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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 06/15/15

Guests: McKay Coppins, Rebecca Traister, Eric Boehlert, Jelani Cobb, JuddGregg

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN -- JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think I was talking about my mom. I lost my train of thought here. HAYES: It is official. Yet another Bush is running for the White House. Tonight, full analysis of Jeb Bush`s big speech and why he was heckled at his own announcement. And then the Hillary Clinton campaign has officially launched. MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She is smiling with her mouth but her eyes are saying, you know, where is my latte? HAYES: Tonight, Hillary Clinton meets the press, defends herself from Mitt Romney, and explains why America needs a woman president. Plus, why politicians in Rick Scott`s Florida are paying just $8 a month for health care while denying Medicaid for the poor. And as she steps down from her role in the NAACP, another odd turn in the story of Rachel Dolezal. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In her letter of resignation, there was actual addressing of the issue of being dishonest about her ethnicity. HAYES: ALL IN starts right now. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. After months dancing around his ambitions and avoiding certain rules, Jeb Bush made it official today, becoming the 11th Republican candidate to announce he is running for president, addressing a fired up crowd of Miami- Dade College. Bush touted his economic record as governor of Florida way back in the boom years before the housing bubble popped. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BUSH: I know we can fix this because I`ve done it. We made Florida number one in job creation and number one in small business creation, 1.3 million new jobs, 4.4 percent growth, higher family income, eight balanced budgets and tax cuts eight years in a row. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: The speech included plenty of conservative red meat calculated to please the base. That at times has viewed Bush with suspicion. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BUSH: When a school is just another dead end, every parent should have the right to send their child to a better school, public, private or charter. If I`m president, we will take the power of choice away from the unions and give it back to parents. Secretary Clinton insists that when the progressive agenda encounters religious beliefs to the contrary, those beliefs, quote, "have to be changed." With their phone it in foreign policy, the Obama/Clinton/Kerry team is leading a legacy of crisis uncontained, violence unopposed, enemies unnamed, friends undefended and alliances unraveling. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Bush tried to ease concerns that he feels entitled to the White House by virtue of his last name. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BUSH: I know there are a lot of good people running for president, quite a few, in fact. And not one of us deserves the job by right of resume, party, seniority, family or family narrative. It`s nobody`s turn. It`s everybody`s test. And it`s wide open, exactly as a contest for president should be. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: But the #NoMoreBushes was trending nationally on Twitter throughout the speech and this line about his family probably didn`t help. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BUSH: In this country of ours the most improbable can happen. Take that from a guy who met his first president on the day he was born and his second on the day he was brought home from the hospital. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: While Bush talked at length about his wife Columba, who`s originally from Mexico and delivered a couple of lines in pretty flawless Spanish, his prepared remarks included zero mention of immigration reform. A group of DREAMer activists ultimately forced the issue, interrupting the speech with the message legal status is not enough, a reference to Bush`s past position on immigration, which stopped short of endorsing full citizenship. And they did that during Bush`s tribute to his mother, Barbara. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BUSH: She is watching what I say and frankly with all these reporters around I am watching what she says, too. Just so that our friends know, the next president of the United States will pass meaningful immigration reform so that that will be solved, not by executive order. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now, Michael Steele, MSNBC political analyst and former head of the RNC, and McKay Coppins, senior political writer for "BuzzFeed". Michael, that to me was most interesting moment in the speech for this reason. The first thing a lot of people did when the remarks were e-mailed was look through and were surprised, I think to find not a mention of immigration. The activists show up, they interrupt the speech and they get a mention of immigration out of him in response to that. MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: They do. And it`s not surprising in the sense that he responded to it. It is a little bit curious that he didn`t at least include some reference either in the biographical part where he is talking about his wife Columba and his family, even when he was speaking Spanish. But I think there may be more tactic involved than just trying to avoid the issue. I think he wanted to send a different kind of message at the beginning, not based around a substantive policy issue like immigration but rather thematically talk about the differences that he wants to move into in this campaign, you know, tonally or there, but not specifically with respect to policy. HAYES: Yes, although, I think that`s true. I mean, he largely avoided policy. STEELE: Right. HAYES: It was particularly in contrast to Hillary Clinton`s speech which we will talk about which was very policy intensive. McKay, I thought -- I got to say I understand it`s a little hard if you are the speech writer for this campaign, or Jeb himself, to figure out how you deal with the fact that, you know, your brother and father are both presidents. But the line, "In this country of ours the most improbable things can happen", like only in America can a man born to a president and the brother of a president be a president. What was that? (LAUGHTER) MCKAY COPPINS, BUZZFEED: That was a bad and strange note in an otherwise I think pretty good speech and performance. You know, this issue about his -- the kind of dynasty question is going to be something that follows him throughout the campaign. He knows that. He is going to address it and he`s going to answer questions. He knows that he`s going to have to keep answering questions about his father and brother. I was out with him in Europe for the past week where he talked extensively about his father who is actually fairly popular in the countries that he visited, and, you know, studiously avoided mentioning his brother at all costs. But to go out of your way in your announcement speech to act as though this is some great thing about the American dream, that the third Bush in a row could be president, I don`t know. The third Bush in the family, I don`t know. That was a strange moment. STEELE: I didn`t take that away from it. I thought it was a pretty good line when you think about it. I think if he hadn`t made some reference to his father and brother then the narrative would have been, look, Bush is avoiding talking about his father and his brother. So, I think, you are absolutely right. I mean, he is going to have to address it. I think he found a cute way to do it. I think it was non- offensive and didn`t really amount to much more than a laugh in the speech and he moves on. HAYES: McKay, you talk -- you wrote a piece that I really like about Jeb Bush embarks on least joyful campaign ever, about the kind of -- sort of the joyless slog that has been the Bush campaign so far. Obviously, joy or joyfulness or joylessness is sort of a weird stylistic thing to note, but just as a viewer, it feels always when I`m watching him like this isn`t someone necessarily enjoying this which I can`t begrudge someone because the whole thing seems like arduous and unenjoyable. COPPINS: Right. I would be miserable if I was running for president. I think -- the reason I pointed it out is because, you know, when he first started flirting with the presidential run, he said -- the main question he had to answer for himself when making that decision was, can I do it joyfully? And basically, ever since he said that, you know, if you observe him out on the campaign trail in Europe, wherever he is, there is kind of a general joylessness that wafts off of him. He -- you know, and it goes to the fundamental I think rationale of his campaign which is that he believes he is a grown up in a field of unprepared, unserious candidates and in that way his candidacy is sort of oppositional in nature. You know, he wants to save his party, the Republican party from people who he thinks are less serious. That`s come through in conversations I have had with people who know him for a long time, his aides. And so, I think running a campaign like that is not, you know, by its very nature going to be a joyful, exciting, positive upbeat experience. HAYES: The one place where he seemed to be most animated I thought was surprising and a window into the strategy of the Jeb campaign in this primary as opposed to the general, is when he talked about the Little Sisters of the Poor, Michael, when he talked about this lawsuit that has to do with a kind of conscious exemption in the Affordable Care Act. It occurred to me that one smart thing they come up politically is they`re going to find a sliver of Venn diagram where they can really lean into giving the religious right particularly red meat and he really leaned into that and was an indicator we`re going to see a lot more of that in this campaign. STEELE: Oh, I think that`s true to a certain degree. But I don`t know if it was just a play to the religious right. I think there is a lot of concern out there that every day folks, religious or not, has about the role -- have about the role the government plays with these types of organizations, charities and the like. And I think there`s still a lot of unanswered questions in that regard. And I think he put down a marker saying, I`m going to be the guy -- very much like Hillary wants to be the champion for certain things. I think he put down a marker that he wants to be the guy to be a champion for protecting those rights against an intrusive, obnoxious government. HAYES: Michael Steele and McKay Coppins, hank you both. Both Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton made an interesting choice in their campaign logos, leaving out their famous last name, shared by famous relatives who`ve already been president, kind of just regular folks, Hillary and Jeb. In an interview on MSNBC this morning, Mitt Romney of all people argued that Hillary Clinton is just too elite and too wealthy to connect with most American voters. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ROMNEY: Somehow, though, when you see her on the stage or when she comes to a roomful of people, she is smiling with her mouth but her eyes are saying, you know, where is my latte? How can she get out there and she sell a populist message when she makes in one hour a multiple of what the average American will make in a year? (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Asked about Romney`s comments on the campaign trail today, Clinton made her strongest case yet about why her family`s wealth shouldn`t be held against her. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want everybody to have the same opportunities that I had and that my husband had. I don`t think Americans are against success. I think Americans are against people who get on the top of the ladder and start pulling it up so nobody else has the same chance that they had. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: That fits in with the message she rolled out in New York City on Saturday, embracing the broad theme of combating economic inequality. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: While many of you are working multiple jobs to make ends meet you see the top 25 hedge fund managers making more than all of America`s kindergarten teachers combined and often paying a lower tax rate. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: In that speech, Clinton also embraced something she stayed very far away from in 2008, her gender. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: Well, I may not be the youngest candidate in this race, but I will be the youngest woman president in the history of the United States. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now, Rebecca Traister, senior editor of "The New Republic", whose daughter -- if I can editorialize, extremely adorable and awesome is in that shot in her little striped shirt. You were there with her. I thought that moment, that sound bite symbolized so much the ways in which everything about this campaign seems to be constructed as a repudiation of 2008. REBECCA TRAISTER, THE NEW REPUBLIC: Yes, absolutely. She is running a different kind of campaign. She`s leading with populism. She is comparing herself to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I mean, that`s a big move within -- forget Hillary compared to last campaign. HAYES: Right. TRAISTER: This is a big more for a mainstream Democratic candidate right now. After several decades of sort of big sucking up to Ronald Reagan as a great -- you know -- HAYES: Yes. TRAISTER: -- and good things about Reagan and we should reach across the aisle. And Hillary herself has done things like that certainly talked about and lived compromised, right? And she is really sort of taking off in what feels like a very new direction compared to her recent political life by saying actually, I`m only going to work with willing partners. That was pretty direct. HAYES: I thought so too. That was a very interesting line. TRAISTER: Right. This was not about the great, you know, productivity of reaching across the aisle. This was like, you come to me. HAYES: Yes. TRAISTER: Right? That`s a big move to make. HAYES: And I also thought the embracing of the historic nature of the candidacy, what it does is, you know, the hardest question to answer I think if you`re running for president is, why do you want to be president? Because the truthful answer is I`m a deranged person because this is absolutely insane undertaking. But I want to be the first woman president is a pretty darn good answer. TRAISTER: And this is a very progressive answer, something that we forget when we talk about how it`s all symbolic identity politics. HAYES: Right, sure. TRAISTER: But the inverse of that, which is let`s have another guy, that`s not just symbolism, right? That has meaning. It`s 230 uninterrupted years of male executive power, right? It is a progressive thing to put yourself forward as a progressive and, you know, in Hillary`s case, arguably, a feminist, arguably now more liberal candidate for president, to be the first female president. HAYES: You make this point in the piece you wrote which is basically Hillary Clinton was sort of introduced to America and the kind of tweet length version of her was meet this woman who is like a liberal feminist smarty pants elite Ivy League lawyer. TRAISTER: Feminazi was the sort of the shorthand. HAYES: That was the shorthand. And then spent basically particularly starting in 2000 when she having to be elected herself as doing everything in her power to leave behind that image, right? And this is a sort of 360 more than 180 essentially. TRAISTER: Yes. She`s obviously -- I mean, she is tilting -- I don`t want to make an argument that she is her authentic Hillary self. She is a calculating politician. HAYES: And also, authenticity in politics is sort of useless because no one is authentic, right. TRAISTER: It`s all performance. When you watch these campaigns, you are watching theater. HAYES: Yes. TRAISTER: To my mine, I`m happy if the players are kind of listening to what the audience wants. In this case, Hillary`s shift -- HAYES: And it gets them a good substantive commitment. TRAISTER: Right. In this case, Hillary`s shift seems to indicate that she`s noticed, there`s been a change in mood, a change in need amongst the electorate, and she seems to be trying to move towards it. I think that`s a good thing. It does reflect a lot of work that she did early in her career as a law student and young lawyer in Arkansas. She was engaged in criminal defense, in legal services. Jimmy Carter appointed her to run the legal services corporation. She was a public defender in Arkansas. She set up a legal aid clinic. Her investment in criminal justice reform has roots in her early career. That`s something we forget when we take her to task, not unreasonably, for the role her husband played in terms of building a prison complex. You know, she`s returning to some -- HAYES: Very good point. Rebecca Traister`s piece in "The New Republic" is a must read on this topic. Thank you. TRAISTER: Thank you so much. HAYES: And an unusual moment on the campaign trail today as Hillary Clinton met the press. Plus, kayak-tivists detained as they try to stop a drilling rig from heading to the Arctic. And the president of the NAACP joins me tonight after the resignation of Spokane NAACP head, an alleged African-American impersonator, if that`s the term? Rachel Dolezal. And tomorrow night, exclusively on ALL IN, Rachel Dolezal herself finally speaks in an extended interview with Melissa Harris-Perry. That will only air right here at 8:00 p.m. tomorrow night. You do not want to miss that. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: As we enter the era of legalized marijuana, the Colorado Supreme Court reached a big important and unanimous decision. An employer can fire you for off duty pot use even medical marijuana. Brandon Coats consumed pot off duty to control his muscle spasms due to his quadriplegia. In 2010, he was fired by the Dish Network for failing a random drug test. But Colorado has a lawful off duty activity statute which prohibits employers from firing workers for engaging in lawful activities in their own time. And since pot is legal in Colorado, this would certainly seem to qualify. But the Colorado Supreme Court found employees that engaged in activity such as medical marijuana use that is permitted understate law but unlawful under federal law are not protected by the statute. So, as legal use begins to pass state by state, this decision is an important reminder, it is still clashing with federal law that makes the use of marijuana crime. The momentum behind legal weed seems pretty clear. But at some point, the federal government is going to have to do more than simply tolerate states` experimentation with legalizing the drug. Congress and the president are going to have to take the politically risky and correct stance to legalize it nationally. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: Jeb Bush is running today. He is going to announce. He is trying to say that his last name doesn`t matter. Any piece of advice for him on that? CLINTON: I have to say that`s a very tempting question to answer but I won`t. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: In the wake of mounting criticism from the gargantuan press corps covering her, Hillary Clinton did something that she rarely does -- she answered questions from reporters, some of them anyway. Journalists have been frustrated over what they believe is inadequate access to cover the Democratic front runner who`s been far less willing to take questions from campaign press than say Bernie Sanders, Jeb Bush and other rivals. But if the low level of access being offered by the Clinton is historically unprecedented, so too is the media scrum that she faces. I mean, Clinton is being covered functionally like a sitting president with an overwhelming media presence tracking her every move and utterance. This weekend, just as example, more than 500 reporters showed up to cover her campaign kickoff speech which, by the way, was aired live. That`s 500 reporters and that is crazy. Now, one truism on political insiders is that American people do not care whether or not the press corps is happy with how much access they are getting from the candidate. And very few people would blame Hillary Clinton for being wary of the media. But her reticence to engage with reporters is not without consequences both for the candidate herself and for the party she hopes to lead. Joining me now, Eric Boehlert, senior fellow with Media Matters, which has been I`d says a vigorous advocate for Clinton, though it is not affiliated with the campaign. Good to have you here. ERIC BOEHLERT, MEDIA MATTERS: Thanks for having me. HAYES: So, I thought this was -- basically, I think these fights are immaterial. I mean, I think, if anything, Barack Obama proved no one cares if the press whines about access, right? I mean -- BOEHLERT: Yes. Right, the 500 reporters is probably more than covered Obama four years ago. I mean, it`s so over the top. And there`s need for content, need for content. Sixteen, 18 months out, it`s kind of ridiculous but they still have to produce it. So, what are they going to produce? Well, let`s write about ourselves. Let`s write about how unhappy we are and let`s have a debate about access. And yes. So -- HAYES: So here is where I think actually it is important substantively, right? There`s a huge debate happening over the Trans Pacific Partnership, trade promotion authority, right? BOEHLERT: Right. HAYES: Hillary Clinton is running to get the nominee of the Democratic Party. This is possibly the most controversial issue within the Democratic caucus I have seen in the time I have covered Barack Obama and the White House. BOEHLERT: Right, right. HAYES: He has got handed this rebuke. BOEHLERT: Right. HAYES: It seems important to get her views on this. This was her today answering a question on trade. Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: The issue for me is what is in the deal? And I think now there is an opportunity for the president and his team to reach out and meet with the people who have sat on the floor like Pelosi did that we need a better deal, not "I`m against it no matter what`s in it", or as many did, "I`m for it no matter what`s in it". (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Now, that was a masterful bit of not answering the question. But it does seem really important that the reason that access seems important to me is I would like to get a clear position from Hillary Clinton -- if you are in the Senate, how would you vote on trade promotion authority? BOEHLERT: Right. Well, if you were in the Senate. I mean, she`s not in the Senate. She is running for president. But the point is -- (CROSSTALK) HAYES: Right, if you are -- I mean, if you are in the Senate like Bernie Sanders, you are going to have to have a vote record, right? It seems like a basic standard to say, where would you vote on this if this have been -- BOEHLERT: Right. So, a few days ago, she won`t talk about, she won`t talk about. And she went to Iowa and she talked about it. She talked about it today. Now, the sort of press is like we really don`t like that answer. We want a different answer. So, we`re going to keep -- you can keep asking. Absolutely, they should keep asking her. HAYES: No, I don`t care about the press, I want a position, right? I mean, if I am a Democratic primary voter, I want to know where she is on this issue and it seems that one of the sort of insidious aspects of not taking questions is it`s easier to avoid that. Today I think showed you can take questions and also not come down clearly. BOEHLERT: Well, I think what she`s saying, to be fair, she is saying there is still a process. She is opposed to trade agreements in the past, she has supported trade agreements in the past. What she is saying in the end, she wants to protect jobs, wants to the environment, when it`s said and done, I will -- you know, let`s have a conversation. There is a process going on. That`s what she`s saying. HAYES: Here is the thing I find disingenuous about this. BOEHLERT: Yes. HAYES: Which is that she was secretary of state. BOEHLERT: Yes. HAYES: The deal was being worked out and negotiated while she was there, the beginnings of it. BOEHLERT: The beginnings of it. HAYES: She`s not like -- it`s not like she is like getting on the air like what is the deal with this Trans Pacific Partnership. She oversaw foreign policy arm of the American government and was quite supportive of it during that stage. Like it seems that`s also important to be on the record here. BOEHLERT: Yes, she has talked about it. She talked about it many times. She talked about the idea of trade deals. But, again, she is saying, it`s -- when we come to a final deal, what is the house going to do? What is Obama going to do? She is suggesting like Pelosi they should work together. HAYES: You think if there is another vote moment, we will get a position from her on which side of that she is on? BOEHLERT: I assume so. She was saying, some people would support it and some people would oppose it. She doesn`t want to be in that position quite yet. But again, the press can keep asking. Again, the point a couple of weeks ago she wouldn`t talk about it, she wouldn`t about it. HAYES: No, she talked about it today. And I thought, I was glad to see it. BOEHLERT: Then it`s like we don`t like the answer. HAYES: Eric Boehlert, always a pleasure. Thank you. BOEHLERT: OK. HAYES: Still ahead, we check in with Florida where a new bill would ensure governor and multimillionaire Rick Scott cheap health care even as he refuses to expand Medicaid for his fellow Floridians. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: We have been following efforts by politicians and activists around in Seattle and the world to block Shell from restarting its Arctic drilling operation which has suspended since 2012 despite billions of dollars of investment from that company. In April, a group of protesters dramatically boarded a Shell rig as it was being towed across the ocean, and camped on it for six days to protest the planned drilling. And when that rig arrived last month in the port of Seattle where Shell is housing its arctic drilling rig and equipment to the great consternation of many Seattle residents and officials, a large group of self-proclaimed kayaktivists formed a symbolic blockade. Now, today was t he day that Shell planned to start towing the rig up to the Arctic, and activists were not about to let that happen without a fight. The kayaktivists were back out on the water early this morning before the rig could depart. And once it started moving, the protesters were in violation of a 500-yard safety zone around the rig. The Coast Guard began pulling the kayaktivists out of their boats and onto -- out of their boats -- out of their kayaks, not their boats, 24 protesters, including 13 from Greenpeace were detained. They were then booked and fined $250. You might say the kayaktivists were Portmantowed out of the water. The Shell rig is now on its way to the Arctic, though the protesters say their fight is far from over and far from futile. Annie Leonard of Greenpeace said, quote, every minute that brave protesters can delay Shell`s Arctic drilling plans is another chance for President Obama to reconsider his disastrous approval of oil drilling in Alaska. She added, quote, it`s not too late for him to stop this catastrophe before it starts. (COMMERCIA LBREAK) HAYES: Governor Rick Scott of Florida got some good news. The Florida House wants him to keep paying about $8 a month for his health insurance courtesy of the taxpayers in Florida. Governor Scott, a man who has built his political career on opposition to government-run healthcare and Obamacare has, thanks to a vote from the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in Florida, moved one step closer to maintaining his current health care arrangement. The bill in question would keep premiums at $8.34 a month for individual coverage and $30 a month for family coverage for the rest of this year and 2016 for the governor. Rank and file employees as well as state lawmakers pay more a little more -- $50 a month for individual coverage, or $180 a month for family coverage. But, the bad news continues for the 800,000 low income Floridians who would be able in Medicaid had it not been blocked by the very same Republican-controlled Florida house. As The Atlatnic notes, Scott`s position on the Medicaid expansion has vacillated over the years, but he is now once again against it. It should come as no surprise that Florida also never opted for state- run health care exchange. It has a federally facilitated exchange. And if the Supreme Court rules against Obamacare in King vs. Burwell, then Floridians who receive federal subsidies could lose those subsidies. More than 1.4 million Floridians have selected a health care plan through the exchange, according to the Kaiser family foundation. About six in ten people enrolled though the marketplace, receive subsidies nationwide according to the Washington Post, citing federal data. A total of 6.4 million Americans. Joining me now, former senator and former governor of New Hampshire, Judd Gregg. And Mr. Greg, your party, Republicans, have been referred to as the dog that caught the car or is about to catch the car, if it gets the ruling it appears to want in King vs. Burwell. What does the Republican Party do, what do Republican senators do, if the Supreme Court invalidates those subsidies? What do you think they should do? JUDD GREGG, FRM. GOVERNOR OF NEW HAMPSHIRE: Well, I think you are going to see them come forward with a very aggressive and thoughtful approach to how we get health care to Americans, something that doesn`t involve the massive bureaucratic snafus that the Obama plan has delivered, it doesn`t involve losing doctor, it doesn`t involve losing your insurance and doesn`t involve massive increases in costs... HAYES: But what is that? GREGG: ...massive increase in costs on small business. HAYES: That sounds like a -- I would love for there to be a magical pixie world where no one gets ill, but you actually have to come up with a concrete piece of legislation. GREGG: It`s not a magical pixie world at all. In fact, it was proposed prior to Obamacare being passed, a bill called CPR which would set up that type of system where you would have insured people for catastrophic care. HAYES: And no one would have lost their doctor under that plan and there would have been no bureaucratic status? GREGG: It would have been a much more efficient and effective way to deliver health care than what we are dealing with today. You know you can throw words out like magic pixie world, but as a practical matter if you are not willing to consider alternatives which are substantive then you shouldn`t be making those types statements. This was a substantive alternative. HAYES: Right. So, what do you base on... GREGG: You`re going to see a substantive alternative coming out of Senator Lamar Alexander HAYES: What do you base that on, that it was more efficient? GREGG: Because it was by definition more efficient and less costly. Did you -- if you look at the Obamacare proposal, almost all the representations that it put forward have failed. You don`t keep your own doctor. The costs have gone up significantly. You lose your insurance and more importantly than that uninsured folks didn`t get picked up in any significant numbers. HAYES: Senator Gregg, that is just not true. Uninsured rates have plummeted to a 15-year low. GREGG: No, it hasn`t plummeted. HAYES: Yes, of course it has. Look at the Pew data. GREGG: It has not plummeted. It has gone from 44 million to 40 million. That is not a plummet. HAYES: No, that`s not -- based on the Pew data, you think that is true? GREGG: Yes, that is true. HAYES: The rate of uninsured has gone down about 6 to 8 percentage points since Obamacare was effectuated in just about two or three years, right. GREGG: Well, 6 to 8 points from a 44 million person base is about 40 million people. It is true. I wish you would get your numbers right. Your numbers are worse than Obama`s. HAYES: No, no, no, those numbers are correct. I mean... GREGG: No, I mean, your ability to understand your numbers is worse than Obama. I mean, the simple fact... HAYES: We will show that graph after we are done with this and we`ll see who is right about this. GREGG: I`m sure you will show a graph. I`m not sure it is going to be an accurate one, but you`ll show you the polling on the uninsured rate. Former Senate Judd Gregg, thank you very much. Up next the president of the NAACP shares his perspective on Rachel Dolezal and former head of the Spokane NAACP who just resigned days after her estranged parents accused her of lying about her race. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RUTHANNE DOLEZAL, MOTHER OF RACHEL DOLEZAL: We just hope and pray that she will be successful in her pursuit to come into a more realistic and truthful way of living. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LACEY SCHWARTZ, DIRECTOR, LITTLE WHITE LIE: A grew up in a space where it was kind of like I was an extension of my family. And as opposed to I would say a lot of times like at Georgetown when I went to college, a lot of the white Jewish students, and I grew up in a white Jewish community, would question me and say, wow, it is crazy that you are Jewish but the black students wouldn`t say the same thing. In that community, they understood the full diversity of who we could be. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Last week, I got the chance to talk with Lescey schwarz, a film maker who grew up in a white family then discovered her biological father was black. And I asked for her perspective on the now former head of Spokane NAACP Rachel Dolezal. Her insights were fascinating. If you missed that interview, you can watch it right now on our Facebook page, And a reminder, I`ll be on Facebook as I am every single Tuesday to answer your questions about anything. Just head to our Facebook page at noon tomorrow and ask me whatever you like. And please take a second to hit the like button while you`re there thanks. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Former senator Judd Gregg and I of New Hampshire just had a little tete-a-tete about the record of Obamacare in bringing down the level of people who are uninsured. I said it had dropped by about six to eight percentage points and there you see the percentage of people uninsured by quarter was 18 percent at high before Obamacare`s implemented. It goes down to 11.9 percent, that`s a drop of about 6 percentage points, or about a third of the people who are unemployed. If a third of the people were unemployed beforehand were 44 million people, well then that`s a lot more than 4 million people who now have health insurance, at least by my back of the envelope math sitting here live on television. Tonight, the saga of Rachel Dolezal continues to unfold as perhaps the most controversial person to serve as the president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP resigns from her post. The civil rights activist accused of misrepresenting herself as black, announced she was stepping down amid a firestorm over her racial identity. Dolezal had repeatedly identified herself as black, that is until Dolezal`s own parents who spoke to reporters, noting that Dolezal`s racial makeup is in fact overwhelmingly white. The proof came from a birth certificate and photos offered up by Ruthanne and Lawrence Dolezal to the media showing Rachel as a young girl, a stark contrast to Dolezal`s current appearance. Dolezal posting a statement on the NAACP Spokane Facebook page today that reads in part, I will never stop fighting for human rights and will do everything in my power to help and assist whether it means stepping up or stepping down, because this is not about me, it`s about justice. This is not me quitting, this is a continuum. In the meantime, the university where Dolezal had part-time teaching position in Africana studies now says her contract with the school ended on Friday and she is no longer employed by the university. This, as her parents who have been estranged from their daughter for some time, continue to speak publicly. Ruthanne Dolezal had this reaction to her daughter`s resignation from the NAACP. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RUTHANNE DOLEZAL: I noticed in her letter of resignation there was no actual addressing of the issue of being dishonest about her ethnicity nor was there any apology. So I see that as a first step in her path to moving away from the negative feelings that she has had toward her family members. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Tonight, the national NAACP issued this statement about Rachel Dolezal. The NAACP is not concerned with the racial identity of our leadership, the institutional integrity of our advocacy. Our focus must be on issues, not individuals. Ms. Rachel Dolezal has decided to resign to ensure the Spokane branch remains focused on fighting for civil human rights. Joining me now Cornell William Brooks, the president and CEO of the NAACP. Good to have you here, Mr. Brooks. When this story first broke which is a fascinating one, I think a lot of people are quite compelled by it. The national NAACP issued a statement basically saying, look, we are standing by her. And there were a lot of people, I think, who were a little surprised by that statement. I am curious to hear your organization`s thinking in releasing that statement. CORNELL WILLIAM BROOKS, PRESIDENT NAACP: Well, the NAACP is a bottom up organization. When you talk to people in Spokane about her leadership, she was widely respected as an advocate, she was widely respected as a branch president. And so the initial story around her racial identity did not speak to her leadership so we made clear that we as an organization have never regarded one`s racial identity as qualifying or disqualifying characteristic for leadership, that has quite simply never been the case. And so we stood by her record as a branch president of the NAACP, no more, no less than that. HAYES: Why do you think this story has captivated people the way it has? BROOKS: Well, I think this story has been about race and about who gets to call themselves an African-American. But at the end of the day I think what is really important here, certainly from the vantage point of NAACP, is it`s not a narrow question of racial identity but it is a question about our commitment to bringing about an end of racism, that is the work of the NAACP. And so if you look at her resignation letter, she resigns -- or she states as a reason for resigning -- allowing the branch to focus on the work. And the work is most important. At the end of the day, it is our institutional integrity, our commitment to the issues, not the distractions of any particular individuals that is significant, that is important here. HAYES: It does strike me that from the perspective of institutional integrity, the most troubling issue isn`t about her talking about her background or perhaps fabricating who her father was, it`s the idea that some of the complaints she filed about hate crimes could have possibly been fabricated. Now, we don`t know. We know that investigations into them have been suspended, but it strikes me from the perspective of the organization that would be the most important thing to get to the bottom of. BROOKS: Well, we don`t know. And we don`t want to go beyond the facts. What we do know is for 106 years the NAACP has been a trusted voice on America`s most profound social justice challenges and civil rights challenges. And we value that. At the end of the day those letters NAACP mean something to this country. They represent a certain integrity, a certain commitment. And we are committed to doing real work, work that speaks to the power of those letters. And so these reality TV moments are just that, moments. They do not obliterate and will not distract us from the work we have been doing well over a century. And work. Let me remind you, it needs to be done now. As we see all across children being traumatized at pool parties, where we see children being brutalized and traumatized at pool parties, when we see young people being racially profiled. That is important work, that is what we have to focus on. And that is what we care about. HAYES: Are you -- what kind of things are you hearing? I know from reporting on the NAACP, it really is a bottom up organization. Are you getting flack for this episode? BROOKS: Well, what we are hearing is that there are people who are deeply disappointed in pained by this experience. But their pained not merely because of what happened with this one branch president, but to the extent that it is a distraction from real work. For example -- for example, today we announced in a long scheduled press event a major initiative, America`s journey for justice, a march from Selma, Alabama to Washington, D.C. HAYES: We are looking to following up on that march. It`s going to be quite an event. Cornell William Brooks, great to thanks BROOKS: Still ahead, the massive public reaction to Rachel Dolezal and what it reveals. Jelani Cobb joins me next. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: Joining me now Jelani Cobb, professor of Africana studies at the University of Connecticut, columnist for The New Yorker. Jelani, I thought you wrote a great piece. One interesting part of this fascinating saga which is unfolding which I think like everyone just can`t turn away from, I mean, genuinely fascinating is it has unleashed a lot of great sophisticated meditations on the nature of race. And I thought yours was one of the best. You write this, "Rachel Dolezal is not black by lineage or lifelong experience, yet I find her deceptions less troubling than the vexed criteria being used to exclude her." Another point, you have this great line, you say, "she was lying about a lie. What does that mean?" JELANI COBB, THE NEW YORKER: So, you know, I don`t think of her as someone who is black. I don`t think you can simply darken your skin and declare that you have this identity. but at the same time, if we are honest about this whole category of race we know it doesn`t exist. So at the same time as we are saying that, OK, we have some problems with her just summarily deciding that she is part of this community, we have to be very real in saying that this is not a real biologically discrete category in the first place. HAYES: This is where things get so difficult to tease apart, right, because at one level you can say race doesn`t exist, right. It doesn`t in any actual like description of the world, right, like the way that say gravity exists. But in another level it very, very, very much does exist. Like, how do you explain the distinction between the fact that it both simultaneously does and does not exist? COBB: Right. So what has happened is that there was a kind of central lie, an original lie. And this lie was used to distort the humanity of a particular set of individuals for reasons that relate to the birth of capitalism and exploitation and slavery and all these things. And so I`m quite sure that the first people who were enslaved understood that this was a lie, but the community that came out of this lie is very real based upon... HAYES: Because it has been forged by hundreds of years... COBB: Forged by history, shared experience and so on. And so I think the thing that she did that was most offensive to me was not that she created this false biography, which I thought was kind of silly or weird but because of the nature of slavery and the large amount of rape that happened in the institution of slavery, black America has kind of gotten a policy wherein we don`t check people`s membership at the door. You know, we`re not going to ask you to prove your black identity you know because all of us have white ancestry. HAYES: That`s -- you had this point, you say thing in the piece about like it is like faith in that we -- if you confess to be a certain religion we don`t check. You are. And you say blackness in America functionally functions that way. COBB: Right, because I was raised Catholic. I never remember someone coming up and saying when was your confirmation? You know, it`s simply the idea that we are part of this community, we take you on your word. And so for instance I taught as a Fulbright professor in Moscow and I remember having a really interesting conversation with Russian students who were kind of perplexed that someone who maybe looked like Viola Davis would be considered in the same category as someone who looks like Halle Berry, you know, or someone even lighter. And they were saying, like, how are these people considered the same? HAYES: It`s a very good question. COBB: It is. It is because the nature of slavery has been such that in the same family we can have people who look this way and I actually talk about that in the piece. HAYES: You yourself. COBB: Yeah, my father you know was a dark complexioned man with black hair and brown eyes, and he had a sister with reddish hair, light skin and gray eyes, same mother and same father. But we understood that this kind of European lineage that pops up when it pops up. HAYES: And there`s something your write about, and this is something that Ta-Nehisi writes about in this new book that he has coming out, which is a phenomenal book about arriving at Howard University which is where you went and where she went, Rachel Dolezal, and being amazed by the incredible diversity of blackness in this place. COBB: That`s right. And so what is strange about this, and I think that, you know, kind of the plug for my friend Ta-Nehisi`s book "Between the World and Me" that he talks about that really well and it`s kind of a common narrative that we have where there`s such a broad variety of people who fit under this category. I met a person who was when I was there half African-American and half Inuit and you know she fit in in this community. Nobody was going to say, like, you are not part of this community. But there was nowhere else but Howard that was going to meet somebody who was black and Inuit. HAYES: And then you have to imagine now we found this crazy wrinkle, which is that when she at Howard she sued the university apparently as a white person for discriminating against her for her whiteness and then at some point after losing that lawsuit apparently decided, well, I`m just going to go over to the other side. COBB: It sound is like I voted for it before I voted against it version of race. If you can`t beat them join them literally kind of idea. It`s bizarre. And I think this kind of weird humorous subtext that you look at this going what is going on here? Really it does touch upon things that are really very sensitive in the idea of like who is considered black and who isn`t. HAYES: And we should also say sensitive in terms of what is happening with that family with the parents doing interview after interview sort of blowing up her spot. I mean, there`s obviously there is a familial drama here that and subtext that is pretty intense. Jelani Cobb, it`s always such a pleasure to have you here. Thank you. COBB: Thank you. HAYES: That is all in for this evening. And tomorrow night Rachel Dolezal will sit down with Melissa Harris Perry for an extended interview exclusive right here on All In. You do not want to miss it. Rachel Maddow Show starts right now. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END