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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 08/31/15

Guests: David Cay Johnston, Tim Carney, Jeanne Shaheen, Jess McIntosh, SamSeder, Jane Eisner, Josh Earnest

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN -- SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Everything about Donald Trump`s campaign, it`s avant-garde. HAYES: Republicans play "follow the leader". CHUCK TODD, MEET THE PRESS: Do you want to build a wall north of the border, too? GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Some people asked us about that in New Hampshire. HAYES: As the Republican field follows Trump further to the right on immigration, will they also sign on to his plan to raise taxes? DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Some of these hedge fund guys making a lot of money, they`re paying very little tax. HAYES: Then, as Bernie-mentum publics up in Iowa, Hillary picks up a major endorsement in New Hampshire. And Martin O`Malley makes a loud noise about restricting debates. MARTIN MALLEY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This sort of rigged process has never been attempted before. HAYES: We`ll have both sides of the Democratic debate tonight. And the president goes to the front lines of the fight against climate change. We`ll get our first look at Obama in Alaska when ALL IN starts right now. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. The Republican presidential field has found the perfect slogan for 2016, courtesy of its current front-runner. "Forget love, it`s time to get tough." That line is the centerpiece of a wildly inflammatory video Donald Trump released on Instagram attacking Jeb Bush for Bush`s stance on immigration. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, they broke the law, but it`s not a felony. It`s kind of -- it`s an act of love. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Repeats what`s become a central theme of the Trump campaign, the idea of the inherent criminality of undocumented immigrants, Hispanics in particular, which draws on decades of anti-immigrant rhetoric from the nativist right. That rhetoric is contradicted by most of the hard evidence we have which shows that first-generation immigrants tend to commit crime at a much lower rate than native-born Americans, even lower than second generation immigrants. That means if you swapped out the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country, replace them with 11 people born here, you`d probably end up with a higher crime rate. That said, Trump`s new ad with its racialized fear-mongering is drawing comparisons to the infamous Willie Horton ad run against Michael Dukakis in 1988, perhaps the most notorious attack ad in the history of presidential politics. Ironically, it was created by a group supporting none other than George H.W. Bush, father of Jeb. Trump`s demagoguery on immigration no longer surprises. What continues to astound is how quickly and transparently the rest of the candidates are falling all over themselves to keep up with him. We saw it with Jeb Bush`s partial, tentative, occasional embrace of the term "anchor baby" and now this weekend with Scott Walker talking about building a wall on the border with Canada. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TODD: We don`t talk about a northern border where if this is about securing the border from potentially terrorists coming over. Do you want to build a wall north of the border, too? WALKER: Some people have asked us about that in New Hampshire. They`ve raised legitimate concerns, including law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings about a week and a half ago. So, that is a legitimate issue for us to look at. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Someone on Twitter commenting, "I want Trump to start claiming things like he`s eaten 1,000 bees in his life so we can see Scott Walker try to eat a bunch of bees." And there was Chris Christie this weekend comparing foreign visitors to FedEx packages. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: At any moment FedEx can tell you where that package is. It`s on the truck. It`s at the station. It`s on the airplane. It`s back at another station. It`s back on the truck. It`s at our doorstep. She just signs for it. Yet we let people come into this country with visas and the minute they come in, we lose track of them. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Bobby Jindal escalating his call for the designation Indian- American among others to be retired. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R-LA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think we need to move away from hyphenated Americans. We`re not African-Americans or Asian- Americans, Indian-Americans, rich or poor Americans. We`re all Americans, and the reason this is so important -- immigration without integration is not immigration. It`s invasion. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: While the Republican field is content to follow Trump`s lead on immigration, the one place the party apparently will not go is raising taxes on the rich. "The New York Times" reports today, Republicans are extremely wary of Trump`s populist tone on that issue. So far, Trump has notably declined to sign the famous Grover Norquist pledge not to raise taxes that basically all Republican candidates sign. And he sounded, well, almost like Bernie Sanders in a recent interview with Sarah Palin. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Some of these people like some of these hedge fund guys, they`re making a lot of money, they`re paying very little tax. It`s unfair to the middle class. We have to create a new -- I mean, we have to help the middle class. The country, as you know better than anybody, the country was based on the middle class. They`re the ones that really had so much to do with what we all have now. And they are being treated horribly. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston, a widely published columnist and visiting lecturer at Syracuse Law, author of numerous books about the tax code. Well, I find the trepidation on the part of the other Republican candidates in the field and the Republican establishment about this fascinating because one thing we know is that poll after poll, Republicans, Democrats, independents, raising taxes on the rich is pretty popular. DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING JOURNALIST: Well, yes, but they`re not appealing to the mass of voters, particularly non-Republicans. They`re appealing to the donor class. That`s what you`re seeing here with things like Trump`s fantasy plan that will have a 1 percent tax rate at the bottom. It`s not worth the coin to collect a 1 percent tax. And this is just the tax fairy that is the logical outgrowth of Grover Norquist`s long-ago pledge that so many Republicans bought into and are now stuck with. HAYES: Well, that`s what`s been interesting to me that Trump refuses to sign the pledge and this hedge fund loophole, which maybe you can explain a little bit. What he`s talking about, there`s a specific loophole called the carried interest loophole, which Trump appears to be talking about. It`s been a bete noire of folks left, right and center for a long time, in fact. It`s had its defenders among Chuck Schumer and some other Democrats from New York who stuck up for it. I mean, what is the loophole that he`s talking about? JOHNSTON: Well, the one he`s talking about carrying interest, basically the compensation you earn for the work you do as an investment manager isn`t taxed at the same rates you and I pay for our paychecks. It`s taxed at the much lower rates for capital investments. But the really bigger scandal there is despite a reform law by Congress that doesn`t appear to be working, hedge fund managers can live by borrowing against their assets and therefore, they don`t recognize the income. They can defer the income into their funds, pay no taxes, and have them continue to grow and live on borrowed money. You and I can`t do that. If you`ve got a billion dollars, you can easily do that. HAYES: Well, here`s the perfect thing to me. You know, it is a natural populist issue. It`s an issue that would actually have some appeal, I think, to the Republican base. To say, you know, these finance hedge fund guys, they`re all giving money to Democrats, anyway. They look down their noses at you, they`re not like you and me -- says Donald Trump - - and we should raise taxes on them. That is a perfectly wide-open political issue to drive a truck through, that because of the donor class, Republicans just won`t take that bait. JOHNSTON: Well, the real underlying problem, Chris, is that we have a tax system designed for the middle of the last century. That`s why I`m writing a new tax code that would completely change this and have a 21st century tax system. But the Republicans through the Grover Norquist pledge and the anti- tax rhetoric have locked themselves into a position where Trump is the only one as a rogue out there who`s willing to talk about the fact that our system is fundamentally broken. It`s unfair. It allows some very wealthy people to pay literally no tax or very little tax while a single worker who makes about $80,000 a year works all of Monday just for Uncle Sam. HAYES: And this -- it`s amazing to me how little traction this is able to get in presidential -- in Republican politics because of the donor class. But, also, you`ve got a situation where the anti-tax politics of the Republicans came up with that were very successful for them particularly in the 1980s and Reagan. It happened at a time of considerably higher marginal rates. JOHNSTON: Right. HAYES: I mean, at a certain point you can`t keep running on tax cuts winning, getting taxes cut, and expect there to be the same enthusiasm for your tax-cutting agenda election after election. JOHNSTON: Well, at some point man up and pay your taxes. The capital rate is 20 percent. That`s not an outrageous rate to pay by I think almost anyone`s definition unless you don`t want to have the United States with our liberties and our military and all the other benefits we get from living in this country. But that`s where Trump, I think, is doing a good thing as critical as I`ve been of him. I`m glad he`s pushing the Republicans to address this and hopefully they will react in a better way than they have on the wall and now the proposed wall in Canada where instead of talking to Americans as the land of the brave, they talk to us as the land of the fearful. HAYES: Yes. I think we can take a little tough talk on the carry the interest loophole. A Gallup poll, the rich paying taxes, too little? Too much 11 percent. Fair share 25 percent. That`s what the populace says. Thank you, David Cay Johnston. Always a pleasure. JOHNSON: Thank you. HAYES: I`m joined now by Tim Carney, senior political columnist at "The Washington Examiner". And, Tim, you`ve been one of the most honest and dogged chroniclers of the ways in which the Republican establishment can kind of deviate from some of its own sworn ideological commitments in terms of smaller government or end to cronyism. What do you make of Trump`s entrance in that respect? TIM CARNEY, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Well, on the carried interest question, I do think it`s some place when you look at policy people, I do a fellowship at AEI and half my colleagues agree there should be a way capital and labor income are taxed the same. When Dave camp, the Republican chairman of the ways and means committee, proposed a tax reform, he talked about closing the carried interest loophole. The problem that is when they talk about this, all of a sudden you get the left, the Democrats, excited. Oh, this is a tax hike, this is a tax hike, more revenue. When camp was pushing, we`re going to cut taxes in some places and then get rid of loopholes in others and that`s not a place that ends up getting any bipartisan support because in both parties the special interests have so much sway that the loopholes have more political clout than the idea of lower rates. HAYES: That is definitely true. I think that in some ways you get a situation here where there`s political hay to be made. I mean, what`s interesting to me is there`s a fairness argument being made by Trump and it`s the kind of argument that is pretty anathema to Republicans. Right? So the actual amount of money we`re talking about, talking about the carried interest loophole, it`s pretty small. It`s not going to plug any huge deficits. It`s not going to pay for a new social program on the grand scheme of things on the government balance sheet, it`s pretty small. What it is, it`s a fundamental populist argument about fairness. And I do wonder whether from your perspective as a dyed in the wool conservative, someone who spends his time around conservatives, whether there`s any traction there in the base or not. CARNEY: Well, I`ll answer the broader question which you were referring to earlier about sort of Wall Street. Do they get special benefits that upsets conservatives? And the answer is yes. I don`t know if the answer was yes before sort September or October of 2008 when you had George Bush with the help of Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi push through the bailouts, but nowadays, there is this question, are these Wall Streeters getting special benefits? Are all of Chuck Schumer`s best friends getting special benefits? HAYES: Right. CARNEY: And the fact that -- HAYES: He has best friends who are not just Wall Streeters. CARNEY: Yes. But labor and capital both make -- are both sources of generation of value. Things come out of working or investing. We need both of them. That capital, that investment, should be privileged over labor, is dubious. But on the other hand, you have the complication there is a corporate income tax, that you have all these other things, and so, a broader tax reform that would equalize these things, what makes it impossible is all the special interests in Washington. They -- if you say I will cut your rates and get rid of the loopholes, every special interest lobbyist almost will say "No," even though that increases the general welfare of the U.S. economy. HAYES: Let me ask you a question, a personal question, sort of, Tim. You`re a religious person, a person of faith, you believe deeply. And I wonder -- and you`re connected to folks who also have deep religious faith. What do you make of Donald Trump about faith? And it strikes me and I`m not really in a position to judge anyone`s interior life as far as they -- but it seems preposterously put on to me. You as someone who is in a better position, how does it strike you? CARNEY: Yes, I don`t -- I`m not comfortable judging people`s faith. I think his comments about the Bible were -- you know, seemed like a very surface understanding. Reminded me of Howard Dean saying that Job was his favorite new testament book. On the other hand, as a Catholic, we always get criticized for not knowing the Bible well enough. We spend too much time reading the catechism, I guess. So, many politicians use their faith as a cover story. If Donald Trump comes across as another one of those, on the other hand, you know, it`s in his heart, it`s in his soul. I`m not somebody to say what`s going on there. I wish sort of politicians didn`t drag it out and use it as a sort of cover story, but on the other hand, I don`t know what`s in Donald Trump`s heart. HAYES: That`s a very honest and respectful answer. Tim Carney, thank you very much. CARNEY: Thank you. HAYES: Still ahead, as Bernie Sanders closes the gap, the Hillary Clinton campaign brings out the big guns, securing Senator Jeanne Shaheen`s endorsement in New Hampshire. I`ll talk with the senator about her decision and its timing. Plus, President Obama brings climate change on his visit to the Alaskan Arctic. Meanwhile, an already historic hurricanes season has -- look at that, three separate hurricanes simultaneously race through the Pacific. Those stories and more, ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You don`t just go and do something like that. You know, in Ohio, we felt it was appropriate. A guy saw that mountain when he was one of the first up there, named it after the president, no reason to change it. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Presidential hopeful and governor of Ohio, John Kasich, among those crying foul tonight after President Obama officially renamed Mt. McKinley. The mountain was originally named after -- well, originally officially named after Ohioan William McKinley back in 1896, by a gold prospector who admired the then-candidate`s support for the gold standard, which was just incidentally a terrible idea. President McKinley never visited Alaska and Alaskans have long called the mountain Denali after an indigenous name, and they have sought to have its official name changed. For decades, a below the surface proxy war, Ohio`s congressional delegation has successfully fought off attempts to take McKinley`s name off the peak by the Alaskan delegation. Until now, President Obama, issuing an executive order returning it to its native name, Denali. A step to reflect the heritage of Alaskan natives. And while Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski thanked the president for the decision, Ohio Senator Rob Portman blasted it as another example of the president going around Congress. Speaker of the House John Boehner who represents Ohio said he was deeply disappointed in this decision. All of this as the president makes his very first visit to Alaska today to highlight the effects of climate change even as he faces intense criticism for allowing Shell Oil to drill off the Alaskan coast. I will ask his press secretary about that ahead. (COMMERIAL BREAK) HAYES: In the Democratic primary battle contest, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, between the two, they have already been certain benchmarks along the way. Now, Senator Bernie Sanders has been drawing the biggest crowds basically from the beginning. And the question was, as people watch these crowds, what does that mean in terms of actual support? After all, congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul used to draw big crowds without it ever really showing up very strongly in actual polling. Now, Sanders has been surging there as well, first pulling within striking distance in the polls in New Hampshire primary voters, and then actually ahead in the Granite State. Now, the response of Sanders` skeptics was -- well, he`s the senator from Vermont. It`s just next door. A strong in New Hampshire is to be expected. In fact, in Iowa, Hillary Clinton is up by 30 points. Yes, she used to be. But now in the latest "Des Moines Register" poll, Sanders is pulling nearly even with Clinton in Iowa, once you factor in the nearly 5 percent margin of error. Other polls still show her with a sizable lead. So, at some point, you have to say whatever the predictive value of polling right now, which may be de minimis, at this point Bernie Sanders is running a heck of a campaign and he is clearly competitive with Hillary Clinton. And that probably explains some of the decisions the Clinton campaign has made to remind everyone just how formidable their operation is, and it is formidable, including her campaign`s recent claim that Clinton has secured one-fifth of the total delegates she needs from super delegates pledging their support. And this weekend, we learned that a key high-profile endorsement will be made publicly next Saturday by Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire. Earlier today, I spoke with Senator Shaheen and asked her why she decided to make this endorsement now. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D), NEW HAMPSHIRE: I actually was one of most of the Democratic women senators who urged Hillary Clinton to run. I think almost two years ago now. And so, I have been clear that I was going to do everything I could to help her get elected once she got into the race. So, I`m very excited she`s in the race. I`m going to keep working hard. New Hampshire is obviously an important state. It`s one where she has a lot of support based on the 2008 race. So, I`m -- this was not a secret as far as I was concerned. HAYES: So, here`s one way people will interpret the timing. They will interpret the timing in the following way, that there is polling showing Bernie Sanders leading perhaps New Hampshire, new polling showing him very close in Iowa. The Clinton campaign`s announcement of the super delegates they locked up as a kind of shot across the bow to the possible entrance of Joe Biden, to other competitors in the race saying, look, this is a formidable campaign. We have the home state senator of the first in the nation primary. Fewer will interpret this as a kind of muscle flexing. Are you comfortable with that interpretation? SHAHEEN: Oh, listen. People are going to interpret all kind of things between now and the actual primary season. You know, polls are going to go up and down. You all who are the analysts are going to find all kinds of reasons for why people do things. But the fact is, we`re getting into the fall now, the campaign season is going to heat up. And so, it`s a great time to be out there doing what I can to help Hillary get elected. HAYES: You know, I`m curious. Your read on the pulse of New Hampshire voters right now, particularly with respect to immigration. You survived in a dismal year for Democrats. You were one of the very few bright spots in last year`s election. It was a tough fought race. What is your sense about your home state voters, what they are looking for, and particularly whether some of the extremist rhetoric on immigration is speaking to some of the constituents you have in New Hampshire? SHAHEEN: Well, I think there`s a lot of frustration out there among the electorate. And I some of the language that`s been used around immigration speaks to that frustration. I believe we need comprehensive immigration reform. We`ve got a system that`s broken and we need to fix it. That was the bipartisan position of the Senate. We passed a bill, unfortunately, the House never took it up and so it didn`t go anywhere. But we need to address this in a real comprehensive way and the extreme rhetoric around this issue has not fixed the problem. It`s not going to fix the problem. We need to address it on all levels. Border security, making sure that we can get immigrants who are here who are working hard to make sure that they can pay their taxes, that they learn English, that they get in line behind those people who have been here legally, and really fix the problem. And, unfortunately, the rhetoric is not going to do that. HAYES: There`s been a lot of talk recently -- there was a big article that interviewed a number of Democratic politicians and officials about the ongoing story about Secretary of State Clinton`s e-mail server which has entered this kind of endless byzantine universe of, quote-unquote, "scandal", and I`m putting that in air quotes, as of now. There are people expressing their frustration with her campaign`s handling of it. What is your response to them? SHAHEEN: You know, I`ve known Hillary Clinton for a very long time, even before bill Clinton started running for president and before she became first lady. I served as governor during the Clinton administration. I worked with her when she was a senator. I worked with her as secretary of state. I trust Hillary Clinton. I believe she is the most experienced person best able to do the job as president. That`s why I`m supporting her. And, again, I think we`re going to see a lot of partisan attacks. We`re going to see a lot of accusations go back and forth, but I want to elect the person who I think is most capable of doing the job as president, and that`s why I`m supporting Hillary. HAYES: But some of those -- just a sort of follow up, I mean, some of these attacks on the handling aren`t partisan in the sense they are coming from fellow Democrats. SHAHEEN: Well, again, I`ve been a Democrat for a long time and I can tell you that sometimes my biggest critics are members of my own party, so people are always going to criticize. You can`t please everybody. I think she needs to continue to work hard. She needs to point out why she`s different than her opponents, what she thinks we need to do in this country to make sure the middle class has opportunities again, to make sure we invest in our infrastructure and our education and the people of this country so that we can grow the economy and stay competitive. And that`s the case that she`s going to be making to the American people. HAYES: All right. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, I appreciate you taking the time tonight. Thank you. SHAHEEN: Thank you. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: Up next, President Obama continues to push for support for his Iran deal, this time sitting down with the Jewish press. We`ll bring you that interview ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Missed the ongoing battle over the Iran deal? A battle in which there`s been a heightened focus on Jewish lawmakers and leaders, President Obama sat down with Jane Einser in what she described as, quote, the first one-on-one interview he granted a member of the Jewish media since becoming President in 2008. President Obama made the case for the Iran deal while also shamelessly pandering to a certain Upper West Side demographic by lamenting the loss of legendary H&H Bagels in Manhattan, also disclosing his favorite kind of bagel. Joining me now, editor in chief of The Forward Jane Eisner. Why do you think you got this interview? JANE EISNER, THE FOWARD: Well, I think the president really wants to talk to our leaders through The Forward. And obviously wanted to engage not only on Iran, but also on the fraught tensions between him and the Netanyahu administration. This has been a difficult time for the Jewish community, this Iran deal has really divided a lot of people, not just lawmakers, and it was a chance for me to ask him the questions that I have as well about the deal. HAYES: What -- what do you make of the focus that there has been on both Jewish lawmakers and Jewish leaders in -- with respect to the Iran deal, which obviously is driven marginally by the riff that`s grown up between Israel and the U.S. and AIPAC and other groups sort of lobbying, but also feels to me a little uncomfortably close to anti-Semitic tropes about the sort of cabal of Jewish power wielders. EISNER: Well, I feel uncomfortable about it, too. Look, I think the unprecedented talk that Netanyahu gave to congress in March about the Iran deal really set up a kind of fight with him and the administration and put a lot of Jews in a really awkward situation ourselves. People who do want -- because people want to support the Israeli government. Most Israeli leaders have voiced opposition to this deal. And I think there`s a natural tendency among American Jews to pay attention to what goes on in Israel and to at least consider what Israelis themselves say about their own security, so that was a persuasive kind of statement. On the other hand most Jews here still are Democratic, very supportive of this president and probably much more desirous of having a diplomatic solution rather than anything else in Iran. It really created this push and pull and I think some of it is because the Jewish community you find is so much more vocal about this than other people. It feels very close. You know, Iran hasn`t been shy about saying what it thinks. HAYES: Particularly Ahmadinejad, the previous... EISNER: And the current supreme leader. I mean, we can`t ignore that he has also said some pretty nasty things about Jews and about Israel. So it does feel closer to home, I think, for American Jews than perhaps for others. HAYES: What was the debate like over Carter`s Camp David Accords? Sadat and Begin. And was there similar -- was that tension similarly fraught when that big peace deal was struck? EISNER: Well, I don`t think so because there you had a democratic president aligned with the government of Israel. Here you have a Democratic president who is at odds with the leader. HAYES: And very public and at times quite bitter and intense way. EISNER: Well, and to me that`s what`s so disturbing and fascinating about what`s going on now when you`ve had other disputes between American administrations and Israeli governments, and there have been. HAYES: Very back channel, very off the front page. EISNER: But not only that, it`s when Republicans have been in the White House. Now you have Democrats there. HAYES: Poppyseed bagel with a smear was his favorite bagel. EISNER: It is. He said he doesn`t mind locks and capers, but he really goes just for a smear. HAYES: All right. Janes Eisner, thank you very much. EISNER: You`re welcome. HAYES: Coming up, President Obama becoming the first sitting president to visit the Alaskan Arctic as he brings the focus of the urgency of dealing with climate change. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Today President Obama embarked on the first leg of a historic three-day trip to Alaska. He`ll become the first U.S. president to go north of the Arctic Circle and call for dramatic action on climate change from the part of the world where its effects are the most readily visible and alarming. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: this year we had no snow. We had 80-degree summer. We`ve just really watched the glaciers change and dramatic changes. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Scientists say this year alone the average glacier will lose 30 inches of thickness. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s about 25,000 glaciers in Alaska and almost all of them are retreating, losing mass and shrinking. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Consequences of rapidly melting glaciers across the Arctic will not only have profound environmental consequences but diplomatic ones as well as the president presses international leaders and policymakers to urgently address climate change, the U.S. prepares for a future diplomatic dispute over oil drilling and shipping rights through contested Arctic territories. Disputes over the Arctic are not just happening in contested territory, they`re happening in Alaska as well. In fact, the president`s trip, which he tried to focus squarely on climate change, comes just after the White House gave approval for additional oil drilling in the state. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it is hypocrisy. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just last week, the administration gave the final OK to Shell to drill for oil off the northwest coast while fossil fuels are partly to blame for climate change. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For somebody like President Obama who presumably understands the science and understands the numbers, it`s effectively like drill, baby, drill. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now from Anchorage, Alaska, is White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest who is traveling with the president. Josh, the main line I`ve heard from folks in the kind of climate movement, environmentalists, environmental scientists about this trip is it`s great he`s going there. It`s great he`s drawing attention. It is hypocritical for this president to approve drilling in the Arctic, which is something that is going to facilitate further climate change and go to the Arctic and talk about the need to bring dramatic things to stop climate change. How do you respond? JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY; Well, Chris, I respond by saying the president takes a very pragmatic approach to all this stuff. The fact of the matter is, this president has made an historic commitment on behalf of this country to transition us to a low carbon, clean energy economy. And whether it`s the clean power plan rule or some of the efficiency rules that we put in place, no president has done more. The fact is, though, we`re not going to make this transition overnight and it is better to be in a position where we`re relying on American oil and gas than on trying to import oil and gas during that transition period from including some of the most volatile regions of the world. Now the fact is as this American oil and gas is being extracted, it is also being subjected to the most stringent environmental and safety standards of any other country in the world. So we`re doing this safely, we`re doing this in a way that`s the in best for our economy, and at the same time we`re making an historic commitment to transition our economy to a low carbon economy both because it`s in the best interest of our planet, it`s best interest of our economy, and it`s in the best interest of the public health of our children and our communities. HAYES: Let me just to respond once on this or say what critics would say which is that pragmatism in this case can be essentially a bargain with oblivion, that the practical solutions, which as we sort of phase things in and business as usual for awhile and we keep taking oil out of the ground. At a certain point, more aggressive strategies, meaning leaving oil in the ground are going to have to happen and there`s no place that illustrates that more clearly than what is happening in the Arctic in terms of the pace of what we`re up against. EARNEST: Well, Chris, you`re right. One of the reasons that the president has traveled to Alaska is that there are communities in Alaska that are dealing firsthand on a daily basis with the impacts of climate change. We know that the impacts is having a disproportionate impact here in the Arctic, and this is one of the things we`re here to highlight. But, look, when it comes to the president`s record on taking steps to fight climate change, he takes a back seat to no one. In fact, the president is leading the world to make significant commitments as a part of this UN process that`s supposed to come to a head in December where we can make historic progress by working with the world, by leading the international community in the direction of fighting carbon pollution and fighting climate change. Let me say one other thing about this, Chris, which is that in terms of making this transition that`s so critical to the success of our economy and the future of our planet, the president has also dedicated significant investments in renewable energy and that`s why you`ve seen solar energy increase 20 fold since the president took office, wind energy has tripled, all of this dependent upon the significant investments that this country has committed to under President Obama`s leadership and that`s why the president is proud of his record, but he`s also committed to making sure that we`re going to do the right thing both for our planet and for our economy. HAYES: From the White House`s perspective, is the political battle over the facts here, the sort of denialism that we`ve seen in some corners, is that more or less over in terms of how the president and how this administration thinks about the duration of his term? EARNEST: Well, Chris, what we certainly have seen -- I think the vast majority of the American public understands that we can to longer be in a position where we`re denying climate change. I think there are some members of the Republican Party, including at least a couple running for president, who haven`t gotten the memo yet, but the fact is there`s a consensus in this country now that climate change is real, that climate change is, however, something we can do something about. And by taking steps to fight carbon pollution and to fight climate change, we can actually make a difference in terms of the future of our planet, we can also do some good things for our economy. We know that a growing sector of our economy is going to be the renewable energy sector and so making smart investments in wind and solar and in energy efficiency isn`t just good for the planet, it`s a good economic strategy as well. That`s why the president is committed to it. And there still does seem to be a debate in the Republican Party about whether climate change is real. President Obama and the vast majority of the American public do acknowledge that climate change is real and that`s why the president has put forward a common sense but effective strategy for dealing with it in a way that`s good for our economy. HAYES: All right, Josh Earnest from Alaska, looks gorgeous there. Enjoy, thanks for joining us. EARNEST: All right, thank you, Chris. HAYES: Got some late breaking news in the brewing McKinley gate scandal. Donald Trump weighing in. President Obama wants to change the name of Mt. McKinley to Denali after more than 100 years, a great insult to Ohio. I will change back, exclamation point, make McKinley great again. Still ahead, is the Democratic debate schedule rigged to give Hillary Clinton the edge? We will tell you who is openly and unabashedly criticizing DNC leadership. That`s coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: For the very first time in recorded history there are three major hurricanes in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. Hurricanes Kila (ph), Ignacio (ph) and Jimena (ph) seen here from left to right, all formed at the same time, all three of them were classified as category 4 hurricanes on Saturday night. Now Kila (ph) and Ignacio (ph) have since weakened. And only Jimena (ph) seen here in a photo, taken from the International Space Station, is still classified as a category four storm. The hurricanes are getting fueled by the unusually warm Pacific Ocean and ever increasing El Nino effect, according to The Washington Post. As of this week, El Nino has surpassed the two degrees Celsius threshold in one of the key regions of the Pacific Ocean, something this region hasn`t done since the most powerful El Nino on Record in 1997. Just keep in mind, that`s two degrees, two degrees does all that. That`s what we`re looking for globally with climate change, and that means a lot more of this kind of record breaking weather. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MARTIN O`MALLEY, FRM. GOVERNOR OF MARYLAND: This is totally unprecedented in our party`s history. This sort of rigged process has never been attempted before. Whose decree is this exactly? Where did it come from? To what end? For what purpose? What national or party interest does this decree serve? How does this help us tell the story of the last eight years of Democratic process? (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Martin O`Malley is questioning why the Democratic National Committee will hold only four debates before next February`s Iowa caucuses. DNC has sanctioned six debates in total so far including two after Iowa, but that is not enough according to O`Malley. So on a Friday, the former Maryland governor, speaking at the DNC summer meeting told party leadership to their faces not only are they wrong but that limiting the number of debates is detrimental to the democratic process. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) O`MALLEY: How does this help us make our case to the American people? One debate in Iowa? That`s it? One debate in New Hampshire, that`s all we can afford? And, get this, the New Hampshire debate is cynically wedged into the high point of holiday shopping season so as few people watch it as possible. Is this how the Democratic Party selects its nominee? Are we becoming something less? (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: O`Malley never name checked DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz who was sitting just a few feet away. But things seemed awkward between the two of them when they shook hands after that speech. Earlier today when we asked the DNC for a statement on O`Malley`s comments, we were referred to something Wasserman Schultz said on Friday in which she told CNN producer, that quote, "he chose to use that 15 minutes to focus on debates as opposed to his candidacy. That was certainly his right." O`Malley is not alone in being frustrated with the number of presidential primary debates. Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker (ph) tweeted, quote, "asked if he agrees with O`Malley calling DNC debate process rigged, Bernie Sanders says I do." Now, it is not uncommon for a candidate who is trailing the polls to want more debates as a way to make up ground on the frontrunner. But, both Martin O`Malley and Bernie Sanders` criticism raises the deeper question of whether the Democratic Party institutionally is, as of this moment, genuinely committed to having an open and competitive primary. We`ll debate the Democratic debates next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you feel the party is unfairly supporting one candidate over the rest of the field? O`MALLEY: I think they were, but I`m hopeful after today that the broader Democratic Party has woken up to this injustice and we`re going to have more debates. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Martin O`Malley on Friday suggesting the DNC had stacked the deck in favor of Hillary Clinton. Joining me now, Jess McIntosh, spokesperson for Emily`s List; and MSNBC contributor Sam Seder, host of the majority report podcast. Jess, let me start with you. To me there`s a real question. Obviously facially, right, it`s an open, competitive process, but we all know the reality of the Democratic Party, the Clintons are massively influential. We`ve already go, you know, 20 percent of the total delegates locked up in the Clinton campaign. Like, can you honestly say the institutional Democratic Party is neutral and looking for an open competitive primary? JESS MCINTOSH, EMILY`S LIST: Yes, absolutely. I mean, as someone who works for an organization that has endorsed Hillary Clinton, that is openly supportive of Hillary Clinton`s candidacy, the Democratic national committee is a neutral party. It just is. They don`t play favorites with a front-runner. They have six debates already scheduled. I don`t see where there`s a lot of traction to be gained by saying six is somehow rigging the democratic process. It`s not unprecedented to limit the number of debates. You in fact have to limit the number of debates. The question becomes where do you limit it? Do you limit it at four, do you limit it at at six, do you limit it at eight? I think they came up with a decent solution. HAYES: Well, you don`t have to limit. I mean, basically what happened the last time around on the Republican side was basically people competed in a million different debates and there kept being more. The Republicans and the Democrats this time decided if you want to unsanctioned debates you were penalized but that rule, which we should be clear, is both parties this time around that is unprecedented. MCINTOSH: But look what happened to the Republican field last time. I think that if the point is to have a substantive conversation about what kind of agenda and where the differences are, I don`t know the debates the way have them today are the best way to do it. And six, I think, is plenty of time to air those differences. SAM SEDER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I`ve got to say I think the last in 2008 we had a lot of debates. HAYES: A ton. SEDER: A ton. And I think they were extremely helpful. And I think -- look, I understand the reason the Republicans want to maintain discipline because they convinced themselves it hurt them the last time around. The fact is they had a flawed candidate. They have a flawed party. But the idea that the Democrats can`t actually have a debate of substance. I mean, look, I think it`s pretty clear that the theory here was that the Republicans are trying to contract their race. We want to try to contract ours from the democratic perspective. I think frankly it is going to backfire because the Republican race is not what I think the Republicans anticipated. HAYES: Certainly not at this point. SEDER: Right. And I don`t think it`s what the Democrats anticipated it. And I think at the end of the day I think it`s wrong to limit the debates. I think it`s wrong to sanction people if they go outside of the apparatus. I mean, the DNC doesn`t have to be the only people who are having debates. But on top of that, I think it`s going to backfire and I think this is going to hurt Hillary Clinton if that was part of the agenda. And it`s hard to imagine it wasn`t, because I think -- look, at the end of the day, there has to be an affirmative case that`s put out there and the Republicans are drawing a lot more attention than people anticipated. There is a void there. HAYES: What do you think about... MCINTOSH: No, the idea that the Republicans are somehow drawing an affirmative case for themselves is not at all what`s happening. Democrats are actually talking about and agenda of what they want to do for people when they`re president. The Republicans are trying to out crazy each other. SEDER: Well, that`s true. But they`re certainly drawing a negative view of Hillary Clinton. I mean, the poll that came out, that word association poll, I mean she is not being helped by the situation. And I think -- look, the bottom line is, regardless of how you slice it, it looks like the Democrats are hiding. When you schedule four debates and three of them are on the weekend and one is buried in the middle of shopping, and then there`s two that are floating around after the votes... MCINTOSH: We have the caucuses at the beginning of the year. You have to debate around the holiday season. I mean, I think, that look, I don`t every.... SEDER: You don`t have to debate exclusively around the holiday season. You can have more than one debate at that time. And so it looks like the Democrats are hiding. MCINTOSH: It doesn`t look like they`re hiding with six debates. I don`t envy the people who are involved in these negotiations at all. Because it is 100 percent impossible to make everybody happy. There is just no chance. HAYES: Right. But here`s my question. Here is my question. It does seem to me -- I mean, six doesn`t seem like oh, that`s way too few. What does seem fair to me, though, is -- you know, there is an asymmetry of attention. That asymmetry of attention has to do with a lot of features of the Republican primary which are not things that you want to replicate to produce attention or not a blueprint model. That said, I think Sam`s point the more coverage the better, right? If you believe in the party`s platform, if you believe the internal debates the party are having are compelling and speak to the American people, than the more of that you get it would seem the better. MCINTOSH: I think that every candidate is laying out their agenda and their platform and I think it gets the coverage it gets. I wish it got more. But that they are making the case to the American public what they`re going to do when they become president. That`s not what the Republican side of the aisle is doing. And so they`re sucking up all the oxygen. That`s sort of the media landscape we`ve got. And so we`re seeing lopsided coverage. There`s no way that we`re going to compete with what Donald Trump is doing on a daily basis. HAYES: Here is one of the ironies, one of the paradoxes I think of this race. The more competitive the Democratic race is, in some ways it`s worse for Hillary Clinton because it`s more competitive but in a way the coverage is better because to the extent that it`s not competitive and she`s treated as the nominee already or she`s already treated as essentially she`s two years into her first term, that coverage is back. And so in a weird way, I actually think it`s in her interest more debates. Jess McIntosh, Sam Seder, two of our draft card contestants. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END