Democratic candidates battle over healthcare. TRANSCRIPT: 7/29/19, All In W/ Chris Hayes.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: He told his party at the outset of World War
II, we shall find, we lost the future. And that`s HARDBALL for now.
Thanks for being with us. “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
CHRIS WALLACE, ANCHOR, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Infested, it sounds like vermin.
It sounds subhuman.
HAYES: The President launches a racist attack on an American city.
MICK MULVANEY, ACTING CHIEF OF STAFF, WHITE HOUSE: This is what the
HAYES: As the constituents he promised to save continued to suffer.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Don`t sell your house. Do
not sell it. We`re going to get those values up.
HAYES: Tonight, the inherent political weakness in Donald Trump`s racist
TRUMP: We`re going to get those jobs coming back and we`re going to fill
up those factories or rip them down and build brand-new ones.
HAYES: Then, the wave of Democrats calling for impeachment swells.
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): I would say we are in an impeachment
HAYES: The highest-ranking Democrat in leadership calling for impeachment
joins me live. And two years after Republicans failed to kill ObamaCare,
why new changes to healthcare could shape the Democratic debate. When ALL
IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. The General Motors
plant in Warren, Michigan, just ten miles from this week`s Democratic
debates in Detroit is shutting down on Thursday. It`s the story of the
Trump economy that Donald Trump desperately does not want told because it
is not the first story like it. It is one of five GM plants being closed
in North America by the end of the year. In fact, the company plans to lay
off as many as 14,000 workers.
There`s also, of course, the Lordstown plant in Ohio. That`s the one Trump
actually visited in 2017 and he literally told people not to sell their
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I was looking at some of those big wants incredible job-producing
factories, and my wife Melania said, what happened? I said those jobs have
left Ohio. They`re all coming back. They`re all coming back. Don`t move.
Don`t sell your house. Don`t sell your house.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Don`t sell your house, they`re all coming back. Well, in March, GM
idled that plant eliminating well over 1,000 jobs. That is the soft
underbelly of Trumpism. Yes, undoubtedly unemployment is low. Yes, the
stock market has, by and large, continued to thrive. But the reality of
people in communities particularly in the greater industrial Midwest has
not tangibly improved that much. Growth is concentrated in the same areas
it was concentrated in before.
A new poll shows only 36 percent of likely voters in Michigan say their own
economic situation has improved in the last three years. 48 percent think
it`s the same, 16 percent say they`re worse off. That`s not great.
Trump`s trade wars have of course hammered large parts of rural America
that constitute his base. Republicans passed $1 trillion tax cut for
corporate America that has had little impact on most of the working
Congress still hasn`t ratified Trump`s rebranded NAFTA and there`s little
reason to think a Democratic House will pass it. Children are still being
separated from their families as immigrants are being locked in cages like
so much livestock. But what are the tangible material improvements the
President has delivered for those folks in places like Michigan who voted
That`s not what they`re getting though. They`re getting what they got
during the 2016 campaign, the President`s racist rants. That is what he`s
providing to them. He hasn`t delivered much tangibly for those communities
who have been sledge-hammered by automation, globalization.
And now every time the President says something racist, his advisors all
anonymously run to the nearest reporter to talk about how it`s a great
strategy. And that`s because he and his advisors both agree that they
think so little of his supporters, they think all they want is racism.
So instead of actually helping Americans for the second time in two weeks,
the President is off on yet another racist rant. This time it`s about the
great city of Baltimore, a city of hundreds of thousands of Americans that
Trump says no human being would want to live in whose constituents Trump is
supposed to represent just as much as Congressman Elijah Cummings.
But lest you think that this is some highly developed strategy, some evil
genius attempt to control the conversation, it is worth just considering
the far more likely explanation we just simply that the president is a
raging racist and this is just how he sees the world.
This weekend, I spoke to someone who just happened quite randomly to have a
conversation with Trump way back in December 2015 when he was the
improbable front runner in that large GOP field. And in this conversation,
then-candidate Trump actually endorsed the idea a stricter gun control in a
city like Chicago because – and here`s a quote, according to the person I
spoke with, “we have to stop those animals there from killing each other.”
Animals, that`s who this president is and he just keeps trying to tell us.
Joining me now ProPublica reporter Alec MacGillis. He lives in Baltimore,
has written, reported on the city. He broke the story about Jared
Kushner`s involvement as a derelict but vindictive landlord in that city.
He also spent a ton of time traveling around the industrial Midwest in the
run-up to the 2016 election.
And I want to begin on that angle, Alec. The plant closing in Warren, the
one in Lordstown, because you spent a lot of time documenting the genuine
angst in a lot of parts the industrial Midwest, the ways in which Trumpism
appealed to that angst racialized and otherwise, and I wonder what your
read is on where things stand now because I think there is a perception
that the economy is good as a top-line figure that doesn`t quite capture
ALEC MACGILLIS, REPORTER, PROPUBLICA: No, it doesn`t it all caps the
reality because we still have this extraordinary regional divergence in our
economy with so much of the growth concentrated in certain places in so
many places that are left behind.
As you know, I was definitely one of the people who believed coming out of
the 2016 election, even before the election that the rise of Trump was
connected to economic elements. Of course, there was race involved. Of
course, there was racist appeals involved but there was – there was no
accident that those appeals were most effective in places that were
economically left behind.
And so that now, as you see these plant closings, as you see these
unfulfilled promises, it`s got to hurt them in these places because there
was a promise made. What I saw in 2016 in Ohio was actually that the trade
arguments, his trade arguments about China and whatnot resonated just as
much as the immigration arguments.
So to the extent that you still see these plant closings now in Warren,
Michigan in Warren, Ohio it`s got to be a vulnerability for him.
HAYES: But what`s interesting about that is that the president and his
advisors` own theory of the case which they keep telling reporters is no,
what our supporters like is racism. What will drive them out is racism and
we`re going to keep being super racist so that they will come to the polls.
That is – that is – I`m not saying that`s my theory of the case, that is
what they tell every reporter who will listen about how they model the
views of their own voters and supporters.
MACGILLIS: It`s true and that – but the obvious sort of limitation to
that – to that theory is where are the new voters you`re going to draw
with those racist appeals. It`s not enough for Trump this year just to get
everyone to come back who voted for him last time.
You are going to have more energized Democratic vote than you had last time
around. You`re going to have – you`re going to have lost a whole bunch of
your voters in 2016, suburban voters who have drifted away from you since
then. Where are these new people you`re going to bring out with racist
appeals beyond what you already got in 2016?
HAYES: I want to talk for a moment about the Kushner reporting you did
because it`s gotten a lot of attention obviously. The President – and we
didn`t put the tweets up because they`re just – they`re not really about
Baltimore in any way and they`re not really about the city and they`re not
really about anything other than the fact that he`s yelling a racist rant
at the television.
But to the extent that he talks about infestation, you have some really
damning reporting on Kushner`s role in Baltimore as a landlord. What did
MACGILLIS: Oh well, Jared Kushner, his family has about 8,000 units here
in the Baltimore area. They`re huge landlord. They have these massive
apartment complexes all around the edge of the city. They`re these very
sorts of downscale, very humble working-class apartment complexes that have
all sorts of problems including a lot of water damage and leaks, and black
mold, and a lot of mice and rats.
I talk to one mother who had – was so overrun with mice in her apartment
that she had to move her bed away from the wall, had to start putting the
laundry into a tote bag instead of the hamper because the mice kept jumping
in and her daughter`s asthma was getting worse because of all the allergens
and the mice droppings. This is the reality of Jared Kushner apartments.
So when Trump is talking about the infestation in Baltimore, to extent that
that exists, it`s in part at his son-in-law`s apartments.
HAYES: I guess the last question is your reaction to someone as someone
who lives in Baltimore, is very proud of the city, is also document in
detail many of the challenges it faces, and also someone who reported out
in the industrial Midwest to watch the city you live in be used as this
kind of racist stand-in to be whacked about as a pinata for those folks out
there in Michigan because he thinks that`s going to work to get their
MACGILLIS: It`s so immensely disheartening. I can`t even express it
really. We`ve been going through a terrible time here in Baltimore in the
last few years. We had a real resurgence of violence. We`ve had 300
homicides in the last four or five years. We`re about to hit 200 for this
year and it`s not even the end of July yet.
We have more homicides than New York City. It`s been horrible. We`ve had
massive corruption in the Police Department, in City Hall. We`ve had a
complete failure of leadership here. Those things are all true. But to
then to have the president, instead of saying, hey, what can we do to help
your city? What can – what can I do as the president in federal
government to lend a hand here? Instead of turning around and just using
those troubles as a way to stoke racial division is just – it`s really
HAYES: Alec MacGillis, thank you very much.
MACGILLIS: Thank you.
HAYES: The President`s open racism towards African Americans did not start
this weekend. Remember his very first appearance in The New York Times
paper record was because the DOJ was investigating him for discriminatory
housing policies. And here`s what he said during a 2016 campaign stop in
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Look how much African-American communities have suffered under
Democratic control. To those I say the following: what do you have to lose
by trying something new like Trump? What do you have to lose?
I say it again, what do you have to lose? Look, what do you have to lose?
You`re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs. 58
percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Join me now Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director of Council of
the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a longtime resident of
Baltimore, joined us when we did a special on that city a few years back.
Charles Blow had a column today in the New York Times saying I don`t like
having to keep reminding everyone that this is utterly horrific racism by
the president but yet it must be done. I`m wondering what your reaction is
on this Monday.
SHERRILYN IFILL, PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR, COUNCIL OF THE NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE
AND EDUCATIONAL FUND: Well, I`m very torn, Chris. I feel very much like
Charles Blow feels. I wish I didn`t have to respond to this. I do feel
that this is a manipulation from the president, but we do have to respond
to it because it is flagrant racism. It denigrates the dignity of African
American people. It denigrates our communities. It denigrates the city of
Baltimore. It denigrated people of color all over the country.
And we have to speak up because Donald Trump has moved the line and the
standard of what is decent, what is acceptable in public life and among
leaders and we have to fight to keep that line. At the same time, we have
to be mindful of what he is trying to distract us from and to really focus
on the issues that we work on in places like Baltimore and the failure of
this administration to actually grapple with the challenges that are faced
by working-class people all over this country not just in places like
HAYES: You know, it`s striking that what precipitated this of course was a
Trump T.V. segment essentially along lines of the tweet focusing on Elijah
Cummings who was the chair of the Oversight Committee, whose subpoena Jared
Kushner and Ivanka Trump in pursuit of one of his investigations, and just
today put out an incredible report about the Trump ministration being shot
through by foreign agents including submitting drafts of an American first
energy speech, an America first energy speech to the UAE for edits.
This is what`s been uncovered by Chairman Elijah Cummings. It`s worth
remembering why Cummings is the target. It has nothing to do with the
people of Baltimore
IFILL: That`s exactly right. And that`s why I`m of two minds because as
soon as it starts to get hot, the President falls back on what he knows is
tried-and-true for him. And I think, Chris, that`s where we should be
Why does this appeal to so many Americans? And I don`t think that this is
about economic anxiety. I think this is about racism in American society.
When we called it out and talked about it in 2015 and 2016, you know we
were told that it was all about economic anxiety.
There is a strong strain of racism in this country. It`s not just
struggling people, its well-educated people. Those comments that he makes
resonate. And that`s why we have to push back against them and we`re going
to continue to do that but at the same time the organization I lead fights
on the ground in Baltimore for you know, economic mobility, for education,
for constitutional policing, and we`re not gonna stop that fight as well.
And so we just have to fight on multiple fronts. He`s coming at us with
two fists. We`re coming back with at least two as well. And we`re just
going to stand flat-footed and fight this out.
HAYES: Let me ask you this. I mean, in some ways, the struggles the folks
face in Baltimore are distinct to that city and there`s been a whole bunch
of things having to do with the policing of that city and the governance of
that city but also not that different than challenges people face all over
Did the Trump economy feel like a boom economy in the city of Baltimore?
Does it feel like some magical wand has been waved delivering on the
promise of that really vile speech that we played?
IFILL: Well, I`ve been really waiting for an economic analysis that looks
at places like Baltimore. Somehow when we talk about the stock market and
interest rates, we somehow seem to forget some of the other actions this
administration has taken.
Let`s take for example payday and car title lending that decimates places
like Baltimore and other places around the country. It`s this
administration that has delayed the rule that was supposed to stop the
predatory practices of payday lenders and they are now proposing to repeal
Let`s talk about for-profit colleges which African Americans attend at five
times the rate of whites. Let`s talk about the rules that were put in
place to ensure that for-profit colleges could not allow people to run up
debt and not actually prepare them for the job market. That rule has been
repealed by Betsy DeVos, Trump`s education secretary.
When we start to really go into the kinds of decision-making that actually
affects working-class people, we find a very different economy. And that
is true in Baltimore, it is true in rural places around Maryland and other
states. And that economy has to be lifted up and talked about and looked
at and not papered over by talk about the stock market and about interest
And on that scale, when we look at that analysis of the economy, this
administration has failed terribly.
HAYES: All right, Sherrilyn Ifill, it`s always a pleasure to get to hear
you talk. Thank you very much.
IFILL: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Next up, the case that Democrats avoiding Donald Trump`s bigotry is
a mistake but the man who helped defeat David Duke in the 1990s, Tim Wise
and Adam Serwer join me in two minutes.
HAYES: Admittedly, it is always a bit hard to tell when the president
engages in an outburst the degree which he`s simply and emotionally
incontinent Fox News viewer who likes to talk back to the television versus
how much he`s attempting some kind of political strategy.
But one tendency I think that has developed among Democrats and not
complete without reason to be clear is a worry that engaging Trump on the
fights he picks is “playing on his turf.” For that reason, it`s really
important to stress that the racist invective we see from him is not
broadly popular with American voters.
A recent Fox News poll found that registered voters massively disapprove of
Trump`s handling of race relations with Trump 25 percentage points
underwater. It`s also important not to allow the vileness of his racism to
go on challenge.
Last week anti-racism educator and activist Tim Wise wrote about his time
working to defeat David Duke when the former KKK Grand Wizard was running
for Senator and Governor of Louisiana on the GOP ticket in the early 1990s.
Wise wrote that mainstream Democratic consultants urged the anti-Duke PAC
that he worked for not to focus primarily on Duke`s racism, saying that
doing so played into Duke`s hands, allowed him to set the agenda.
The lesson that Tim drew was that focusing on the racism was the best way
to beat Trump in 2020 the same way he helped beat Duke in 1991. Tim Wise
joins me now along with Adam Serwer, Staff Writer at the Atlantic who`s
written about the particular unique and unprecedented danger to the very
core of American democracy that`s presented by the president`s racist
rhetoric in this moment.
Tim, I want you – if you could sort of describe the sort of thinking
strategically – again, it`s not a moral choice. I think everyone was very
clear about who David Duke is, right? So the question is how do you beat
David Duke in the state of Louisiana? What kind of race you run against
him and the sort of tactical decisions that were made when you were working
on that race?
TIM WISE, ACTIVIST: Well, the key is when you`re running against somebody
or when you`re working against somebody whose entire politic is a politic
of racial scapegoating and prejudice, to talk about things that are not
directly connected to that racism and prejudice is to normalize it and
treat him like a normal candidate.
And unfortunately in 1990 when Duke ran for the Senate, we did have these
consultants and some conservatives within our own coalition that were
uncomfortable calling out the modern racism. We could talk about the Klan,
yes, the Nazi stuff, yes, but we weren`t supposed to talk about how he was
scapegoating black and brown folks for problems they didn`t create because
that would somehow spur a backlash.
And so the first election, we didn`t push hard enough on that. We mixed up
the messages with other things. In the governor`s race in `91, we drilled
down much more clearly, talked about this as a moral choice, talked about
Duke-ism as an existential threat to the state and the values that we held
dear. And as a result, we`re able to get the kind of coalition, the base
voters for Democrats, absolutely, their turnout went through the roof, but
so did reasonable Republicans, moderates, and independents.
That`s what`s needed because it isn`t enough to just beat Trump, the man.
Trump-ism is an ideology has to be dealt a repudiation.
HAYES: Adam, I feel like there`s – you know, you see these sort of savvy
– the savvy takes about like oh this is actually smart strategy which I
think is a little beside the point, but there is this question, right,
about like does this work or not. Is this – is this effective to do what
he wants to do.
And I`m curious what you think about that because in some ways, what you`re
right about is the history of American politics is this often is quite
ADAM SERWER, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: Well, I mean, I`m not a political
strategist. Historically it`s been effective and it`s been effective for a
reason that Duke himself identified in the `90 campaign. So what Dukes
used to tell his voters, he used to say, remember, when they call me
racist, they`re really talking about you.
And that`s important because that`s what Trump is banking on. Trump is
inviting these accusations of racism because he believes that his voters
will take it as an attack on them and then turn out in the numbers he needs
to overwhelm his weaknesses, and I think that`s a real danger.
But I also want to point out that the one person who really closely watched
that `90 Duke campaign was Donald Trump. And he said at the time you know,
you could say what you want about David Duke but this – the kind of things
he`s talking about appeal to a lot of Republicans, and if he ran for
president, he`d get a lot of votes. And then you know, 30 years later,
he`s pretending he doesn`t know who David Duke is.
HAYES: Yes. There was a remarkable moment where he was asked to sort of
denounce Duke and he on cameras said, who is this David Duke? I don`t know
SERWER: He knows exactly who David Duke was because he`s running his `90
campaign and he`s going to do it again in 2020. And he`s going to count on
the injured feelings of his voters who –
HAYES: That`s a great point.
SERWER: He`s going to – he`s counting on them feeling under siege from
criticisms from Democrats on Trump`s record on race to power them to the
WISE: But they already did. They already did.
SERWER: I mean, they already do, it`s true. So I can`t tell you – I
can`t tell you whether this strategy is going to work. I can tell you that
it`s not magic. It`s not – it`s not genius. It is the type of politics
in American history.
HAYES: It`s – yes, it`s literally the like the oldest kind of politics in
the country has. And there`s a question, Tim, I mean – I mean, again, we
don`t know, right? We don`t know what it does.
HAYES: But it also is – it is the case that like it does turn some people
off, and not just people of color, like there are – like it is – it is a
way of juicing turnout among some folks but there are costs to it. And I
feel like sometimes the strategic takes lose sight of that which is
something that your – you know, your experience in the Duke campaign
suggests is a real thing.
WISE: Right. I mean, here`s the thing. Those of us who are progressive
never tire of telling people that this is a center-left nation mostly
progressive. Well, let`s put that to the test. I believe that, but what
could be a more progressive value than pluralism, and multiracial,
I`m willing to bet everything on the idea there are more of us than there
are them. So let`s start acting like it and let`s demand a repudiation of
Trumpism as a result.
HAYES: And that`s – and that`s the question I think the sort of dilemma
in some ways from – for the Democrats right, Adam. And you saw even in
Sherrilyn`s I thought very thoughtful like of two minds, right, this idea
of him controlling the conversation. So the president says something
disgusting and racist and I`m seeing like fact checks about like the city
of Baltimore. It`s like that`s not – it`s not the point what he`s saying.
SERWER: Well, the issue here is really that – I mean, if you look at 2016
and 2018, a majority of the country rejected this.
HAYES: Yes, correct.
SERWER: Trump went hard on it in 2016 and most Americans voted for the
other candidate. He went even harder on it in 2018 and he lost the House.
The problem is that his coalition is ideally geographically distributed
which makes it difficult because Democrats have to appeal not to – it`s
not so much that the people on the coast that they have to win, it`s these
people in the middle who might be more inclined to feel insulted depending
on how Democrats approach the issue. That`s what they`re for.
HAYES: It`s a great – it`s a really important point from the Electoral
College standpoint, the Coalition is – has this sort of added wind at its
back because it`s sort of mathematically over-represented in the – in the
SERWER: But they are not a majority.
HAYES: No. Tim, I want to just play just to give you like sort of two
examples of ads that you helped us sort of find which I think sort of show
the difference in approaches at Duke which I thought were sort of
illuminating, clarifying when you think particularly about what 2020 will
look like to degree the President is going to keep ramping this up. Take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you and welcome back to Jabberwocky, the game
show all America loves to watch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Paul, I`ll try tax cheats for 200.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He failed to file state income taxes from 1984 to 1987.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was David Duke.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In 1969, David Duke said I am a national socialist.
You can call me a Nazi if you wish. In 1976, he organized a meeting of a
Nazi group which called for the release of all Nazi war criminals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: On the one hand, he didn`t file tax returns for three years, on the
other hand, he`s literally a devotee of Hitler. Like you can see – you
could see which one was made more powerful.
WISE: Let me say, even that first ad, that there were references in the
course of that one-minute ad to his Nazism, but it was an example of how we
had to compromise to sort of not tread too heavily on race. And I think it
confused people. I think people looked at it and said, if he`s a Nazi, why
are we talking about taxes, exactly?
And I think if your politic is one of division and racism, let`s stay
focused on that and let`s call people to actually stand up for American
values and what we know to be the better angels of our nature as a country.
HAYES: All right, Tim Wise and Adam Serwer, thank you both for being with
SERWER: Thank you for having me.
HAYES: Coming up, the number of House Democrats in favor of impeachment
proceedings reaches triple digits. The highest-ranking member on that
list, a member of Speaker Pelosi`s leadership team will join me right after
this short break.
HAYES: The conventional wisdom in Washington D.C. following the Mueller
hearings has been that all in all they were a bit of a dud. And that
narrative, of course, was pushed very hard by the President and his allies
who sought to link the former Special Counsel`s testimony with the end of a
push for impeachment, like it`s over, we`re done, we`re moving on.
Well, here`s the thing, exactly the opposite is happening, at least right
now. In the days since Robert Mueller testified, 16 additional Democrats
have come out in favor of opening an impeachment inquiry against the
president, seven in the last three days alone. In total, 109 Democrats now
support an inquiry, which is nearly half of the House Democratic caucus.
We`ve seen signs of movement from Democratic leaders as well. NBC News
reporting that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has told her caucus they should
decide on impeachment based on their constituents and their own conscience.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said he personally believes the
president, quote, “richly deserving impeachment.”
Neither Nadler nor Pelosi are on the list of the 109 Democrats explicitly
calling for an impeachment inquiry, but my next guest is. In fact, she is
the highest ranking House Democrat who has called for an impeachment
inquiry, Congresswoman Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, also the vice-
chair of the House Democratic Caucus, joins me now.
Congresswoman, thank you. What tipped you over?
REP. KATHERINE CLARK, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: Oh, thank you for having me,
Chris. I can tell you exactly what it was, it was watching Robert Mueller
describe how the Russians are planning every day to steal our election, and
at the same time we had a bipartisan report come out of
the senate saying that the Russians had tried to attack every single
state`s election system. And what did we see the GOP do? The very same
day of Mueller`s testimony, you know, Mitch McConnell blocked two bills
that could provide security and make sure that every eligible voter in this
country can cast that vote free of foreign interference.
And for me that took me to saying we need to use every tool that we have to
get the facts out before the American people and let the truth be exposed.
HAYES: So I want to ask you an internal caucus question, which I would
love if you could answer as honestly as possible. When Nancy Pelosi told
the caucus the other day you can make up your own mind, I`m not whipping
this essentially, does she really mean that? Because it has seemed very
clear from both the conversations I have had with folks on the Hill and in
the Democratic caucus and the reporting that she`s been trying to keep
tight reins on it, that she worries about the politics of it.
Is there some change now in the leadership`s position towards impeachment?
CLARK: I think she did mean it because there is no one who wants to hold
accountable more than Nancy Pelosi, but she also understands that we have
to be responsive to our constituents, and she always is keeping that
balance. How do we legislate? How do we work for the American people,
move forward on health care, on infrastructure, on getting corruption out
of politics and at the same time have the hearings and the oversight
necessary to rein in a lawless president?
She is striking that balance every day and I think she`s encouraging us to
think for ourselves, be responsive to our constituents as we head home for
a work period in our districts and hear what they have to say and take the
action we feel is appropriate.
HAYES: So when you decided that you want to call publicly and formally for
inquiry, like, did you tell the speaker and the leadership team and say,
look, this is what I`m going to do and here is my rationale?
CLARK: I did tell the speaker. And I don`t believe in surprises for
someone who I work that
closely with, and I wanted her to know ahead of time. And she said exactly
what we were just talking about, that, you know, I have to do what I feel
is the best for my constituents and the country. And we are united as a
caucus. We want to get the truth to the American people. We want to get
the facts on the table. And we are being met with our oversight, with our
constitutional obligation to provide that oversight with unrelenting
obstruction from this administration.
So we`re going to come at it with all ways. We`re going to do the great
work that committees have been doing and holding hearings. And when these
witnesses won`t come forward, using the courts to support that, and also
keep working on what we said the American people are going to do.
There`s no greater contrast than the vote we took just a few weeks ago
giving Americans a raise for the first time in a decade by raising the
minimum wage. And contrast that with what the Republicans did last year in
their tax scam on the American people, giving away a trillion dollars –
trillions of dollars – to the very wealthiest and to the largest
That`s why the American people sent us to congress, gave us the majority,
to work on health care, to work on these issues that they talk about around
their kitchen table. And we`re going to do both.
HAYES: I get that. I get that as both a substantive matter, a moral
matter, a political matter and a messaging matter, but it is also the case
that part of the issue is like I see people say, well, why should we
impeach the president? He`s going to be acquitted in the senate, right.
It`s not going to actually change.
But that`s true of the $15 minimum wage bill, it`s still basically every
piece of legislation that the House passes that Mitch McConnell kills,
particularly the sort of big priority progressive issues
like a $15 minimum wage, which Mitch McConnell is never going to bring up
for a vote in the Senate, right?
CLARK: Well, we can`t simply say, oh, Mitch McConnell`s going to obstruct
everything that we try and do. Our president`s going to use racist
bullying to get us to change our minds or be quiet or shrink back from our
oversight duties. We have to remember who were there to work for, and
that`s American families. And we are going to be their voice. And we are
going to be clear, and we`re going to be loud about it, and we`re not going
to back down.
And if they won`t pass the bills on raising the minimum wage, on gun safety
reform that is supported across the political spectrum in this country –
and we`ve seen once again play out tragically in Gilroy, California with
the loss of life there at a food festival – if they`re not going to
support the Violence Against Women Act, the Equality Act, all this
legislation that we`re doing to protect health care and people with pre-
existing conditions, then we will take that to the polls and the American
people in 2020.
HAYES: All right. Congresswoman Katherine Clark, vice chair of the House
Democratic Caucus, thank you for joining me.
CLARK: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Ahead, as Democratic candidates prepare for debate week why the
fight over what comes after Obamacare shaping the whole race.
Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, the former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan after
almost a year in
hiding has been quoted a bit here and there lately courageously portraying
himself as a kind of Ivanka-like figure, helping prevent the mad king from
acting on his worst impulses.
In the new book American Carnage, Ryan says, quote, “I told myself I got to
have a relationship with this guy to help him get his mind right. I`m
telling you, he didn`t know anything about government. I wanted to scold
him all the time.”
Did you, though? Did you really?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN, (R) WISCONSIN: Something this big, something this
generational, something this profound could not have been done without
exquisite presidential leadership. Mr. President, thank you for getting us
over the finish line. Thank you for getting us where we are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Yes! There was a time when Paul Ryan loved Donald Trump exquisite
leadership, and was not only for giving giant permanent tax cuts for
corporations, it was also for trying to help Ryan fulfill a small but very
important part of that longtime journey.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: Imagine for a moment if you could file your taxes on the form the
size of a postcard. Wouldn`t that be something?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Paul Ryan imagined it. Trump brought it to life. And now it`s
dead. And that`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVANKA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP`S DAUGHTER: I`m really looking forward to doing
a lot of traveling in April when people realize the effect that this has,
both with on the process of filling out their taxes, the vast majority will
be doing so on a single post card.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Oh, wait, really? You may remember Ivanka jumped the gun there.
The thing was not ready for another year and now it`s dead. Because as
Bloomberg reported today, after one year the IRS – this is amazing – has
ditched the idea permanently, partly because outside groups and tax
professionals who complained it created unnecessary complications. One
conservative tax lobbyist saying the postcard was a mess.
Paul Ryan`s dream card done in by conservative lobbyists and the Trump kiss
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I didn`t know I was going to be given a picture (ph).
UNIDENITFIED MALE: Don`t lose it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s yours. It`s yours.
TRUMP: It`s beautiful. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS: We have some breaking news, the White House has
announced on Twitter that Vladimir Putin is coming to the White House in
DAN COATS, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Say that again.
COATS: OK. That`s going to be special.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That moment at last year`s Aspen Security Forum tells us a lot
about the relationship
between the president and the intelligence community represented there by
the soon to be former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. It`s
been both awkward and acrimonious to say the least, from the then
president-elect comparing U.S. intelligence agencies to Nazis, literally,
to Trump`s very first day in office when he stood in front of the CIA`s
memorial wall and boasted about his intellect and
inauguration crowd size, to most infamously taking Vladimir Putin`s word
that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election over his own
intelligence community`s assessment.
In spite of all that, Dan Coats often said things the president didn`t want
to hear, like when he testified before congress earlier this year and
contradicted Trump on issues, including the threat of ISIS in Syria, the
possibility of North Korea denuclearizing, and whether Iran cheated on the
And just earlier this month, Coats appointed a new election security czar
countering the president`s apparent lack of concern on the subject. As The
New York Times puts it, to Mr. Trump, Mr. Coats had come to represent the
disapproving Republican elite that he scorned.
So now Dan Coats is leaving and the person who Trump wants to replace him
with is pretty much exactly what you would expect. Do you remember this
guy from the Mueller hearings?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN RATCLIFFE, (R) TEXAS: I agree with the chairman this morning
when said Donald Trump is not above the law. He`s not. But he damn sure
shouldn`t be below the law, which is where volume II of this report puts
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s Texas Congressman John Ratcliffe. It turns out it was
basically an audition for the director of national intelligence job.
Ratcliffe met with the president a few days before the hearings
and then went out and essentially performed a Sean Hannity monologue for an
audience of one
on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.
Ratcliffe has a long history of promoting Trump TV propaganda, especially
on alleged anti-Trump bias at the FBI, the investigation into Hillary
Clinton emails and the origins of the Russia investigation. And for the
president, all that apparently outweighed his lack practically any real
relevant experience for DNI.
Ratcliffe has served on the House Intelligence Committee for all of seven
months. And as Democrat Ron Wyden of Senate intel said today, quote, “he
is the most partisan and least qualified individual ever nominated to serve
And we have already watched the top of the Department of Justice come to
the control of the Trump loyalist who clearly sees his job as protecting
the president above all else. Now, imagine the entire intelligence
apparatus of the United States government doing the same.
HAYES: Clearly one of the main issues at tomorrow night`s Democratic
debate will be health care policy. Joe Biden, who favors a public option
added to the Affordable Care Act, has been attacking the Medicare for all
single-payer plan being pushed by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren
Biden says, more or less correctly, that it would eliminate private
insurance, but he says much more dubiously that it would, quote, get rid of
Obamacare. Sanders has been attacking Biden for what his campaign says is
scare mongering, while Kamala Harris has kind of attempted to thread the
needle between the two with a new plan announced today that would
transition to Medicare for all, but retain some private insurance, like
Medicare Advantage currently functions.
Joining me now, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, chair of the progressive PAC South Paw
Michigan, former health commissioner for the city of Detroit; and Ezra
Klein, editor at-large at Vox, whose new piece asks why voters aren`t more
willing to abandon a health system that`s failing.
I want to start with that, Ezra. The big sort of issue here in the center
of this, and we`re seeing it in the politics, is the kind of fear voters
have about a new system, even when the current system isn`t working or has
holes. What`s your understanding of what that comes from and how big a
challenge that is?
EZRA KLEIN, EDITOR AT-LARGE, VOX: It`s a big challenge.
So you`ve seen a lot of different reform plans crash on the shoals of
people not wanting to see what they have taken away, even if what they have
is quite bad. So, one of the signal moments in
this, Obamacare promised, or Obama promised that Obamacare would let you
keep your health
insurance if you liked it, and then turned out it canceled about 3 million
plans which isn`t that many in the scheme of things, and these plans were
bad plans. They were the worst of the worse, and there was still a massive
So, there tends to be a real fear that people have, not about being allowed
to transition over to something, to choose something they want, but being
told that they can`t have the thing they currently have and they`re going
to be put on something new. And that`s always a challenge for those who
have to balance between people`s risk aversion, but also if you want to
create something better, you often have to change what you currently have.
HAYES: Yeah, how do you see – Abdul, you and I had a whole Why is This
Happening podcast conversation about single payer, which you favor. But
how do you see that the sort of politics, or the very real politics of
telling people that you`re going to do something new that`s going to be a
big, bold change, but that they will end up better off?
ABDUL EL-SAYED, CHAIR, PAC SOUTH PAW MICHIGAN: Look, the best way to muddy
a message is to start to give the message of your opponent. And we saw
during the debates with respect to the ACA about how private health
insurance corporations were driving a message about how you were going to
lose your health care. It`s sad to see Democrats driving that same message
because they want to fearmonger to win a primary.
The fact of the matter is is that any solution that does not include
addressing the fact in this country, we still rely on a system of corporate
health insurance that raises the cost for all of us and excludes many of
us, it`s not going to solve the problem. Medicare for all, single payer,
does that thing.
So, we have to keep driving the conversation about what we ought to do
rather than hold ourselves hostage to an insecurity of a few driven by
folks who stand to make a lot of money on the other side of this.
HAYES: But let me push back on that a second. I want to get Ezra`s
response. Let`s bracket substantively the best plan, right, whether single
payer is that or not. But just – I just feel like the idea that people`s
resistance to something new, or their distrust or fear about it, is some
concocted thing by the health insurance industry, feels a little bit like
didn`t actually square with reality. Like, people are scared of big new
things vis-a-vis health care. In fact, Canada phased in their single-payer
system province by province for basically that reason.
EL-SAYED: Well, I tell you this…
KLEIN: Well, it`s hard every single time. The thing you end up in here,
you have on one hand the industry and then you have the public.
KLEIN: And there`s a convergence there, the public`s very real fears are
the material the industry can plan with. So, if you have a big reform plan
that is activating public fear and the industry spends a billion dollars
making people afraid, well that`s something very powerful to work with. It
doesn`t make those public fears not real. You can`t just not pretend
they`re not real. You cannot pretend that people don`t have them. People
in this country do not trust the government. They just don`t.
When you take Medicare and you poll it and you say Medicare for anybody who
wants it, it polls 71 percent. When you say it will abolish private
insurance, it goes down to 41 percent. So, that`s a real thing that that
you have to step around.
HAYES: But, on the flip side – go ahead, Abdul.
EL-SAYED: to push back, right, since when did we as Democrats start with
the other argument in frame, people don`t trust government? Our whole
point has always been that government aught to be a part of important
solutions to important problems that people face.
When 5 percent to 10 percent of your population still doesn`t have health
care, We pay more in health care than any other country in the world and
we`re still in a position where those costs are increasing, we`ve got to
stand up and say this is the solution that we have to push.
This notion that we`re putting the cart before the horse starting with the
politics, rather than the policy, that`s never been how we moved it.
One more point, there have been many, many, many reformers who tried to
move an idea of a national health insurance, and every single time, the
polling on the issue was strong until you had a junta of corporate
executives come together, put a whole bunch of money into changing public
opinion. We`ve got to start with our arguments to say that the policy
should lead and we need to be people focused on addressing what will
actually solve health care crisis in this country.
HAYES: To me, Ezra, let me just – because you said something about the
sort of people trust
the government, to me it`s less about whether they trust the government,
more about what`s new or old. Like, what`s remarkable to me about the ACA,
having covered it, was it was under water when it passed. It was under
water for a very long time in the early parts of, you know, its
implementation. Now it`s, like, plus 10 percent, plus 12 percent. People
don`t – they couldn`t even get it repealed.
Like, the tangible thing, if you try to repeal Medicare tomorrow, you lose
95 votes in the Senate,
right? Like, it`s less about government, more about, like, the
concreteness of the thing that people have.
KLEIN: I think that`s right, I think it`s primarily status quo bias.
One other just big point I want to make about this, I think Democrats have
gone off in a very weird direction of making this entire debate about
private insurance. You can reform the health care system to have
universal health insurance and to have lower costs and to have more
comprehensive coverage in a dozen different ways, some of them have private
insurance included, some of them don`t. You just saw Kamala Harris come
out with one that would have a long transition, which I don`t fully
understand, but would eventually have a private option within a public
The idea that it all has to be revolving around this question of do you
abolish private insurance seems to me if you look at international systems,
many of which do this better in all kinds of ways, to be wrong. I think
the fundamental question is how do you guarantee universality?
I think the second question is, how do you make sure the pricing in the
American health care system goes down, which you can do either through
using Medicare rates or extending them.
And then I think you have to look at what people actually want. I don`t
agree with Adbul that you can totally take the politics out of politics.
HAYES: I`m now up against another show, so Abdul, I`m going to tell the
people to listen to the hour-long podcast you and I did on Why is This
Happening in which you make a case in the other direction instead of giving
you the time now, because I`m now 15 seconds over.
Abdul El-Sayed, Ezra Klein, thank you both for being with me.
That is ALL IN for this evening. “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts now with
Roy Reid in for Rachel.
Good evening, Joy.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the