All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 09/24/15
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: All right. I`m Chris Hayes here in New York
City, as we watch live coverage of the pope, who`s just across the street
here in St. Patrick`s Cathedral in New York, his first stop in this city on
a three-day tour through the United States.
He`s just concluding a vespers service. Vespers from the Latin
evening, for evening prayer service. Thanks is given for the day that has
fallen and prepare for the day ahead.
The pope did say a few words in Spanish before the assembled
congregation. He began that service by reaching out to his Muslim brothers
and sisters to wish them a happy Eid and a celebration of the sacrifice
they have today and to say he felt close to those who are mourning in the
wake of the tragedy of the stampede that happened earlier today in Mecca in
which hundreds died. He went on to thank the women of the church, for
which he received a standing ovation from the delighted nuns in the back.
You can see people of all walks of life packed into St. Patrick`s
Cathedral. Dignitaries assembled waiting just hours earlier for the pope
as a choir sings at the conclusion of this service. We will watch as the
pope then proceeds up to the papal residence in the Upper East Side in
Let`s take a listen to the choir.
HAYES: Have with me here, “Esquire” political columnist Charlie
Pierce, who has been covering the day`s events, has been following the pope
Charlie, I thought the pope`s decision to begin just with that small
note of ecumenical grace –
CHARLIE PIERCE, ESQUIRE: Yes.
HAYES: – just embodies what I think people find so welcoming about
PIERCE: This, as I said when I was putting together my thoughts on
the speech today, I listened to that speech in Congress. There wasn`t a
single accidental word in it. Every word was very, very intelligently and
And I thought, you know, this is – this is a guy of great strategic
ambiguity. One might almost say Jesuitical, but I was afraid my uncle
might come back from the dead, hit me over the head.
But I thought it was less of a stem winder I think than people thought
it was going to be. There were a lot of people who were geared up for a
little bit of fire and brimstone. But he came on, it was more of a homily
and like he was just trying to be a grateful guest.
HAYES: Yes. And in the sort of spirit of gracious invitation which I
think has been a spirit he`s embodied from the very beginning of his
papacy. Reflected in what he said today before Congress. Reflected in
another I thought grace note moment afterwards when he went out to the
balcony and he basically said to the faithful I ask you to pray for me and
for those who are non-believers just wish me well, wish me luck.
I thought that, again, it had just such a kind of wonderful open
attitude. And that he really embodies.
PIERCE: Well, this vast sense he gives off of not being judgmental
after frankly two papacies of very judgmental men I think is the one thing
that draws people to him. I mean, and besides the fact that his message –
let`s put it this way. He has a different idea of social issues than, say,
Ted Cruz does. His social issues involve the basic human right of having a
I mean, he`s expanded – I thought one tremendous moment in the speech
was when he made the now, you know, sort of mandatory line about respecting
life, and he immediately pivots to the death penalty. And you saw the
Republicans stand up when he got to the thing about life and as soon as –
when he pivoted to the death penalty, they all sat back down again. I
mean, he`s a step ahead of folks on a lot of folks.
HAYES: I want to just bring in now NBC News senior Vatican analyst
George Weigel, who is on the roof across the street from St. Patrick`s
George, the vespers service, a kind of amazing moment there when the
Holy Father thanked the women of the church and the church erupted into
GEORGE WEIGEL, NBC NEWS SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Pope Francis is very
aware that religious women have been an enormous factor in the life of the
Catholic Church since Elizabeth Ann Seton, whom he cited at the very
beginning of his remarks tonight. This really beautiful service I think
caps a day that has called everyone to think again.
I said earlier to Brian Williams, 31 years in Washington, I haven`t
heard anyone speak as eloquently about politics as a vocation, not just a
career, and a vocation capable of nobility the way Pope Francis did today.
And we have to hope that that has, you know, a healing effect in our
I think it`s important to recognize that this is a man who`s not
reluctant to make judgments. We sometimes say he`s not judgmental. Well,
he`s making lots of judgments.
He made judgments about religious freedom in Washington by visiting
the Little Sisters of the Poor last night, who were of course in a contest
with the Obama administration over the HHS abortifacient mandate. He`s
making recommendations over the quality of our lives. He talked about in
his homily tonight.
So there`s edge here. This is not just simply warm fuzzies. This is
a man of conviction, a man of Catholic conviction, and it`s going to be a
very interesting ride for the next three days here in the United States
with Pope Francis.
HAYES: Well, I think, George, to your point and to Charlie`s point.
Precisely the same point in the sense that this is nothing that he`s doing
is haphazard or unintentional. He is picking his spots. He is someone who
from the beginning has seemed to recognize the unique moral and social
platform that a pope has and to utilize it in a specific way on a specific
portfolio of issues both within and without the church.
PIERCE: And he`s very American in the sense that he understands his
basic power at least to non-Catholics is to persuade. It`s not to order.
It`s not to compel. It`s to persuade.
And I think when he goes to Philadelphia and walks through
Independence Mall he`s going to be celebrating the history of a country
that was based on the ability to persuade.
HAYES: George, do you –
WEIGEL: That – sorry.
HAYES: Please, go ahead.
WEIGEL: I was going to say, I`m very struck just over the past 48
hours at how the pope seems to be getting more comfortable being here.
When I saw him in Rome last December, we talked about this upcoming visit.
I think he was a little bit if not apprehensive, somewhat nervous about how
he was going to be received. He was very nervous about his English, which
is in fact better than he thinks it is.
WEIGEL: The last 48 hours have made clear he`s going to be received
with great warmth and I hope he`s going to be listened to carefully so that
this – yes. Go ahead.
PIERCE: No, no, I was going to say, I gave him enormous credit for
doing that entire speech in English.
HAYES: My jaw was on the ground. I thought to myself, how – you
know, it is difficult to give a speech to anyone in any environment in your
HAYES: Or your second or your third. This is down the line of the
languages the pope has command of. And for him to stand up there and also
as an act of sort of welcoming grace and humbling grace to as a guest speak
in the native tongue with tremendous self-possession.
WEIGEL: Let me just pick up on a point Charlie made about
independence hall. One of the other things that struck me about the speech
to Congress today was that Pope Francis really has a deep affection for
this country as a robust democracy. And that may well reflect his own pain
over the failures of democratic politics in his own country, which is not
unlike ours. It`s an immigrant country. It`s got vast natural resources,
wonderful people, terrific climate, and yet they just haven`t been able to
make it work politically.
So part of what he`s expressing here I think is a hope that some of
this experience here, however rough and tumble it gets at times, might
rebound into Latin America, which is still struggling to make democratic
transitions stick throughout the continent.
HAYES: I want to go to NBC News correspondent Stephanie Gosk, who is
outside St. Patrick`s Cathedral, where a crowd has assembled.
Stephanie, what`s the scene like out there?
STEPHANIE GOSK, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Chris, it`s really
remarkable. You know, we`ve been hearing a lot this week about the
unprecedented levels of security and the fences and the barricades. But
what you saw here on Fifth Avenue when the pope came down today was really
a joyous crowd.
And despite all of that security they were able to see him, get a
sense of him. And now you see the people that are gathered outside the
cathedral that are still waiting. This is obviously a special group that
got specially invited. You had some high school kids from the area. On
the other side workers who actually worked on the $174 million renovation
of the cathedral.
So, it`s an interesting group, and I`m sure we`ll see throughout the
next day and a half while he`s here these crowds will grow and number but
certainly as joyous – Chris.
HAYES: You see the pope now – thank you, Stephanie – we see the
pope make his way through St. Patrick`s Cathedral at the conclusion of that
vespers service, throngs coming to touch his garment and to shake his hand.
PIERCE: And we see the altar full of the runners-up.
HAYES: That`s right.
It is hard to imagine in some ways a more secular age and a more kind
of diffuse age of media for a pope to land in the U.S. than this age. And
it struck me that it`s amazing to me how much attention he has managed to
command in an age where it`s very hard for anything to command sustained
PIERCE: Well, I get the impression, that to use a colloquialism, that
this is a pope who doesn`t sweat the small stuff, that he doesn`t waste his
energy on things that seem trivial to him. So, yes, he did tweet out an
encyclical. He`s the first pope to tweet out an encyclical. But that`s
something he did and he`s done with it.
I get the sense – I don`t know if we still have George, but he`s
spoken to him. I get the sense that this is a pope who understands that
you don`t know how long your papacy is and that he has important things he
wants to do and he`s going to get them done and he`s going to get them done
on his own timetable, and as I said, he`s not going to sweat the small
HAYES: George, I`m curious, because of the coverage outside the
community of the church, of this pope, is about so many of the sort of
outward-facing statements he`s made. Your sense of his trajectory in terms
of internally the church – the body of the church. He spoke a little bit
in both his addresses inside the cathedral in D.C. and inside the cathedral
today about the sexual abuse scandal in the church. It seems that that is
less front of mind at the perception of the church at this point since
being named to the papacy. But, of course, all of that still lingers in
the body of the church.
What is your sense of his posture towards that?
WEIGEL: Well, he`s made very clear that he believes that the church
has responded in a vigorous and forceful way to these horrible abuses. He
thanked the bishops of the United States for doing that. He spoke to the
priests of New York tonight and said he shared their sense of anguish that
some among them had hurt the most vulnerable people in their care.
How does he deal with all this? I take it was the first part of your
question. I think he deals with it out of a rich life of prayer. Pope
Francis is now very well known for being an advocate for the marginalized,
the poor, et cetera. But he comes to that as a man of prayer. It`s what
he does at the altar that makes what he does as an advocate makes sense in
He said numerous times he doesn`t want the Catholic Church to turn
into just another non-governmental organization. It has to be about the
proclamation of the gospel. The invitation to what he talked about
tonight, friendship with Jesus Christ. And that sometimes best comes
through witness and service.
So, it`s all a package for him. But ultimately, it goes back to the
depths of his spiritual life and his call to the church to be more true to
its own beliefs and to its own worship. It`s out of the worship that the
HAYES: The pope you see there making his way down the center aisle in
St. Patrick`s Cathedral. There are crowds outside awaiting his exit and
they have lined the streets here in Manhattan to witness the papal
motorcade as he will make his way back to the papal residence, which is
really just about little more than a mile, mile and a half away from St.
Patrick`s Cathedral. This will be the conclusion of a very, very busy day
for this pope. I`m thinking about watching his speech before Congress this
morning and remembering that it`s the same day.
PIERCE: Well, that seemed to be the most uptight moment of his day.
He was very relaxed at Catholic Charities and he`s bopping down the aisle
here. I mean, he`s greeting everyone. I think he went out of his way to
be formal and to be a graceful guest before Congress. I think he had a
very good sense of what it meant to be the first pope to address a joint
session of Congress.
HAYES: Yes, and we should note that in the nearly – the 220-plus
years of the republic, this has never happened before.
PIERCE: The only leader of a church that ever addressed a Congress
before him was Queen Elizabeth.
HAYES: That`s right.
PIERCE: I mean, James Madison didn`t even want congressional
chaplains. Lord only knows what he would have made of today`s events.
HAYES: Well, and he was – before the joint session of Congress,
there was a huge crowd outside. Obviously, everywhere the pope goes and
everywhere he`s been going in the U.S., he has been thronged by huge
He`s about to make his exit I believe from the cathedral there, and
the crowd that has assembled outside to greet him, I believe, Stephanie
Gosk is outside right there with him. We`ll have a vantage point of the
pope`s emergence from St. Patrick`s Cathedral out into the streets of New
We`ll see him there, as he makes his way to the papal motorcade. He
will be taken to the papal residence that is just north. And you can see
there the crowds that have assembled outside.
Stephanie, you can see him now.
GOSK: Yes, Pope Francis just made his way out. He`s getting back in
his motorcade. Now, when he came down Fifth Avenue, he was in the
Popemobile and he was waving to crowds in the open Popemobile.
Now, he`s getting into that now familiar Fiat. This is going to be
one of those closed motorcades. And they`re going to take him up to the
papal nuncio where he will spend the night. There are still people on the
streets here hoping to catch a glimpse of him, and outside of the cathedral
you still have those crowds assembled that had basically the golden ticket
really outside the cathedral standing at its doors.
On one side a number of school children from the area and on the other
the workers who worked on the renovation of the cathedral. But now you see
what has become this incredible operation to move the pope around. And our
conversations about security and the build-up to this visit, we talked to a
number of officials who said that this was really a negotiation,
negotiation after negotiation, on how the pope was going to move around and
how they were going to be able to protect him.
And it ended up being some compromises. And I think when you see the
car that he`s traveling around in you can`t help but imagine that that was
one of the compromises. But the other incredible thing, too, Chris, to
keep in mind is Fifth Avenue, one of the busiest streets in Manhattan, has
essentially been shut down in this city from about 2:00 in the afternoon
until now and even later. And what that must do to the traffic and just
life in Manhattan is pretty remarkable.
HAYES: All right, Stephanie.
GOSK: So, now, they`re beginning to move here. You see the convoy
slowly edging off. This is not going to be a slow trip. You can imagine
that after the incredible day that Pope Francis has had, the poor man
probably just needs a little sleep.
HAYES: All right. I want to bring in now NBC News correspondent Ron
Mott who is on 59th Street and 5th Avenue just up from where the pope
departed St. Patrick`s Cathedral.
He is coming your way, Ron.
RON MOTT, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he is coming this way. He is
probably a good block and a half away. We`re just at the corner of 59th
Street and 5th Avenue, which of course is the start of Central Park. And
the pontiff is heading up to the Upper East Side, about a half a mile,
Chris, up on East 72nd Street where he will take rest for the night. So I
think the crowd here is significantly smaller than we saw for the arrival.
And because so many people expected to see him in the Popemobile and
he goes by – there`s the Fiat there. I beg your pardon. That is not the
Fiat. We`ll continue to look for it.
So many people missed it, Chris, because it is diminutive compared to
these large SUVs you see with the red and white lights. So folks who have
their cameras out tonight should have a much better shot than some of the
folks who were here a little while ago, a couple of hours ago trying to get
a glimpse of him.
Now, the pontiff sat on the right rear of that Fiat on the way down to
the cathedral tonight. So the folks on the west side of the street were in
the best position to get a glimpse of him coming in. We`ll just have to
see if we can see which side he is seated in the rear of the vehicle on the
way northbound on Fifth Avenue.
But as you can see, there`s a lot of excitement here. We should be
seeing him momentarily as the motorcycle brigade goes by first. And the
funny thing is you have to really work hard to find this little car.
And I believe it`s right here, Chris. There it is. Let`s see if the
windows are down. We could catch a side of him. He`s on the right side,
on the right side there.
And there he goes. It`s a quick pass. It is a very quick pass. But
I think these folks who have their cell phone cameras out tonight got a
much better shot of the pope than they did coming in because I was
literally in this same spot, Chris, looking for the Popemobile when all of
a sudden he appeared right here 15, 20 feet behind me and I had no chance
to get my camera out in time to take a quick pick.
So there he goes. He`s going to retire for the night. And I think a
lot of these folks if they got good pictures, will retire a little happier
than they did this morning when they woke up. They actually got to see
Chris, back to you.
HAYES: Ron, thanks so much.
It never stops being delightful to me, the image of the Fiat hatchback
amidst of the massive SUVs. And the pope in the back seat in what looks
Again, this is a gesture the pope has made.
PIERCE: Is this the car he went out and bought? Because he went out
and bought a used car –
HAYES: Well, there was a car he drove around when he was the cardinal
in Argentina in Buenos Aires which was also famously something of a beater.
This is a brand new Fiat I should note that the pope has been transporting
He is now making his way north on 5th Avenue. We should note of
course 5th Avenue goes south in Manhattan. This is all being rerouted and
redirected for the benefit of the pope.
This is, as Ron mentioned earlier, the arrival was in the open
Popemobile sort of more ceremonial motorcade in which people could see him.
This is him basically retiring for the night as he heads up to 72nd Street,
where he will bring a close to a very, very busy day – a day that began in
Washington, D.C. with the first ever joint speech to Congress.
And, Charlie, your thoughts on that speech.
PIERCE: Well, first of all, one of the interest things about it was
we all got in the press gallery, we all got an advance text. None of the
members of Congress did. They didn`t know what they were going to hear.
Secondly, when I read the advance text and I got to the four Americans
he was going to concentrate on. OK, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King,
those are automatic. Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton turned my head around a
little bit. Because that – as Bernie Sanders told me after the speech, he
doesn`t think the name Dorothy Day has ever been uttered in that chamber
before, the very radical, genuinely radical social activist and pacifist.
HAYES: Journalist and founder of the Catholic Worker Movement.
PIERCE: And founder of the Catholic Worker Movement. That was pretty
astonishing to me. And again, Thomas Merton, a giant figure in liberal
Catholicism in the `50s and `60s, but someone who has sort of fallen off
HAYES: A monk, Thomas Merton, a mystic in his own way. He sort of
explored the connections between mystical traditions in Catholicism in
Christianity and other faiths including Buddhism.
You see there the tremendous security apparatus that is in place as
the pope makes his way up 5th Avenue. I believe the shot we`re looking at,
I would imagine, is near the Vatican`s diplomatic residence, which will
obviously be the destination of the pope where he will be staying this
George, what did you make of the allusion to Dorothy Day and Thomas
WEIGEL: Dorothy Day was a remarkable figure and among the other
attributes that we might note about her was that she was a strong pro-
lifer. She was a woman who had had an abortion as a young woman before her
conversion to Catholicism, deeply regretted that, and was a very, very
vital supporter of Catholic understandings, of the moral life.
Thomas Merton probably has done more to make classic Catholic monastic
spirituality available to a broader audience than anyone in the past 100
years or so. There isn`t a bookstore in the country that you can go into
without finding something by Merton.
What`s also interesting about those two figures, probably this could
be said about Lincoln and Dr. King too, is that they were complicated
people. The church understands that what a saint is, is a sinner who knows
they`re a sinner, and works with the grace of God to try to live a nobler,
deeper, richer Christian life. And perhaps that is part of what Pope
Francis, who canonized Junipero Serra at Catholic University yesterday, was
trying to lift up in Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, people who lived
complex lives under difficult circumstances and yet ultimately were able to
cooperate with the grace of God available in their lives to make an
enormous impact on people all over the world in Merton`s case and leave a
remarkable legacy of service in the case of Dorothy Day.
HAYES: Merton is someone who was a tremendous pop cultural figure in
certain ways or at least a literary figure. His spiritual autobiography,
the “Seven Storey Mountain” which he published shortly after World War II
became this shocking out of nowhere huge best-seller. They printed a few
hundred copies. It ends up selling 100,000, and was this breakout success.
PIERCE: And for a monk he was very much out in the world. This is
kind of far afield from what we`re talking about. But if you watch the
movie “Quiz Show”, there`s a scene where they`re having a picnic lunch at
Mark Van Doren`s house in Connecticut. Thomas Merton is at the table.
There`s a wonderful book and I can`t remember the title of it now, but
it`s about the correspondence and relationship between Dorothy Day,
Flannery O`Connor, Walker Percy and Thomas Merton, all of whom very
influential Catholic writers of one kind or another at roughly the same
period in history.
So, there was this kind of roiling under the surface of the church at
that point. All of these people were important figures in it. And I would
point out that both Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton ran seriously afoul of
the institutional church. Dorothy Day, when Cardinal Spellman used the
seminarians to break the strike, Dorothy Day went up the wall in the
HAYES: I want to bring in Congressman Tim Huelskamp, who is a
Republican member of Congress and who was there this morning.
Congressman, what was your impression of the pope`s speech?
REP. TIM HUELSKAMP (R), KANSAS: I thought it was very inspiring. I
am Roman Catholic. Did you it didn`t matter whether you`re a Catholic or
non-Catholic, Christian or otherwise, I don`t think there was an individual
in the chamber or outside the building that was not inspired. And you
know, it was indicated by the folks that he chose to use as themes of his
speech, he had lives complex lives but they rose to the task of the day.
He complimented our country, our history, our founding principles.
But for many of us I think he encouraged us to look deeper at how we can
solve some big problems in our time.
HAYES: I`m curious, Congressman, what you made – I think there`s
been a lot of sort of political gotcha around the pope`s arrival which
sometimes strikes me as misguided because people are going to have the
political views they`re going to have whatever their faith tradition and
because the pope is or is not on your side in a given issue doesn`t
necessarily mean much when we live in this democracy we do.
But I did think the pope`s – the emphasis of the pope`s tone toward
immigrants and refugees struck me as interesting. Whatever your policy
views are about the levels of immigration we should or shouldn`t have, how
many refugees or we or shouldn`t take in, that we should be in our
political discussion starting from a place of compassion and empathy toward
people that find themselves away from home.
How did that resonate to you?
HUELSKAMP: I think it resonated very well. I mean, that`s the long-
term understanding of catholic social doctrine, the inherent value of every
individual, whether they`re an immigrant, whether they`re jobless or
homeless or poor or the unborn. That`s all part of it.
But he tied those all together and wove those all together. And, you
know, complimented our country and our nation`s founders and many of our
heroes in history but said hey we can do a lot better.
But, you know, here in America we take in about a million refugees or
immigrants from around the world, more than any other country. He didn`t
say hey, this is what you need to change. But he said you need to have
this approach of one of compassion and charity. And I think that was well
received. I know as a Republican there were some of my colleagues were
worried about very specific policy
prescriptions the pope might offer. But he came as a pastor, not a
politician or policy maker. And so he surprised quite a few folks I think
on both sides of the aisle.
HAYES: That`s interesting. Did you have conversations when you said
colleagues of yours had concern about the specificity – I mean, yesterday
he was quite specific on one particular policy which is the president`s
clean air regulations and his EPA regulations around carbon emissions. Did
you have conversations about how do we handle if he comes out very
specifically on certain policies?
HUELBKAMP: Well, we were uncertain. And you know I know there are a
commentators in the media and otherwise, political commentators, that would
grab one quote and try to twist those for political purposes. And I think
he`s been misinterpreted considerably. I think the pope even said that on
his first day here, that he`s been made out to be something he`s not.
But the history of the church is, the church lays foundational
principles. In this case, the fundamental value of every human life. And
then builds off of that. But everything he said was consistent with church
doctrine. Some folks thought he might have said more. Others thought he
might have said less about particular topics.
But I think most of the folks I talked to, if not all of them, were
very comfortable and very inspired, particularly the non-Catholics. I
mean, this is a pope that has achieved very quickly celebrity status,
particularly among non-Catholics.
You know, as a Catholic I appreciated the opportunity he had to
evangelize and talk about 200 to 2,000 years of church teaching on issues
such as life, marriage and family and religious liberty, which was I think
about the first issue he brought up with the president.
HAYES: All right.
Congressman Tim Huelskamp, a Republican from Kansas, was at that
speech today. Thank you very much.
On your screen right now you see the enormous NYPD and security
presence that is outside the Vatican`s diplomatic residence. That will be
where Pope Francis will be spending this evening. He is in or out there up
5th Avenue from St.
Patrick`s Cathedral where he just concluded a vespers service, an evening
service. It was not a mass. There was no Eucharist at that service. It
was a prayer service.
The pope did speak briefly. A beautiful choir sang. The attendees
bursting out into applause at several points.
I want to also bring in Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut who was
inside the House chamber for the pope`s speech.
Senator, your reaction to what the pope – the first ever in the
history of this nation, papal address to a joint session of congress that
you were able to attend today.
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY, (D) CONNECTICUT: Yeah, it was an amazing moment.
And I frankly agree with Tim that I think there were a lot of people
surprised at how he did lay out these broad values of the church. He
hinted at the policy prescriptions that he thought congress should adopt,
but I think he was very careful and very respectful of the political
process, not to get too deep into it.
But you frankly don`t need to scratch the surface too hard to figure
out what he was asking for.
He wants actual legislation coming out from the congress to attack
climate change. I think he believes that we need to learn from the
mistakes of the past when it comes to how we talk about immigrants and not
give in to this demagoguery. And I would imagine he probably believes
taking in 1500 Syrian refugees isn`t good enough.
But I think he was able to frankly unite people today, make it more
likely that we`re going to be able to make progress because he left a lot
of the details up to congress. That was probably a smart move, respectful
first, politically smart second.
PIERCE: Senator, I was wondering. I spoke to one of your colleagues,
Senator Ed Markey from Massachusetts afterwards. He told me that you guys
did not get an advanced text.
MURPHY; No. I mean, every single word was a surprise. We`d gotten a
sense the day before at the White House that he was going to lean into the
issue of climate change. I would say that as maybe slightly surprised as I
was today that there wasn`t maybe a little bit more policy discussion. I
was just as surprised that he began his remarks yesterday by specifically
endorsing the nuclear and air regulations.
But no, we were in the chamber learning it as everyone else was
HAYES: Senator Murphy, just so you know, this is Charlie Pierce from
Esquire sitting here with me in case – a surprise to you.
Do you think – I guess one question is what role do you think the
pope, sort of urgings ends up playing in the political sphere? I mean,
we`ve seen this sort of run-up in which there`s been back and forth in the
political spectrum and George Will writing a column very critical, a lot of
liberals embracing this pope because of particularly his embassy on the
poor, the marginalized, the sort of critique of 21st Century global
But ultimately what does it matter to the American body politic what
the pope thinks about these matters of policy?
MURPHY: Well, again, I think that it speaks to how smart he was today
to not create lines of division, to express some broad values, some broad
policy initiatives and let Republicans and Democrats fill in the gaps.
But put it in context. For the issue of climate change this is a
pretty remarkable day. Not only you have the pope presenting an imperative
to congress but on the back end of the day China committing itself o a new
cap and trade regime invented in America by American economists that no one
thought possible while the pope was speaking this morning. And so I think
as you put his speech in
context with the earth and ground moving on an issue like climate change in
other ways it`s important.
By itself it`s likely not going to change the minds of hardened
climate deniers, science deniers in the House, but you put it in context
and this is a pretty amazing day that could ultimately move this issue
HAYES: Yeah, that`s an excellent point.
PIERCE: Yeah, it was interesting, too he`s also been very outspoken
problems with capitalism as it is currently practiced, and he did drop a
section of the speech. We did get an advance text, by the way, in the
press gallery. There was a section of the speech where he talked about the
essential immorality of people being “a slave to economics and to finance.”
And he got lost in his text and missed – and the Vatican press office was
very quick to say he stands by that, he just got lost – you and I talked
about how hard it is to deliver a speech in your fifth language. He just
lost that sentence.
But it was as tough a sentence as anything else in the speech.
MURPHY: Yeah, and listen, the most beautiful section to me was the
extrapolation of the golden rule. I don`t think you can listen to that
section of the speech without understanding that maybe it`s not an
indictment on the way that our economy works, but it`s certainly a caution
to those who are using their position for their benefit only.
So, when without that section I think it`s hard to reach his speech
without at least giving some guidance to those who have done very well by
our economy as to how they should conduct themselves moving forward.
HAYES: Just an update on the movement of the holy father, he
apparently is inside that Vatican residence on the upper east side. He has
managed to make it
smoothly and safely that mile and a half up to the Vatican residence, where
he will be spending the night before a very, very, very packed day again
tomorrow in New York City.
PIERCE: Oh, pope`s going uptown, right?
HAYES: that`s right. The pope is going uptown. He`ll be – tomorrow
he`ll be visiting a school in Harlem. I believe a speech before the UN
general assembly is also on the list of activities tomorrow.
Back I think at one point at St. Patrick`s Cathedral.
Senator, what do you think of this point that I was making to
Congressman Huelskamp about the tone with which we talk about politics? It
struck me as something, particularly the language that we`ve seen around
immigration, immigrants, refugees, that really struck me as an important
Again, whatever people`s policy views are about how this all cashes
out, but just a reminder of how we should be, whether Catholic or not,
religious or not, just through a general empathetic view of other human
beings who are migrating for whatever reason to extend compassion towards
MURPHY: He had these two amazing references. One in which he said
can`t judge the past by current standards, but that doesn`t mean that we
shouldn`t learn from it, that we shouldn`t repeat those mistakes. And then
he said when you look at the refugees you have to look past the numbers and
you have to think of who these people are. You have to think of their
faces, their humanity. And I think that those are sentiments that will
ring true. I mean, within the Republican Party
today you know there is a split. There are people who know what the right
thing to do is on immigration and refugee status and it`s because they are
connected to the humanity of the issue.
And I think, you know, we also have to understand what`s happening of
Washington in the church. I had my bishop here from Bridgeport, and he
me afterwards that he`s reorganizing his entire diocese around the pope`s
emphasis on service. And so he is turning his church outward to try to
fulfill this mission. If that`s happening in dozens if not hundreds of
diocese, then the empathetic nature and that imperative that the pope laid
forward today is going to find roots throughout the country in a way that
lasts far beyond the words of the speech.
HAYES: All right, Senator Chris Murphy from Connecticut, always a
pleasure. Thank you, senator.
HAYES: I want to go to NBC`s Ron Allen who I believe is up there by
the Vatican residence where the pope will be spending the night – Ron.
RON ALLEN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good evening. We`re here.
And just an incredible scene, an incredible police presence here. You can
see behind me the papal residence where the pope is standing is just down
the street, a townhouse here on the Upper East Side of Manhattan about, oh,
40 or 50 yards down that street and on the left. You can`t quite see it in
But about a half hour or so ago, there was just an incredible police
presence as the motorcade made its way here up the street, up Fifth Avenue
the wrong way. The crowds have been pushed back from here. All day there
were crowds up here anticipating the arrival of the pope.
But as the service started winding down at St. Patrick`s about a mile
from hire the crowds were pushed back, people left the area completely.
This is purely a police operation here. It`s going to be a very quiet
night in this area, I would guess, for the pope to get some rest. After
quite a – what must be a tremendously overwhelming and incredible day for
him as well as the city of New York and Washington, D.C. if not certainly
the entire country.
But again, quite a scene out here tonight. You can see the police have
taken more of a relaxed posture now, but they are here in the hundreds I
would expect. There were helicopters overhead. Just a very precise
operation as the pope came to this area. This entire neighborhood is, for
the most, locked down up in that direction for about two or three blocks.
Madison Avenue is closed off, and also down in that direction as well.
There are huge sanitation trucks blocking a several square area – several
square block area around here, essentially just creating a huge fortress
around the pope as he rests here tonight, very peacefully I would think –
HAYES: Alright, Ron Allen, thank you very much. NBC News has
confirmed the pope is actually inside that residence, so, the pope`s very
very packed first day in New York City, which really began this morning in
Washington, D.C., this historic address to a joint session of congress, a
visit with Catholic charities,
and we are going to bring you a woman who the pope has brought into the
fold. The self-proclaimed Jewish secular feminist, an international best-
selling author, who finds herself in alignment with the pope on climate
change – Naomi Klein will be my guest after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POPE FRANCIS: Now is the time for courageous action and strategies,
implementing a culture of care and integrated approach to combating
poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: All right, that was the pope earlier today talking about
change which is the subject of a recently issued encyclical Laudato si. I
have with me Naomi Klein, author of the international best-seller “This
Changes Everything” who has developed this relationship with this pope,
with The Vatican, around this issue.
Tell me how you came to travel to the Vatican around the unrolling of
NAOMI KLEIN, AUTHOR: I just received an email completely out of the
inviting me to this conference and to speak at a press conference that
would amplify the encyclical. It happened a week after the encyclical was
published. The encyclical is close to 200 pages. So the idea was you have
to give people a chance to digest it, read it, and then we`ll dig into it.
But the other way they were talking about it was we need to build a
megaphone for the encyclical, that`s a phrase that was used again and
again, publicly and privately. And also, you know, if you read the
encyclical – and I do really urge people to read the encyclical, you know,
not just the memes and not just – like, it`s a wonderful document.
And I say this as a secular Jewish feminist. It speaks to me. And
indeed the pope says directly this is not just addressed to Catholics, it
is addressed to everyone on Earth. And it is about our common home, the
Earth. And that clip that you just heard, that – there were two phrases
that come up again and again in the
encyclical, first of all care and caring and care for our common home.
That phrase comes up dozens of times, the phrase stewardship comes up
twice, and that was explained by the Vatican when I was there as a
decision, because stewardship is something that you do out of duty. We
have to take care of the Earth, because it gives us things we want.
HAYES: It`s our chore.
But care comes from a place of passion and love and a recognition that
there is a value in and of itself in nature, not just in the way nature
helps us. So that`s good too in that we can`t survive without it.
But also the idea that we need an integral approach that connects care
for people care for the planet.
HAYES: Well, this is one of the places in which your book, which is
an excellent book – I would recommend to anyone, “this changes
everything.” It`s about basically – I mean, you have a theory that
basically says look, climate change is the epiphenomenon, the natural
epiphenomenon of the system of capitalism we`ve created and we can`t really
futz with the margins, what this actually is this
opportunity to really do some radical rethinking of how that global economy
works. And in many ways the pope says the same thing?
Laudoti si. I mean, when you read the encyclical, it is a very deep
critique not just of, well, we`re putting too much carbon in the air, of
actually the entire
system of production and consumption that we`ve produced.
KLEIN: Yeah, it puts consumption, wasteful consumption, what the pope
calls the throaway culture, that`s another theme that comes up six times,
this phrase “the throwaway culture” as the driver of climate change. And
that`s something that even a lot of green groups have shied away from.
Indeed we`ve often heard that you can shop your way to a better world,
get a hybrid and buy lots of good green products. And there has been a
reticence to frontally look at the fact that there are a whole bunch of us
who are consuming much more than we need and we have an attitude toward
products that rely on extracting resources from the Earth that are finite
that is extremely wasteful.
But what`s interesting with this pope is he`s really this master of
connection. So he connects that wasteful throwaway culture that maybe is
getting a new iPhone every two years or less…
HAYES: I know no one who one that.
KLEIN: exactly. Who would do that? With a culture that throws
people away, throws refugees to waves, and indeed would allow the countries
of poor people to disappear beneath the waves because we value life so
little. Those connections are profound. The encyclical`s not just about
climate change, it`s really about these underlying values.
HAYES: You mentioned the developing world and the countries that are
most at risk. I think one of the things that can get lost in the American
context sometimes is this isn`t some like pet cause of affluent
environmentalists in the U.S. In the countries most exposed to climate
risk, it is a front and center issue that activists from India to South
Africa to the Pacific Islands are organizing
on on a daily basis. And this pope coming from the global south I think is
And the language that he uses, the defense of life – I mean, in this
country that means one thing. But in Bolivia and Argentina that is
defending the glaciers, that`s defending water. That`s defending all of
these systems. And this past summer we`ve seen freak weather events in
this country. And they have cost lives. And they cost money and they`re
terrifying. But in India more than 2,000 people died in a heat wave, and,
you know, in India if you`re poor that means you are just left to the
elements, right? If you`re wealthy, then you`ve got air-conditioning, you
get bottled water.
So, absolutely, this is not an issue that just liberal college kids
are worried about. If you live in La Paz in Bolivia and your water comes
from a glacier that is fast disappearing, then you care about climate
change, you know.
HAYES: Naomi Klein. The book is called “This Changes Everything.”
There is now a film that`s being released. You can go to the
film.thischangeseverything.org for some dates. I believe it`s coming to
KLEIN: Coming to New York on October the 1st.
HAYES: October the 1st.
Naomi, it`s such a great pleasure always.
KLEIN: So good to see you, Chris.
HAYES: This is as close as I get to the pope.
All right. We`ll be right back.
HAYES: If you had to name the top five most influential people in the
world today working on the issue of climate change, Pope Francis would
surely be one of them. Another would arguably be this man, Tom Steyer
(ph), the billionaire investor who had a kind of environmental awakening
late in his career. And in 2012, he quit his job to focus full time on
activism and developing sustainable energy.
He spent millions and millions of dollars on lobby and public
campaigns and electoral campaigns. He`s a major Democratic donor. And
today, Tom Seier (ph) was there in the House chamber to watch Pope Francis
to address congress.
Later in the day I got a chance to talk to Steyer (ph) here in New
York. I asked him what he thought of the pope.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM STEYER, FOUNDER, NEXTGEN CLIMATE: I find the pope`s message and
him as a spiritual leader thrilling. I`m not Catholic, but I`m a believer
and one of the things I find is that he is talking about our responsibility
to care for each other, to care for the most vulnerable on the planet and
care for the planet itself.
And to hear somebody articulate that message with the kind of force
and gravitas he brings to the issue I find thrilling and joyous, honestly,
and I`m so
happy to be able to be in his presence and hear what he has to say.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Much more of my interview with Tom Steyer coming up next week.
HAYES: As the pope was addressing the joint session of congress
today, there was a lot of attention being paid to who was clapping or not
clapping at which particular points. The fact of the matter is the social
teachings of the church
even before this pope have always been somewhat orthogonal to the spectrum
of American politics – very liberal on certain things, issues of war for
instance and poverty and capitalism and immigration and quite conservative
on others: gay marriage, abortion, heck, even divorce.
But the thing I think that I took away from the pope today, aside from
his embassy on care for the planet and compassion towards refugees, was
when he delivered the line about the golden rule. That underlying all of
the pope`s appeal is the fact he acts with grace, that he just isn`t a jerk
and he commands all of us, or entreats all of us also not to be jerks. And
if there`s one thing we have
too little bit of in our politics, it is grace. And that applies broadly.
That is All In for this evening, the Rachel Maddow Shows starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
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