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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 08/07/15

Guests: Paula Johnson, McKay Coppins, Tara Dowdell, Dave Weigel, EzraKlein, Nina Turner, Josh Zepps, Charles Pierce

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) THOMAS ROBERTS, MSNBC GUEST HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN -- DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don`t, frankly, have time for total political correctness. ROBERTS: Record ratings for the Republican debate and Donald Trump was at the center of it all. TRUMP: I just wanted to be treated well and with respect. ROBERTS: But was the treatment of Donald Trump fair and balanced? TRUMP: I don`t think it`s very professional. I mean, I walked out of that room and people were saying that was really unfair. ROBERTS: Tonight, the fallout for the Republican front-runner, including the New Hampshire group Women for Trump sticking by their man. Ezra Klein on Donald Trump`s Honey Badger performance and "Esquire`s" Charlie Pierce with the progressive view of the debate. And it`s the end of an era. JON STEWART, DAILY SHOW: Welcome to "The Daily Show". My name is Jon Start. ROBERTS: Tonight, we`ll look back at Jon Stewart`s last "Daily Show." STEWART: Hey, Trevor. TREVOR NOAH: What`s happening? STEWART: Could you give me like 20 more minutes? NOAH: Oh, I`m so sorry. ROBERTS: ALL IN starts right now. (END VIDEOTAPE) ROBERTS: Hi, everybody. Good evening from New York. I`m Thomas Robertson for Chris Hayes. And all eyes were on Donald Trump on FOX News last night. The first debate of the 2016 cycle, and now, the most watched primary debate in history. Trump took center stage, the prime spot reserved for the front-runner. And from the very first question, he set himself apart from the other nine candidates. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BRET BAIER, DEBATE MODERATOR: Is there anyone on stage, and can I see hands, who is unwilling tonight to pledge your support to the eventual nominee of the Republican Party and pledge to not run an independent campaign against that person? Mr. Trump? TRUMP: I can totally make that pledge if I`m the nominee. I will pledge. I will not run as an independent. But -- and I am discussing it with everybody. But I`m talking about a lot of leverage. We want to win. And we will win. (END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: So, Trump continued to make waves throughout the debate, starting with his response to a question from Megyn Kelly about some of the language that he has used to describe women. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MEGYN KELLY, DEBATE MODERATOR: You call women you don`t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals. Your Twitter account -- TRUMP: Only Rosie O`Donnell. KELLY: Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president, and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton who is likely to be the Democratic nominee that you are part of the war on women? TRUMP: I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. Oftentimes it`s fun, it`s kidding, we have a good time. What I say is what I say. (END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: And Trump also found himself forced to defend his support for liberal politicians and policies. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BAIER: Fifteen years ago you called yourself a liberal on health care. You were for a single-payer system, a Canadian-style system. Why were you for that then, and why aren`t you for it now? TRUMP: It works in Canada, it works incredibly well in Scotland. It could have worked in a different age, which is the age you`re talking about here. What I`d like to see is a private system without the artificial lines around every state. KELLY: In 1999, you said you were, quote, "very pro-choice", even supporting partial birth abortion. You favored an assault weapons ban as well. In most cases you identified as a Democrat. When did you actually become a Republican? TRUMP: I`ve evolved on many issues over the years. You know who else has? Ronald Reagan. What happened is friends of mine years ago were going to have a child, and it was going to be aborted, and it wasn`t aborted, and that child today is a total superstar, a great, great child. I am very, very proud to say that I am pro-life. (END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: In a focus group on FOX, after the debate, some participants told Republican pollster Frank Luntz they were less than impressed by Trump`s performance. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I liked him when I came in here, because he wasn`t the politician. But right now, he skirted around questions better than a life- long politician ever has. (LAUGHTER) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was mean. He was angry. He had no specifics. He was bombastic. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If he runs as an independent, he`s going to be basically handing the election to Hillary Clinton. (END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: But for his part, Trump gave marks to the moderators with FOX News. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOE SCARBOROUGH, MORNING JOE: Do you think the FOX moderators fair to you last night? TRUMP: No, I don`t think so. I`m not sure that FOX is fair necessarily, but, you know, I`ve been set up before, and I think I handled it well. (END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: And then get this -- Trump also took to Twitter to vent his frustrations with the network, tweeting, among other things, that, quote, "Frank Luntz is a low-class slob who came to my office looking for consulting work, which I had no interest. Now, he picks anti-Trump panels." And, "Wow, Megyn Kelly really bombed tonight. People are going live on Twitter. Funny to watch." Trump also retweeted a post from a supporter, referring to Kelly as a "bimbo". I`m joined now by Paula Johnson, a former New Hampshire state rep and a current member of the state`s Women for Trump coalition. Paula, it`s good to have you with me. And after the performance we witnessed last night from Donald Trump, how do you feel about supporting him and the title of the group you represent Women for Trump? PAULA JOHNSON, NH "WOMEN FOR TRUMP" COALITION: Well, thank you for having me on tonight. I am still a big supporter of Donald Trump. I think he did a great job last night, given what they handed him. I think that FOX News was a little bit unfair to him last night. ROBERTS: So -- JOHNSON: And so, I still have great support for him. ROBERTS: So, you think that they were unfair -- you think this is not the treatment of front-runner should receive? JOHNSON: Well, I think if you`re going to be fair, do it to everybody. I think their questioning was out of line last night. I think everybody should be asked the same question. It`s about where we`re taking this country and where we`re taking this economy. I think some of the questions were out of line last night. ROBERTS: But not all of the candidates have misogynistic remarks in their past, as Megyn Kelly alluded to, and tried to craft together in that question. So, how would you defend the type of language Donald Trump has used in the past, and also defend how he answered himself to Megyn Kelly? JOHNSON: Well, I don`t know Mr. Trump personally. I`ve seen him on the news. I`ve seen him on TV. I was a big fan of "The Apprentice." And I always thought in "The Apprentice", he was very professional. And I just think that the questioning was the wrong question last night. And I think they baited him last night. FOX News. I mean, let`s take a look at this. He`s a businessman. I don`t think that there`s -- he has any problem with women. There`s a lot of women that are supporting him. I`m supporting him. I`m a former state representative. I`m a former alderman and board of education members in Nashau. And I have the highest respect for Mr. Trump. ROBERTS: Do you think -- JOHNSON: But I think her question was out of line last night. ROBERTS: Do you think, though, that the questioning being out of line then in and of itself deserves the type of language of being called a bimbo? Do you think Donald Trump should support someone and retweet them calling Megyn Kelly a bimbo? JOHNSON: Well, you know, there`s this name-calling in this country with everybody now. You know, we all have to be politically correct in this country. And if we`re not politically correct, we`re looked down upon, you know? Maybe her questioning shouldn`t have been like that. She -- FOX went on the attack with him last night with nobody else, but him, on the attack last night. And I am a big supporter of FOX News. I watch "FOX & friends" in the morning. But after that, I don`t want to watch Megyn Kelly anymore. I mean, I`m getting disgusted. As a matter of fact, I`m getting disgusted with all the news media because of the way they treat people out there. If you`re not politically correct, if you`re not politically correct, just shunned upon. And enough is enough. We have more important things in this country than acting politically correct. We have a big deficit and I think this man is the only one who`s going to be able to bring this country back to where it needs to be. He`s a businessman. He knows how to run a business and he`s not a politician like what we saw on the stage last night. ROBERTS: Paula, I have about ten seconds left. Yes or no, if he runs as an independent, will you still support him? JOHNSON: I`ll support Mr. Trump, I definitely will. I think he`s what this country finally needs to run this country. ROBERTS: Paula Johnson, Women for Trump, thank you so much for joining me. I appreciate it. JOHNSON: Thank you for having me on. ROBERTS: Absolutely. Joining me right now is McKay Coppins, senior political writer for "BuzzFeed News", NBC News correspondent Katy Tur, and political consultant Tara Dowdell, who was once a contestant on "The Apprentice." So, gang, it is great to have you all with me. And as we talk about the debate last night which gathered together 24 million people around the tube, this was appointment television last night for this debate. Katy, let me start with you, though. The reaction people are having from Megyn Kelly questioning Trump on misogynistic statements, misogynistic behavior, you sat down with him for a very long interview, and he was terse to you in a way that seemed demeaning at one point. Do you think that Megyn Kelly got the Katy Tur treatment? KATY TUR, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think that everybody gets that treatment. I think he certainly treats anyone who challenges him in a certain way, he doesn`t like to be challenged, he likes to hit back. I think that he`s been accused, certainly my interview, of being unnecessarily tough on women, or condescending, misogynistic, if you will. But I do think he`s tough on everybody. That he speaks -- look at the headlines right now, they`re very mixed. Some are saying Trump ran away with this, that he owned this debate. Others are saying that he`s going to feel the consequences for these women comments. But unfortunately or fortunately for him, depending how you`re looking at it, people who support him already and like his rhetoric and like what he has to say, will support what he`s doing now. They enjoy he`s a straight shooter. They enjoy that he`s not politically correct. They enjoy that he`s not a politician like the politicians they`ve been seeing their whole lives. They think politicians are double talking to them. They believe that even if he says something that`s out of line in some ways, that he is still speaking the truth and he`s speaking to them. Now, if you don`t support him, then you think what he said is disgusting. And you think it`s inexcusable. So, I think it just hardened his core of support. If you like him, you still like him. If you don`t like him, you don`t like him even more. ROBERTS: Right. And, meanwhile -- and, McKay, we see --we saw that from the interview with Paula Johnson a couple of moments ago, talking about how now she is disgusted with Megyn Kelly, feels that this was a total setup. A lot of people would say this is the craziest thing you could do is take on FOX News and Megyn Kelly who is their revered primetime host. Is Donald Trump making a mistake? MCKAY COPPINS, BUZZFEED NEWS: Yes, I think that a lot of people have been saying all through this campaign every time Donald Trump does something wacky or ridiculous, that this is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump`s campaign. I don`t know if there will be any one moment like that, but certainly, the case could be made that last night was the beginning of the end of the Trump bubble, because it was clear on both sides, from FOX News and from Trump, that there`s no love lost anymore between those two entities. And that`s important. FOX News, as much as the right, and as much as conservatives love Donald Trump, they have loved FOX News longer. And not just with Megyn Kelly, all these personalities, all these broadcasters on FOX are very influential opinion makers on the right to the Republican primary voters. And if he`s going to continue to feud with them, I don`t see that helping him maintain the support that he needs to succeed. ROBERTS: Well, everything is only emboldened him. And there seems to be a common thread here. It begins with M. So, we got Mexico, McCain and now Megyn. (LAUGHTER) ROBERTS: Which is nothing but giving him the attention that he craves in this campaign. Tara, one thing that last night was brought up, and we saw with Paula`s reaction that she thought things were very personal against Donald Trump. But take a listen to how Chris Wallace took him to task for the type of business person he is. Take a listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHRIS WALLACE, DEBATE MODERATOR: Let`s talk about the latest example which is Trump Entertainment Resorts which went bankrupt in 2009. In that case alone, lenders, to your company, lost over $1 billion, and more than 1,100 people were laid off. TRUMP: Well, I -- WALLACE: Is that the way that you`d run the country? TRUMP: Let me just tell you about the lenders. First of all, these lenders aren`t babies. These are total babies. They`re not the nice sweet little people you think, OK? Seven years ago, I left Atlantic City before it totally cratered. And I made a lot of money in Atlantic and I`m very proud of it. (END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: All right. So, he is touting his business experience. You were inspired by his business experience. And you competed on "The Apprentice." How do you think it gels to see him questioned about bankruptcies? He says on paper he`s worth $10 billion. Does that gel his answers about bankruptcies? Is that fair game? TARA DOWDELL, FMR. CONTESTANT, "THE APPRENTICE": I think all the questions that were asked of him last night were fair game, because he`s running on these very topics. He`s running as a successful business person. So, it is fair game to question him on those bankruptcies which we all know exists. He`s running as a guy who`s made $10 billion, despite the fact all the data and reports and studies that have been done saying it`s more like $2 billion or $3 billion. So, I think for him to be questioned on that is totally fair. I would also, when I did participate in the show is when he was a Democrat. But no, but I think that all the questions were fair game. I think what`s particularly stunning here is this is one of the areas where he`s most thin-skinned. But notice the difference in how he conducted himself with Chris Wallace in response to that question versus Megyn Kelly. There was much more ire directed at Megyn Kelly when she challenged him versus when the male anchors challenged him. ROBERTS: So, your perception is he went to task. Katy said he gives as good as he gets against everybody. TUR: I think he`s tough on everybody. I think he will hit anyone. He`s called Rick Perry dumb and he`s only trying to look smart with his glasses. He said a lot of negative things about a lot of people. (CROSSTALK) ROBERTS: -- of the nicer things exactly. TUR: Yes, well, I`m not going to use total language. But I do think it resonates more, because he is -- it is -- he`s being perceived as somebody who doesn`t -- isn`t a fan of women. He said these negative comments about women. He`s retweeted the bimbo tweet. So, I do think it definitely hit nerve. DOWDELL: I think Megyn Kelly is unquestionably sharp, whether you agree or disagree with her, she`s sharp. And he attacked her as being not sharp. ROBERTS: And we also know how much he loves McKay Coppins. McKay, thank you so much. Katy Tur, great to see you. Tara Dowdell, thanks for being here. I appreciate it. Still ahead, we`re going to have much more analysis of last night`s debate. Plus, a look at Jon Stewart`s final night on "The Daily Show." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BASSEM YOUSEF: Jon, I knew that they would eventually get you. Who shut you down? The White House? The secret police? Thanks, Obama. STEWART: No, no one is shutting the show down, Bassem. I`m leaving because I want to. YOUSEF: Whoa! That`s it? STEWART: Yes. YOUSEF: What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROBERTS: There was an 18th Republican showcase on the debate stage last night. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m a Reagan conservative. MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ronald Reagan said trust but verify. PAUL: Reagan did negotiate with the Soviets. SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`ll be the Ronald Reagan if I can find a Tip O`Neill. GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: President Reagan expanded Medicaid. RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was a child of Ronald Reagan. TRUMP: Ronald Reagan. SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ronald Reagan. CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ronald Reagan. RICK PERRY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ronald Raven (ph). (END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: After that last mention by Rick Perry, the internet exploded with "Ronald Raven" memes with the former president superimposed on birds, on a picture of former Baltimore Raven player, Ray Lewis, and replacing Raven Simone ,in "Not So Raven." For the record, Rick Perry`s campaign is denying that he accidently said "Ronald Raven". His spokesperson telling ABC News that he, quote, "clearly said Ronald Reagan." We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) THOMAS: Donald Trump was not the only person responsible for fireworks in the debate last night. Perhaps the most aggressive candidate on the stage was Rand Paul who mixed it up with both Trump and Chris Christie, including one particularly testy exchange with Christie over U.S. surveillance policy. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PAUL: I want to collect more records from terrorists, but less records from innocent Americans. GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That`s a completely ridiculous answer. I want to collect more records from terrorists, but less records from other people. How are you supposed to know, Megyn? How are you supposed to -- (CROSSTALK) PAUL: Use the Fourth Amendment. Use the Fourth Amendment. Get a warrant. (CROSSTALK) CHRISTIE: Let me tell you something -- PAUL: Get a judge to sign a warrant. You fundamentally misunderstand the Bill of Rights. Every time you did a case, you got a warrant from a judge. I`m talking about searches without warrants, indiscriminately of all Americans` records. That`s what I fought to end. I don`t trust President Obama with our records. I know you gave him a big hug, and if you want to give him a big hug again, you go right ahead. CHRISTIE: Senator Paul, you know, the hugs I remember are the hugs that I gave to the families who lost their people on September 11th. Those are the hugs I remember. (END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: So, joining me now is Dave Weigel, national political correspondent for "The Washington Post". And, Dave, what do you make of the back-and-forth that we witnessed last night? It was pretty intense. Today, we have this follow-up with Rand Paul tweeting that Christie will fear-monger and violate your constitutional rights for no reason. Do you think that they have this engagement now where they can kind of tease each other along to get higher in the polls? DAVE WEIGEL, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, it gave me deja vu because in 2007, Ron Paul, Rand Paul`s father, was running for president actually in a much weaker position, I think polling around 1 percent, 2 percent, raising almost no money, and got into a tete-a-tete with Rudy Giuliani in a debate. And as I recall, the pundit reaction was that Rudy Giuliani calling out Rand Paul`s explanation of why 9/11 happened was judged the winner of that debate. This is very similar. I think most of the commentaries say Chris Christie got the better of Rand. Keep in mind, Rand was trying to appeal to not 100 percent of Republicans, but maybe 25 percent, 20 percent of libertarians- minded Republicans -- ROBERTS: Who -- WEIGEL: -- who feel intensely about this and needed to see Rand Paul fight about it. ROBERTS: So, we saw Rand Paul fight about that, and he also went after Trump, which he had promised that he might do. And it`s totally normal to see candidates attack the front-runner. You`d expect that. But we really didn`t see most of the other candidates, Dave, going after Donald Trump. Why do you think that is? WEIGEL: Well, Rand Paul is in a position to build back some of his support after losing it over the last month. Some of that was the fault of member of his -- I`m sorry, not his super PAC, the super PAC referred by Rand Paul. Some of that I think was just attrition because of Trump`s role in the news cycle. Donald Trump has been vacuuming all voters who want to cast an outsider vote, an anti-Washington vote. That was Rand Paul`s vote he hoped. That was Ted Cruz`s vote he hoped. So, I think he most aggressively went after that. I think he also realized going in that he was not going to get a ton of debate time. I don`t know how he intuitively knew this, because FOX News has interviewed him quite a lot, but he made this strategic decision to start fights with Donald Trump because that was how he was going to get into the debate. And he saw in being aggressive, no down side. Even if everybody looking at the debate thought he did poorly, that is how he wanted to enter it. ROBERTS: Well, and meanwhile, doing the calculations of the time of what everybody got, Trump got the most in terms of speaking, Rand Paul got the least. But speaking of who got the least amount of time to actually speak, let`s talk about the happy hour debate, because these are the seven people relegated to the 5:00 p.m. hour. They pulled outside of the 10. But, Dave, a lot of people are talking about the performance, the gravitas that Carly Fiorina demonstrated. Do you agree with that? Or do you think that`s some type of setup from other forces at work over at FOX News? WEIGEL: I wouldn`t say at FOX News. I think one thing that distinguishes Carly Fiorina`s campaign from everyone else in the undercard, I like happy hour debate. That`s actually the most pleasant way of putting this so far. She has a very good, aggressive, press-savvy campaign team. They sort of tilled the soil for Carly to win this debate. I think they, more than any other campaign, had no resentment about being in it, and saw it was a place where they would shine. So, Carly Fiorina I think for really four months has benefited from coverage of her as a phenom, not really as a candidate. It`s easy to imagine all the attack points you could make if she surge into even fifth place. For example, she had a zinger about Donald Trump that I think everyone focused on as perfect in what you should say. Donald Trump getting a phone call from Bill Clinton. If she was in the higher tier, people might have pointed out that she actually spoke at a Clinton initiative event. She did not always have this visceral reaction to everything Hillary Clinton. There are ways she could be challenged if she actually was in a position to be challenged. ROBERTS: We shall see if the work she did yesterday actually catapults her to the main stage coming up next month when the next Republican debate happens. Dave Weigel -- Dave, great to see you. Thank you. WEIGEL: Thank you. ROBERTS: Still to come, how the Democrats are responding to last night`s debate action. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROBERTS: Tonight, a Colorado court reached a decision on whether mass murderer James Holmes will receive the death penalty or life in prison. Holmes killed 12 people and injured 70 in an Aurora movie theater in July of 2012. The jury already found him guilty of first-degree murder, and a little more than an hour ago, a sentence was announced after the jury stated it could not unanimously agree to life in prison or the death penalty. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We, the jury, do not have a unanimous sentencing -- final sentencing verdict on this count. And we, the jury, understand that as a result, the court will impose a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole on this count. (END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: Joining me now from outside the courthouse, is NBC News correspondent Scott Cohn. And Scott, how much of a surprise was s this that the jury could not come to a unanimous verdict? SCOTT COHN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Thomas, one thing that we`ve learned over the several weeks is that Colorado law sets a very bar high for the death penalty, and it only took one juror to dissent, which apparently happened at least one. No unanimous verdict means an automatic life sentence in prison. Members of the courtroom were visibly upset, many of them crying. As you saw at the defense table,Tamara Brady, the lead defense attorney, bracing herself, and the defense team also in tears. Among those who were in the courtroom, the grandparents of the youngest victim, Veronica Moser Sullivan (ph), who was just 6 years old. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve tried to resolve Veronica`s death, and I can`t. You know, there`s just something with that, the loss that -- like I said, it was the gaping wound, okay? That`s not going to go away. This just makes it worse. (END VIDEO CLIP) COHN: George Brockler, the Arapahoe County district attorney, began a news conference a short time ago, reading off each of the names. His voice breaking when it came to Veronica Moser Sullivan. He said nothing that happens today affects what happens to them, the victims. And Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, who is an opponent of the death penalty out a short time ago with a statement saying that our thoughts remain with the victims and families. No verdict can bring back what they have lost but we hope they begin to find peace and healing in the coming weeks. Thomas, that is going to be a tough time coming. ROBERTS: Scott Cohn reporting there in Colorado for us. Scott, thank you. We`ll be right back after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROBERTS: You know, although last night`s primetime debate was meant to be about the Republican presidential field, there was one Democrat who just kept popping up. (BEGIN VDIE OCLIP) BEN CARSON, 2016 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If Hillary is the candidate, which I doubt, that would be a dream come true. SCOTT WALKER, GOVERNOR OF WISCONSIN: We should be talking about Hillary Clinton on that last subject, because everywhere in the world that Hillary Clinton touched is more messed up today than before... SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R) FLORIDA: I think god has blessed us. He has blessed the Republican Party with some very good candidates, the Democrats can`t even find one. (END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: Well, the Clinton campaign is still responding to the GOP debate with a steady stream of tweets, including this gif pointing out the number of times Republicans mentioned the minimum wage, equal pay, voting rights, Citizens United or child care during the primetime debate. As you see on the left, the number was zero. Joining me now, writer at large for Esquire magazine Charles Pierce, and former Ohio state senator, Nina Turner. Nice to see both of you. Senator, let me start with you. Did Hillary Clinton, if you were working for her, and you were watching with her team, do you think that she saw anything in the debate last night that would give her pause for concern? Or instead, is this just watching 17 people slug it out? NINA TURNER, FRM. OHIO STATE SENTAOR: Well, for the most part, no, with the exception of maybe one candidate, and that`s the governor of the state of Ohio. But I will tell you, Senator Rubio gave the secretary a rousing endorsement when he said if this was based on resume, she is indeed the most qualified candidate. So that is about the only thing that Senator Rubio got right last night. ROBERTS: So, one thing we do know is that former Governor Mike Huckabee tried to use Reagan-esque humor to go after Hillary Clinton. It was a surprise to some. Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MIKE HUCKABEE, 2016 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It seems like this election has been a whole lot about a person who`s very high in the polls, but doesn`t have a clue about how to govern, a person who has been filled with scandals, and could not lead, and of course, I`m talking about Hillary Clinton. (END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: So Charles, that was a big laugh line that the governor was able to get. Do you think that`s the type of approach that might work best for Republican candidates than saying angrier attack against the former secretary? CHARLES PIERCE, ESQUIRE: I`m not sure it will work against Former Secretary Clinton. I`m very sure it`s not going to work for Mike Huckabee, because he`s not going to be around in the fall. But what struck me about the debate, and you touched on it a little bit with the series of tweets you mentioned, is that it looked like it was taking place in an alternate universe with an alternate universe of issues. Climate change, to name one, that the Clintons didn`t mention, didn`t come up at all except in one question in the happy hour debate where Lindsey Graham was asked if his fairly reasonable assessment of the scientific evidence would hurt him on the electorate. I`m fully of the mind that we`re going to have an election this fall with two candidates talking past each other because they have such radically different ideas about what`s important to the country. ROBERTS: Well, yeah, and the deeper policy issue portion of both debates was really absent. And Nina, let me ask you, because you talked about the governor of your state, John Kasich, and he emerged as a star last night, being able to talk and get people`s attention in a very crowded field, but one thing that he talked about specifically was Ohio`s expansion of Medicaid. Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KASICH: You should know that President Reagan expanded Medicaid three or four times. Secondly, I had an opportunity to bring resources back to Ohio, to do what? To treat the mentally ill. 10,000 of them sit in our prisons. And finally, the working poor, instead of having them come into the emergency rooms, where it costs more, where they`re sicker and we end up paying, we brought a program in here to make sure that people could get on their feet. (END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: From what you know as an Ohio politician, do you think that that is sincere? And how do you think that is going to resonate with Republicans? TURNER: I do, Thomas. I was in the legislature at the time that the governor did that. And while the governor and I don`t agree on most fiscal policies, we don`t agree in the space of voting, by the way, which none of the candidates mentioned the 50-year anniversary of the voting rights, I do believe that Democrats would be wise not to take Governor John Kasich for granted. He is the governor of the most important swing state in the nation, and we all know the data point that no Republican has ever won the White House without winning the great state of Ohio. The governor will be a force to be reckoned with. And I do believe that he is sincere. The governor and I do have a relationship even though we battle it out from time to time. But that Medicaid expansion is important for the poor. But we`ve got to remember, though, for the Republicans as a group -- you know, in Ohio, they have a campaign that they`ve launched call committed to community. And I don`t understand how you can be committed to community when you have such a disdain as a party for women. I mean, Thomas, no one stood up and defended women on that stage. And to treat women as if we`re only carriers, we`re only vessels and not to have empathy and love because you`re on this witch hunt against Planned Parenthood that provides services for poor women, you cannot tell me that you are committed to community when you won`t talk about equal pay. You can`t tell me that you`re committed to community -- it`s mine -- I read an article that said that they were going to try to pass a resolution that was anti-gay. So, you cannot say you`re committed to everybody in the community when you don`t have empathy and love and compassion for folks. So most of the rhetoric of the GOP as a group is more of the same. And it really follows a line of, they really don`t care about people by and large. And they have policy positions that have shown that throughout the great -- throughout this nation. But Thomas, that Voting Rights Act was vitally important and they didn`t say a mumbling word about it. You`ve got people running for office who don`t even want to give people access to the ballot box which is the greatest equalizer. ROBERTS: All right, so there was a real broad brush stroke there about the Republican Party, Nina. So, we want to be more specific, though, about the conversation, where it can go. Because we all know after the RNC had the autopsy from 2012, they were looking to expand the tent to look at their weaknesses, their vulnerabilities and try to fix that. So Charles, based on Nina`s point, do you think in the Republican Party for a real and deeper discussion about poverty and fair wages, middle class workers, that if they do strike the right cord, that that could that cut into the Democrats` edge on those issue? PIERCE: Well, I don`t need to paint with a broad brush, but the Republican Party in its current form is completely demented. So, my answer to you is no. I mean, while they were doing their autopsy, their base was running wild, and returned against all possible odds, a worse congress than the one that was elected in 2010. No. I mean, I think there are two election cycles away from a genuine autopsy, a genuine assessment of what`s really gone wrong with them. And you saw it last night. The idea of giving zygote Americans 5th and 14th amendment rights is just nuts. The idea of putting up -- which Ben Carson proposed -- putting up a flat tax based on biblical tithing is just nuts. The party tolerates too much of this. And now it`s run away with the party`s entire function to the point where it`s got a lot more troubles out there right now than Donald Trump. ROBERTS: Charles Pierce and Nina Turner, nice to see you both. Have a great weekend. Thank you. TURNER: You, too. PIERCE: Thanks, Thomas. ROBERTS: Still ahead, Donald Trump`s comments on buying favors from politicians. Plus, more from Jon Stewart`s star-studded farewell. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STEWART: You know, I`ve got to say, this is, for me, it`s very touching that you would come back after 12 years and do this. STEVE CARELL, ACTOR: I never left, Jon. Becoming an international superstar was just something I did while waiting for my next assignment. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROBERTS: There were many common themes running through the Republican debates last night, including this one. 9BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KASICH: Well, let`s start off with my father being a mailman, so I understand the concerns of all the folks across this country. RUBIO: My father was bartender. CRUZ: My father fled Cuba. SANTORUM: My father was born in Italy. CRUZ: My father left my mother. BUSH: I`m proud of my dad. CHRISTIE: My dad came home from serving in the army after having lost his father, worked in the Breyers ice cream plant in Newark, New Jersey.. KASICH: My father was a mailman, his father was a coal miner. (END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: And the Republican 2016 hopefuls weren`t the only ones who brought up their fathers during a much-watched and much-anticipated cable show last night. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: Personally, I do not know how this son of a poor Appalachian turd miner -- I do not know -- I do not know what I would do if you hadn`t brought me on this show. I`d be back in those hills mining turds with papi. Jon, you know by now I`d have -- I`d have dung lung, OK. (END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: Truly the end of an era. And much more from the last ever Daily Show with Jon Stewart ahead. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROBERTS: You know, one of the most candid moments during the debate last night happened when Donald Trump was asked about his donations to Democratic politicians. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I will tell you that our system is broken. I gave to many people - - before this, before two months ago, I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And you know what? When I need something from them, two years later, three years later, i call them, they are there for me. And that`s a broken system. BAIER: So, what did you get from Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi? TRUMP: Well, I`ll tell you what, with Hillary Clinton, I said be at my wedding and she came to my wedding. You know why? She had no choice because I gave. (END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: Trump, the only GOP candidate with a self-financed campaign, has donated over $1 million to dozens of politicians over the past three decades. Now, the other nine politicians on the primetime stage last night are for the most part on the other side of that equation, soliciting money from big-ticket donors like a Trump for their campaign. So does that make them vulnerable to the same types of conflict of interest Trump talked about? Joining me now is Ezra Klein, MSNBC policy analyst and editor-in-chief of Ezra, great to see you. So, does Trump`s boasting about how he gets favors down the line in exchange for donations square with the way big donors and politicians interact? Is he exposing a common practice? EZRA KLEIN, VOX.COM: This is my favorite moment of the night by far. Number one, I think the first rule of paying people to show up at your wedding, particularly like important famous people is you don`t tell the world you paid them to be there. You want the world to think they were there of their own volition. Trump`s kind of honesty is breathtaking here. But I thought that was actually genuinely a trenchant little discourse on the corruption of American politics. Trump is right. Something that I think people all think -- you`ll hear people talk constantly about how big money polarizes American politics. And to some degree it does. You have donors like the Koch brothers who are donating in ideological fashions. But you also have this transactional money in politics that rises above ideology. People keep, particularly in the Republican Party, attacking Trump because he donated to Democrats. And he keeps saying I gave to Democrats. I gave to Republicans. And I gave to all of them, because I wasn`t supporting them, I was buying them. And there is something powerful about hearing someone like Trump, someone who really was on that side of the equation, as you correctly put it, say that is that I was doing. This was not me supporting them. This is me trying to bribe them to do what I wanted them to do. And in my opinion, it was an excellent investment. ROBERTS: Yeah, get them on the payroll. When it comes to weddings, though, we typically all pay our guests with an open bar and access to top shelf. KLEIN: There`s some transactionalism there, too. ROBERTS: You know, and then you`ve got to hope for a good wedding gift. But Trump taunted the other candidates in this, doing a little pointing out that he has donated to a lot of their campaigns. I want to show that to everybody. Take a look. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: You know, most of the people on this stage I`ve given to, just so you understand. A lot of money. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not me. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not me. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you`re welcome to give... RUBIO: Actually, to be clear, he supported Charlie Crist. You gave Charlie Crist... HUCKABEE: Donald, if you end your campaign I hope you will give to me. TRUMP: Good. Sounds good. sounds good to me, governor. (END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: Wow, all right. So Trump has not donated to everyone, Ezra. But he has donated to Bush, Walker and Huckabee and Cruz`s PACs. And then we saw the Oliver wants some more porridge on the stage there with people asking for his money. But it really is common for big donors to sprinkle their money far and wide, because they hedge their bets. KLEIN: Yeah. Listen, you want to invest in an index fund, not just one stock that could tank. There`s a real grossness to that moment, because of how true it was. I mean, they really would have taken his money if he had taken out his checkbook. Look, and I think something that`s important here is that there are two kinds of money being accepted right now. You look at Jeb Bush up there, right. We know who Donald Trump`s donor is, it`s Donald Trump. And we know why Donald Trump supports Donald Trump, because Donald Trump thinks Donald Trump is the greatest human being who has ever walked the face of the Earth. Jeb Bush, he delayed entering the presidential campaign officially so he could raise larger amounts of unlimited cash for his super PAC. He`s raised more than $100 million. You`ve got a bunch of other folks on that stage with super PACs that have at least one donor giving $1 million or more. These are folks who have been -- who really owe someone a lot. When you`re raising for your own presidential campaign, there`s a pretty sharp contribution limit. You can`t get a million bucks from someone. But for the super PAC, and these super PAC are independent, not -- they`re not even independent in name only. Remember, Carly Fiorina has one basically named after her. So, there is a sort of deep corruption. Trump is right about that. And Trump is at least honest about who`s funding him. The Super PACs are -- and the other 501(c)4s are much more dangerous. ROBERTS: Is yet to see if voters are actually paying attention. Ezra Klein, great seeing you, Ezra. Thank you, sir. Coming up next, after more than 16 years, Jon Stewart says farewell to the Daily Show. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) COLBERT: Like Frodo, you are leaving us on a voyage to the undying lands. STEWART: I`m just going to New Jersey. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STEWART: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is everywhere. Now the good news is this, (EXPLETIVE DELTED) has gotten pretty lazy and their work is easily detected. And looking for it is kind of a pleasant way to pass the time, like an eye spy of (EXPLETIVE DELTED). So I say to you tonight, friends, the best defense against (EXPLETIVE DELETED is vigilance. So, if you smell something, say something. (END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: After 16 years, Jon Stewart has officially signed off from the Daily Show, and in many ways his final show last night was consistent with the more than 2,000 episodes that preceded it. It was full of wit and bleeped profanities and very funny, talented people who helped make that show a success. But last night`s show also included a moment of genuine, earnest emotion, courtesy of show alum Steven Colbert. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) COLBERT: You are infuriatingly good at your job, okay? (APPLAUSE) COLBERT: And all of us, all of us who were lucky enough to work with you - - and you can edit this out later -- all of us who were lucky enough to work with you for 16 years are better at our jobs because we got to watch you do yours. And we are better people for having known you. (END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: We all are. So joining me now Josh Zepps, host of HuffPost Live`s Point of Inquiry and the podcast We the People Live. JOSH ZEPPS, WE THE PEOPLE LIVE: That`s right. We the People Live. ROBERTS: We the People Live. I was going to say we the people live. But so how does last night`s finale stand up to the tenure and the quality of the legacy that Jon Stewart leaves behind? ZEPPS: It was appropriate. It wasn`t hilarious, I didn`t think, but it was appropriate in tone, because -- I mean, it`s difficult to do these final shows. How can you possibly encapsulate 16 years of what his legacy is in a final show, right. But I do think that his main contribution, what we just saw in the Colbert clip, where Colbert said, you know, you doing what you have been doing has made us all better at what we`re doing. I think the same could be said of the country in a certain way. I think the same thing can be said of the news media in a certain way, that what he brought to analysis of public events and what he brought in terms of fearlessly calling BS on hypocrisy in the media and hypocrisy in government, especially in the era between, say, 9/11 and the financial crisis, when a lot of media institutions were playing this game of sort of false equivalency, there wasn`t a lot of good investigative journalism, he would stand up and kind of give voice to people. I think that he did help the rest of the media to realize that that was a way of doing thing. ROBERTS: Well, he made learning funny. And by exposing the hypocrisy of politics as you point out. But then we get this tweet from the president where he said, you`ve been a great gift to the country. And then we got this montage of political figures who have been a target of Jon Stewart in the past over the years, but they showed up to show their love. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CHRISTIE: I`ll never forget you, Jon. But I will be trying. RANGEL: Good riddance, smartass. SCHUMER: Don`t go, come back. Jon, I`m being sarcastic. CLINTON: And just when I`m running for president. What a bummer. MIKA BRZEZINSKI, CO-HOST, MORNING JOE: See you, pip squeak. EMMANUEL: What has nine-and-a-half fingers and won`t miss you at all? This guy. BLITZER: Jon, I just don`t know what to say. GRAHAM: I`m sure you`ll be missed by somebody. KERRY: You know, there are a lot of things happening around the world... (END VIDEO CLIP) ROBERTS: Anyway, the montage goes on and on. And we had all the correspondents making cameos last night. But then we weren`t sure if Wyatt Cenac was going to show up. He did show up. So he squashed all the beefs. So, Jon Stewart goes out on a high. What`s next? ZEPPS: I suspect that he will direct. I mean, he directed Rosewater, his first feature film. I think that his heart probably lies in doing something that`s creative, that`s outside of the satirical sphere of things. One thing is certain, he`s not going to be coming back on television every evening anymore, which is a shame. ROBERTS: Josh Zepps, great to see you. That is going to do it for All In this evening. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END