All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 3/7/2016

Michael Steele, Jonathan Chait, Gary Peters, Ben Jealous, Philip Bump, Soledad O`Brien, Jess McIntosh, Josh Barrow

Date: March 7, 2016
Guest: Michael Steele, Jonathan Chait, Gary Peters, Ben Jealous, Philip
Bump, Soledad O`Brien, Jess McIntosh, Josh Barrow

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And with us, ALL IN with Chris Hayes, from the real to
the unreal, for no sound or reason except our humanity because it`s so much
happier over there. And that`s hard ball for now.

Thanks for being with us. ALL IN with Chris Hayes starts right now.



DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Should we do the pledge? Raise
your hand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But Donald Trump pled rolls on as the President of
Mexico compares Trump to Mussolini and Hitler.

TRUMP: I swear I`m going to vote for Donald Trump next week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight, new signs of hope for the “Never Trump”
contingent, and why a congested convention is becoming a real possibility.

Then Democrats boil over in Michigan.


I`m talking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While the Clinton-Sanders fight is getting decidedly
test here.

Plus, why there is now a full on panic over Marco Rubio.

TRUMP: I`d call for him to drop out of the race.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And a stunning update to the All In Fantasy Candidate
Draft standings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Number five, oh my gosh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And “All In” starts right now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSBNC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes with
four more states set to hold the Republican nominating contest tomorrow.

The better late than never stop Trump faction of the GOP still pays this
long on. But after weekend of mixed results for Trump, for the first time,
that faction may have some win at its back.

On Saturday, Republican voters managed to blanch some of Trump`s momentum
coming out of Super Tuesday. Well, he beat Ted Cruz in two Southern State
Primaries, Louisiana and Kentucky.

Cruz won the Republican caucuses in Maine and Kansas by pretty wide
margins. 46 to 33 in Maine, where Trump had been endorsed by Governor Paul
LePage, and 48 to 23 in Kentucky. That gave Ted Cruz nine more delegates
on Trump over the weekend. And overall, it`s looking more and more like a
two-man race with Trump at 392 delegates, Cruz at 305 and Marcio Rubio and
Kasich trailing, 153 and 35 respectively.

We`ll have more about Rubio in a bit.

Tomorrow, the Republican frontrunner faces what may be his biggest test
debate, the Michigan Primary with 59 delegates up for grabs, and a largely
white working class electorate who one might think would be receptive to
Trump`s message on trait.


TRUMP: Look, I`ve been fighting hard for cars. Cars are going to be made
in our country. We`re going to be made in our country. And we really have
been. I mean, we`ve been fighting very, very hard for that industry. I`ve
been to Michigan a lot.


HAYES: And the moment (ph), poll shows Trump of commanding lead over his
rivals, among likely primary voters at 36 percent, Ted Cruz at 23, John
Kasich at 21, and Rubio at 13.

But his margin appear to shrink over the four days in which the poll is
conducted. On Thursday and Friday, Trump was at 39 percent, 17 points
ahead of his closest rival, Ted Cruz. By Saturday and Sunday, he was down
to 32 percent, just 6 points ahead of a rising John Kasich.

If you talk to Republicans who maintain that Trump can still be stopped,
their case has always been that there is a ceiling to his appeal. Well,
Trump`s hardcore supporters will stick with him no matter what. They don`t
represent anything close to majority Republican voters.

That`s now looking like a more plausible prediction as the field (ph)
winnows, and Ted Cruz continues to make gains. And as we see more evidence
of the completely singular bond between Donald Trump and his diehard fans,
one that probably doesn`t extend to the rest of GOP electorate.

Take, for example, this instantly iconic and deeply disturbing image of the
crowded rally on Saturday, raising their right hands and they pledged to
vote for Trump.

Abe Foxman, the Former Head of the Anti-Defamation League and a Holocaust
survivor called it, “About as offensive, obnoxious and disgusting as
anything I thought I would ever witness in the United States of America.”
“It is a facist gesture”, Foxman said.

He is smart enough. He always tells us how smart he is to know the image
this evokes.

Even after a response like that, Trump now seems, who made the pledge a
part of his stung (ph) speech, and these crowds are only too happy to


TRUMP: Should we do the pledge? Should we do the pledge? Raise your
hand. I swear I`m going to vote for Donald Trump next week. I swear.
Right? Good. Raise your right hand everybody. Do you swear that you`re
going to vote for Donald Trump tomorrow? Raise that hand. I love you. I
love you.


HAYES: His devoted following especially among the more extremist edges of
the American right has become an essential of how the Trump phenomenon is
now understood. It is enshrined in pop culture, thanks to our pretty
cutting commercial parody, I`m sorry I didn`t watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trumps` an outsider. Washington needs that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he can make this country great again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So when people ask why you support Donald Trump, you
just tell them

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s going to take our economy from here to here and I
like that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s not some cautious politician. He says what I`m

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know what it is. I just like the guy.


HAYES: Right on cue, the actual Rights Premises who support Donald Trump
issued a statement taking defense.

At SNL`s Patrell, “Racists for Trump presents Trump supporters as wholesome
people until the punchline of swastikas, clan robes and book burnings. The
fact is, it is wholesome for a people to be proud of her race, heritage and
culture. It is not wholesome for a people to give away her land, culture,
language, heritage and race without a struggle or a fight. Donald Trump`s
candidacy is a modest step in the awakening of Western Civilization.”

Joining me now from, (inaudible), Michael Steele, now an MSNBC Political

Well Michael, here is .


HAYES: Yeah. Just now, here`s my theory. I want to get your feedback on
my current here, OK?

I basically think you got a third, a third, a third right now.


HAYES: You got basically a third hardcore Trump supporters. You got a
third pretty hardcore “Never Trumps”. And you got about a third in the
middle. And I actually think, believe it as it is, that Mitt Romney
stopped all of the signals being sent to that middle third over the last
two weeks is actually having somewhat of the intended effect.

It is sending the signal to those people that I think could get themselves
onto the bandwagon with enough sibling to just hold up and not get on that
bandwagon. What do you think of that theory?

STEELE: I don`t buy that.

HAYES: Why not?

STEELE: Because I don`t think it was Mitt Romney. You know what I think
has the affect, and it`s interesting, this is what I thought you were going
with your setup, the KKK comments .

HAYES: Interesting.

STEELE: Or lack thereof, the sort of refusal to just kind of put that
down. He did it on Friday but the story didn`t stick until Saturday,
Sunday, Monday. And I think that that had a chilling effect on the turn
out that we saw this weekend to Trump. I think people will like, I just
don`t want to be a part of that.

HAYES: That`s interesting.

STEELE: You know, I`m really suspicious of it. And I think it burned much
more than they thought it would or anticipate it would.

HAYES: Do you think that story produced a sort of revulsion effect, that
that showed up tangibly?

STEELE: I do. I do because I talked to a lot – well I got a lot of phone
calls on that one, and there were a lot of people like I cannot believe
this. This is – I don`t want to be a part of this. This is not the party
I want to be a part of. I can`t do it.

So, I think that that had sort of that residual effect. The other piece,
that the Romney piece probably played more to those who still have
establishment leanings.


STEELE: But were kind of lured into the Trump narrative, but I really do
believe that that had more of an impact in people who want to give a credit
for him.

HAYES: That`s a really interesting point. There`s also something else
going on which I`m curious to get your thoughts on. When I was down in
Houston, I talked for a while to a pastor who actually had come out to
watch our live show and he`s a Republican.

He had just come. He said he voted for Rubio. And he said, every pastor,
Christian pastor, Evangelical pastors he knew were pretty strongly anti

STEELE: Right.

HAYES: And we`re trying to persuade their flock, essentially, “Do not go
for this guy.” And I think part of what you`re seeing in Cruz is showing
this week, and the fact that there really is a basis support for Ted Cruz
is that Evangelical base has not gone over to Trump, which is a key hurdle
for him to cross.

STEELE: Yeah, I think there`s something to that, Chris, and in the sense
that what we saw in Iowa and New Hampshire, in South Carolina in particular
where the early stages of the Trump phenomenon that drew evangelicals into
the discussion beyond evangelical issues, you know, with matter of faith to
morals, to a more economic argument.

Now, that sort of settled out. The Cruz effect is kind of taking hold and
they`re now finding that going back home to that port.

HAYES: Yeah, yeah.

STEELE: That it`s a state, place to go back to. So yeah, I think there`s
some truth to that.

HAYES: And it also strayed to me that the final part of this here is
organization. I mean, he`s got no organization. That`s been true
basically from the beginning. But when you`re contesting on, say, like
Kansas and Maine which are, you know, people forget, Barrack Obama run up
that delegate lead on Hillary Clinton in places like North and South
Dakota, and Iowa, and in Idaho, and Montana where there were small thing –
small caucuses and primaries that they organized the heck out of, and Cruz
is basically playing that role this time around.

STEELE: He is. The caucus is a killer in this primary process because a
lot of folks don`t get the totality of the process and understand this is
about delegates tend to not play there much. Those who do like Barrack did
in `08 and Cruz is doing now, will reap the benefits of that.

And particularly given that now we`re in a space where you`re going to have
a close primary/caucus period, that`s going to work to Cruz` advantage
potentially as well.

HAYES: All right, Michael Steele, always a pleasure. Michael, thank you.

STEELE: Bye-bye.

HAYES: I`m joined no by Jonathan Chait, Columnist from New York Magazine.

Jonathan, I really like this piece that you have in New York about why
conservatives hate Trump.


HAYES: Well, it`s quite good and that`s saying something considering about
90 million words have been spent on Trump on the past six months, right?
You could poke out of that.

This was the key line, “By making race and nationalism the text rather than
the subtext of Republican politics, Trump threatens not only the party`s
agenda but the self-conception of its intellectual class.”

What do you mean by that?

CHAIT: So conservative intellectuals, the people who really have been
behind the conservative movement for decades have a story they like to tell
themselves about how their movement took power.

HAYES: Right.

CHAIT: In the Republican Party. It starts with gold water. And this is a
story that really omits race from the narrative and it`s omits anti-
intellectualism from the narrative, and it really puts the power of their
anti-government ideology at the center, and it really persuaded Americans
that big government was wrong and the new deal was a wrong turn in some

And I think this is really totally false story about how their movement did
exercise real power in America. But Trump is really the instrument that`s
come along and shown just how false it is. And so, I think that`s one of
the factors in the resentment they have for this man.

HAYES: Yeah that`s – I think that`s well said. And I think you`re
seeing, even Bret Stephens, I think, from Wall Street Editorial Page
basically said, they guy is playing out every liberal caricature of what
they think we are right in front of our faces. We`re just part of, I
think, the sort of shock and horror on the part of the Republican

This is my favorite article of the day was HuffPost (ph) report on a
meeting, a secretive meeting at a luxurious island. There were Tech CEOs
and Top Republican Commiserate, Plot to Stop Trump. It`s like an Alex
Jones article except it`s real.

CHAIT: No, that`s exactly right. And if I could go back to that Wall
Street Journal column you mentioned.

HAYES: Yeah.

CHAIT: It said, look, you know, William F. Buckley, great example of what
we think is moving this about. He was against racism.

Well, the fact is that William F. Buckley was for segregation. He was for
white supremacy. And then two decades later, he was for a part side (ph)
in South Africa. So, I think that actually encapsulates the truth of how
conservatives took power in the United States in a way that they still
don`t really want to recognize. So, it`s not that he .

HAYES: OK, now .

CHAIT: Yes, it`s not that he makes a mockery than he actually shows what
really has been happening.

HAYES: But now, let me stand up for the good honor of my friends among the
conservative intelligence. Yeah. I mean, they are, right now, putting
their money where their mouth is, right? I mean, people are, actually,
they`re fighting him strenuously. They`re coming out against him. They
are possibly also, we should say, taking some sort of risk, right, if the
guy is the nominee, if he does actually end up running the Republican
Party. You know, particularly a guy is vindictive (ph) who`s that guy,

CHAIT: Yeah.

HAYES: I mean there is a certain amount of people in the “Never Trump”
Movement. And even among those sort of Evangelical base, I think, that`s
walking away from him that are, in some ways, on the other side of that
pieces, right? They`re saying, “Look, we`re not just about this subtext of
nationalism and, sort of, and race.

CHAIT: Well, that`s absolutely true. And I would go even further, it`s
important to know that conservative ideas stand on their own. You don`t
have to be a racist to be a conservative. These are ideas that are
independent of race. The problem that they have and acknowledge is that
they don`t have a constituency that could win without race.

So, you`ve got a lot of people who aren`t racist coming up with the ideas
but who`s applying the votes. Well, Donald Trump is answering that

HAYES: Well, and the favorite – my favorite part of this is running the
experiment of the Marco Rubio candidacy which is basically get rid of
capital gains taxes.

CHAIT: Right.

HAYES: And maybe start some new horse (ph) in Middle East. And it turns
out, even among the Republican electorate, there is no – no one wants
that. No one actually wants that. No one is choosing that.

CHAIT: But don`t these people remember how much they like George W. Bush?

HAYES: Right.

CHAIT: And that`s why I don`t get them. I mean, they were really happy
with Bush until like the last year.

HAYES: And that`s what`s so, I think, shocking. And that has been sort of
wake up call this election.

Jonathan Chait, great piece in New York Magazine. Thank you.

CHAIT: Thanks Chris.

HAYES: Still to come, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders erupt at the
debate last night, a look at the screen relations in that democratic

Plus, Marco Rubio has now won the two of the first 20 states. He`s batting
an even 100. So, is everyone ready to stop trying to make Marco momentum
happen? We`ll see.

And later, could it be possible for either the current frontrunners to lock
up enough of the delegate lead by next week that would make it impossible
for their opponents to catch up? The secret math to victory ahead.



she meant not just to President Reagan but to the country as a whole. He
was lucky to have her and I`m sure he`d be the first to acknowledge that.
So, she will be missed.


HAYES: That was President Obama earlier today, talking about the passing
of Nancy Reagan. Funeral plans for the former first lady were announced
today. She will lay in repose to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in
Simi Valley, California on Wednesday and Thursday. And private funeral
services will be held on Friday.

She`ll be buried next to her husband, the 48th president of the United
States, Ronald Regan died on June 5th, 2004.

Back in a moment.


HAYES: We`re about 12 hours to go before voters go to the poll in Michigan
in the state of the race between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton has
appeared to settle into what one might call a tense equilibrium.

Putting this up, nearly 200 awarded delegates for this point, sizeable lead
when you consider the fact that these delegates, so far and going forward,
are all allocated proportionally, which makes it difficult for a candidate
to overcome a big deficit.

But if we learn anything from the voting this past weekend in which Sanders
won three for the four Democratic contests is that the center for Vermont
isn`t going anywhere. And while he may not have a pack to match Clinton`s
delegate total right now, current voting trends hold, he can continue
picking up states here and there and running competitively.

The reality and perhaps frustration over a prolonged fight for pledge
delegates seem to be on full display at last night`s debate in Flint,


CLINTON: You know .

SANDERS: Excuse me, I`m talking.

CLINTON: If you`re going to talk, tell the whole story, Senator Sanders.

SANDERS: Let me tell my story, you tell yours.

CLINTON: I will.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you support fracking?

CLINTON: You know, I don`t support it when any locality or any state is
against it. I don`t support it when the release of methane or
contamination of water is present.

SANDERS: My answer is a lot shorter. No, I do not support fracking.

One of us has given speeches on Wall Street for hundreds of thousands of

CLINTON: I`ll be happy to release anything I have as long as everybody
else does too.

SANDERS: Well, I`m your Democratic opponent, I release it. Here it is.
There ain`t nothing. I don`t give speeches to Wall Street.


HAYES: OK. We now have Senator Gary Peters, Democrat from Michigan who
has endorsed Hillary Clinton.

Senator, there were a lot of talk about the auto bailout last night,
obviously crucially important to your state. I want to play what Hillary
Clinton said about Bernie Sanders and then talk to you about it, if you
don`t mind?

Take a listen to Hillary Clinton`s comments on the auto bailout.


CLINTON: Well, I`ll tell you something else that Senator Sanders was
against. He was against the auto bailout. In January of 2009, President
Elect Obama asked everybody in the Congress to vote for the bailout. The
money was there and had to be released in order to save the American auto
industry and four million jobs.

I voted to save the auto industry. He voted against the money that ended
up saving the auto industry. I think that is a pretty big difference.


HAYES: So Senator, that strikes me as technically true but fairly
misleading. Senator Sanders voted for the auto bailout that did not pass
in 2008. He supported it.

The vote she`s indicating in January 2009 is for the second launch (ph) of
third funds, $350 billion, which was not a gear marked for the auto
bailout. In fact, it was gear marked for the Wall Street banks, was used
by the administration afterwards to shore up some of the financial services
aspects of the Big Three auto companies.

Is that a fair hit?

fair. In fact, I had just come in at the Congress at that time. We were
confronted with, as you remember, a very scary time in our economy, as the
economy was hemorrhaging hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The auto industry was hanging on by its finger nails, and was really a
victim of what had happened on Wall Street. And we knew that vote was
going to be very important to provide resources to continue to support the
auto industry. And certainly, that was talked about at length at the time.

And I remember supporting that loan because I knew how important it was to
the auto industry. And had Secretary Clinton and President Obama not
stepped up for the auto industry, it would have been absolutely
catastrophic for us in our state. So, that is a very fair point, and I
think one that people are going to take a good hard look at.

HAYES: I just want to be clear though, the total amount that was
authorized by that vote was $350 billion. That was the second $350 billion
sum. The first went through before January. The second was put there.

The argument at the time was this was essentially a blank check. Now, the
total amount that went to Detroit, if I`m not mistaken, was on the order of
$10 or $11 billion, right?

PETERS: No, it was more than that. So yeah, it was a bigger number than
that, so that went to the automakers. And without those loans, these
companies would have collapsed. In fact, I remember sitting with the CEO
of Chrysler at that time who said, you know Congressman, we need help from
the Federal Government. We`re heading towards bankruptcy, but the credit
markets are completely frozen. There isn`t money available. And if we
don`t get better in possession financing, he told me, he was just weeks
away from liquidating Chrysler. And that would have been absolutely
catastrophic to our state.

So, you know, these loans were certainly very controversial at the time.
But thank God, folks joined the Michigan delegation in supporting them to
make sure that we have an auto industry. So, you know, I can`t say enough
on how important those decisions were at that time if we go back and to
think about what was happening at that time.

HAYES: Senator, Bernie Sanders has called for the resignation of - Senator
Sanders called for the resignation of Rick Snyder, your governor their in
Michigan, over what`s happened in Flint. Secretary Clinton has also now
called for that.

Do you think the governor of your state should resign?

PETERS: It may come to that. Certainly, we`re getting more information
coming out with e-mails. There are all sorts of investigations that are
being conducted right now, from the Inspector General to the FBI, to the
State Attorney General.

But I`ll tell you myself, I`m focused on getting legislation here in the
United States senate, working with my partner, Debbie Stabenow, to get
resources for Flint and for water infrastructure across the country.

So, that`s what I`m focused on. This week in particular, we`re very close
to really moving some very important legislation, not just for Flint but
for communities all across this country that may be facing similar types of
catastrophic situations because we have not invested in critical water

HAYES: Yeah, that`s a truly terrifying part is how much of these pipes are
out there.

PETERS: Right.

HAYES: Senator Gary Peters from Michigan, thanks for joining us. I
appreciate it.

PETERS: Thank you. Thank you.

HAYES: So now, Ben Jealous, Former President of the NAACP, also a Bernie
Sanders supporter.

All right Ben, I thought this was an interesting moment last night, talking
about racial blind spots.

Question from Don Lemon of CNN, and here is what Bernie Sanders had to say
in response. Take a listen.


SANDERS: I was with some young people active in the Black Lives Matter
Movement. A young lady comes up to me and she says, “You don`t understand
what police do in certain black communities. You don`t understand the
degree to which we are terrorized. When you`re white, you don`t know what
it`s like to be living in a Ghetto. You don`t know what it`s like to be
poor. You don`t know what it`s like to be hassled when you walk down the
street or you get dragged out of a car.”


HAYES: So, he has taken a little bit of flack for that for the use of the
word “Ghetto”. To me, the more interesting sentence is, “You don`t know
what it`s like to be poor. When you`re white, you don`t know what it`s
like to be living in a Ghetter. You don`t know what it`s like to be poor.”

That seems, to me, precisely the kind of conflation of race and class that
a lot of people have attacked the Senator for being unable to think of
those categories differently. What do you think?

BEN JEALOUS, FORMER PRESIDENT, NAACP: You know, look, what I saw last
night was two candidates try to answer one question. So, one candidate
just completely dodged the question. Hillary Clinton didn`t even try. You
know, and she, in doing so, I think displayed a glaring racial blind spot.

She talked about being inspired by Dr. King and seeing him speak when she
was 14, and then working for marrying adult men in her 20s, and skipped
over the fact she had campaigned for Barry Goldwater in between who was
campaigning against the Civil Rights Act.

She also missed an opportunity, quite frankly, to really sort of come clean
about her mistreatment of the activist, commonly referred to as Ashley, who
had confronted her over her statement that appear to compare poor black
children to dogs. Part of the whole super predator quote.

In the case of Bernie, you saw somebody really try, you know, try to answer
that question, sort of quoting, you know, some body he was talking to and
stumble a bit as he did.

I`m not ever one to really jump on somebody who is trying to answer a tough
question about race. I frankly believe we should give a little safe space
and people the opportunity to try to answer it because it`s the
overreaction when somebody stumbles, that discourages many people from even
having, trying to have an honest conversation.

With that said, and I`m getting to your question, but there`s, you know, a
lot here, Chris.

With that said, Bernie Sanders has talked about racial justice and economic
justice his entire life. I think it`s, you know, a stereotype, more – or
a caricature rather. A caricature of him to act like he just simply, you
know, some economic justice advocate from the woods of Vermont.

And to forget the fact, not only that he was with the Congress with racial
equality in SNCC in the early 1960s. But quite frankly, he wasn`t just on
Jesse Jackson`s `88 campaign which is more of a class based campaign, if
you will. He was on Jesse Jackson`s `84 campaign which is every bit of a
racial justice activist exercise.

HAYES: Right, so let me just say this, Ben. This has struck in a moment,
and I agree, you know, whatever about the stumbling, right? I mean it
strikes me. This is a moment in which a guy who is, you know, Ben, he has
represented a constituency that is overwhelming white for a very long time.
That`s not sure his fault. That`s just is what it is, right?

And if you took the person who is the Bronx Borough president and you
dropped him into Kansas to go talk for farmers, it would take him a while
to adjust, right? I mean politicians stuck (ph) for constituencies, is
that part of what we`re seeing in play out right now, particularly when we
look at the exit polling among African-American voters?

JEALOUS: You know, look, the exit polling is a different phenomenon. I
mean certainly, Bernie`s engaging a broader constituency. And if you`ve
seen the seen the Black Lives Matter, activists have a real impact on his
thinking, and he`s embraced them, and they`ve embraced him.

You know, he`s been the only one to stand up, for instance, to say that in
the case of Laquan McDonald in Chicago, anybody involved in the cover up
should resign, which leaves room for the mayor. While Hillary has been
defending the mayor, and who appears to have covered up the killing of an
unarmed black man manager to ensure he was re-elected.

But, you know, as far as the exit polling, what we`ve seen is that in the
places where we really campaigned, and not of these states – and frankly,
none of these campaigns have really been campaigning in every state.

HAYES: Right.

JEALOUS: Hillary has had a head start everywhere because of a dynasty.
Place where we`ve really campaigned, we`ve gotten a bigger share of the
black voting. In Kansas in Saturday (ph) night, and we won eight out of
ten. Eight out of ten, the majority, black senate districts with more than
60 percent of the vote. And that speaks to what happens when you really

HAYES: All right, Ben Jealous, thanks for joining us tonight.

JEALOUS: Thank you.

HAYES: Let me just note for the record, I think the Goldwater attack on
Clinton is sort of immaterial, just to put that out there.

All right, coming up, as two frontrunners turn their attention to each
other, we get a glimpse of what a Trump versus Clinton General Election
might look like. And it`s not great. That`s next.



CLINTON: As of last night, Donald Trump had received 3.6 million votes,
which is a good number. And there`s only one candidate in either party who
has more votes than him, and that`s me. I think that Donald Trump`s
bigotry, his bullying, his bluster are not going to wear well on the
American people.


HAYES: Hillary Clinton made a point about Donald Trump last night that the
president has previously made that the American people, voters at large,
will eventually tire of his volatility, his veiled, not so veiled
authoritarianism, his support by white supremacist groups and his

As the two frontrunners increasingly turned their attention to each other,
Donald Trump recently gave us a preview of what that contest might look


TRUMP: Folks, I`m beating her in many polls. I`m beating her in many
polls, and I haven`t even started yet. I haven`t started with her yet.
Only once. Only once. Four weeks ago she said something about me being
sexist right after she said that, I attacked her and Bill, and Bill. We
talked about the word. We came up with the word, a very true word,
enabler. You know what an enabler is? And we talked about Bill. I said,
you mean to tell me I`m bad but her husband is okay? Maybe one of the
worst in the history of politics, right. And I had to put up.

OK, this was a disaster for them. I guarantee you they had one of the
worst weekends of their life. This was not a friendly weekend that they
had sitting together at home, wherever they are at home, if they were


HAYES: In a general election, against Hillary Clinton I pledge this to
you, the bottom of the barrel has yet to be scraped.



RUBIO: It`s very straightforward. A vote for John Kasich or a vote for
Ted Cruz in Florida is a vote for Donald Trump. I`m the only one who has
any chance of beating Donald Trump in Florida.

So, if you don`t want Donald Trump to be the Republican nominee, you have
to vote for Marco Rubio.


HAYES: That`s Marco Rubio today imploring non-Trump voters to coalesce
behind him in his home state of Florida. And his campaign received some
good news today, although I supposed relative. A new Monmouth poll showing
him within eight points of Donald Trump, grabbing 30 percent support
compared to Trump`s 38.

And among the nearly one in five voters who said they cast early ballots,
Rubio is actually beating Trump 48 percent to 23. But among those who say
they have yet to vote, he trails Trump by 16 points.

Now, just eight days until that winner take all primary, it`s clear that
Florida would be Rubio`s last stand. And he`s in real danger of becoming
the former future of the Republican Party.

The candidate the establishment rallied around in hopes of setting up a two
man with Trump has consistently disappointed on election nights. Although,
the Rubio campaign celebrated a win in Puerto Rico Sunday, that leaves him
with a win-loss record of 2 for 20.

His campaign tried to spin that, writing in an email to supporters on
Sunday, “Rubio blows away the competition in Puerto Rico. It`s not the
number of states won that decide a Republican nominee, it`s the delegates.”

The problem with that logic is that the delegate math does not look good
for Rubio. He has just half as many delegates as Ted Cruz, and he`s
trailing Trump by 239.

Contributing to the delegate chasm is the fact that in five states that
award delegates proportionally, he`s failed to make the minimum threshold
to qualify for any delegates. And in Michigan, which votes tomorrow,
latest polling shows him below the 15 percent threshold to qualify for
statewide delegates.

While recriminations about what went wrong in Rubio`s campaign have already
begun, the issue may lie more in the candidate himself and the patchwork of
donor interests he staked his campaign on, a brand of Republicanism which
combines promises of more wars in the Middle East, eliminating capital
gains taxes and the potential for immigration reform.

Joining me now, Philip Bump, political reporter for The Washington Post.

It`s too early to write postmortems on Marco but when you look at what`s
happened so far, this has not been a particularly successful campaign as of
yet. What`s your theory?

PHILIP BUMP, THE WASHINGTON POST: My theory is precisely that he was a
candidate that would have very, very done well in 2012 had all the cards
fallen in the right place in 2012. He`s not a good 2016 candidate. He,
like so many others, was overwhelmed by this Trump tsunami and has no way
to respond to that. There is no way – the establishment right now is
still trying to figure out how to respond to Donald Trump. He, as a member
of the establishment, as the person who is carrying the banner for the
establishment similarly has no way to figure out how to stop Donald Trump.

HAYES: There`s an L.A. Times piece that I thought about the sort of class
divide that I thought was fascinating about the Starbucks voter strategy of
Marco Rubio.

Marco Rubio`s mounting list of primary losses points to limits of what some
call his Starbucks voter strategy. A campaign that has banked heavily on
winning upwardly mobile young suburban families.

It turns out that people who are upwardly mobile are not a majority of
Republican primary electorate. Most are downwardly mobile or plateauing
and really ticked off about it. So, there`s just not enough votes to mine

BUMP: Yeah, that`s exactly right.

And – but the other half of that problem is that Donald Trump does very
well across the spectrum. He does very well with people who – yes, he
leads everyone across all economic groups, across all age groups, usually,
not always but typically. And that`s why he keeps coming in first or
second in all these different states.

HAYES: They are now – I mean, there`s a story today, CNN reported that
top advisers are telling him to possibly drop out. His people are furious
about this, somewhat understandably. I mean, what are they – you know, it
does seem like it`s make or break this Florida.

BUMP: Oh, yeah. I mean, there`s no question it`s make or break in
Florida. There is, the only question is can he actually win? His campaign
is trying to argue it`s not make or break. They`re trying to argue that he
can actually win the state. If he doesn`t get those 99 delegates, those 99
delegates are 8 percent of the total you need to become the nominee. If he
doesn`t get that, it`s hard to see where he could make it up.

HAYES: Well, this is the problem, right, I mean, after you get those big
winner take all contests – the question for me also is, Trump now is
hitting Rubio very hard. He`s going after him. If anyone around There`s
been so much rooting for Marco Rubio among certain precincts of the right
whether people are understanding why it hasn`t been working.

BUMP: I think it`s safe to say that they aren`t, right. I mean, you know,
like part of what we`re seeing, this report from CNN that you mentioned
before, the question that`s raised is do people keep throwing good money
after bad on Marco Rubio? And the question is, are people going to wait
until March 15 to invest more heavily in Marco Rubio`s campaign? He hasn`t
run a good campaign. He hasn`t establish – he`s the establishment
candidate without and established campaign, right. He doesn`t have field
operations the way the other candidates do.

HAYES: He`s missing the – how can you be the nominee if you`re missing
the threshold in four states? Just think about that for a second. That –
those thresholds are designed to cut off the people who are also ran.

BUMP: Right.

And then over what over the weekend is that he is starting to cannibalized
by Ted Cruz. So people who are worried about stopping Donald Trump are
turning their attention to Ted Cruz instead.

HAYES: And we almost saw a one-to-one of those votes (inaudible) one
column to the other in terms of where expectations were and where they came

Philip Bump, thank you for joining me.

Still to come, can anyone catch Donald Trump? With two major Republican
contests coming up, can his opponents keep enough delegates out of his
reach for them to stay in the running. We`ll look at that just ahead.



JESS MCINTOSH: Because I`m clearly in the lead based on great skill at
this game.

HAYES: Yeah, you`ve got Jeb Bush…

MCINTOSH: I`m confident about number 11.

HAYES: Number 11, here we go. Jeb Bush, you`ll be adding to your roster

Who are you going to get?

Oh, Ben Carson.

MCINTOSH: That`s tough.

ANNOUNCER: Ben Carson, he`s a retired world class neurosurgeon, recipient
of the presidential medal of freedom and says Obamacare is the worst thing
since slavery. He`s Dr. Ben Carson.


MCINTOSH: Don`t applaud that. There`s no need to applaud that.


HAYES: Well, folks, we have a stunning update in ALL IN 2016 Fantasy
Candidate Draft. And, no, it`s not Ben Carson dropping out of the race,
although that did happen. It`s that Michael Steele picked up 2,200 points
over the weekend. So, let`s look at the latest standings. Our friend
Jesse McIntosh is still in the lead with 14,600 points and Donald Trump.
And now Michael Steele is just 1,500 points behind her followed by Sam
Seder at 10,900 points. He`s got Hillary Clinton. So, stay tuned for some
possible good news for him in the future.

And bringing up the rear is Josh Barro and Joy Reid whose candidates have
all dropped out.

Just a reminder of what`s at stake here, besides the future of our
democracy, the winner of our draft will take home this lovely speedboat.
Here have a closer look.

Ahead, another game, the race for delegates. Stay with us.


HAYES: All right, Donald Trump needs 1,237 delegates to win the Republican
nomination for president. At this point it all comes down to basic
arithmetic. The biggest Republican contests are coming up next week in the
winner take off states of Ohio and Florida, the home states of presidential
hopeful John Kasich and Marco Rubio with 66 and 99 delegates up for grabs.

Now, according to calculations by MSNBC News, if the next five races follow
the pattern of the races so far, Trump can end up with 466 delegates with
Ted Cruz just over 100 delegates behind.

If that is the situation going into March 15, and Trump wins Florida and
Ohio, he only needs, then, this is important, 52 percent of the remaining
delegates to secure the nomination.

If Trump wins Florida, but loses Ohio to John Kasich, he will need 59
percent of the remaining delegates. And if he loses Florida to Marco
Rubio, and Ohio to John Kasich, he will need a whopping 69 percent of the
remaining delegates to lock up the nomination, which is a lot.

Joining me to talk about tomorrow`s presidential primaries and the path or
math to victory, former CNN/NBC News anchor Soledad O`Brien, CEO of
Starfish Media Group; Jesse McIntosh, spokesperson for Emily`s List, pro-
choice PAC working to elect female candidates, which has endorsed Hillary
Clinton; and my friend MSNBC contributor Josh Barro who is now back as a
senior editor for Business Insider.

All right, we are going to talk about this math and the tantalizing
possibility of a contested convention after this quick break.


HAYES: Still with me, Soledad O`Brien, Jesse McIntosh and Josh Barro.

OK, so the point about this is, the math is actually steeper than I thought
it was when you look at it. Like, even if things go the best possible way
for Trump on – in the next four contests and after that, like even 52
percent is still a lot more than he`s winning right now, which is basically
about 44 percent of the delegates.

JOSH BARRO, BUSINESS INSIDER: Yeah, I say two things about that. One is
that the delegate roles gets more favorable as you go on. Not all these
states are winner take all, but a lot of them use this winner take all by
congressional district structure, which is favorable to a candidate like
Trump who does relatively well with moderates. Because if you look at a
state like California where basically every congressional district you win
you get three delegates. So, Nancy Pelosi`s district in San Francisco
awards the same number of delegates as a heavily Republican one in the
central valley.

And so I guess, I don`t think there are a lot of Donald Trump supporters in
San Francisco, but there probably more than there are Ted Cruz supporters.

The whole Republican nominating system is actually weirdly structured to
overrate the importance of Republicans in blue states.

Donald Trump won 49 percent of the vote in Massachusetts. He`s going to
clean up in places like New York, New Jersey. So, I do think 52 percent
looks like a reasonable number for him to collect assuming he can get about
the percentage of the vote that he has been.

HAYES: Although, if it turns – right, if it turns – if you get a
different outcome next week in Florida and Ohio, or even if you don`t, like
to me the big take away this weekend is people are strapped in for a while,
at least in the next two months.

we`re all sort of part of the dismay of watching some of these debates has
been that. It feels like it`s going to b a slog for a long time, because
partly I think the delegate map, partly I think we`re also seeing the
candidates shift.

Listen, Trump`s message in a state like Michigan, tomorrow, is kind of
similar, if you`re talking about trade policy to a Democratic message.
That`s going to be very interesting down the road. I`m sure you`re going
to have some people who admire – a bunch of my neighbors who shall go
nameless – love to Mr. Trump and who.

HAYES: Mister. It`s always mister.

O`BRIEN: Mr. Trump.

HAYES: It`s always mister.

O`BRIEN: Donald – Donald Trump.

HAYES: Donald – call him Donald. Anyway.

O`BRIEN: But, you know, the idea of take America back, make America great
again, really appeals to a certain kind of voter who feels a certain kind
of way about shifting demographics. Isn`t it a nice way to put it?


O`BRIEN: By the way, about shifting demographics in America.

And so I think that it`s way too early to talk about contested. I mean,
that 52 number doesn`t seem out of reach…

HAYES: But – OK, Jess.

MCINTOSH: The one thing that I want to say about delegate math is it
doesn`t work out to be any less steep for any one else. The thing about
the Republican nominating contest that I`ve loved the whole cycle is one of
them has to win.

HAYES: Right, that`s true. But it does if you`re saying is your bet Trump
or the field, right. It`s like when people bet on like Tiger. It`s like
you could bet on Tiger or the field. Like, I agree that it`s like your bet
right now is Trump or the field. But I just think that the bet on the
field isn`t so…

MCINTOSH: In every contest the bet on the field gets worse. And at the
point when the bet on the field was better were they able to bet on the
field. So why now that it is a steeper climb they`ll suddenly get it

HAYES: Here`s why. Here`s why. Because there`s, a, determination on – I
think there is a little bit of coordination happening among the party
elites that I do think matters.

I do think like being like, we`re going to try to stop this matter.

MCINTOSH: They`re coordinated in running in a circle firing at each other
now as before they were doing on their own.

BARRO: But Florida, where that`s falling apart.

HAYES: Right, we`ll see.

BARRO: I think the collapse of Marco Rubio and the rise of Ted Cruz in
Florida actually is saving Donald Trump from whatever trouble he might be
having there.

O`BRIEN: I would agree with that completely.

BARRO: And it`s also funny to watch – the Rubio people are furious at Ted
Cruz for competing in Florida. And it`s like this is the way it works.

O`BRIEN: When Marco Rubio at the end of the debate was asked so, after
saying never Trump and tweeting never Trump and says I will support the
Republican candidate.

At that, it was like…

HAYES: Yeah, you could feel the air come out.

My favorite is the interview he gave, which we quoted on the show, the
Kentucky Sports radio. And the guy con fronts him. And he`s like, well, I
was saying I would never vote for him in a primary. And the guy is like,
well, you`re running against him. Obviously, you`re not going to.

He`s like – that`s what I was saying.

O`BRIEN: Well, that and hashtag #nevertrump.

BARRO: I`d also challenge this assumption that if Donald Trump does not
get to 1237, he has lost. That he needs to have…

HAYES: No, I agree.

BARRO: Because if he`s coming into the convention with 46 percent of the
delegates, Republicans are going to be faced with this choice of what`s the
biggest disaster for the party.

HAYES: That I agree with. But I`m just talking about…

O`BRIEN: You don`t allow people to have the candidate they`ve chosen?
That would be an absolute implosion.

HAYES: Now, of course, on the other side I was reading someone running a
model of how the delegate apportionment rules would work on the Democratic
side, right. The Democratic side already has this built in anti-democratic
check called
the super delegates who are literally there for just this occasion. I
mean, the reason the super delegates is just this case our voters lose
their minds. We want to – no, that`s really why they`re there.

Like, we want to have this pool of votes that we can like bring in to put a
thumb on the scale.

That said, even when you take those away, it does look to me like unless
something changes, it`s very hard to come up with a scenario in which
Sanders catches Clinton with awarded delegates.

O`BRIEN: And that`s the least of his problems. A big issue that he`s
going to have in the macro is he has not figured out – he cannot
articulate a message to African-Americans. I think this little fiasco
mini-storm from the debate, and then the clarifying of the comments, which
actually made it worse is a real symbol of just how inept he is of

HAYES: You think he`s inept?

O`BRIEN: Maybe inept is a little harsh, but I think he really struggles
for a smart man to articulate what he`s really describes African-Americans
often as, you know, hanging out on the street corners. He has this vision
of like black people in poverty and in struggling in the ghetto. And even
when he`s talking about the lawyer who can`t flag a cab, that man is, by
the way, is not flagging a cab I`m going to guess, a black lawyer. He`s
not going to the ghetto. He is not going to – so, you know, he has a very
simplistic view of race and when it intersects with economics that is going
to be hugely problematic for him. And he can`t articulate it very well.

MCINTOSH: I think when you answer a question about what your racial blind
spots are by presenting them by saying I don`t understand what it`s like to
live in a ghetto or be poor and be black and they ask him to clarify.

O`BRIEN: The Middle Class black people…

HAYES: Although, let me just also say this – let me also say, there is
something about this whole race which is that like these are the two
people, these two white people are running to succeed the first black
president. And like, there`s a lot of racial blind spots up there.

O`BRIEN; Absolutely.

HAYES: And that is pretty evident. I think that Hillary Clinton obviously
has performed better with black voters.

MCINTOSH: But I think that`s because she has a record of engaging with
community in a thoughtful way that he simply doesn`t. Every time he`s
asked about
racial relations he talks about poverty and jobs.

HAYES: I think it`s as much tonal as record at this point frankly.

MCINTOSH: I would grant…

HAYES: All right, Soledad O`Brien, Jess McIntosh, Josh Barrow, thanks so
much for being here tonight.

And that is ALL IN for this evening.


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