All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 3/10/2016
Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
Date: March 10, 2016
Guest: David Graham, Charlie Pierce, Sarah Isgur Flores, Thomas Frank,
Katrina Vanden Huevel
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN –
Violence at Trump rallies getting worse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Next time we see him, we might have to kill him.
HAYES: Tonight, an arrest is made and the man assaulted at a Trump
campaign event, he is speaking out – as a female reporter says she was
roughed up by Trump`s campaign manager.
MICHELLE FIELDS, BREITBART.COM: Obviously, no one wants to be touched and
violated like that.
HAYES: Plus, ahead of tonight`s debate, why Ted Cruz is evolving his
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A contested convention is a
HAYES: A revealing new twist in the Democratic primary.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do not have the same policy
as the current administration does.
HAYES: And President Obama responds to the question, are you responsible
for Donald Trump?
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`ve actually heard this
argument a number of times.
HAYES: Tonight, the president`s answer and author Thomas Frank on why
liberals share the blame.
OBAMA: I have been blamed by Republicans for a lot of things.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
And tonight, the protester who was viciously elbowed smashed in the face at
a Donald Trump rally in North Carolina yesterday is speaking out. While
the assailant now facing criminal charges told the TV show, quote, “the
next time we see him, we might have to kill him.”
Seventy-eight-year-old John McGraw was arrested this morning and charged
with assaulting Rakeem Jones and with disorderly conduct. Jones was being
escorted from the Trump rally, when out of nowhere, McGraw stepped toward
him and attacked.
In an interview after the rally with “Inside Edition” airing today, McGraw
said he had no regrets.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Did you like the event?
JOHN MCGRAW: You bet I liked it.
REPORTER: Yes? What did you like?
MCGRAW: Knocking the hell out of that big mouth.
REPORTER: So, he deserved it?
MCGRAW: Every bit of it.
REPORTER: What was that?
MCGRAW: Yes, he deserved it. The next time we see him, we might have to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: McGraw also told “Inside Edition” of Jones, quote, “We don`t know
if he`s ISIS” and, quote, “He might be with a terrorist organization.”
On MSNBC this afternoon, Jones and his friend Ronnie Rouse who shot video
of the incident discussed what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RONNIE ROUSE, ATTENDED TRUMP RALLY: The guy hits the guy in front of the
police, behind the police, on the side of the police and they threw Rakeem
down and tell him to sit back down. He finishes eating his popcorn. It`s
just – it`s crazy that you get pretty much almost arrested because you got
assaulted. And that`s just not – it`s insane. It`s insane.
We`re the first people thrown out at – he just came out. This is the
first 60 seconds, two minutes of him being there and we`re the first people
At this point, he`s telling him, he`s like go home to your mother. Go home
to your mother. You know? Then the crowd, they enamored with it. And
they`re chanting it, too.
INTERVIEWER: Rakeem, the Trump campaign only gave us one statement and
it`s four words. And they said, “We are not involved.”
What would you say back to the Trump campaign? They say they`re not
involved. This isn`t their problem.
RAKEEM JONES, ASSAULTED AT TRUMP RALLY: I mean, I`m pretty sure heard him,
sound pretty involved to me. He was saying tell me to go home to my mom.
INTERVIEWER: I want to read a quote from John McGraw. He`s the man
accused and arrested for hitting you. He said, quote, he said, quote, “You
bet I liked it, clocking the hell out of that big mouth.”
This man has now been arrested. You want to see him go to jail?
JONES: Yes. I want justice. Reality is, he`ll probably be bailed out.
Somebody will probably reward him, you know?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The events at the Trump rally in North Carolina follow a series of
incidents where protesters face threats and physical intimidation and
shoving, spitting, things like that, at Trump rallies, often with a wink
and a nudge, if not more from the candidate himself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There`s a guy totally disruptive
throwing punches. We`re not allowed to punch back anymore.
I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when
they`re in a place like that. They would be carried out on a stretcher,
He`s walking out like a big high fives, smiling, laughing. I`d like to
punch him in the face, I`ll tell you.
Yes, get him out. Try not to hurt him. If you do, I`ll defend you in
court. Don`t worry about it.
But you see somebody throwing a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would
you? Seriously. OK? Just knock the hell – I promise you, I will pay for
the legal fees. I promise. I promise.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Pressed on whether Trump will, in fact, pay the legal fees of John
McGraw, the man who allegedly sucker-punched Rakeem Jones last night, the
Trump campaign said, quote, “We`re not involved in that incident.”
The campaign also said it takes significant measure to ensure safety of all
rally attendees and, quote, “obviously discourages physical contact with
But there`s another new incident in which the Trump camp cannot deny direct
involvement. It involves Trump`s very own campaign manager, Corey
Lewandowski, in a claim that he assaulted a reporter at a press conference
Michelle Fields, former FOX News contributor and reporter at the
conservative website Breitbart, said she was asking Trump a question when
she was jolted back ward, grabbed by the arm and almost thrown to the
ground. “Washington Post” reporter Ben Terris says he witnessed the
incident and identified Lewandowski as the perpetrator.
Fields allegations provoked something of an existential crisis for her
employer Breitbart, which has been one of the Trump`s most stalwart
defenders in the conservative media, in which initially issued a rather
tepid state suggesting Lewandowski may not have been the perpetrator.
Breitbart eventually took the stronger stance behind Fields, though its
initial statement prompted reporter Andy Kaczynski of “BuzzFeed” to tweet,
quote, “It`s beyond pathetic Breitbart had to be shamed into standing up
for its reporter.”
Trump`s campaign meanwhile denied that Lewandowski has assaulted Fields,
releasing a statement reading in part, quote, “The accusation is entirely
And Lewandowski, of course, went on the attack. Taking to Twitter to deem
Fields a, quote, “attention seeker,” suggest she`s a liar. This despite an
audio recording obtained by “Politico” that while not definitive certainly
supports the reporter`s version of events. Fields tweeted a photo of her
bruised arm, writing sarcastically to Lewandowski and Trump, quote, “I
guess these just magically appeared on me. So weird.”
“Daily Beast” citing unanimous sources reported that Lewandowski had
acknowledged manhandling Fields to a Breitbart editor, reportedly
explaining that he didn`t recognize Fields as a Breitbart reporter, instead
mistaken her for an adversarial member of the mainstream media.
Late tonight, a source close to the Trump campaign told NBC`s Katy Tur,
quote, “Corey has always had an extremely aggressive and contentious
relationship with the media. We have known his irrational anger would not
be a liability, but we`ve crossed our fingers that something over the top
like this would not happen.”
Earlier today, Breitbart editor at large Ben Shapiro called on Trump to
fire Lewandowski, although there are no signals that the one-time reality
star plans to deploy his famous catch phrase.
All this comes as conservatives and Republicans consider the possibility of
a contested nominating convention in a potential effort to deny Trump the
GOP nomination in Cleveland, even if he has a lead in delegates, though
fall short of the threshold.
Now, they find themselves having to factor in the possibility of mob
violence from Trump supporters if they try just that. One Trump advisor
told “New York Times” reporter Trip Gabriel that if Trump comes to
Cleveland with a lead and the establishment tries to deny him, his
delegates will burn the place down.
Conservative commentator Erick Erickson warned of an outbreak of physical
violence under such a scenario, writing the establishment would watch Trump
supporters pour gasoline across the convention floor and strike a match.
Joining me is David Graham, staffer writer for “The Atlantic”, who is at
that rally in North Carolina where Rakeem Jones was attacked and who wrote
a piece today on, quote, “The lurking menace of a Trump rally.”
David, tell me what it felt like in that room while all of this was going
DAVID GRAHAM, THE ATLANTIC: It felt very strange and a little bit
uncomfortable. There`s this whole sort of tension in the room and a lot of
people who are very angry about a lot of things. Then, in the course of
this, you have, there were 18, 20 instances of protesters being taken out.
So, in fact, I didn`t see the punch being thrown where I was sitting.
Every few minutes, someone would get up with a sign or shirt and stand.
Police would swarm toward them. Sheriff deputies and police would swarm
and remove them, pulled them out.
While this is going on, Trump is making fun of them. He had a punch line
for most of them and everybody is jeering and yelling at those folks.
HAYES: Have you been to a political rally like that?
GRAHAM: No. I`ve never been to a Trump rally like this even. It felt a
little bit different.
HAYES: The Trump campaign makes the argument basically, we cannot control
our supporters. This man has nothing to do with us. Thousands of people
come to Trump rallies and the vast majority of them are totally peaceable.
Do you buy that?
GRAHAM: I mean, I think it`s true that most of them are peaceable.
I`m sure I go with the idea they`re not in control. He said last night, in
the old days, this wouldn`t have happened. You know, people would have
handled them very roughly, but, you know, we have gotten weak – which
sounds like an invitation to do something that isn`t weak and to haul off
and take a swing at someone.
HAYES: It`s been amazing to watch. There`s this back and forth about the
spectrum mob violence in Cleveland and a debate about it.
Erick Erickson, as I quoted, wrote that piece basically saying, look, this
is something you factor in when you think about a contested convention.
Noah Rothman, who`s a conservative writer in a commentary basically saying,
have we really sunk this low? Have we gotten to the point where we have to
factor in the possibility of violence?
What – do you feel like there`s an air of menace that is growing? That is
not some sort of side show but in some ways central to what`s happening
GRAHAM: Yes. I think very much that`s the case at this Trump rally. Even
outside the rally, when we got out there, there were a bunch of protesters
who have gathered and you had you had all of the protesters in one place,
and the attendees circling around them. Some of them, you know, curious.
But many of them wanting to yell at the attendees and it felt like there
was a riot about to break out. There`s a fist fights that I saw.
So, there`s a very tense atmosphere and I think people – it`s people are
transmitting their anger about the political system into physical violence
and anger at specific individuals.
HAYES: That`s a bridge that is a very dangerous bridge to cross.
HAYES: All right. David Graham from “The Atlantic”, thank you so much. I
really enjoy it.
GRAHAM: Thank you.
HAYES: Joining me now, Charlie Pierce, writer at large for “Esquire
Charlie, I want to talk about the endorsement that Trump appears to be
about to get from Ben Carson.
First, I want to ask you about this phenomenon. I mean, I was talking to
someone, two gentlemen that are veteran political organizers who talked
about the last campaign that felt like this was `68. They said, you know,
in `68, there was so much action in the streets and there`s so much mayhem
happening across America in variety of different ways. The campaign was
sot of interplaying with that. Here, it all feels like the mayhem is in
the campaign itself.
CHARLIE PIERCE, ESQUIRE MAGAZINE: Yes, the `68 analogy doesn`t hold
because it really wasn`t coming from the podium. It was coming from
Richard Daley who controlled the police and the hall. That`s how Dan
Rather got roughed up.
If you want a historical analog, I would go back to 1964 when the Goldwater
people took over the campaign, which is certainly a direct ideological
predecessor to what we`re seeing now. David Brinkley told his son Allen
(ph), who`s now a great historian, not to wear any NBC gear.
You know, Norman Mailer in of his great phrases, said this was a convention
murderous mood. I think we can all say that`s not too far off from what
we`re seeing now.
HAYES: Today, there`s news that Ben Carson will be endorsing Donald Trump
tomorrow. And let`s just play a bit of what Trump had to say about Ben
Carson when the two of them were vying for first in Iowa last year. Take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: He said he`s pathological and he`s got basically pathological
disease. So, he said he has pathological disease. Now, if you`re
pathological, there`s no cure for that, folks. If you`re a child molester,
there`s no cure. They can`t stop you. Pathological there`s no cure. Now,
he said he was pathological, OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I guess on some level, I guess it`s not that surprising to find
that Carson is going to go now kiss the ring. But here`s something
dispiriting and depressing about the spectacle.
PIERCE: Yes, I think – I think we are obtaining the event horizon on
campaign grift right here. I mean, there`s no other there`s no other
reason for it. Ben Carson is taking what`s left of his reputation that he
built up with a truly inspiring life story and just tearing it up into
small pieces and throwing it up in front of an electric fan.
I mean, this is even more embarrassing than Chris Christie. I didn`t think
– I thought that was the bottom of the barrel. I`m beginning to think
that maybe there is no bottom to this barrel.
HAYES: And also suggests to me, when we talk about what`s happening right
now both this sort of undercurrent of menace, these actual instances of
actual violence, just the live bullying of the press and the lying about it
with no, you know, consequence. I mean, they are lying about it. I`m
going to say that on air. They`re lying.
They`ve been lying about a lot of things. That`s been obvious and clear to
anyone that`s reported anything out, that for all the never Trump folks
that there`s going to be a whole lot more Ben Carsons and Chris Christies
as we go forward.
PIERCE: Oh, there`s no question about that. They will fall in line. And
a lot of people who are making the most noise about #NeverTrump will fall
right in line especially if Hillary Clinton is the nominee. There`s no way
they can stop themselves. They`ve been working up an abandoned wrath
against her for 25 years now. They can`t turn it off.
HAYES: Do you think there`s any possibility, we`re going to have a debate
tonight, a Republican debate tonight, that we`ll see someone. Last time,
they pledged they would vote for the nominee no matter who it was. Do you
think anyone will try to make news by retracting that tonight?
PIERCE: These guys? No, I don`t think so. I think Cruz will tap dance
around it. Your best chance with it I think might be Rubio, because he`s
not nothing to lose at this point.
HAYES: That`s right.
PIERCE: I mean, he could take out a cream pie and hit Trump in the face
with it and it wouldn`t cost him or gain him any votes at this point.
PIERCE: So, if you want a long shot, I would say he would do it. But I
don`t think any of them will.
HAYES: Unsolicited last minute advice, I think he should.
Charlie Pierce, thank you very much.
All right. Coming up, a preview of the last Republican debate before a
potential knock out round next Tuesday night.
Plus, the most telling moment from last night`s Democratic debate that had
you blinked, you probably missed it.
And later, President Obama has some thoughts about the idea that his
presidency is responsible for the rise of Donald Trump. Trust me, you`ll
want to hear it.
Those stories and more, ahead.
HAYES: Any day now, President Obama is expected to nominate his choice to
replace the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Justice Antonin
Scalia. Today on Capitol Hill, the chair of the Senate Judiciary
Committee, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley argued why the next president
should select the replacement, and he reaffirmed why he`s committed to the
completely historically unprecedented move of denying the president`s
nominee even a hearing.
One Republican in the room deviated from the party talking points,
delivering the sobering reality if this obstruction tactic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: We`re setting a precedent here
today, Republicans are, that in the last year, at least of a lame duck
eight-year term, I would say it`s going to be a four-year term, that you`re
not going to fill a vacancy of the Supreme Court based on what we`re doing
here today. That`s going to be the new rule.
I`m very much supportive of what you`re doing, Mr. Chairman. I don`t think
you`re doing anything wrong, but I just want the members on the side to
know, if we lose this election, my view of what the president to come will
be able to do is the same. If it`s Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders and
they send over a qualified nominee, I`m going to vote for them in this
committee and on the floor, because I think that`s what the Constitution
envisioned by advice and consent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Up next, what to expect as the four Republicans hoping to face
president face off in their 12th debate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A contested convention is
the great hope of the Republican establishment. It is how they are
drowning away their sorrows. If they say, we have a brokered convention
and all these crazy voters will go one way and then we`ll step in with our
money and we will anoint our white knight to ride in and save the day.
That`s not going to happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Ted Cruz speaking out against the idea of a contested convention
just a few weeks ago. But last night, on the eve of the final Republican
debate before yet another Super Tuesday primary bonanza, Cruz appeared to
sort of change his tune a bit. The Texas senator who was in second place
in the delegate count argued while he`s opposed to a brokered convention,
the antiquated notion of power brokers within the party selecting the
nominee behind closed doors, he said he might be amenable to a contested
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: A contested convention is different thing where you go – if no one
gets 1,237 and you`ve got two front runners, look, Reagan and Ford battled
it out in a contested convention. That`s what conventions are for. If
you`re fighting between the candidates who have earned the votes of the
people and it`s the delegates at the convention who have been elected to do
that, that`s the way the system works.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Meanwhile, Cruz`s cluster of super PACs are pursuing a seven-figure
ad buy in Tuesday`s primary states, Missouri, Ohio, Illinois and North
Carolina. Notably absent from that list, Florida, home of Marco Rubio,
because according to the super PAC`s president, Kellyanne Conway, it
appears Rubio can lose Florida all by himself. Ouch.
And it seems like the Cruz camp isn`t taking anything for granted. Earlier
this week, “The National Review” posted a story Cruz was set to unveil
endorsements from four or more of his Senate colleagues. A really big get
for team Cruz, and quite surprising, considering Cruz`s reputation in the
As “New York Times” put it back in December, Mr. Cruz is so unpopular that,
at one point, not a single Republican senator would support his demand for
a roll call vote, leaving Mr. Cruz standing on the Senate floor with a man
with bird flu, everyone scattering to avoid him.
Needless to say, “The National Review” corrected its reporting on Ted
Cruz`s impending multiple endorsements with this update, “An earlier
version said the Cruz campaign was set to unveil four more endorsements
from Cruz`s fellow senators. The number of senators will endorse Cruz is
Today, we got a little more clarity. Senator Mike Lee, that`s one senator,
of Utah, (INAUDIBLE) Cruz as lazy, came out to endorse Mr. Cruz and said he
could encourage Marco Rubio to drop out.
Joining me now, Sarah Isgur Flores, the former deputy campaign manager for
Carly Fiorina. Early this week, Ms. Fiorina also endorsed Ted Cruz.
Sarah, my understanding is you yourself are also supporting Ted Cruz now.
SARAH ISGUR FLORES, FORMER FIORINA DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I am.
HAYES: So, here`s the challenge. It seems to me that the best chance to
stop Donald Trump is for people to rally around Ted Cruz. That`s one line
The other line of thinking is everyone stay in and win the states you can.
Rubio wins Florida, maybe Kasich wins Ohio, everybody kind of take their
different pieces of the pie. Which of those do you adhere to?
FLORES: I think should everyone should unite behind Ted Cruz. Not just
because he`s the best chance for beating Donald Trump, although I think he
is, and the only chance of beating Donald Trump, but because he`s the
conservative in the race who has shown he can run a great campaign. He`s
had his character tested. He`s proven to be a great candidate out there.
And so, I do think it`s time we pick Ted Cruz as the guy we`re going with.
It`s what Carly said earlier this week. I agree with her.
HAYES: Do you think tonight – now, tonight`s the debate. We saw team up
of by all the contestants, certainly Rubio and Cruz on Donald Trump. Do
you think we`re going to continue to see that tonight?
FLORES: Well, I think that you`ll continue to see Donald Trump`s record,
you know, brought out to light. He doesn`t have much of a record, when he
does, it`s contradictory. He doesn`t know his health care plan and then he
does and takes it back. Same with the immigration issue with visas.
So, I expect we`ll see more of that sort of, you know, dumpster fire-esque
debate performance from Donald Trump. But I think Ted Cruz will show he`s
the conservative in this race who, you know, the people of Texas trusted
him. He did what they asked. They overwhelmingly voted for him for
president. And I think you`ll see why tonight.
HAYES: Do you think – there are Rubio people who are mad that Cruz is
even contesting Florida. They are basically saying that in contesting
Florida, what they are doing is essentially acting as a de facto adjunct to
Donald Trump because Rubio is the best chance to beat him in Florida.
There`s already a lot of early votes bank. And Ted Cruz sinking money into
Florida and putting in campaign staff and fighting for Florida is
essentially paving the way to Trump`s nomination.
What do you think of that?
FLORES: I think the Rubio campaign has enough to worry about in their own
strategy and tactic. They probably shouldn`t start messing with other
candidates and giving them advice. So far, theirs hasn`t been working too
HAYES: Do you think that Ted Cruz can plausibly win a general election?
FLORES: I do. I think that Hillary Clinton is a formidable and flawed
candidate. I think when her record is brought to the front, which Ted Cruz
is very capable of doing, contrasted with someone who does have high trust
numbers, high accountability that he`s brought and shown, keeping his word.
I think Hillary has got a real problem, both authenticity and
HAYES: I think formidable and flawed is correct. But I mean, Donald Trump
– Donald Trump – Ted Cruz is someone whose politics are – I think he`s
right when he says he`s the true conservative, right? He`s the true
But those politics are just not shared by a majority of American voters. I
think that`s just a sort of as an empirical matter. And more than that, he
also seems like someone who every single person who is interacted with him
in his professional life has basically come away not liking the guy, which
doesn`t seem like the best personal quality when running for president.
FLORES: It was a lot in there. Let me try to unpack it.
So, on the first issue, I don`t think you`re giving voters enough credit.
Voters are smart and nuance. I think voters will see that Ted Cruz`s
policies are those that will lift people up and policy for a positive
future for the country.
I think Hillary Clinton`s policies we have tried for the last eight years
and not a lot of people are happy with them.
As far as Ted`s likability, I`ve known Ted for a decade now. Ted is a
wonderful person. I think that Americans will get to know him,
particularly in a general election and they`ll really start to see why so
many of us like him.
HAYES: Sarah, you just tipped your hand to the great weakness and flaw of
the center-right as it enters the general election. I mean this
empirically. The approval rating for the highest since 2013. He has
considerably high favorables. And I think that to the extent the
conservatives go into this election thinking that people don`t like the
last eight years, they`re going to have a hard time winning.
Sarah Isgur Flores, thank you for joining me tonight. Appreciate it.
FLORES: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, why Hillary Clinton is now creating some daylight
between herself and President Obama. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you`re asking about
everyone who`s already here, undocumented immigrants, the 11, 12 million
who are living here, my priorities are to deport violent criminals,
terrorists and anyone who threatens our safety.
I do not have the same policy as the current administration does.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You blink last night, you might have missed one of the most
revealing moments of the entire debate when Hillary Clinton distanced
herself from the current Obama administration, specifically the president`s
Over the past couple of months not only did it seem evident that Clinton
was running to preserve Obama`s legacy, she has wrapped herself very
tightly in the administration policies, in praising the Affordable Care
Act, reminding voters of her service as Secretary of State under Obama, to
defending a president for taking on Wall Street.
And the calculus here seemed to be both a political commitment to assuage
uneasy Democrats that things are going to be okay when Obama leaves office,
and to preserve her standing and cultivate her support with black voters,
particularly while campaigning throughout the South where they make up huge
shares of the Democratic elector.
But what we saw last night was not a calculation necessarily based on
regional interest, after all, Florida, North Carolina, two of the five
states where Democrats will vote on Tuesday are in the South, but rather
constituencies who aren`t as on board with certain parts of this
president`s agenda, including the
issues of deportations.
Joining me now, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation,
and Joy Reid, MSNBC National Correspondent.
I thought that was – if you blinked you missed it, right? But because of
this period of going through the South where the debate really has focused
I think, Hillary Clinton very effectively wielded the president as a wedge
issue against Bernie Sanders, very effectively. That one moment made me
realize we`re in a different phase of the campaign from the perspective of
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, THE NATION: Well, I think the Democratic party is
in a different phase. The center of gravity has shifted inside the party.
We`ve seen this in this campaign.
It was the first time, I believe, Hillary Clinton came out unequivocally
against deportation of children. We saw it in Michigan where she – a few
months ago she distanced herself from the president on trade and trade has
emerged as one of the central issues of this campaign.It will play out in
the next week in those industrial heart land states.
Chris, you`ve written about the system failures of elites. For too long the
Washington elite, the beltway consensus has been free trade, free trade.
But it`s ravaged communities, ravaged jobs, and you know, between Bernie
Sanders and the economic populace worn wing of the democratic party,
Hillary Clinton`s already moved on that and seen a lot of light between
herself and the president.
It`s fighting for the (inaudible) which I don`t think is going to pass.
JOY REID, MSNBC: Well, I think you`ve seen throughout the campaign and
been more subtle than it was last night that where Hillary Clinton does
differ from Barack Obama, where she stops hugging him, it`s been to move to
HAYES: That is true.
REID: She`ll fade to left on trade. Never to his right. And on immigration
she`s doing the same thing. She has previously said that she would be more
aggressive on DOCA AND DOPA, right?
HAYES: Those are president`s actions on protecting people from
REID: Children and parents, and elderly parents of people who were brought
here when they were young, and also children who were brought here
themselves when they were very young. So, she`s always sort of gone to his
left a little bit.
In Florida there`s an interesting sort of nuance, right? So what you have
seen in Florida is the various Hispanic groups, both Cuban Americans and of
course Puerto Ricans have started to align much more with Mexican Americans
who are mostly out West on policies, including on immigration.
They are all moving in the same direction and becoming more like other
HAYES: This is a really key point because we saw this formation of
identity that`s been happening. I think it happened, my favorite exit
polling data from 2012 is that Mitt Romney lost Asian Americans by 70
points. Why would that happen? What is the coherent, a Filipino nurse in
Connecticut and a fourth generation Chinese American cop in San Francisco.
But the fact of the matter is one of the things we`re seeing on the
American immigration debate is the white backlash politics of the
Republican party creates this sort of counter effect.
REID: One of my former producers who is Indian American, he said they are
quite conservative on social issues. They used to lean Republican, but when
they hear the Republican party talk about Mexican Americans they say, we`re
HAYES: We don`t want to be on that team.
VANDEN HUEVEL: Let me say something contrarily, because I do think there`s
an area where Bernie Sanders has more in common with President Obama in
sensibility, which is foreign policy.
Sanders and Obama, by instinct, are less interventionist. They worry about
the unintended consequences of regime change. They are more restrained.
They don`t want to police the world. They want to rebuild at home.
And you know, Hillary Clinton in 2008 said of President Obama, he was
irresponsible and reckless in saying he would talk to Iran and Cuba without
preconditions. And you know, she criticized the president when she left the
Secretary of State position –
HAYES: Don`t do stupid stuff.
VANDEN HUEVEL: Don`t do stupid stuff. Well, it may not be an organizing
principle but hell, do no harm isn`t a bad U.S. foreign policy principle.
HAYES: Here`s what`s interesting to Joy`s point. I totally agree with you.
I hadn`t thought of it in that way. Whenever she goes do his left on
Your reporting that we have about her behind closed doors on foreign policy
is that when she has separated from him it is tends to be more
interventionist, but, interestingly enough, that has not been something
she`s highlighted on the campaign
trial, because I think Katrina is right about where the poll says.
REID: It`s not just the finger of the party, remember one of the main
reasons Hillary Clinton did not become the nominee of the democratic party
was Iraq. But you can argue that as a woman running to be the commander in
chief she, by necessity had to be more Margaret Thatcher –
VANDEN HUEVEL: Someone who I admire on all issues is Tulsi Gabbard, who,
just a week or so ago came out and endorsed Sanders, but more importantly,
for a less interventionist against regime change.
REID: She`s not running for president.
VANDEN HUEVEL: Listen, last night was interesting when Benghazi was
mentioned, was brought up. The boos. The real scandal of Benghazi is not
purveys, it is that –
HAYES: Yes, but I thought that was a perfect moment that encapsulated to
me one of the limitations of the foreign policy debates so far, which is
that Bernie Sanders responded by saying, there`s an article in The New York
Times about it, then he was like then move on.
He didn`t make the case.
VANDEN HUEVEL: No but Chris, you`re not going to get any argument from me.
I think Bernie Sanders has not used the opportunity to lay out an
alternative foreign policy, which I think a lot of Democrats, people,
citizens seek. He didn`t do it last night.
But I also hold the moderators of these debates accountability. We have
gotten foreign policy (inaudible). Whether the Republican debates or the
REID: I think it`s also true that Bernie Sanders has not articulated
foreign policy as a thing that`s important to him. It comes across clearly
he has one thing that`s important to him and that`s raining in Wall Street
and income inequality, but it comes across this is not an emphasis for him.
VANDEN HUEVEL: Alright, but the Pentagon, the NSA and the CIA would
disagree to a certain extent. They believe climate change, climate crisis
is one of the great security challenges of this century and the future.
HAYES: That is true. When you talk about the questions, one of my favorite
questions in all the debates was Chuck Todd`s question about Afghanistan,
which ws just a very simple, what are you going to do, right?
Now, part of the problem is that the answer to any question about foreign
policy right now as laid out in the really interesting Atlantic piece,
cover story interview with Barack Obama, is that it`s very hard to
articulate any of them in a
context of a 30-second answer.
Katrina Vanden Huevel and Joy Reid, thanks so much for joining us.
Coming up, in case for some reason Marco Rubio is out of race next week, we
wanted to make sure we paid him do homage and reviewed his book for our
very prestigious and inclusive All In candidate book series.
Marco Rubio`s, American Dreams, is next.
HAYES: Every single poll out of Florida this month had Marco Rubio losing
his home state to Donald Trump, which means it`s time for another
installment of our candidate book report series before it`s too late.
American Dreams, Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone, hit book
shelves over a year ago. We never got around to reading of course.
Fortunately Jeb Lund, columnist for The Guardian and Rolling Stone did.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB LUND: “I believe that the most creative and innovative nation on Earth
is uniquely qualified to lift the poor by putting Americans on a path to
prosperity and self-sufficiency.”
I hate this thing and I never want to do it again.
“Imagine the opportunities that will open up for the American people when
economic growth creates jobs, lifts wages, and restores hope.”
Rubio`s book is filled with these little tautologies, imagine the growth
will have a job and the jobs will have a growth. Imagine the opportunity
that will open up once everyone has opportunity. Friends, it`s just that
This is the ideal Marco Rubio book. You can`t find a big idea in here you
can`t also find in the chairman of commerce pamphlet or an arm`s
contractors wish list.
He just adds the words creative and innovate to them.
In fact, his big anti-poverty idea is that the biggest determining factor
in poverty rates is single parent households.
Who knew two income households help prevent poverty?
He also uses the same study that Rick Santorum`s book did correlating
single poverty rates and single parent rates and comparing Atlanta to Salt
Lake City. Why the difference between the two cities? Could there be be
deep institutional structures that might have led to a underclass in one of
them? Nope, it`s the marriage thing.
Don`t read the book. Within a few days, there probably won`t be reason to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And this Monday, on the eve of the Florida primary, we`ll be in
Marco Rubio`s hometown, broadcasting live from the Bayside Marketplace in
Miami at 8 pm Eastern. You do not want to miss it. If you`re nearby in
Miami, come by and say hello.
Alright, still ahead, as Democrats and Republicans try to figure out who
exactly is to blame for Donald Trump`s popularity, President Obama responds
suggestion that his presidency had something to do with it.
His remarks, ahead.
HAYES: While we were all focused on the presidential race and the next big
primary on Tuesday, there are some other issues on the ballot that day too,
including a race in Illinois. The outcome of which may result in a district
attorney paying a price for the way she handled an explosive story of a
Cook County district attorney Anita Alvarez became infamous last year
during the case of 17 year old Laquan McDonald, who you may recall was shot
16 times by Chicago police back in October of 2014.
Alvarez waited 400 days to charge the officer accused of shooting McDonald,
Jason Van Dyke, and announced she was doing so just hours before the video
seeing now was publicly released thanks to a court order. And she has yet
to bring charges against the other officers whose reports of the incident
did not reflect what the video showed.
Alvarez has been doggedly and repeatedly con fronted by protesters. Now she
has an unlikely competitor for her job.
Kim Fox, a woman who spent her childhood in public housing, a sexually
assault survivor who was homeless for a short time in high school, but
later earned her undergrad and law degrees and got a job in the state
attorney`s office working under Alvarez herself.
Now Fow is running for that position on an explicitly progressive platform
to transform the way criminal justice works in Cook County and Chicago.
This basically never happens in American politics. A would be prosecutor
challenging another prosecutor from the left, running to end what Fox calls
the tough on crime boogeyman approach.
The coverage of Black Lives Matter over the last few years, the movement
has focused a lot on police and a lot less on district attorneys. But it`s
district attorneys who play the single most central role in both police
accountability and mass incarceration.
And if things are going to change in this country they`re going to need to
change at that level. And that`s the kind of change that will be on the
ballot for the voters of Cook County on Tuesday.
I`m curious to see what happens.
HAYES: With Donald Trump inching ever closer to securing the presidential
nomination for the Republican party, there`s a lot of finger pointing going
on about who is responsible for his unpredictable rise.
Liberals like to accuse the fevered right wing pathologies of the Obama
many conservatives blame President Obama himself for the political
polarization of the last seven and a half years, and for paving the way for
Today, the president answered that charge at length during during a joint
press conference with a visiting Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have been blamed by
Republicans for a lot of things, but being blamed for their primaries and
who they are selecting for their party is novel.
Objectively, it`s fair to say that the Republican political elites and many
of the information and social media, talk radio, television stations have
been feeding the Republican base for the last seven years, a notion that
everything I do is to be opposed.That cooperation or compromise somehow is
a betrayal. That maximalist positions on issues are politically
I don`t think I was the one to prompt questions about my birth certificate.
I don`t remember saying, hey, why don`t you ask me about that. And, so,
what you`re seeing within the Republican party is to some degree all those
efforts over a course of time creating an environment where somebody like a
Donald Trump can thrive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, that`s the president`s account of what`s happened. But there
are liberals who contend that liberalism, itself, at least in its modern
incarnation, contributed to the rise of Trump, and one of those liberals
joins me, next.
HAYES: Joining me now is Thomas Frank, the author of “Listen Liberal or
Whatever Happened to the Party of the People.”
Tom, it`s great have you here.
THOMAS FRANK, WRITER: It`s my pleasure.
HAYES: Congrats on the book. I`ve been reading it. You sent me an early
copy. I think it`s extremely provocative, it`s fantastically written, as
all Tom Frank products are.
FRANK: Very kind of you, sir.
HAYES: So, what`s – let`s talk about Trump, particularly, in this
context. You wrote this piece for The Guardian basically saying you
liberals, you get some of the blame for this. Why?
FRANK: Because it goes back to inequality and to the sort of larger
question of the relationship of the the Democratic Party with the working
class, specifically the white working class – this is a question that goes
back to the 1970s. But it`s a story that I trace in the book. There`s a
long back story to this – basically what I end up with is at some point
the Democrats, the kind of elite Washington Democrats that Katrina was
referring to a few minutes ago, decided they didn`t want to be the party of
working people any more. That that`s not – that really wasn`t who they
were. That`s not what they were about anymore. This took a long time, the
70s, the 80s and sort of comes to – it flowers with Bill Clinton.
And who they were, instead, was they were a party of the professional
class, OK. So, they`re a part of the sort of most accomplished elements of
the various professional groups in America. That`s who they are. A party
of the top 10 percent, specficially of the new economy`s winners.
And that was pretty funny. I like the Marco Rubio book review, by the way.
But a lot of language that Rubio that he was quoting Rubio saying in the
book, you find the exact same kind of thing in Democratic books about the
creative class and innovation and all this kind of thing.
HAYES: So, let me stop you there and give you a counter narrative, right.
So, you sort of talk about the abandonment of white working class and the
takeover of the Democratic Party as the sort of professional class, the
sort of upwardly mobile affluent – now, obviously, that`s not the
Democratic base of the party, because you can`t…
FRANK: That`s the problem. Therein lies the problem.
HAYES: But see, here – the other piece that people will think is, no,
what happened was the white working class decided they did not want to be
in the party of civil rights. That basically, this was a decision that
was made not from the top down about we`re to be part of the elite, but
really the cleavage point is that the Democratic Party became forthrightly
basically starting with LBJ and certainly in the era of Obama, the party of
FRANK: Maybe so. But we can actually – and in the book I specifically
pinpoint where the Democrats made this decision, and it wasn`t that, it was
Vietnam. Vietnam was the killer. This was the issue that broke the
There were – you think about the United Autoworkers – you know, big, big
supporters of the march on Washington in `63. Martin Luther King was
things in conjunction with – I mean, what was the march on `63 called,
Yeah, that`s right, but it had a big labor component to it. And the civil
rights movement always has.
But it was specifically Vietnam is where the main – here in New York, you
remember. We don`t remember, because we aren`t old enough.
HAYES: The famous moment.
FRANK: There was a riot in favor of the Vietnam War. All these hard hats
working construction jobs. And that was really what did it. It was after
`68 – it was `68 and `72 and the Democrats decided to read labor out of
their party, which is in some way was a disasterous move, you know because
they preceeded, they lost the election really, really, really badly.
But they did it in a kind of – for idealistic reasons. And the reasons
this had mainly to do with Vietnam.
HAYES: You now have a situation – and the book gets in this argument,
it`s a very complex argument in certain ways. But you have got a
situation, which my favorite description of the Trump voters was like in
chemistry, free floating electrons on the outer ring. That they`re not
actually down to any party, and then in comes the sort of physical force of
Trump kind of like draws them into his orbit.
FRANK: That`s good. I like that. But, you know, when I watch these Trump
rallies with these vast throngs of people. And you know they can`t all be
bad people. I mean, I think Trump is a demagogue and charleton and what
did I say in the story, a gold-plated buffoon. I mean, all that stuff,
right. But I don`t think you can say that about all of – we can dismiss
all of his followers that way.
And I`ll tell you when I watch those – when I watch the footage of these
giant crowds I think back to a very formative incident for me. I was in
Decatur, Illinois in 1994. This was a left wing moment, but I could – you
know, it was a labor rally and you could see throngs – well, anyhow. It`s
all in the book.
HAYES: Read the book.
FRANK: You`ll like it. It`s why the Democrats failed.
HAYES: Let me endorse the idea they`re not all horrible people, because I
have talked to a lot of Trump supporters and I think the guy is socking
people in the faces…
FRANK: Of course, that`s insane.
HAYES: All right, Thomas Frank, thank you for being here.
That is All In for this evening.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>