All In With Chris Hayes, Transcript 3/18/2016

Norm Ornstein, Sabrina Siddiqui, Tim Carney, Tad Devine, Douglas Brinkley, Charlie Pierce, Ruth Conniff

Date: March 18, 2016
Guest: Norm Ornstein, Sabrina Siddiqui, Tim Carney, Tad Devine, Douglas
Brinkley, Charlie Pierce, Ruth Conniff


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

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you want someone to grab
a beer with, I may not be that guy –

HAYES: The most hated man in Washington is starting to see some love.

CRUZ: I`m very much appreciated Governor Romney`s kind tweet today. We`re
seeing Republicans coming together.

HAYES: Plus, what would a contested convention look like?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve got a pretty good count. All of a sudden, we`ve
got another candidate for president, so you got to go back around the horn

HAYES: We`ll show you what happened last time.

Then, Jane Sanders –


HAYES: – meets Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

lady and she doesn`t take ambushes easy.

HAYES: And there`s something really fishy about this KKK grand dragon
claiming he`s backing the Democrats.

When ALL IN starts right now.


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

It has come to this – the Republican establishment is now embracing a man
that it possibly hates more than any other – certainly more than any other
member of the party – Ted Cruz, in an effort to prevent Donald Trump`s
hostile takeover of the GOP.

2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney who was campaigning in Ohio
with John Kasich just four days ago announcing this afternoon that in the
Utah nominating caucuses on Tuesday, he will vote for Cruz. Quote, “The
only path that remains to nominate a Republican rather than Mr. Trump is to
have an open convention. At this stage, the only way we can reach an open
convention is for Senator Cruz to be successful in as many of the remaining
nominating elections as possible.”

Romney added a vote for Governor Kasich in future contests makes it
extremely likely that Trumpism would prevail.

Campaigning in Utah this afternoon, Kasich played down Romney`s


is his view. You know, he is entitled to it.

Frankly, I don`t think anybody will have enough delegates to get to the
convention. You know, I`m the only one who can beat Hillary Clinton. I
mean, that`s what the polls show.

So, maybe they ought to knock it off and get behind me? I mean, this is –
it`s OK. It`s fine. We`ll just move beyond it and we`re going to keep
doing our thing.


HAYES: Trump took to Twitter to respond to Romney`s decision. He
professed to welcome the news, quote, “Failed presidential candidate Mitt
Romney, the man who choked and let us all down, is now endorsing a lying
Ted Cruz. This is good for me,” exclamation point.

As for Cruz, he trumpeted Romney`s move during a visit to the Arizona


CRUZ: As Mitt Romney observed today f you want to beat Donald Trump, Cruz
is the only campaign that can do it. That`s why he is voting for me in
Utah and Governor Romney explicitly observed that a vote for John Kasich
only helps Donald Trump.


HAYES: Despite the fact that as these headlines make clear, most everyone
in Washington really just can`t stand Ted Cruz, the establishment is
holding its nose and coming around. Yesterday, Senator Lindsey Graham
vowed, quote, help Ted any way I can despite having once joked if you
killed Ted Cruz on the Senate floor and held the trial in the Senate, no
one would convict you.

“Politico” reports that Marco Rubio who just weeks ago referred to Cruz as
a liar is now close to endorsing his former rival.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Hopefully, there`s time to still, you know,
prevent a Trump nomination, which I think would fracture the party and be
damaging to the conservative movement.


HAYES: Trump currently has 685 delegates, leaving him 552 short of locking
up the nomination before the convention. Republicans have reason to
believe they can keep him below the magic number of 1,237, particularly if
they can unify behind a single Trump alternative.

That`s because Republican voters have not consolidated behind the front-
runner as the primaries unfolded the way they have in the past. This chart
shows the share of the GOP primary vote by state Romney for 2012. That`s
on top.

You see, it`s verse Trump in this cycle. You see the Romney line tilts up.
He gains steam more and more people supporting him as time goes on. The
Trump line is nearly flat. Even as Trump keeps winning, his percentage of
the vote is holding steady at an average around 35 percent.

And even in the states that just voted in Tuesday, huge numbers of
Republicans say if Trump and Hillary Clinton are the nominees, they`ll
seriously consider third party candidate – 45 percent in Ohio, 43 percent
in Illinois and Missouri.

You don`t just see this in the numbers it`s right there in the twisting and
turns you`ll see if Republicans are asked if they`ll vote for Trump.


REPORTER: You`re a Republican.


REPORTER: If Donald Trump is the nominee, the Republican nominee, are you
going to vote for him?

BUSH: Susan, I`m not going to answer. Don`t ask that.

TV ANCHOR: Can you support him?

KARL ROVE, BUSH ADVISOR: Well, look, I`ve never voted for a Democrat for
president. I don`t intend to start now, but like a lot of people, I`m
watching to see what`s going to happen by the time we get to this

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not saying I would vote for Hillary Clinton by
any chance, I`m saying I don`t know what I would do if Trump became the


HAYES: All right. Joining me now, American Enterprise Institute resident
scholar Norm Ornstein, co-author of “It`s Even Worse Than It Was”, about
the new politics of extremism in the Republican Party”.

So, Norm, this has been something you`ve been chronicling, you`ve been
shouting from the rooftops that the Republican Party is veering in a
direction that`s unsustainable in the history of American politics, your
reaction to watching today the party attempt to coalesce behind Ted Cruz to
stave off Donald Trump.

with bafflement and wonderment at a party that is careened completely off
the tracks with a self-inflicted wound, Chris. You`re absolutely right
about Ted Cruz. In more than 45 years of watching the Senate, I`ve seen a
lot of senators who drive their colleagues to distraction. Never anything
like Cruz.

And the idea that Cruz would end up as the candidate of the establishment,
which itself would fracture the party, shows how much they`re floundering
because they`ve created a situation and they can`t get out of it.

HAYES: There is an argument being proposed by many conservatives that this
phenomenon is essentially exogenous to the Republican Party, has been
thrust upon them and is a product of media coverage plus celebrity plus
this sort of unique phenomenon of Donald Trump and the brokenness of the
way that we follow politics.

What`s – do you think that`s true?

ORNSTEIN: You have forgotten, of course, it`s all the fall of Barack Obama
as well.

HAYES: That`s the other argument, yes.

ORNSTEIN: None of it is true. There are a lot of things that brought
about a Donald Trump. And certainly the way the immigration issue has been
a flash point for a lot of unease and concerns of working class white
voters out there, displaced in the economy and feeling as if they`re losing
their place in the society, that`s a part of it.

But I really do believe that the leadership of the Republican Party, the
strategy that it`s pursued over a 20-year period but especially since Obama
became president, trashing government itself, delegitimizing not just the
president but the entire process leads to the two candidates that we have
that are the dominant ones now. People who have stepped as far away from
politics as we have known it with the Republican Party, within the
Republican Party, and as its approach the Democrats over the last number of

And as Tom and I wrote in the first edition of the book and the new one
coming out as well, a party that`s contempt chews you of science, of facts
that relies more heavily now on these outside tribal media that promote
apocalyptic vision with the extra gold is getting in some ways what it

HAYES: Finally, you`ve watched this party operate. Can they pull it off?
Can they actually unite and block him from getting the nomination?

ORNSTEIN: I don`t see how they can make that happen without causing an
even deeper fissure or fracture in what`s going on. I don`t see any way
that Donald Trump ends up with fewer than 1,000 to 1,100 delegates, and
probably more than that.

To take the nomination away from somebody in that circumstance, never
happened before, is going to lead to, I think – as Trump said – riots but
also division in the party that is going to take a long time to heal.

I have to say, Chris, you could look at it with some schadenfreude, but
we`re going to suffer as a consequence.

HAYES: All right. Norm Ornstein, thanks for your time tonight.

Joining me now Sabrina Siddiqui, political reporter of “The Guardian”, Tim
Carney, senior political columnist of “The Washington Examiner”.

And, Sabrina, let me start with you. You spent a year covering Marco Rubio.
He bowed out this week officially. I think the consolidation around Cruz
is basically a final stage in this sort of grief process of the Republican
Party that not only Rubio is gone but Rubio-ism is dead.

that a lot of the party was waiting to see what would happen in Florida.
It was Marco Rubio`s last stand. And as you mentioned in your opening
there, you look at Lindsey Graham of all people who has now come around and
supported Ted Cruz. Well, he had earlier said that choosing between Donald
Trump and Ted Cruz is the difference being shot and poisoned.

So you really know what the contempt is toward Ted Cruz by his colleagues
in the Senate. He called Mitch McConnell, of course, a liar on the Senate
floor. He certainly has no real friends there other than maybe Mike Lee of

But at this point, they do believe he is the only way they could stop
Donald Trump from outright securing the number of delegates and I think
more importantly what they see in Ted Cruz is less of a damaged – less
damage being potentially done to the party`s brand both in November and in
the long term because Donald Trump, of course, at this point has offended
virtually every possible minority, he`s offended women, he`s offended
Muslims, and I think they`re looking how can they salvage the image of the
Republican Party.

HAYES: Tim, you and I had a discussion 2013 in the midst of the fight of
immigration reform bill that Rubio, of course, was one of the chief
architects of and it was notable that he had kind of joined with Democrats
to pass this bill, pass the Senate. You and I talked about the
consequences of this.

We talked particularly about this thesis that the best path forward for the
Republican Party or one path forward might be trying to get missing white
voters back into the party.


HAYES: And that this trajectory of Rubio and Rubio-ism that`s now
officially dead was not going to go anywhere and we speculate a little bit
about what we might see. Take a look at this clip.


CARNEY: Working class voters who are black and who are Hispanic, they have
a home in the Democratic Party just because naturally that`s the way the
parties line up. Working class voters who are white, they don`t have a
home in the Democratic Party if they`re not liberals and they look at
Romney and didn`t have a vote there.

So, the way to go after the working class voters, I think, is of free
market populism, saying Obamanomics like a lot of Bushnomics was enriching
the well-connected. Government is growing and government growth is
enriching the well-connected.

HAYES: So, this is interesting. This is a third path out of the
wilderness would be a class war populism. There`s a Ross Perot example
which translates.


HAYES: And the thing I think you and I agree on is breaking free of the
kind of donor class of the GOP to get there is going to be very difficult.


HAYES: OK. So there`s a lot there that I think is actually quite on the
money there. What stage are we at now in this – how does that compare to
your analysis back then?

CARNEY: I think that what happened is I saw that populism had the energy
in the Republican Party. We saw that as early as the Tea Party. Well, the
Tea Party was largely a populist phenomenon, a populist coming into the
Republican Party. I thought maybe that populism could be channeled into a
libertarianism of free market or conservatism.

Donald Trump has shown that the way to harness populism is through his
demagoguery, you know, immigration, protectionism, the racism, all of that
stuff. So, I think I was right that populism was going to be the next wave
of the Republican Party and maybe it was wishful thinking I thought that
populism could be harnessed into free market stuff.

I do think it was possible and now maybe that ship has sailed.

HAYES: Well, that`s the question for you. What do you make of this last
stand, right? I mean, here is Romney, Alex Burns noting that Romney
matters for a narrow and important reason, cracking 50 percent of the Utah
means a big blow to John Kasich. Do you approve of this sort of final
stand? Do you think it`s going to work?

CARNEY: Well, so going to work, nothing is going to work right now for the
Republican Party. I mean, this is being poisoned or being murdered. Do
you want to do something that`s going to look somewhere from a little bit
like a coup to a lot like a coup by keeping Trump off the ballot or do you
want to have Trump on the ballot? Neither of those are good.

And the fact is that a lot of working class voters who Trump has brought in
will not stick around the Republican Party for a Ted Cruz or for anybody

HAYES: Right.

CARNEY: And so, that`s part of the problem.

And then on the other hand, a lot of the conservatives, you know, like the
party of Cruz and Rubio are not going to stick around for a Trump. So, I
think it`s trying to beat Trump is worthy. I`m not engaged in the
balancing act between, is it worse to have Trump or is it worse to have a
coup of Trump?

HAYES: Sabrina, there`s a lot of talk to donors offering his support to
Cruz. Do you anticipate he will also come out and sort of be the next shoe
to drop in this kind of unified front to mix metaphors?

SIDDIQUI: Well, yesterday when he spoke to reporters on Capitol Hill, he
was reluctant to offer an endorsement. He said he was offering his opinion
that Ted Cruz is the only conservative left in the race, but certainly he
is signaling what he believes about the remainder of the field and I think
there`s a lot of pressure on him because there`s a lot of pressure to
coalesce around alternative to Donald Trump and I think that he might face
some criticism if he were reluctant to put his support behind Ted Cruz it
might come off as bitter.

But, of course, they also had a very nasty fight during the course of the

HAYES: Extremely.

SIDDIQUI: Marco Rubio called Ted Cruz a liar repeatedly. So, I think it
would be – again it goes back to the idea that this is where we are now
where they have no other choice but to hold their nose and support Ted

HAYES: And everyone has statements now that they can`t walk back that –
Romney`s statement on Facebook today about Donald Trump are the kind of
words that you can`t pull back in and say now I`m supporting them.

People have sort of broken that it will be hard to put back together.

Sabrina Siddiqui, Tim Carney, thank you both. That was fun.

CARNEY: Thank you.

SIDDIQUI: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Coming up, Tent City showdown. Bernie Sanders says notorious
Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio ambushed his wife.

Then, we`ll show you what happened the last time, Republicans faced an open

And later, there are signs that either Trump or Cruz atop the GOP ticket
could be very bad news for Republicans in Congress. Is that congressional
majority threatened?

That and more, ahead.


HAYES: One day after Ted Cruz released a list of his foreign policy
advisers which included luminaries like Islamophobe Frank Gaffney comes
word of a new adviser on Team Cruz, this time on economics.

Former Texas Senator Phil Gramm just joined the campaign, a man Ted Cruz
once called his role model, a man who`s also famous for spearheading
financial deregulation, for getting rid of the Glass-Stiegel that separated
commercial and investment banks, and crucially, for pushing through a
provision that ensured virtually no regulation of the complex financial
instruments known as derivatives including credit swaps – which is why in
2008, “Time” magazine named Phil Gramm as one of the 25 people to blame for
the financial crisis.

Now, he`s going to serve Ted Cruz as a senior adviser on economic issues.
What could possibly go wrong?



ARPAIO: I have had four presidential candidates visit me in the tents,
four. And they all lost. I tried to get Hillary down here but she`s too
smart. She won`t come to the tents. I would even give her a free pair of
pink underwear.


HAYES: Joe Arpaio, the notorious birther and scandal-plagued sheriff of
Arizona`s Maricopa County is known for many things, most recently the anti-
immigrant sheriff has made his way into the one Donald Trump most ardent
supporters. In that role, he`s gone after Hillary Clinton.

And more recently, Arpaio, who faced legal sanctions for the Justice
Department for discrimination crossed paths with Jane Sanders, wife of
Bernie Sanders. She went to visit Maricopa County so called Tent City, an
outdoor detention center.


ARPAIO: Jane, welcome to Tent City.


ARPAIO: When you talk about politics, let me say one thing before we go
any further.


ARPAIO: You have a right, I`m a big Trump guy. I endorsed him.

SANDERS: That`s fine.

ARPAIO: And I stick by him.

SANDERS: Uh-huh.

ARPAIO: And – but this is America. We all have a right –

SANDERS: Then I should tell you, I`m a big Sanders supporter. I endorsed
him and I`m sticking by him. So, we`ll agree to disagree on that and maybe
some other things.


HAYES: Now, if you`re looking for the best negative endorsement you could
find in Arizona days before the Democratic primary, Joe Arpaio is about as
good as it gets and Bernie Sanders didn`t hold back, speaking earlier today
about his wife`s visit to the jail.


talk to some of the families who are impacted, she was met by the sheriff
who kind of ambushed her. As I said before, it is easy for bullies like
Sheriff Arpaio to pick on people who have no power. If I`m elected
president, the president of the United States does have the power. Watch
out, Joe.



HAYES: Sanders has spend much of the week in the west campaigning in
Arizona, Utah and Idaho, all must-win states for him on Tuesday if he has a
chance of catching up to Hillary Clinton`s sizable delegate lead.

Joining me now, Tad Devine, senior advisor to Bernie Sanders presidential

And, Tad, you guys made the argument that basically the race is at half-
time, that the structure of the primary has been such that states that are
more advantageous to Hillary Clinton have come first. How well do you have
to do – expect to do on Tuesday?

very well not just on Tuesday but for the rest of the process, Chris. I
mean, we`ve got three important events on Tuesday. Bernie has been in all
three straits, gone from the Canadian to the Mexican border today
campaigning through the West.

You know, we`re going to try to win those states next Tuesday. I think
Hillary has some advantages in Arizona. Lot of early vote, lot of older
votes, groups she`s done well with. We`re closing hard. One of the things
we saw in all these states, and last Tuesday like in states that we came
close to winning, like Missouri and Illinois.

Bernie closes strong. Hillary`s leads, even when they`re 20 or 30 points,
I don`t think she has any lead that`s safe right now.

HAYES: Throughout this campaign, you guys focused on pledged delegates,
not super delegate. There`s two reasons, Hillary Clinton has hundreds more
super delegates that vowed to support her than you do, but more first
principle democratic belief that the votes and the voters, the Democratic
Party should subside as opposed to the party elders who represent the
superdelegates, which is why I thought this exchange between Bernie Sanders
and Rachel Maddow last night was interesting. Take a look.


SANDERS: Well, you know, I don`t want to speculate about the future and I
think there are other factors involved. I think it is probably the case
that the candidate who has the most pledged delegates is going to be the
candidate. But there are other factors.

And the other factors will be the strength of each of us in taking on the
Republican candidate. What I think is most important to all of the
delegates, including the super delegates, is that we have a candidate who
will win and not allow Donald Trump to end up in the White House.


HAYES: Now, that was – the question there was should the person with most
pledged delegates get the nomination. Senator Sanders refused to just say
yes. I mean, that was surprising to me.

DEVINE: Well, Chris, listen, I think – I agree with everything Bernie
just said. I mean, listen, it`s very important who wins the most votes,
who wins the most delegates. That`s a big part of the process. We are
going to work hard to win the most pledged delegates between now and the
time that voting ends in mid-June.

But I think Democratic Party as a whole is going to take a hard look at
both of our candidates when this process is over. I think they`re going to
say, who will be the strongest Democrat to represent us in November, who
can stop Trump or even Cruz? I think that will factor in.

So, we`re trying to win the most delegate – most pledged delegates. I
think we have a real shot to. I know the Clinton people say that`s not
reasonable or that we can`t do it. We believe we can. We`re going to have
to win a lot of states. We have to win a lot of delegates. If we do by
the time we finish, we think we can be there.

HAYES: OK. On Monday, AIPAC, the sort of self build pro-Israel lobby is
having their annual conference in Washington, D.C. There are five
candidates remaining in the race. Four will be speaking. One that won`t
be is Senator Sanders.

He released this statement today, “I would very much have enjoyed speaking
at the AIPAC conference. Obviously, issues impacting Israel and the Middle
East are the utmost importance to me, to our country and to the world.
Unfortunately, I`m going to be traveling throughout the West and the
campaign schedule prevents me from attending.”

There are people who will interpret any excuse of scheduling in a campaign
to basically be B.S. Why shouldn`t they in this case?

DEVINE: Well, because, you know, listen when I said we have a lot of
delegates to make up and we have to win states and delegates to do it, I
meant it. You know, a day to fly back to the East Coast, a day to fly back
to West Coast, we would miss a day or two and a half of campaigning.

We have big events, you know, not just next Tuesday in the three states
that are up. Washington state the following, that`s a very important
contest for us. Bernie is going to go and travel there. There`s an event
in Wyoming after Wisconsin.

HAYES: Let me stop you there. I want to press you on this, because
there`s two camps of people. There are camps of people who aligned with
the politics of AIPAC, particularly on Israel, extremely supportive of the
Israeli government, Israeli claims and handling of the occupied

There are other liberals who support Bernie Sanders who are very critical
of that, each of whom are interpreting this as essentially a rebuke of
AIPAC`s politics. Are you telling them not to interpret it that way?

DEVINE: Yes, I am. Listen, if AIPAC wants to hold this meeting in Salt
Lake City, I promise we`ll show up for it, OK? You know, it`s a logistical
issue. Bernie is actually going to send his remarks that he would have
given at AIPAC to them. And hopefully, they`ll distribute to people.

So, no, this isn`t a signal of anything other than the fact that we`re very
serious about winning states next week and the weeks thereafter to try to
win the nomination.

HAYES: All right. Tad Devine, great things. Appreciate it.

DEVINE: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: And coming up this Monday, the day before the states vote, I will
get a chance to talk with the candidate himself. Senator Bernie Sanders
will join me on the eve of his next big election challenge. That`s right
here 8:00 p.m. Eastern Monday. You do not want to miss it.

All right. Coming up, the 1976 Republican convention hadn`t been talked
about much, this much, since 1976. Why that is, ahead.


HAYES: What appears to be the final key suspect in the Paris terror
attacks on November 13th has been captured alive and it`s stunning to
consider four months today ago, we were in Paris. I was in the St. Denis
neighborhood of Paris the very day of a massive raid in which some of the
suspected ISIS perpetrators were killed.

One night later, a massive manhunt was underway in Brussels for 26-year-old
Salah Abdeslam (ph), a Belgian-born French citizen who lives in the
Brussels suburb of Molambique (ph). The man who authorities believe had
driven a car carrying one team of assailants the night of the attacks and
who had somehow managed to slip back across the border into Belgium.

One would have thought that four months later a suspect as high profile as
this one would be nowhere near Molambique (ph).

But today in Brussels police apprehended Abdeslam, the most wanted terror
suspect in Europe, the tenth person suspected of direct involvement in
those November 13th Paris attacks and the only one still alive.

He was shot in the leg during his encounter with police according to
authorities and in this video from Belgian television VTN, the suspect is
dragged to a police vehicle.

All told, three people were arrested during today`s raid. A fourth person
was killed. The other suspects presumed to have been aiding Abdeslam in
evading police.

Today`s arrests were the product of a joint operation by Belgium and France
in the ongoing month`s long search for the suspect that included dozens of
raids and nearly weekly leads.

In today`s raid, four police officers were wounded, but not seriously.

The lingering question, why did Abdeslam go back to his home neighborhood?
Answered perhaps by the obvious, probably the only place he had a network
of support.


HAYES: Over the past several presidential campaign cycles there`s been a
growing frustration from the press core about party conventions. They no
longer make any news. The conventions are essentially a four-day
infomercial for the party, because in recent history, the party`s
presidential nominee has been decided long before the convention actually
starts. So what we end up seeing is just stage craft and scripted

Well, this summer in Cleveland we may get the news-making convention we`ve
all been longing for. If no Republican candidate gets the 1,237 delegates
needed for the nomination, we may see an all-out battle on the convention
floor for the first time in decades.

The last time there was a battle for pledged delegates like that was in
1976; neither President Gerald Ford, the establishment favorite, and the
incumbent president nor fomer California Governor Ronald Reagan, whose
insurgent campaign made him he choie of party conservatives had a majority
of delegates headed into
the Republican convention in Kansas City.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four days from now the Republican delegates will gather
in this hall, but as of today, none of the counts of delegates made by news
organizations give President Ford enough delegates for a first ballot

He is close in all the counts, ahead of Reagan in all the counts, but he
hasn`t yet locked it up with.


HAYES: In days leading up to the vote, there was an all-out battle being
waged for delegates.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vermont, 18 for Ford; Virginia 13 for Ford.

UNIDENITIFIED MALE: James Baker, the president`s delegate hunter said his
new delegate total shows the president has five more votes than are needed
for a first ballot nomination.

UNIDENITIFIED MALE: West Virginia 20 for Ford, 8 for Reagan.


HAYES: Gerald Ford had the power of the presidency behind him at that
point. As the New York Times points out, with the help of James Baker was
able to entice uncommitted delegates with dinners and invitations to watch
fireworks and other perks.

Meanwhile, in a play for the more conservative wing of the party, Ronald
Reagan tried to get Ford to say who he would name as his running mate, an
effort that failed.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Reagan people lost the fight to force Ford to name
his running mate by a wider margin than had been expected. This is where
Reagan had hoped to pick up strength, not lose it.

The debate ran nearly two hours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There has been too much secrecy. Why shouldn`t the
delegates of this convention or any convention know beforehand who the vice
presidential candidate will be before they decide on the top of the ticket.

DORANN GUNDERSON, 1976 DELEGATE: The arguments for this last minute
amendment smack of desperation and certainly political opportunitism.


HAYES; At the enter is of all this wheeling and dealing was the
Mississippi delegation, which was pursued heavy by both candidates.


UNIDENITIFIED MALE: The pressure from Ford operatives to get the
Mississippi delegation to commit itself today upset Mississippi chairman
Clarke Reed who is a Ford supporter, but wanted to hold off a vote until

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But why? What`s the value of it? I mean, what kind
of pressure is on you?



HAYES: At one point, Mississippi`s delegates supporting Reagan took over a
CBS news trailer and were unwittingly being observed by the teenage
children of CBS News journalists.


UNIDENITIFIED MALE: So for the last ten or 15 minutes they`ve been in
there talking. Now, we have a couple of operatives inside. Bill Muir`s
(ph) son, they don`t know that, and Roger Mudd`s (ph) son.

Matthew Mudd, Young Muir (ph), what happened in there?

UNIDENITIFIED MALE: They were decided whether or not to break unit rules.

UNIDENITIFIED MALE: And what did they finally decide?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they tried to take a vote of the people that were
in there, but not everyone was in there. So they couldn`t decide – I
think there was 22 or 23, some of them I think are still on the floor.

UNIDENITIIED MALE: There`s 21 people in there and they said they couldn`t
vote unless they had the entire delegation.


HAYES; I`m of course training Ryan and David for Cleveland.

In the in the end, the Mississippi delegates went to Ford and he became the
party`s nominee.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 20 votes for Gerald R. Ford.

UNIDENTIFID MALE: That did it. Gerald Ford was over the top and he saw it
all in his hotel suite with some of the people who worked with him since
Hampshire. He said it had been a long, hard struggle.

Then, he took the trip he has long promised uncommitted delegates he would
make, over to Ronald Reagan`s hotel to get Reagan`s advice on choosing a
running mate. The advice was not very important to the president, but this
picture was. The president hopes it will convince Reagan supporters to
work for him.


HAYES: Joining me now is presidential historian Douglas Brinkley. He`s
author of “Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of
American,” which is out now. And Charlie Pierce, writer at large for
Esquire magazine.

Welcome to both of you.

Doug, let me start with you.I mean, it`s remarkable – there`s so many
things happening here that echo today, one of them is essentially the
establishment versus the nonestablishment forces.

In this case, in the person of the sitting president of the United States
fighting by his – by every hook and crook to get nomination of his own

Great footage, by the way.

Look, I later interviewed Gerald Ford about it in his home in Rancho
Mirage, and he was livid. This is decades later at Ronald Reagan because
he was the sitting president and as you recall, Ford would become best
friends with Jimmy Carter who beat him.

Ford didn`t mind losing to Carter in the sense that Democrats versus
Republican. But Republican on Republican, the fact that Reagan sabotaged
him when he was the sitting president, he never forgave Reagan.

Reagan later tried to patch up by bringing him an Indian peace pipe and
said giving you a peace pipe. Let`s not have bad – animosity. But they
never could heal that rip, because Ford felt bruised by what Reagan did.

HAYES: Charlie, there`s a few lessons here for Cleveland. And here is the
most important – the winner of the nomination is not necessarily the
winner of the party`s future, which I think is an important thing to
remember as we watch this fight play out.

The person who gets the nomination doesn`t necessarily emerge the victor in
terms of trajectory of the Republican Party because clearly the Republican
Party was Reagan`s party after this. It wasn`t Ford`s.

CHARLIE PIERCE, ESQUIRE: Yeah. The coalition, for lack of a better word,
that solidified and won the presidency for Ronald Reagan in 1980 you can
see forming at this convention.

Jessie Helms was a very prominent power broker at this convention. The
attack on fwas from the right on foreign policy, on detente with the Soviet
Union, on the Helsinki Accords and even for the fall of Saigon, which
happened technically on his watch. And Helms got a lot of foreign –
really hard line foreign policy
into the platform.

It was the first Republican platform that advocating a human life
amendment, which showed the way that party was swinging on social issues.
And Reagan`s strength was all in the south and the west and that`s where
the Republican Party moved.

HAYES: There`s also the degree to which there`s – Clinton had this line
about how Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line and there`s this
Will Rogers I belong to an unorganized party, the Democrat. But actually
those roles have flipped in the modern time.

I mean, the Democratic Party is a more orderly party in many ways than the
Republican Party, but you see here – and if you go back to `64, and
Goldwater. This kind of sense of permanent revolution and insurgency is
actually central to the image of modern conservatism. This isn`t new what
we`re seeing now in certain ways.

BRINKLEY: absolutely.

And incidentally, the last president to actually win a broken convention.
I mean, he got the brokered convention and won was FDR in `32, he beat Al
Smith out offering John Nance Gardener the speaker of the house of Texas,
the VP thing.

So Gardener thought – did a devil`s deal with FDR thinking we could go
over Al Smith and they did and Gardener dutifully sat two terms with FDR
and he thought, well, then I`m set up for 1940 and FDR ran an unprecedented
third term.

And I think Democratic Party discipline has been there since FDR. The
Republicans go willy nilly. I mean, you`re looking at the fact that
conservatism movement constantly having an insurgence against their
establishment that only maybe `72 with Jimmy Carter, maybe a little – I
mean, `76 with Carter, maybe a little bit with McGovern in `72 while you
had an insurgency.

HAYES: And Charlie, speaking of `64, which is of course the convention
that nominated Barry Goldwater, I mean, that`s also to me the best sort of
historical marker for what we might see in Cleveland insofar as you have a
takeover essentially of the party by a certain wing of it and the other
wing rejects it.

Here is Nelson Rockefeller on the floor in `64 basically ripping the face
off the guy who is going to be the nominee. Take a listen.


GOV. NELSON ROCKEFELLER, (R) NEW YORK: There is no place in this
Republican Party for those who would infiltrate its ranks, distort its aims
and convert it into a cloak of apparent respectability for a dangerous


HAYES: You can hear him being booed and he doesn`t name Goldwater, but
everyone understood, Charlie, what he was talking about.

PIERCE: Well, it was a wild convention.

I have talked to people who – I mean, if Donald Trump does, as he`s
flirted with his whole campaign, turns his crowd on the media, this is the
precedent because I understand, and certainly Doug would know this better
than I, that David Brinkley told his son not to wear NBC credentials
because the anti-press feeling in `64 was so wild and so ginned up by the
Goldwater people.

And so, yeah, this is a more closely run precedent, I think, than even `76

BRINKLEY: What also happened in `64 with CBS is Barry Goldwater flew to
Germany to show that he had foreign policy chops and Walter Cronkite went
on CBS and said he went to a place where the Nazis used to be, connecting
Goldwater to the Nazis. And it`s one of the few times CBS had to do a
massive apology to Goldwater in `64.

But that`s how much the press was scared of Barry Goldwater, the liberal
CBS, NBC and all. They were frightened about the idea of Goldwater, hence
that famous commercial of the Lyndon Johnson`s work of the mushroom cloud

HAYES: And the Goldwater precedent I think is also useful to think of here
in terms of what it meant for the party going forward, which is that
Goldwaterism did define the next 50 years of the Republican Party
absolutely and the huge historic defeat he had at the ballot box in
November which is also a possibility who the heck knows if Trump is

Douglas Brinkley, Charlie Pierce, thank you, gentlemen.


HAYES: How Donald Trump could do what everyone thought was impossible, put
the House of Representatives in play for Democrats. Is that possible?
We`ll get to it ahead.


HAYES: We have spent a fair amount of time documenting the record of white
supremacists, neo-Nazis and other on the far right bigoted fringes who have
expressed their support for Donald Trump.

Well, now it appears that some white supremacists may have gotten hip to
the damage that their open support does to Trump`s campaign.

Enter Will Kwig (ph), very crafty Ku Klux Klan grand dragon of California
who can be seen here after a violent clash between the KKK and Black Lives
Matter activists.

Early this year – this week, Kwig (ph) went on the record supporting
Hillary Clinton for president, telling Britain`s Telegraph newspaper,
quote, “she is telling everybody one thing, but she has a hidden agenda.
Once she is in the presidency, she is going to come out and her true colors
are going to show.”

Headlines screaming grand dragon endorses Hillary Clinton immediately
followed, which of course may have been the point.

Grand Dragon Kwig`s (ph) endorsement of Clinton comes with an apparent
change of heart, because back in September, as Gawker pointed out, he
appears to have tweeted, quote, “Donald Trump, you, sir,are the only hope
we have of getting white America back. We will all be voting for you,
church of invisible empire.”

Mr. Kwig (ph), we see you, dude.


HAYES: New analysis just released today of the election map in November
shows it may already be too late for the Republican Party to avoid a major
political realignment this fall. The Cook Political Report, one of the
nation`s most respected election forecasters gets way down in the weeds of
all 435 House races the ones that almost no one else is paying close
attention to yet.

And it just revised its projections for ten of those races with all of the
changes favoring Democrats.

That`s due to the possibility of either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz holding
the top spot on the Republican ticket.

Politico reports today that endangered House Republicans facing tough re-
election races are planning to adopt a simple strategy if Trump is the
nominee: disregard the racket in the presidential race and keep it local.

But it`s a safe bet that Democrats will do all they can to make those
lawmakers answer for their party`s standard barer. No one expected the
House to be
in play this year with districts as gerrymandered as they are and
Republicans holding a huge, a historic majority.

But now there`s an outside chance control could possibly be up for grabs if
things break the right way.

Now in the senate, Democrats were already positioned to do relatively well
this fall, defending just 10 seats compared to 24 on the Republican side.

The New York Times reported back in February that majority leader Mitch
McConnell has begun preparing senators for the prospect of a Trump
nomination, assuring that if threatened to harm them in the general
election, they could run negative ads about Trump.

Several of those Republicans senators up for re-election are from states
by Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. And some of them, like Mark Kirk of the
president`s home state of Illinois are now breaking not just with the
presidential candidates but with their own senate leadership on a plan to
block the president`s Supreme Court nomination.


SEN. MARK KIRK, (R) ILLINOIS: We should go through the process the
constitution has already laid out. The president has already laid out a
nominee who is from Chicagoland, and for me, I`m open to see him, to talk
to him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe you should, in fact, advise and consent on
the nominee. And if you should vote it down, you vote it down. Then it`s
back to the president.

KIRK: Right. It`s just man up and cast a vote.


HAYES: Ill speak with someone who is in a state, not Illinois but another
state, where this could matter the most next.


HAYES: Joining me now from Madison, Wisconsin, Ruth Conniff, editor-in-
chief of the Progressive magazine.

And Ruth, I wanted to talk to you, because you are in Wisconsin and you
Wisconsin politics and Wisconsin strikes me as the perfect sort of testing
ground for this theory, right?

I mean, it is a state that reliably goes to Democrats in presidential
elections, but in off years has elected Scott Walker, has elected Ron
Johnson who kicked out Russ Feingold. There`s a rematch of that senate
race this year. How do you see this falling into shape with either Trump
or Cruz at the top the ticket?

RUTH CONNIFF, PROGRESSIVE MAGAZINE: Well, it`s a really interesting
question, Chris, Because I don`t think anybody really knows the answer to

I mean, it is possible that the Democrats are right that they`re going to
sweep down ballot races because people hate Trump and that the Republicans
are right to be worried about that, but it`s also possible that here in the
industrial Midwest there are a lot of populists of the type who support
Trump and of the type
who really if Hillary Clinton is the nominee are not going to be enthused
about her.

So, it`s an interesting environment. It`s very unstable. You know, in the
Ron Johnson/Russ Feingold race, I think what`s fascinating there is Ron
Johnson is
a poster child for the Tea Party, and he is an Ayn Rand acolyte. You know,
he has these very right wing politics. He`s run against the Washington
establishment. He`s trying to paint Russ Feingold as part of the
Washingtno establishment.

But Russ Feingold was a maverick and he appealed to a lot of Republicans, a
lot of libertarians. He parted ways with Clinton administration on things
like spying. He is really a guy who runs a more populist campaign, very
big on fair trade, for example. And so I think that`s the question.

And this year, how is the Democratic Party going to kind of run against
Trump if Trump is the nominee and how is that going to look? And there are
a lot of voters who are not reliable voters who are going to determine the
outcome of that.

HAYES: And part of what we`ve seen, right, is the nationalization of
elections. I mean, this has been a trend. I mean, I think Feingold lost
in 2010 because that race was so a, effectively nationalized by the
Republican Party and, b, they were able to motivate their base, right.

I mean, the folks who showed up in 2008 to vote in Barack Obama and
Democratic majorities in both houses some percentage of them didn`t show up
2010. And all the people who voted against Barack Obama did show up in
2010, and Russ Feingold was sort of the victim of that.

If you get a mobilization, an anti-Trump mobilization on that scale, you
can see benefits for Democrats down ticket.

CONNIFF: Yes, that`s true.

But then you also have to have people motivated to come out and vote.

HAYES: You sound worried about that in Wisconsin.

CONNIFF: Well, that`s what Walker did. He motivated the hard right people
to come out and vote, really the anti-choice people in droves. And as you
pointed out, you know, we`re a blue state usually in a presidential year,
but it just depends on who is really motivated to come out.

And I think, you know what you`ve seen – when Trump says I can take states
like Michigan that have never been Republican, he is saying something
that`s significant. I mean, there`s this economic populist message that`s
really resonating this year, this anti-establishment, anti-elitist message.

And on the left, Bernie Sanders has been the candidate with that message
and has churned up a ton of enthusiasm, won Michigan in a surprise way, was
stalled after that across the Midwest, so is not looking as likely to be
able to make it all the way to the nomination, but where does that really
leave things?

HAYES: But here is my question…

CONNIFF: You have to understand that that`s an important factor this year.

HAYES: I think it is.

But then I also think – I was just reading a piece in the New Republic
that made this point right, that Hillary Clinton has got more votes than
anyone. That in some ways so much focus has been on Trump and Bernie
Sanders I think for obvious
reasons, for Trump particularly, but, you know, there`s a sizable – there
are a lot of votes that she has gotten. She has gotten more votes than any
other candidate. And the Obama coalition is an intact thing that one can
imagine being preserved in the fall if the right things fall into place.

CONNIFF: If a voter ID doesn`t suppress voter turnout too badly, and
(inaudible) really politically active who can`t even cast a vote, that`s
huge, voter suppressant is huge.

HAYES: That`s a very good point.

CONNIFF: And enthusiasm from people who don`t always vote.

HAYES: Right.

CONNIFF: And I don`t know that the Obama enthusiasm is transferable to
Hillary and I don`t know that the Sanders enthusiasm is transferable to

And what I do know is that the really economic populist year and Trump has
this message, which as you have pointed out so well is an old line right
wing populist message, which absolutely combines attacking the wrong people
– attacking immigrants and people of color with this economic populist
message that`s really appealing.

And some white working class voters just sort of dismiss the racist part,
and others of them resonate to it.

So, I think we would be foolish to say he is never going ot win.

HAYES: That I totally agree with.

CONNIFF: …Republicans have made along.

HAYES: I totally agree with that. But I also think people should not
underestimate to the degree to which he will be a motivator for large
segments of
a coalition that may not be enthused otherwise.

Ruth Conniff, thank you very much.

All right, that is All In for this evening.


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