All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 2/12/2016

Reihan Salam, Harry Belafonte, Ruth Conniff, Chris Kofinis, Michelle Goldberg, McKay Coppins, Barbara Boxer

Date: February 12, 2016
Guest: Reihan Salam, Harry Belafonte, Ruth Conniff, Chris Kofinis,
Michelle Goldberg, McKay Coppins, Barbara Boxer


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

candidate, and this is not a single issue country.

HAYES: Hillary keeps hammering.

CLINTON: He has called the president weak, a disappointment.

HAYES: Tonight, the fight over the Obama legacy continues.

disagreed with a president?

HAYES: Plus, what voters said about the debate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who do you think won the debate? How many would say
Senator Sanders?

HAYES: And my interviews with Clinton supporter, Senator Barbara Boxer,
and the legendary Harry Belafonte, who`s backing Sanders.

Then, the South Carolina swamp fight gets higher.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We win Iowa and every day he
comes out with a new attack.

HAYES: Donald Trump now officially threatening to sue Ted Cruz over his

And when life imitates a stump speech.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Mexico, I respect the country,
they`re taking our jobs.

HAYES: Presidential politics of the mass firing of 1,400 American workers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To move production from our facility in Indianapolis to
Monterrey, Mexico.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


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

As the Democratic primary heads to Nevada and South Carolina, Hillary
Clinton seems to have found what she thinks is an effective tool to
bludgeon Bernie Sanders and hopes of halting his newfound momentum –
Barack Obama.

The president remains incredibly popular with Democratic voters more
broadly and voters of color, specifically who make up a large portion of
the Democratic electorate in the two upcoming states. His approval rating
stands at 73 percent among non-white Americans.

And then that may have something to do with Clinton`s efforts to drive a
wedge between President Obama and her opponent. As she did earlier today
in Denmark, South Carolina, addressing a largely African-American audience.


CLINTON: He has called the president weak, a disappointment. He tried to
get some attention to attract a candidate to actually run against the
president when he was running for re-election. He does not support, the
way I do, building on the progress that the president has made.


HAYES: It`s an argument Clinton has made before, but at last night`s
debate hosted by PBS, the candidate`s face off since Sanders won New
Hampshire by a landslide, Clinton sharpened those attacks.


CLINTON: I understand what President Obama inherited, not only the worse
financial crisis but the antipathy of the Republicans in Congress. I don`t
think he gets the credit he deserves.

The kind of criticism that we heard from Senator Sanders about our
president I expect from Republicans. I do not expect from someone running
from the Democratic nomination to succeed President Obama.

SANDERS: That is –


SANDERS: Madam Secretary, that is a low blow.


HAYES: Now, if that`s Clinton`s strategy, she might want to make sure her
husband is in the loop. Bill seemed to go a bit off message last night in
Tennessee, while campaigning for his wife.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT: She`s always making some good – she`s the
best change maker I`ve known. A lot of people say, you don`t understand.
It`s different now. It`s rigged. Yes, it`s rigged because you don`t have
a president who is a change maker.


HAYES: While Hillary Clinton has landed on the strategy to go after
Sanders, Sanders seemed to have found way to talk about foreign policy
beyond just his vote against the Iraq war, taking Clinton to task for
consulting with Henry Kissinger and making a forceful case against American
interventionism around the world.


SANDERS: The point about foreign policy is not just to know that you can
overthrow a terrible dictator. It`s to understand what happens the day
after. And in Libya, for example, the United States, Secretary Clinton and
secretary of state working with some other countries did get rid of a
terrible dictator named Gadhafi. But what happened is a political vacuum
developed. ISIS came in and now occupy significant territory in Libya.


HAYES: At a Democratic focus group held last night by communications firm,
Sanders foreign policy comments seem to make a favorable impression.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of the things that I have been on the fence about
Bernie is foreign policy. I didn`t feel like he made any clear statements.
Everything he said, I was behind. I think we have meddled in the politics
in the Middle East for far too long, going back decades.


HAYES: But the last word of the night went to Hillary Clinton presented
her most potent charge against Bernie Sanders.


CLINTON: We agree we have to get unaccountable money out of politics. We
agree that Wall Street should never be allowed to wreck Main Street again.
But here`s the point I want to make tonight – I`m not a single issue
candidate and I do not believe we live in a single issue country.


HAYES: Despite Clinton`s strong close however, this was the scene at that
focus group when the debate was all over.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything you heard and seen, who do you think won the
debate? How many would say senator Sanders? Keep your hands up so I can

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The whole debate?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The whole debate.


HAYES: Joining me now: Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis, who hosted
that focus group last night. Michelle Goldberg, columnist for

And, Chris, let me start on this. Let`s start on this – the Obama issue.
This was the most – we have seen Hillary Clinton really sort of talk about
continuing the president`s legacy. Last night, it was using it more
offensively, reciting all the kinds that Sanders has critiqued the

How did that – how did that play with the folks that you were watching the
debate with?

CHRIS KOFINIS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: It was kind of mixed to be frank.
You know, focus group folks were dialing the entire debate. There were
moments where they were dialing it pretty up, because as you said earlier,
there is obviously a very strong favorability towards the president.

I think the challenges for Secretary Clinton is if you reinforce it too
much, it comes across like you`re deflecting from the larger issue or the
point of what they`re talking about in terms of the question and what
you`re trying focus on.

So, I`m not convinced it`s an entirely winning strategy, but here`s the
point of what the Clinton campaign is trying to do. They understand that
Senator Sanders is not as well known and in places where like in South
Carolina he`s got to go out there and introduce himself to an entirely new
bloc of voters, it can be a potentially potent attack if Senator Sanders
isn`t able to get his message out effectively.

HAYES: You know, Michelle, I thought – I think it`s effective, in so far,
this is clearly the case no matter who you favor. If the most important
thing to you and you`re deciding your vote is choosing someone most like
President Obama in their politics, in their ideology and their comfort in
the institutions as they are currently constituting American government,
clearly that person is Hillary Clinton. I don`t think that`s a question.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, SLATE.COM: I guess the question is, is that actually
what voters want.

HAYES: Right.

GOLDBERG: It isn`t what voters in Iowa and New Hampshire want.

One of those states, I can`t remember which one, large number of, I think
it was like 48 percent identified as socialists, right? That doesn`t
really reflect the Democratic Party at large, but it shows you why – with
that bloc of voters, a continuity argument. You know, an argument that I`m
the person to continue Obama`s legacy is not going to be effective, right?

I mean, those people feel like the last eight years, to some extent, have
been, if not a disaster, an enormous disappointment, right? And the
premise of Bernie Sanders campaign is he can do it differently, right? He
sort of seems to ignore a lot of structural impediments to that Obama has
faced and said we`ll have a revolution and will mobilize enough people and
it`s going to wash all those impediments away.

HAYES: Chris, I want to play a bit of focus group talking in first hour.
I thought it was interesting, and talking a little bit about the sort of
Obama pivot. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everything he is saying is coming from the heart.
Everything he`s saying, scripted and repetitive.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he taps into the frustration of the every day

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A number of time took Obama`s side and Obama did this
and Obama did that, and people are furious. Regardless of which side of
the aisle they are on, there`s a huge bunch of people out there who do not
agree that Obama`s path has been successful.


HAYES: I just, Chris, I continue to sort of puzzle through this in terms
of what Democratic voters really in their heart want. I mean, you saw the
split voting in New Hampshire, 40 percent said continue Obama`s policy, 44
percent said more liberal policies. You get a sense of what are they
looking for in this race?

KOFINIS: They`re looking to merge Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton to be
really frank. I mean, here`s what I`m amazing. So, in terms of who won
that debate focus group, it was 25-9 Senator Sanders. But when you asked
at the end of the group, who was more electable, it was 25-9 Secretary

And here`s I think some of the enduring conflict that voters have. They
love Senator Sanders` message. He speaks to the economic anxiety that the
voters are feeling all across the country and to be honest, too many people
in D.C. and New York, let`s say some of the elites, under-represent and
definitely underestimate.

But they also admire, you know, Secretary Clinton`s incredible appearance,
her knowledge, her command. They see her in the White House. They`re
torn. And that`s what we`re seeing consistently.

Folks want to know why this is an increasingly closer election than a year
ago any pundit thought. It`s because of that message. And I think the
challenge of Secretary Clinton is how she pivots to tap that emotion.

HAYES: You know, you talk about that. That`s fascinating, right? Who won
the debate one way, 25-9 one way. Who is the most electable, 25-9 the
other way.

You wrote this line, you wrote this piece about sort of how you kind of did
not support Hillary Clinton in 2008, you come around to it. It`s getting
shared all over my Facebook feed.

There`s this one sentence you say, “Bernie Sanders is a mensch whose
politics are more or less my own, but I`m convinced he`d be eviscerated in
a general election.”

And part of what I see in the Democratic electorate right now is kind of
inner confidence about not being a minority of the country. I mean, I
remember back in 2004 when everyone was a bonker, it was just get the most
electable. And that was always, there was always a sense for a long part
of my adult life in politics that Democrats felt like they basically need
to trick the American people into electing a Democratic president, because
fundamentally it was a conservative country and they were a minority party.

What you are seeing, I think, in so far as this race has gone on as long as
it is that`s not operation.

GOLDBERG: Part of the age divide is that people my age and older came of
age in a time when Democrats were constantly on the defensive, when they
were constantly feeling like they had to triangulate, quite frankly.

And one of the reasons I`m a little more able to sympathize with Hillary
Clinton`s history is I remember how besieged liberals were in `90s. I
mean, I remember when a time when liberal was a career killing epithet,
that no one would want to be associated with.

So, people point out some of the things that the Clintons did to make
Democrats electable after 12 years of Republican rule, some of these things
seemed indefensible from our vantage point. I remember feeling – they
felt understandable at the time.

HAYES: Right.


If your first kind of political experience was Obama, breaking through
everyone`s idea of what electability was – and of course, it seems like,
yes we can.

HAYES: Yes, that`s a good point about where that sort of generation divide
is coming.

Chris Kofinis and Michelle Goldberg, thank you. Thank you both.


KOFINIS: Thank you.

HAYES: All right. Still ahead, the Republican front-runners fight for
South Carolina. We`ll tell you why today, Donald Trump threatened to sue
Ted Cruz.

Plus, Senator Barbara Boxer joins me to talk about the possibility of
making history in presidential politics.

And my interview with civil rights legend Harry Belafonte, why he says
those criticizing Bernie Sanders civil rights record are wrong.

Those stories and more ahead.


HAYES: Last night, Bernie Sanders made this promise on the problem of mass
incarceration in this country.


SANDERS: Here`s my promise: at the end of my first term at president, we
will not have more people in jail than any other country.


HAYES: All right. As someone who is pretty personally invested in ending
the era of mass incarceration, something I`m writing about right now. I`d
say this is an urgent goal for our society, but it also happens to be a
virtually impossible promise for Sanders to deliver on, at least the way he
phrased it.

And not in the way of, oh, the Republicans would never go along. It`s
politically impossible. I mean impossible as it`s mathematically

And here`s why: the federal prison population is about 195,730 people. So,
about 200,000 people. The American prison population as a whole, federal,
state, localities combined is 2.2 million. In other words, federal
prisoners are less than 10 percent of that total.

Even if a President Sanders literally pardoned every single federal
prisoner, something I think he would never do, even if he did, the U.S.
prison population would still be about two million, which could still be
more than any other country in the world.

As a thought experiment posed by Vox, and in fact, in this Vox graph
compiled by the prison policy initiative, state policies are what`s driving
mass incarceration far more than federal policies. The federal policies do
need reform and are right now the subject of some tentative bipartisan

Now, it`s conceivable that Sanders doesn`t mind using the bully pulpit to
persuade states to change their laws to reduce incarceration as well. And
that is, well, admirable but also a tall order. But this is less about
Bernie Sanders making a process he can keep than it is about understanding
the very scope and nature of the problem itself, if you want to actually
bring about a solution.


HAYES: We are just eight days in the Republican primary in South Carolina,
a state with a long and ignominious reputation of dirty tricks in
presidential primaries. In this cycle, we`re already getting taste.

Anecdotal evidence, for example, from 53-year-old schoolteacher getting a
robocall. When she selected Marco Rubio as one of the candidates she
liked, that`s when he said, did you know that Marco Rubio and the gang of
eight are for amnesty. And then the gentleman said he`s for letting 11
million illegal immigrants stay in the U.S. and that he was for letting
Syrians cross the borders freely.

That same woman said the robocall also said Trump on eminent domain.

Similar robocalls were cited by other South Carolina residents in that
“Washington Post” piece.

The Cruz campaign denies they are behind them. Cruz`s director of
research, Chris Wilson, even implied the calls might have emanated from a
certain campaign. Who would put the word Muslim into a question he said.
What candidate would do that?

And Ted Cruz personally has denied his campaign is conducting such calls.


REPORTER: Senator, your campaign has said that your campaign is not behind
the robocalls. But do you know who is behind the robocalls?

CRUZ: I have no idea. We have nothing to do with them.

REPORTER: Do you denounce them?

CRUZ: I have – I don`t know what they were. We have nothing to do with
them. So, I have read reports of what is being said. But somebody else is
doing them. It`s not us.


HAYES: As for Trump himself, he continues to point the finger at the Cruz
campaign and Trump is now taking it to the next level. “If Ted Cruz
doesn`t clean up his act, stop cheating and doing negative ads, I have
standing to sue him for not being natural born citizen.” There it is.

Trump says he has standing to sue in the birther issue and just might do

In the case you`re worried this campaign season isn`t quite quirky enough,
here`s a Trump supporter with a clever anagram, truth, reality and
understanding means progress.

I think I can hear Jeb Bush sighing all the way from Charleston.

Joining me now, McKay Coppins, senior political writer at “BuzzFeed News”.

McKay, I almost feel like the dirtiness of South Carolina Republican
politics is over-determined at this point. It`s such a kind of legend.


HAYES: But it`s also a legend that is based on a whole lot of fact.

COPPINS: Oh, yes. I mean, look, it goes – it dates back famously to Lee
Atwater. And I think that the thing is, there`s almost like a self-
perpetuating nature to it, because when you talk to major Republican
strategists who are based down here and a lot of Republican politicians, to
be frank, they almost – they emulate Lee Atwater and see themselves as a
continuation of his legacy.

And in a lot of ways, they get a lot of pride out of thinking they are
fighting in the fiercest political arena in the country. You know, they`re
these kind of gladiators. So, in a way this whole – it could be this
reputation for dirty tricks and kind of gross toxic politics is overblown.
But at some point, the political class has come to believe that too.

So, it kind of continues on for generations.

HAYES: So, we`re now getting – we got our first polling today I think
from an outlet that was in the field there, unclear how representative it
is. It had Trump up 32 and Cruz in second place in the 14, 15 range.

I mean, you`re shaking your head because if that holds, that is – I mean -

COPPINS: I mean –

HAYES: That`s trouble.

COPPINS: That`s trouble for the Republican Party. I mean, look, it`s also
– I literally just before I came on air got a phone call from a Republican
source who`s involved in kind of media buy. According to this source, Ted
Cruz`s campaign in the various super PACs and political groups that support
him are up on the air. They have $5.5 million worth of ads running in
South Carolina right now. A lot of it attacking Trump and a lot of – and
some of it positive, you know, or kind of touting Cruz.

As for Trump, according to this source, Trump`s campaign only has $500,000
worth of ads, which is a fraction, right? If that poll that you just read
and there`s been other polls that have pointed in the same direction, if
those are right, it`s going to be incredibly difficult for Cruz to catch up
to Trump.

I mean, look, after New Hampshire, I just don`t know if there`s any
credence to this idea that Trump support is soft or the polls are
misleading, that his voters won`t turn out. Like I`ve been like the last
pundit clinging to that idea. After New Hampshire, I mean, it`s not true.

So, if Trump can`t be defeated here, this state is in a lot of ways tailor
made for Ted Cruz. If he can`t catch up to Trump, then I – it`s going to
be very difficult in the SEC primary and the other primaries going forward
for him to win.

HAYES: You make this point we`re watching Donald Trump is speaking in
Tampa, Florida. He did the other night in Baton Rouge, in Louisiana.

He`s been – he actually hasn`t been a ton of time in South Carolina
because they feel confident about South Carolina, which is allowing him to
lead frog ahead to do a bunch of those SEC states in the South where he`s
been doing huge events.

So, in some ways, that South Carolina becomes this kind of, not a last
stand, but if you don`t blunt the impact there, he`s already started to run
things up in the other southern states.

COPPINS: I know. This source said this might be Ted Cruz`s waterloo and
that`s important, because Ted Cruz is the only candidate who has a shot,

By the way, just to add in the establishment side of the primary, I don`t
think I`m the only reporter who has been increasingly insane rumors about
Marco Rubio landing in his inbox. It`s gotten worse and worse – more and
more outlandish since I`ve gotten to South Carolina. So, there`s almost
this whole other Republican primary being waged that also I think could get
very nasty.

HAYES: That`s fascinating. The knives are out for Senator Rubio down
there as Kasich and Jeb Bush – Kasich`s campaign manager I think said of
Bush that he has all the joy of the Texas chainsaw massacre today. So, it
gives you a flavor of how well everyone is getting along at this point.

McKay Coppins, thank you very much.

COPPINS: Thank you.

HAYES: Coming up, the potential history to be made in the 2016 election.
Hillary Clinton supporter, Senator Barbara Boxer, weighs in.


HAYES: During last night`s Democratic debate in Milwaukee, Hillary Clinton
and Bernie Sanders had an interesting exchange about the historical nature
of Clinton`s presidential run. Here is Sanders responding to a question
from one of the moderators about whether he is worried he`ll be preventing
history from being made if he`s elected.


SANDERS: I think from a historical point, if you`re somebody with my
background, somebody with my views, somebody who has spent his entire life
taking on the big money interest, I think a saddest victory would be of
some historical accomplishment as well.


CLINTON: I have said many times I`m not asking people to support me
because I`m a woman. I`m asking people to support me because I think the
most qualified, experienced and ready person to be the president and


HAYES: Well, a bunch of complicated reasons, sometimes the fact that we
could have two incredible history-making precedents, the country`s first
black president and country`s first woman president back to back gets lost.

Joining me now, a path maker, trailblazer in her own right, Senator Barbara
Boxer, who`s also a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton.

And, Senator, I have a theory about this, and I`m curious your response.
Senator Barack Obama, when he was running for president in 2008, was four
years removed from being a state senator, a relatively new face on the
scene and I think the historical nature of his candidacy related to how
quickly he entered the imagination of people. Senator Clinton, it seems to
me, the historical nature of what she represents is also complicated by the
fact that she`s been in public life for 30 years and people think of her as
part of the people that we know in American politics.

What do you think of that?

first African-American president was, as Bernie would say, huge. It was
huge. It was historic. The rest of it, the age, how many years in
politics, to me, that was around the edges.

And I think with Hillary – and I am so strongly for her as you so well-
stated – being the first woman president as we approach the 100th
anniversary of women getting the right to vote – you know, when I came in
to Congress, it was 1983. I think there were like 25 women in the House of
Representatives out of 435, and most of them got there, sadly because their
husbands died. There were just a few of us.

So, it`s been a real interesting experience for me. And I know both of
them since the 90s. I think this race isn`t so much about making history,
but choosing the right person at a time when we have enormous problems
facing us domestically and all around the world foreign policies critical

So, I think I`d rather focus on that than who`s making history.

There`s time to celebrate that regardless of who wins.

HAYES: There was a really interesting exchange last night on foreign
policy and it`s something that I think, obviously, Secretary Clinton has
tremendous experience with, it`s something that Bernie Sanders has been
critiqued for not having sort of – evident mastery of some areas of it
last night.

He went on the offensive a bit on the matter of Henry Kissinger. I want to
play this clip and get your reaction.


SANDERS: I happen to believe that Henry Kissinger was one of the most
destructive secretaries of state in the modern history of this country. I
am proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend. I will not take
advice from Henry Kissinger.

CLINTON: Well, I know journalists have asked who you do listen to on
foreign policy and we have yet to know who that is.

SANDERS: Well, it ain`t Henry Kissinger.

CLINTON: That`s fine. That`s fine.


HAYES: What do you think of that, Senator Boxer?

BOXER: Well, I think when Hillary mentioned Henry Kissinger, as I remember
it, it was that he thought she was running the department efficienty. I
know that she has certainly not agreed with him in the past. I think
that`s just a made up kind of silly point.

The fact of the matter is, who has the experience from day one at a time
when we`re under threat. The world has got so many hot spots, so many
problems. I`ve served for a long time on the foreign relations committee.

Let`s just put it this way, it`s a strong point for the secretary. It`s
weak point for the senator. That`s just a fact in evidence, in my view.
And people have to decide whether they think that`s important.

HAYES: But it does strike me there`s – the issue that relates to this,
whether the sort of Kissinger part itself is a distraction is, it is
possible, at least in theory, and I can name examples if you let do have a
lot of experience who have had terrible judgment or have done lots of
destructive things in the way that they have guided American foreign
policy. I mean, that`s the argument at least that I think Sanders is
trying to make.

BOXER: Yeah, but it falls flat, because you know, Hillary Clinton knew
she made a mistake in the Iraq war. I served with her. And I know that
she came out on the wrong side of that. And she did something that is very
difficult for those of us in politics to do. She said, I made a mistake.

HAYES: Right.

BOXER: And you know what, I want someone with judgment, someone who learns
from their mistakes and someone who knows where Fallujah is on the map. I
think it`s an important point.

And, you know, this si a tough world. And, you know, we focus in. We want
to focus in on domestic issues constantly because it surrounds us with all
of our
communities. But when something happens and we nope this whether it`s a
terrorist attack, some horrific problem, we need a leader who gets it. And
Hillary Clinton gets it. And show knows the leaders and so on.

So, I think if that`s the turf, regardless of Henry Kissinger. I mean,
that was just a throw away point that he thought she was running the
department efficiently, didn`t mean she endorses his philosophy. Let`s
look at the facts here. And I think the facts lead to madame president on
this one.

HAYES: All right. Senator Barbara Boxer, I really appreciate your time
this evening. Thank you.

BOXER: Of course.


HAYES: Up next, my interview with civil rights icon Harry Belafonte about
his endorsement of Bernie Sanders. Stay with us.



ERICA GARNER, DAUGHTER OF ERIC GARNER: I`m never giving up. I`m never
going to forgive. And I don`t want the world to forget what happened to my
dad. Our people died for this. Martin Luther King died for this. Malcolm
X died for this. And who were they? They were protesters.

I believe Bernie Sanders is a protester.

SANDERS: When a police officer breaks the law, the officer must be held


HAYES: As part of a new web ad released for the Bernie Sanders campaign
that might be going up on the air sometime soon in which Erica Garner, the
daughter of
Eric Garner, who died in a police choke hold in 2014, explains why she is
supporting Sanders, specifically calling him a protester.

Sanders history of fighting for civil rights beginning with demonstrations
in college is something his campaign has tried to emphasize.

And while that record was somewhat brushed aside by the legendary civil
rights protester John Lewis, current congressman yesterday, it was affirmed
by another historic activist in that fight, Harry Belafonte.


HARRY BELAFONTE, SINGER: That`s why I`ve endorsed Bernie Sanders. I think
he represents opportunity. I think he represents a moral imperative. I
think he represents a certain kind of truth that`s not often evidenced in
the course of politics.


HAYES: Joining me now artist, performer, civil rights activist, legend, if
I can say it, Harry Belafonte. It`s wonderful to have you here, sir.

BELAFONTE: Good to be with you, Chris.

HAYES: Talk to me about this decision you made both to not just vote for
Bernie Sanders, but to actively endorse him and cut a video and be a public
face advocating for him.

BELAFONTE: In my time – in this time in life, much of it is spent with
young people particularly in incarceration. Here in New York State, I`m up
in Sing Sing all the time. And I`m up in California with (inaudible)
California in the Latino community, the black community down in L.A.,
women`s detention center.

And I take the incarceration to be one of the last truly deep wrinkles in
the American theme of what we have done to crucify young people not only in
the process of putting them in prison, but what happens to them after they
come out –
unemployment, can`t vote. It`s a cruel place in which to be.

And when the interest turned to black vote and the emphasis was put on mass
incarceration, I got very concerned because I think that there was a
previous administration, which had a lot to do with escalating
incarceration for black people.

And then I heard this remark being made that there`s this concern for the
fact that we have the largest prison population in the world. Let`s do
something about that.

Well, how deep does that really go?

HAYES: Can I ask you this just to interject in this moment, because you`re
referring to the Clinton administration.


HAYES: And I want you to respond to what people say about this critique,
which is that was Bill Clinton. He signed the crime bill. That was not
Hillary Clinton. And also things have changed in 20 years. We`ve
recognized the problem. Those were mistakes. We can correct them now.

BELAFONTE: Well, you just hit the nail on the head. If you can correct
them now, why not? We will not get into the family affairs if we`re asking
you to say something that`s pro-your husband. But what about the grievous
mistakes that he made like where`s your courage to speak out against that.

I don`t want to hold her hostage to that either.

The point is that if she says she is for ending mass incarceration but she
is for capital punishment, that does not realy tell the deeper truth on
what happens with the whole issue of incarceration.

The other thing, of course, is pandering to you in very strange ways to the
black vote and taking claim to be very much deeply involved in the civil
rights movement of some candidates maintain they were.

And I say, well, give me the demonstration of what that involvement

There`s been an attack on Bernie Sanders for not being visible in the civil
rights movement. Well, there were a lot of people involved in the civil
rights movement, millions of them came to the march on Washington, I don`t
remember the names of most of them. And I haven`t even met them, wouldn`t
know them if I saw them in day of light.

But a close friend of mine talked about Bernie Sanders was not be seen
anywhere in the civil rights movement.

HAYES: You`re referring to – I just want – folks that did not follow
Lewis, who himself, of course, a civil rights legend, work with SNCC the
famous – Pettis Bridge, and said something about Sanders the other day to
the extent of, I
never saw him.

BELAFONTE: Well, he never saw most of the people in the civil rights
movement that were engaged. And in particular, Bernie Sanders had no
platform back in 19 – he didn`t become mayor until 1981. Dr. King was
assassinated in 1968. By 1980, the civil rights movement was blending into
a host of other issues. It was for all intents and purposes considered to
be the end of the era.

Well, if Bernie Sanders wasn`t – didn`t have a platform, why would you
know him in face of thousands and millions of people out there?

So, I thought it was a little unfair to suggest that there may be some
duplicitous game being played here with Bernie Sanders by saying he was for
and involved in the civil rights movement.

He was. I`ve met with him. I`ve talked with him. He`s not misleading.
He didn`t claim to be leader of the civil rights movement. He said he was
touched by it and involved in it. And that is part of what energized him
to become a candidate for the presidency.

I just felt on that issue, incarceration, the black vote, civil rights was
a place for me to step in and let my voice be heard for whatever good it
will do.

HAYES: The past record is of any evidence, it will do a lot of good. Mr.
Belafonte, it`s always a pleasure to have you here. Thank you very much.

BELAFONTE: I enjoyed being with you, Chris. Thank you.

HAYES: Still to come, an emotional scene this week serves as a reminder
that what can sometimes maybe feel like a throw away line in a stump speech
is very much lived reality for thousands of Americans. That footage ahead.



TRUMP: Remember, this is what we have to do with China, Japan, Vietnam
which is the new one that`s killing us, Mexico where everyone is moving
into Mexico. I just heard Carrier air-conditioning is moving in now.


HAYES: That was Donald Trump speaking moments ago in Tampa.

The company he was just referencing, Carrier, is the subject of a viral
video that shows the exact moment when hundreds of employees found out
their jobs were moving to Mexico. We`ll show that to you, next.



TRUMP: Mexico, I respect the country, they`re taking our jobs. They`re
taking our manufacturing.

Mexico is taking our jobs.

Mexico has our jobs.

The country of Mexico is taking our jobs.


HAYES: That phrase, sending jobs to Mexico. Mexico is taking our jobs has
become such a fixture in Trump`s speeches and his interviews. There`s a
tendency to think about it as a cliche, or some phrase used to stroke
economic fear and paranoia.

But as the pro-labor think tank Economic Policy Institute has pointed out,
between 1993, before NAFTA took effect, and 2013, the U.S. trade deficit
with Mexico and Canada increased displacing more than 850,000 U.S. jobs.

In other words, what Trump is talking about is actual reality for thousands
of Americans.

And this week, two Indiana manufacturers announced they are shifting
operations to Mexico and in doing so eliminating 2,100 local jobs.

Carrier, a heating, ventilating and air-conditioning manufacturer is
eliminating 1,400 jobs while United Technologies Electronic Controls, maker
of microprocessor controls for HVAC equipment, announced it was moving its
operations and eliminating 700 jobs.

The incredible moment when Carrier employees found out their jobs was
moving to Mexico was captured on video.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It became clear the best way to stay competitive and
protect the business for long term is to move production from our facility
in Indianapolis to Monterrey, Mexico.

Throughout the transition, we must remain committed to manufacturing the
same high quality products.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There goes the changes.



HAYES: The effects of decades of globalization has real consequences for
the American working class.

It`s something that both Trump and Bernie Sanders talk about on the
campaign trail.

But other candidates struggle to articulate an alternate vision. A great
example of how that is and why that is after the break.


HAYES: Senator Ted Cruz has come out against the Transpacific Partnership
trade deal, calling it, according to Politico, a corrupt back door deal
Republican leaders and the White House.

But before Cruz was against the deal, he was in favor of granting President
Obama full authority to negotiate it with an up or down vote, the so-called
trade promotion authority.

He only changed his mind on that on the eve of a key Senate vote on the
matter. But an interview this week, his wife, in what appeared to be an
accidental moment of candor, came out boasting that her husband has always
been in favor of
free trade.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your husband`s position on trade and the importance of
preserving American sovereignty and American jobs.

HEIDI CRUZ, TED CRUZ`S WIFE: Ted is a free trader. He`s always been a
free trade. And the reason he is for free trade is because it creates
American jobs. We`ve done a study on the campaign as to how many jobs free
trade has created for various states in the country and the numbers are in
the hundreds of thousands
depending on the size of the state.


HAYES: Joining me now Reihan Salam, executive editor National Review and a
columnist for Slate. And Ruth Conniff, editor-in-chief of the Progressive

And Reihan, since you are sitting right in front of me, let me start with
you. You wrote a really interesting piece about Trump voters which I think
relates to the video we just saw, right.

You wrote a book a while ago basically saying the Republican Party has to
speak to the economic anxieties of folks that are like the folks who were
assembled in that room in Carrier being told your jobs are going away. It
has to address them both concretely and rhetorically, or there will be a
vacuum created.

Fast forward, Trump comes along. You write a piece being like, I blame the
people that did not create – right, I mean that`s the sort of thesis.

REIHAN SALAM, NATIONAL REVIEW; Yes, that`s very fair to say.

I guess when you`re looking at trade, you can look at it purely as an
abstraction and just think, oh, people will experience dislocation. Then
we can pull these technocratic levers and all will be fixed and people will
move here. And the problem is that in the scale of someone`s life, that
can be really devastating and very hard.

And there are also funny trade offs. So, for example, there`s this
economic at MIT, this guy David Atkin, who has done this fascinating work
on (inaudible) in Mexico. So, a lot of people were talking about trade in
America right now. But they don`t think about Mexican workers. But one
thing that`s really funny is that when you had a (inaudible) open in your
city you were actually less likely to get an education, because the
opportunity cost of acquiring skills goes up.

So, there are all these funny tradeoffs that people don`t think about when
you go from abstraction to reality on the ground.

HAYES: And that`s a great – Ruth, this something that has been a fight
in the Democratic Party for a while, right. Because there has been this
real fight
internal Democratic Party over trade, over its effects. You`re seeing it
play out actually in the Transpacific Partnership, which is being pushed by
President Obama and opposed by people like Sherrod Brown and Bernie
Sanders, and I think Hillary Clinton now has come out against it.

Precisely I think the same terrain Reihan is saying, right. You can say in
the aggregate the model says this is good. The real concrete reality for
people are in that factory in Carrier are being told you`re out work.

RUTH CONNIFF, PROGRESSIVE MAGAZINE: Yeah, I think it`s not just that in
the aggregate it`s good and for individual people it`s bad, it`s who is
benefiting? And I think the important thing to look at is even as the
result of trade deals you can argue in some cases that gross domestic
product increases, well, wealth is accumulating at the top, right. I mean,
if you have slave labor, you can make a great profits. And if you own a
megacorporation that`s good news economically.

But it`s not good news for American workers to competing against low wage
workers. And all these trade deals we have seen roll out, including in the
Clinton years when Hillary Clinton was a supporter of NAFTA, have cost jobs
and suppressed
wages of workers.

And American workers are becoming keenly aware of it. So, when the
Democrats had their debate last night here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, you
know we`re looking
at a city where the black middle class has been devastated by the collapse
of manufacturing. Where it used to be the top seven employers here in
Milwaukee were all manufacturing. And now none of them are. And you see
that very specifically
in wages collapsing and the middle class collapsing. People can`t send
their kids to college.

So, we really have to talk about what`s the real result of these trade
deals. And it has been devastating for ordinary American workers.

HAYES: And part of the issue, it strikes me, in the broader sense. So,
there`s the specifics of trade, right, then there`s sort of the broader
trajectory of the American economy. Trade has been a big part of that,
globalization, the trade deals themselves. But even just the opening up
these huge labor pools in places like China and Mexico.

What would you like – if you could conjure an anti-Trump, right, if you
can conjure an anti-Trump to speak to that, what would you like to hear
from Republican candidates in this in this cycle?

SALAM: Well, the hope is – and the thing that you`ve heard from so many
people – and Ruth and I have different perspectives kind of regarding the
desirability of this kind of competition.

But I`d say that the hope is – you know, what we`ve always been talking
about is training, investing in human capital, and the idea that the next
generation will take on the jobs of the future and what have you.

But I guess I think of it a lot of time as leverage. Who has power? So,
for example, there are many industries that benefit from these inputs that
are a lot cheaper now because it (inaudible), because of outsourcing and
what have you. And so those industries might flourish.

And you know, kind of that`s something that you don`t always see because
you see the devastation. You don`t see actually kind of like how many
people have benefited…

HAYES: But how do you talk about this as a candidate?

The point is that…

SALAM: And by the way, the mere fact that some are benefiting doesn`t mean
we ergo we can ignore the devastation or that`s fine we can hand wave it

I guess what I`d want is honestly it`s a much bigger picture issue. It`s
talking about cohesion. It`s talking about the fact that we want some kind
solidarity and that`s why we want investment and actually, we have a shared

This seems very important to me. And this is actually language that
resonates with conservatives.

And so when Trump talks about making a America great again, winning, you
know, these are ways that aren`t always very attractive to lots of people
who don`t cherish gut instincts. But it is a language of solidarity and
shared purpose.

HAYES: Right. I mean, it`s the flip side of the sort of the others is
that there is some togetherness in the boat of making America great again.

And Ruth, I think that`s something that also Democrats, I mean, you`re
seeing that it play out I think in the Democratic primary a bit about this
sort of language of in the old labor, this sort of labor song like which
side are you on.

HAYES: Yeah, I mean, I think that the whole DLC approach to trade, the
idea that, you know, it`s all going to work out fine has collapsed over
time because
we`ve seen, just since 2001, 4.7 million jobs have fled this country.
We`re seeing 60,000 manufacturing plants gone in that time. I mean, it`s
really, it is not possible to argue to people just hang on there, you`re
going to do better.

We have home less kids in Madison who have come up from Janesville (ph)
where the GM plant is gone, who are in advanced algebra, but their
parents`, middle class jobs are gone.

So, we are seeing this huge grass roots pressure to say if you`re going to
call labor standards a barrier to trade, environmental regulations a
barrier to trade, because an international tribunal dominated by
multinational corporations says, you know, we need to suppress wages, we
need to make better profits. That`s just not selling to people. And I
think that`s why Hillary Clinton has moved to the left on this. And that`s
why Bernie Sanders is so popular.

HAYES: All right, Ruth Conniff, Reihan Salam, thank you very much.

That is All in for this evening.


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