make multiple claims that really just don`t make a whole lot of sense.

Start with her first statement there, what I would do immediately is
begin rebuilding the sixth fleet. As Stars and Stripes notes, Fiorina`s
meaning wasn`t immediately clear. The sixth fleet is less a collection of
ships than a command structure for operating American warships, moreover
the fleet is one of the few growing military commands in Europe.

Fiorina then said she would begin rebuilding the missile defense
program in Poland. But while one missile defense program there was
scuttled, Poland is actually leading Eastern European missile defense
efforts and plans to install a
new system in 2018.

Fiorina then vowed to conduct regular aggressive military exercises in
the Baltic states, which would be fine, although you might not think that`s
a good idea, but that is already happening. As you can see from these
images from U.S.-led military exercises in where else, the Baltics, that
took place in June.

Finally, Fiorina said she`d probably send a few more thousand troops
into Germany. There are currently more than 44,000 troops in Germany. So
it`s hard to see how a few thousand would make that much of a difference.

OK. So in 15 seconds she made four claims that sounded serious but
basically amounted to not a whole lot. And when Fiorina had to defend her
widely criticized tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard she relied on
misdirection as none other than Donald Trump pointed out.


FIORINA: we doubled the size of the company. We quadrupled its top
line growth rate. We quadrupled its cash flow.

TRUMP: When Carly says the revenues went up, that`s because she
bought Compaq. It was a terrible deal. And it really led to the
destruction of the company.


HAYES: Joining me now, MSNBC contributor Josh Barro, national
correspondent with the Upshot of the New York Times who spent actually a
lot of times on Fiorina`s business record.


HAYES: You know, what`s the takeaway of her tenure at Hewlett-

BARRO: I mean, most of the reviews of her have been negative. Now,
they range from really extremely negative – Jeffrey Sonnenfeld (ph) from
business school basically called her the worst non-incarcerated CEO in
America. To mildly negative. We had a – The Times had a story on her
today with one management expert basically saying I put her in the top of
the bottom third of

The thing that Fiorina says is correct is that the time she led HP…

HAYES: Was a tough time.

BARRO: Was a tough time for hardware manufacturers like HP. And, you
know, she laid off a lot of people, probably anybody who was CEO would have
ended up laying off a lot of people.

The big problem with what she did is she looked at a number of
difficult declining or low-profit businesses and decided to expand in them.
She bought Compaq, as Donald Trump pointed out. HP had a personal computer
business that was not very profitable so, she went out and bought a much
larger personal computer business that was also not very profitable. The
theory was by becoming a bigger player they`d be able to get economies of
scale and make higher profits and that turned out to be wrong. In fact
they had a business that was not very impressive and was larger.

HAYES: That`s right. And that`s what she says all her top line
numbers. The revenues went up, size of the company doubled. Right, you
bought this company that then was a disaster.

BARRO: Right.

And so – I mean, it could have been worse. HP didn`t go bankrupt.
It could have been bankrupt. But I think, you know, if the question is
about was she a
terrible CEO or merely mediocre or sort of bad CEO, neither of those is
really a great record to run on to be president.

HAYES: Well that`s – see, that`s what I find so bizarre about this.
Because we`re not talking about someone who`s got this career in which
they`ve got a whole bunch of different things they`ve done in the public
eye and some were
wins and some were losses, right, like, oh, I`m a filmmaker and I had some
busts and I had some blockbusters. The reason that people know who Carly
Fiorina is before she ran for that senate seat, the reason she`s famous is
because she was
the CEO of Hewlett-Packard.

That one job which she was either terrible at or not great at.

BARRO: Right. Well, then as Trump pointed out in the debate the
other thing she did. The thing that got her the job at HP p is she ran
this business called Lucent that was a large division of AT&T that was very
hot when she ran it. It was a telecom equipment business and like a lot of
telecom businesses it did extremely well in the 1990s and then she left and
it crashed afterward.

And now granted it wasn`t just Lucent, it was basically every business
like Lucent ended up doing very badly after 1999. But again she looked
very good because she built this huge business, but it turned out to be
basically a bubble in telecom equipment. So, those are her two

HAYES: And this actually gets to a broader point about the way CEO
compensation often works, right, which is if you have the good fortune of
being in a business in which the entire field is doing well you`ll be
extremely generously
compensated because compensation usually doesn`t even factor into what your
peer class is, right. If the stocks are up because of a broad bubble
you`re going to
be cashing out as a CEO. As soon as things go south 30,000 people get laid

BARRO: Right. And then there`s the flip side where when everything`s
bad in the industry you look like an idiot when you`re just being dragged
down by broader factors.

But I would note, while she was running HP, it was tough time, but
some companies managed to do better. Dell was doing much better at the
time. It`s had some troubles in more recent years, but they showed that
during this `99 to `05 period you could outperform HP. Apple, of course,
did much better. Now, Apple is the most successful company in the world.
So not everybody has to live up to that standard, but basically there are
peers that make it clear it is possible to do somewhat better than HP did.

HAYES: All right. Josh Barro, thanks so much.

BARRO: Thank you.

HAYES: Coming up the truly moving acceptance speech by Viola Davis
for her historic win at the Emmys last night. Plus my interview with Ta-
Nehisi Coates. Stay with us.



We`re facing the worst refugee crisis since the end of World War II,
and I think the United States has to do more. And I would like to see us
move from what is a good start with 10,000 to 65,000 and begin immediately
to put into place the mechanisms for vetting the people that we would take


HAYES: For the first time democratic presidential front-runner
Hillary Clinton is assigning a number to how many Syrian refugees the U.S.
should be
taking in. The former Secretary of State urging the U.S. to allow in 65,000
Syrian and Iraqi refugees, a significantly higher number than what the
Obama administration had previously committed to, about 10,000 over the
next year.

Clinton`s democratic opponent, former Maryland governor Martin
O`Malley has been calling for the acceptance of 65,000 Syrian refugees
since the beginning of
the month.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration announcing it will increase the
number of
refugees the U.S. accepts not just from Syria but from around the globe.

Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. will increase the total
number of refugees it welcomes over the next two years. Currently, the U.S.
accepts about
70,000 refugees each year. That number will increase to 100,000 annually by

Just last week, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois said on this program
the U.S. should accept 100,000 refugees just from Syria. Given the scope of
this crisis
unfolding across the Middle East and Europe, there is still a global demand
and need for the U.S. to do more. And we should.

Just a few weeks ago not a single candidate was willing to commit to a
number. We now have two candidates calling for 65,000 and the
administration raising the cap on how many we will take. That is progress,
but it is still not enough.


HAYES: Coming up, my interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates, but first,
history was made last night when Viola Davis became the first African-
American to win an Emmy for best lead actress in a drama series for her
role in How to Get Away with Murder. That`s first ever in the history of
the Emmys.

It was an achievement marked by an emotional and powerful acceptance


VIOLA DAVIS, ACTRESS: In my mind, I see a line. And over that line I
see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their
arms stretched out to me over that line. But I can`t seem to get there no-
how. I can`t seem to get over that line. That was Harriet Tubman in the

And let me tell you something, the only thing that separates women of
color from anyone else is opportunity.

[ applause ]

You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.


HAYES: The United States accounts for just 5% of the world`s
inhabitants and about 25% of its incarcerated inhabitants. Or, put it
another way. 1 in 4 prisoners in the entire world is in an American prison

That stunning statistic is just one of many revealed by Ta-nehisi
Coates in a new blockbuster cover story in The Atlantic, in which he
investigates the origins of the largest incarceration regime in the world
and the damage done by it.

For several decades the U.S. has been running a bizarre experiment on
its citizens, imprisoning a larger share of the population than any other
country in the world. And while supporters of the mass incarceration state
point to a decline in crime, the data backing that up is very, very thin

Earlier today I spoke to Coates, who`s currently in Paris, at the
release of his best-selling book Between the World and Me. And, I asked him
why he focused his latest article on mass incarceration in the black family

of the lenses through which people talk about African-American communities
and this has gone across the board from conservatives, you know, focusing
on family and focusing on rates of out of wedlock births to basically the
mainstream dialogue among liberals in the Democratic party too.

And so, I have to be honest. Starting this piece, I was very very
interested, A, in the direct affect of mass incarceration on the African-
American family. But by the end of the piece, I became fairly convinced
that family is not the soul or perhaps even the primary lens through which
one should, you know, understand problems in the African-American

HAYES: You start the piece, and the title is in some ways a sort of
callback to the famous Moynihan Report by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, U.S.
senator, before he was a senator he was an academic and a bureaucrat. And
he wrote this famous study
of the black family that in some ways I think has been misinterpreted or
perhaps intentionally so. You do a kind of re-excavation of it.

What do you think we`ve missed about the now infamous Moynihan Report?

COATES: Well, I think, you know – Chris, I hate to do the both sides
Usually, I oppose it, but I think there have been misreadings on two
fronts, from
a conservative perspective and from a liberal perspective.

I think from the liberal perspective the notion that Moynihan was in
any way blaming the victim, I think is just completely off. I think anybody
who reads the
report, Moynihan is very, very clear about where the blame should be. And,
not only, that but if you listen to the speech that Lyndon Johnson gave
that was inspired by the Moynihan Report, he literally says that even as he
talks about family breakdown, that blame must be laid at the feet of white
society, a
statement that no sitting President would make today.

On the other hand, I think conservatives, who like to make these
allusions to the Moynihan Report and his focus on family, are not so eager
to make allusions to the fact that Moynihan was calling for government
action, for money to be spent on behalf of black people. He thought it
should be done through the family but he was a liberal who believed in
government action.

And I think one of the regrettable decisions that Moynihan made was
leaving out solutions and the result was it left it open for folks who
wanted to just lament the problem but felt that government should do
nothing about it.

HAYES: So here`s the chain that you get a lot of times with a certain
kind of interpreter of mass incarceration and sort of African-American
crime rates. It goes like this. You know, white supremacy and the legacy of
racism and Jim Crow created this kind of segregation and poverty. The
poverty created these quote “pathologies.” You hear this all the time as
embodied in the Moynihan Report. Those pathologies lead to elevated levels
of criminality, which then led to disproportionate incarceration.

That`s the kind of story mainstream politics tells about this era.
What`s wrong with that story?

COASTES: I don`t any there`s anything pathological about the African-
American community at all. I think the African-American community, you
know, if you go into particularly deprived or poor African-American
communities and you see certain behaviors you that feel may not be
suitable, say, at Harvard or, say, in a boardroom or, say in a job
interview, I think viewed within the context of the
African-American community and viewed within people who are struggling with
elevated rates of violence, viewed from the perspective of people who are
very much concerned about getting from point a to point b on a given day,
and I mean that
geographically, those behaviors automatically make sense. I`ve long
maintained this even before I was doing this piece, that within the context
of racism, within the context of the boot upon your neck, all the behaviors
within the African-American community make sense.

The only problem is the boot upon your neck, and the minute that folks
remove the boot, I believe we will see a lot of those behaviors that we
term as pathological begin to fade.

HAYES: One of the things you talk about in the piece, and this is
something that I`ve encountered when I`ve been reporting on, particularly
with ex felons, is
when you put massive amounts of people in prison, and you do a great job in
the piece of just laying out the scale of what we have done, which, people
I think people know, oh, yeah, we put more people in prison. But, the scale
of it is really something to behold when you sort of lay out the data.

When you put that many people in prison –

COATES: It`s stunning.

HAYES: …they then acclimate to what life is like there, and that
lasting effect on how a human being comports themselves.

COATES: Right. It totally does. And I didn`t really get to emphasize
this enough in the piece, was that listen, African-American communities,
which have suffered from centuries of deprivations, are therefore more
violent than most
communities that we see in America. And I don`t think there`s really much
debate about that statistically.

Prison is that in a nutshell. It`s what I remember from my
neighborhood times ten. And people are sort of amazed that you could send
somebody in that environment, and many times at a very very young ages, and
they come out acculturated to that, thinking like that. Trying to conduct
business in that sort of way.

And not only that, with society continuing to view them that way. We
have all sorts of data within the story showing that African-Americans even
after they leave prison continue to be treated in a sort of second-class
way, that imprisonment is a badge, that you would behave a certain way in
reaction to that is not shocking at all.

HAYES: You know, when you and I have had conversations about this
piece, particularly, and the issue more broadly, I think we have slightly
perspectives on how much political progress we`re going to make towards
bringing the era of mass incarceration to a close.

What`s your sense as you watch the politics of this play out of what
hope there is? People talk about the bipartisan movement for criminal
justice reform and conservative think tanks talking about it. Where do you
think this is going?

COATES: It`s interesting. I`ll just lay this out for the viewer.
Chris, you and I had a conversation and I believe it was about a month or
so ago, and you were saying it would not surprise you, and you can correct
me if I have this wrong, but within the next 20 or 30 years if we somehow
got our incarceration rate down to about 400,000 per 100,000. Right now
we`re at 700 per 100,000. There`s no country in the world with reliable
numbers that`s even compatible with us.

At 400 per 100,000 we would be somewhere in the vicinity of Russia. We
still would be a major outlier and still an embarrassment to democracy and
the world, but that would be some sort of progress.

I just don`t know. I hope you`re right. I hope you`re more than right,
in fact. But when you see the reaction to what folks are calling the
Ferguson Effect which is really just a juking of the numbers, a total
mathematical innumeracy. When you see that, when you see people like Ted
Cruz, when you see Nikki Haley, the governor of South Carolina, running a
campaign against Black Lives Matter, when you see Donald Trump, you see
people standing up, talking about a war on cops, anybody who thinks
progress in the era of prison reform is a done deal really should be
humbled by that.

It only – God forbid crime actually rise for real. I mean, forget
Effect. God forbid it actually happened. I don`t know, I think it`s highly
dependent on the weather. If it rains tomorrow, we`ll get prison reform –
I mean we won`t get prison reform. If it`s sunny, we will.

HAYES: Alright, Ta-Nehisi Coates, thanks so much, man. Really
appreciate it.

COATES: Thanks for having me, Chris.


HAYES: Alright. That is All In for this evening.

If you haven`t read the piece by Ta-Nehisi Coates, I urge you to. It`s
at The Atlantic`s website. It is long and fantastic. Chalk full of data. An
amazing synthesis, a lot of work, a lot of academics and reporters have
done. Go check it out.

The Rachel Maddow`s Show starts now. Good evening Rachel.


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