IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 09/21/15

Guests: John Nichols, Jess McIntosh

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN -- GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R-WI), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will suspend my campaign immediately. HAYES: From the summer of Trump to the fall of Walker. WALKER: I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same. HAYES: Scott Walker becomes the second major Republican candidate to drop out of the race. Tonight, what happened and who`s next? Then, Ben Carson is not backing down. BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. HAYES: The ongoing fallout from the politics of paranoia. DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It`s not my obligation to defend the president. HAYES: Plus, getting to the bottom of Carly Fiorina`s factually challenged surge. And my interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates. TA-NEHISI COATES: When you see Donald Trump, and you see people standing up talking about a war on cops, anybody who thinks progress in the era of prison reform is a done deal, you know, really should be humbled by that. HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. A major Republican presidential candidate who led the polls in Iowa for 24 weeks but whose polling there and nationally has absolutely plummeted over the past two months today dropped out of the race. Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin, calls it quits today in Madison just 70 days after officially announcing his run for the nation`s highest office. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WALKER: Today, I believe that I`m being called to lead by helping to clear the field in this race so that a positive conservative message can rise to the top of the field. With this in mind, I will suspend my campaign immediately. I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current front-runner. This is fundamentally important to the future of the party and more importantly to the future of our country. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: The postmortem for Walker`s campaign began early and often with the practical effect of his failing on a national stage was simple. It made fund-raising much harder. "The short answer is money," a supporter of Mr. Walker who was briefed on the decision told "The New York Times." "He`s made the decision not to limp into Iowa." Liz Mair, who was on Walker`s staff for a single day, was prolific this afternoon in the stream of tweets, quote, "Things he got wrong: misunderstanding the GOP base, its priorities and stances, pandering, flip- flopping, hiring people who spend a lot to build out a massive operation that would not be sustainable unless financing remained amazing forever, not educating himself fast enough on issues outside of governor`s remit, educating himself on some things by talking to the wrong people." And those are just a few. Since his presidential announcement from his home base of Wisconsin, Walker seemed to lack the surefootedness that got him through his first election, a recall election, and re-election as governor. This Real Clear Politics chart of aggregate polling in Iowa with Walker`s line in orange shows him with a solid lead from mid-February months before his official announcement until early August, a few weeks after that announcement. It was in early August that Walker was eclipsed by Donald Trump shown in light blue. That red line also rising is Ben Carson. All that points to part of the problem: Walker simply stopped resonating with the GOP base, and his debate performances did nothing to help. In the first national poll since that second debate, Walker garnered a statistically insignificant amount, less than 1 percent. Walker`s political manifesto, "Unintimidated," apparently not an effective predictor of the candidate`s longevity. Joining me now from Madison, Wisconsin, John Nichols, Washington correspondent for "The Nation" and a veteran Walkerologist, having watched him up close. Are you -- John, are you surprised by this? JOHN NICHOLS, THE NATION: Yes. I was surprised that he did it today. I expected that Scott Walker would quit the race before Iowa because there`s no trampoline in presidential politics. You don`t go to the top and then bounce back up. And so, he was in trouble. But my sense was that he would at least hold on for a little longer. He had money. That`s not the problem. He was running low. And new money wasn`t coming in. But he had enough to go on for a while longer. What I think happened today was a play out of that poll number you that just mentioned, that 0.0, and the notion that he had actually fallen to a point where it was very likely that he would be the first major contender to be pushed out of the main stage debates down to the kid table. And that -- for a guy with Scott Walker`s ego and his lingering ambition, the fact he still wants to be in politics, the notion of being shuttled off to the kids` table and having to debate Bobby Jindal, I just don`t think appealed to him. HAYES: That`s fascinating because I just saw some reporting saying that the super PAC allied with Governor Walker still has quite a bit of money of cash on hand. I think I saw the number, maybe $20 million or -- $10 million, $20 million. I mean, they could finance -- the super PAC could finance this. You`re suggesting that`s a really interesting idea, right? If that polling was bad enough, the humiliation, the sheer national humiliation of having to move from the main stage debate to the kids` table and what that would do to your brand politically going forward for someone who was in the scheme of politics relatively young. NICHOLS: That`s exactly right. Scott Walker isn`t 50. I mean, he has potentially a lot of political future ahead of him, although I will tell you, this campaign has been an absolute mess. HAYES: Yes. NICHOLS: He has been failed from the start of it on messaging. And interestingly enough, he was even failed at the end. It`s amazing that you would exit a presidential race by declaring that you are going to lead by quitting and clearing the field. It speaks to the kind of tin ear that he`s had as regards this whole year. HAYES: Yes. NICHOLS: And my sense is, my sense is that he may himself have started to realize that he just didn`t -- he just didn`t get this year. HAYES: You know, you point to his final announcement, which was truly bizarre. I mean, look, we`ve got two of these so far. We had Rick Perry. And Rick Perry`s was generally upbeat. It was very religious. But it was upbeat. It was sort of like, well, you go get them next time, this just didn`t work out. Walker seemed like someone under duress. I mean, if you showed that video to someone, you`d think he`d gotten indicted or something just based on the kind of grimness of it, the fact that when he said he was quitting, one person applauded which was sort of awkward. I don`t know who did that. Your point about the tin ear I think is important here. I mean, he seemed to sort of lurch from position to position from the moment he got in the race even if it meant firing Liz Mair because of some tweets she had that were anti-ethanol. He was all over the place from day one. NICHOLS: That`s absolutely right. In fact, I believe we`re up to like 25, 26 stands on immigration so far. It`s absolutely amazing how many places he has gone. And this is really I think boils down to a fundamental reality with Scott Walker. Scott Walker is a political strategist. He is a guy who loves politics, he loves the game. He loves getting the donors in place. He loves planning the schedule. He`s never been particularly interested in policy. And so, the problem for Scott Walker is that, you know, when he got his ticket onto the main stage, when he actually got, you know, up to the highest levels of Republican politics and started being asked -- well, what do you want to do with this gig, how do you want to lead this country, he - - I don`t think he thought about it. HAYES: Right. I should note that there are some glee in the national offices of the AFL-CIO. One of the last things Scott Walker did before exiting stage was put out a policy proposal that would essentially roll back 80 years of labor law, essentially get rid of unions in their current form as enshrined in the Wagner Act during the Great Depression. The AFL- CIO when he declared in one statement Scott Walker is a national disgrace, today the AFL-CIO, Scott Walker is still a disgrace, just no longer national. They got that in. John Nichols, thanks so much for your time. Really appreciate it. NICHOLS: A pleasure. HAYES: Joining me now, MSNBC political analyst former RNC chairman Michael Steele. Well, Michael, there is a piece today that BuzzFeed reported out sort of about the donor class of the GOP sweating what`s happening so far. Still very early obviously. We`ve seen John Kerry bounce back from being very far back in 2004 and John McCain in 2008. But, I mean, the Trump phenomenon and the way the race has played out has had real effects. Governor Perry and Scott Walker, you could imagine different versions of this campaign, which they are not just still in this thing, they are actually very much competitive. MICHEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: No, they really were. And you know, we talk about the impact this has had on Jeb Bush, for example. But it`s had an even bigger impact on folks like Walker and governor Perry because they were originally positioning themselves to either Trump, if you will, Jeb or at least get some of the residual pull from him. What happened once Trump got in the race, when that oxygen started to leave the room, they were the first to suffocate. HAYES: Right. STEELE: And I think they saw it in their money, they saw it in their support, and they saw it in organization on the ground. And I want to go to something that John said, which I think is very important to note. The Walker campaign also faced a harsh reality that put his friend Reince Priebus in a really tricky spot, because going into the next debate, there was already talk that there would be no kiddie table. So, there was no table to go to in that second debate. HAYES: Right. STEELE: And the RNC was beginning to think about shrinking that stage from 11 to 8. So there was a real possibility that he would not necessarily be on that stage to begin with irrespective of anything else short of what he did today. HAYES: Well, that`s an excellent point. And it strikes to the note that Walker hit, which was an odd one. Basically, the subtext, he didn`t explicitly say this was, we need to stop Trump and make sure he`s not the nominee. The number of possible candidates is part of what`s allowing him to continue to pull ahead. STEELE: Exactly. HAYES: I am taking one for the team by dropping out, which frankly seems -- I mean, you spin it however you want to spin it. But what do you make of that message? It was a very weird parting shot. STEELE: Well, it wasn`t as weird as you may think it is. I think that there have been -- I don`t know this for certain. But knowing how the RNC thinks, operates and typically functions, particularly the establishment members thereof, that there are already some conversations to some of the candidates about that very thing. Scott Walker telegraphed that conversation in so many ways because, like you said, it is kind of odd to go out and say I`m going to take one for the team. HAYES: Maybe other candidates will think about it. STEELE: Yes. So that is a lot of back channel noise, I believe, that`s beginning to occur that the part party is looking to whittle this field. As I just mentioned, no kiddie table potentially. The number on the stage reduced. And this is beginning to focus like a laser on Trumping Donald Trump, to get him off of that stage or at least to its edge where he falls off sometime before Iowa. HAYES: Yes, that I think is very clearly the kind of conversation happening. It leaves, of course -- it leaves I think a lot of donors looking at Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Marco Rubio as sort of the remaining folks that I think have been basically the favorites of the donor class so far. And part of what the Walker thing says to me again is, look, just because Jeb Bush fund-raising in name, doesn`t mean that he takes this either or that he survives. I mean, he has to start doing things at some point to turn around his campaign. STEELE: Well, I think -- I think you`ve got to be careful there, Chris, because the bush team is a very sophisticated smart team, and while everyone is focused on that bright shining object that is Donald Trump and now Carly and Ben Carson, they have been systematically and methodically organizing on the ground. Remember, this is not a race to be the most popular kid in the room. This is to be the guy who has the most delegates going into the convention. And that organizational structure works to Jeb Bush`s advantage. HAYES: Yes, and it`s a reminder you can basically play tortoise and the hare if you`ve got sufficient funds, right? Jeb Bush from the beginning, the whole idea was huge fund-raising numbers, advertise to everyone that they have all this funding backing, make that resonate with people so they don`t start essentially judging you day to day in the way that happened to Walker. You can keep telling them you`re the tortoise and everyone else is the hare. I guess my point is, one of the things we`re seeing with Walker is at a certain point, the field kind of gets its own momentum. But we`ll see. I think you`re right about their sophistication long term. Michael Steele, always a pleasure. STEELE: You got it, Buddy. HAYES: All right. Still to come, with two candidates out, who`s the next to fall? We`ll talk likely demises and, more importantly, how does this all affect the ALL IN 2016 fantasy candidate draft, the question you`ve all been asking. Plus, Carly Fiorina jumps in the polls coming off a strong debate performance unless you were listening to what she actually said. A quick fact check ahead. And later, my interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates about his article "The black family in the age of mass incarceration." Those stories and more, ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WALKER: I will suspend my campaign immediately. I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Whether or not his fellow Republicans follow his lead, we know at least one of the major repercussions of Scott Walker`s decision today. It means that Sam Seder just lost one of his ALL IN 2016 fantasy candidate draft picks. Fortunately, he`s still got the points from Walker`s appearance in the last two debates. He`s now at 1,600 points in total. Joy Reid, who also lost a candidate when Rick Perry dropped out ten days ago, is at 1,900 points. Michael Steele`s candidates are all still in but the lack of Democratic debates so far is hurting his score. He`s at 1,700. Josh Barro is at 2,000 points with his two candidates in both, he`s 1,000 points with his two candidates in two debates. Jess McIntosh has twice that after her candidates appeared twice on stage. Right now, Jess is leading draft board, but for how long? Which candidates will follow Scott Walker`s call to leave the race? We`ll talk about that next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: It is nothing less than stunning that out of the handful of Republican presidential candidates most likely to be backed by the establishment and donor class, one of those now gone. With Governor Scott Walker out of the race, the remaining candidates are arguably now just former Governor Jeb Bush, Governor John Kasich and Marco Rubio. At least the candidates they feel comfortable with, possibly Chris Christie, though, he continues to struggle in polling. Candidates like Donald Trump. And Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, candidates who have never held public office now dominate the overall race. What`s the GOP donor class`s next move? Joining me now MSNBC contributor Sam Seder host of "The Majority Report." Jess McIntosh, spokesperson for Emily`s List. Do we want to start with a little ALL IN fantasy draft business? JESS MCINTOSH, EMILY`S LIST: I would love to. HAYES: Yes, Jess, well, you`re sitting pretty right now. But let`s all be clear about what happened. You have Trump basically because of a judge`s ruling Trump falling into your lap just to be clear. MCINTOSH: I`m going to take a bank error in my favor. HAYES: That`s what you have right now. The big question for how it all plays out, and, Sam, my condolences on Scott Walker, maybe he makes some sort of comeback. SAM SEDER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I think it`s possible. He`s leading from the bleachers. I think it`s possible he comes back in at the last minute. HAYES: You know, here`s the thing. When you get to the nominee process in a presidential campaign, we have a lot of political science that says a lot of that`s baked in. The campaigns don`t matter a ton once you get to the nominee part because of the ways that polarization operate and the ways that voting behavior happens. You know, the campaigns at the margins. In this primary, in the Republican primary, the campaigns have mattered a lot. SEDER: Oh, yes. HAYES: And the sheer disaster that was the Scott Walker campaign took someone who could have been formidable and turned him into an also-ran. SEDER: And I have to say, too, someone who has always been very skeptical of the horse race and whatnot, 0.0 in the polls apparently matters as well. This guy pulled the Dean Wermer essentially in terms of 0.0, and so he`s gone. So, you know, there`s been a lot of I think -- there`s been a dynamic that I think in some respects at least has been unique to this point. I mean, the polls have made a difference because there are so many people out there. And I`m not convinced that frankly the donors were just basically on a spending freeze, just waiting until this shakes out because who do you put your money behind? HAYES: That`s a good point, Jess, right? If you`re a donor right now, seven-figure or six-figure donor to Scott Walker you`ve got to be feeling pretty burned. MCINTOSH: I mean, Scott Walker was the favorite of the Koch brothers. HAYES: Yes. MCINTOSH: That`s who dropped out today. If anything`s going to signal to six- and seven-figure GOP donors that this is the guy that the smart money is behind, it would be the Koch brothers` endorsement, which he had. In the last couple of days, he played his best cards. He said he was doubling down on Iowa, which is his Midwest governor shtick. He said that -- he put out his hugely anti-union proposal, which is the thing that propelled him to a pseudo front-runner status in the first place was being the most anti-labor Republican out there. And it did absolutely nothing. I think it`s not just the polls. It`s the debates. It`s the polls mattering for the debates, that is making polls matter this early. HAYES: The debates have mattered a huge amount. And that point, he put out this one-pager on policy on unions, and to me that was a perfect kind of microcosm of what happens to these candidates who have to spend so much time around the GOP donor class. That`s one of the things Trump has illustrated. Those people you`re spending all the time around trying to tell a story to to give you money, they`re not the base. And those two groups don`t have -- so the idea the base is going to get all like -- you`re going to surge ahead in the polling because you`re going to repeal the Wagner Act, like I actually don`t think rank-and-file voters in Iowa care about that one way or the other. That is explicitly a donor class play, but at a certain point, you need actual genuine enthusiasm. SEDER: Yes, I would also say that not only did they not care about the Wagner Act, the Republican base doesn`t seem to care about policy at all. They are supporting things in supporting Trump that they have sworn off. I mean, the idea that this guy is leading -- still continues to lead the pack in the most consistent way of any candidate since declaring and is calling for a single-payer health care system is just absurd. HAYES: Right. SEDER: I mean, the bottom line is they are attracted to a disposition and to an attitude and that is it, and they`ve been trained in that way. You know, when Donald Trump got grief for not responding to that person who was asking that question about Muslims, the first thing I remembered was John Boehner who in 2011 was asked by Brian Williams, what will you say to the members of your own caucus who do not believe, who have publicly brought up a bill to say that the president`s not an American? He said, it`s not my responsibility. HAYES: Exactly. They`ve been trained -- SEDER: They built it. HAYES: Here`s this thinking I keep seeing everywhere in the wake of the sort of Walker demise, Jess, is basically people saying, look, there are four candidates that were plausible choices of the establishment, that was Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich. Kasich is not going to survive the primary because he has views that the base hates, Medicaid expansion particularly. He talks in a way that seems designed to antagonize them. Jeb Bush has shown everyone to be a really not particularly gifted candidate as of now. Who knows how that changes? Leaving Marco Rubio, who has shot up in the latest polling in the wake of the debate, what do you think of the sort of mini Rubio bubble that is emerging? MCINTOSH: I think Rubio is getting a bubble by forfeit. Like I`m starting to develop a working theory about this presidential primary, that if you are not Donald Trump, the best way to win this game is not to play. Ben Carson did it in the debates, and we see him rise every time. I think Rubio is sort of winning-ish by not really getting in there. And every time Marco Rubio does really get in there, he does himself some damage. I mean, that first debate, he was the one that started this now we don`t believe in abortion exemptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother. That was -- that was Marco Rubio who pinned that on many of the men in the field. Just today, he was talking about women who go to Planned Parenthood not being given any alternatives other than abortion, which, of course, isn`t true. Talking about them being pushed into abortions so they can harvest fetal parts, which is, of course, insane. I think that the more Marco Rubio talks, the harder it`s going to be for him to say that he is one of the credible guys. He entered this race damaged with an immigration policy that was too moderate, that he couldn`t then stand behind. He`s not a strong leader. So, when he starts having to be one, I think it`s going to expose a lot of flaws. SEDER: Yes, I mean, he`s yet to actually get involved in an exchange with any of the other candidates. He just sits there and he`s smart, he talks just to camera but the moment he gets into an exchange with somebody I think he`s going to be in trouble. HAYES: It really is -- this metaphor`s been overused but at this point is really is a game of survivor. The longer you can go, you raise enough money, you have an operation that`s lean enough, you can keep going, keep going, keep going, until, you know, people start to actually weigh in on votes and get into the debates, you`ve got a chance. Sam Seder and Jess McIntosh, thank you. Still head, another candidate facing calls to drop out of the race. Ben Carson`s campaign, however, is holding firm to its rejection of the possibility of a Muslim in the White House. Others are saying he`s unfit for the office because of it. That story`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Amid calls to drop out of the presidential race, Republican candidate Ben Carson is refusing to stand down from his assertion that a Muslim should not be president of the United States. After Donald Trump came under fire for failing to push back on a questioner`s anti-Muslim comments at a town hall last week, Carson was asked about religion and politics yesterday on "Meet the Press." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should a president`s faith matter? Should your faith matter to voters? CARSON: I guess it depends on what that faith is. If it`s inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then, of course, it should matter. But if it fits within the realm of America and consistent with the Constitution, no problem. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So do you believe that Islam is consistent with the Constitution? CARSON: No, I don`t. I do not. I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that. (END VIDEO CLIP) TODD: So the Carson campaign later tried to clarify those comments, telling NBC News, "he believes Americans are far from ready to accept a Muslim for president. One could run. One should be allowed to run. But he was merely saying he could not advocate for someone whose faith was inconsistent with the constitution to lead our country." In an interview this morning Carson`s business manager defended the candidate. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ARMSTRONG WILLAMS, BEN CARSON CAMPAIGN: He understands that there are tenets of Islam that hates Jews, will kill homosexuals, will kill Muslims, do not advocate the belief and value systems that made America into the country that it is into today. This is why he`s not a politician. This is why he`s not trying to be politically correct. This is America. It is not an issue of religion to Dr. Carson, this is an issue of one`s belief system, of how they`re going to govern. He believes in telling the truth. You may not like the truth. But it is the truth. And when you tell the truth, Alison (ph), there`s nothing to apologize for. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: For the record, that`s not really the truth on Islam, but that would take a longer section to fact check. The backlash to Carson`s campaign`s explicitly anti-Muslim campaign has been overwhelming with Bernie Sanders strongly condemning them for the campaign trail yesterday and Hillary Clinton tweeting "can a Muslim be president? In a word yes. Now let`s move on." And now the Council on American Islamic Relations, CAIR for short, is calling on him to drop out of the presidential race altogether. Meanwhile, though Donald Trump had a slightly better answer to the same question on "Meet the Press," he`s still entertaining the fringe theory that Obama -- President Obama is lying about his faith. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TODD: Can you imagine supporting or being comfortable if a Muslim ever became president of the United states? TRUMP: I can say that, you know, it`s something that at some point could happen. We`ll see. I mean, you know, it`s something that could happen. Would I be comfortable? I don`t know if we have to address it right now. But I think it is certainly something that could happen. TODD: You said you`d have no problem putting a Muslim in your cabinet. TRUMP: I mean, some people say it already happened, frankly. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: With two Republican front-runners mired in controversy, one of their rivals, another candidate who`s never held elected office, seems to be having a little bit of a moment. A new poll finds that Carly Fiorina, who is nearly excluded from the second GOP presidential debate, has shot into second place among Republican primary candidates. Look at that. Behind only Donald Trump. Fiorina now stands at 15 percent, up from just 3 percent in early September. While voters and pundits were impressed by her last debate performance and her strong speaking style, there are still a lot of questions about whether she`s got the substance to back all of that up. That`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Carly Fiorina`s surge in the presidential race is due in large part to what was unquestionably a stylistic impressive performance in last week`s debate. But the media has spent a lot of time celebrating without for the most part bothering to consider the actual substance of what she said. We`ve already talked about on this show Fiorina`s deeply, deeply misleading, some might even say libelous description of the Planned Parenthood videos. And that was far from her only transgression. Listen to these comments on foreign policy. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CARLY FIORINA, 2016 PRESIDENTIAL DEB ATE: What I would do immediately is begin rebuilding the sixth fleet. I would begin rebuilding the missile defense program in Poland. I would conduct regular aggressive military exercises in the Baltic states. I`d probably send a few thousand more troops into Germany. Vladimir Putin would get the message. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: All right. That sounds pretty impressively detailed, right? I mean, she`s got all these particular things she`d do. But as Slate`s Mike Pesca first pointed out, in just those 15 seconds Fiorina managed to make multiple claims that really just don`t make a whole lot of sense. Start with her first statement there, what I would do immediately is begin rebuilding the sixth fleet. As Stars and Stripes notes, Fiorina`s meaning wasn`t immediately clear. The sixth fleet is less a collection of ships than a command structure for operating American warships, moreover the fleet is one of the few growing military commands in Europe. Fiorina then said she would begin rebuilding the missile defense program in Poland. But while one missile defense program there was scuttled, Poland is actually leading Eastern European missile defense efforts and plans to install a new system in 2018. Fiorina then vowed to conduct regular aggressive military exercises in the Baltic states, which would be fine, although you might not think that`s a good idea, but that is already happening. As you can see from these images from U.S.-led military exercises in where else, the Baltics, that took place in June. Finally, Fiorina said she`d probably send a few more thousand troops into Germany. There are currently more than 44,000 troops in Germany. So it`s hard to see how a few thousand would make that much of a difference. OK. So in 15 seconds she made four claims that sounded serious but basically amounted to not a whole lot. And when Fiorina had to defend her widely criticized tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard she relied on misdirection as none other than Donald Trump pointed out. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) FIORINA: we doubled the size of the company. We quadrupled its top line growth rate. We quadrupled its cash flow. TRUMP: When Carly says the revenues went up, that`s because she bought Compaq. It was a terrible deal. And it really led to the destruction of the company. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now, MSNBC contributor Josh Barro, national correspondent with the Upshot of the New York Times who spent actually a lot of times on Fiorina`s business record. JOSH BARRO, NEW YORK TIMES: Yeah. HAYES: You know, what`s the takeaway of her tenure at Hewlett- Packard? BARRO: I mean, most of the reviews of her have been negative. Now, they range from really extremely negative -- Jeffrey Sonnenfeld (ph) from Yale business school basically called her the worst non-incarcerated CEO in America. To mildly negative. We had a -- The Times had a story on her today with one management expert basically saying I put her in the top of the bottom third of CEOs. The thing that Fiorina says is correct is that the time she led HP... HAYES: Was a tough time. BARRO: Was a tough time for hardware manufacturers like HP. And, you know, she laid off a lot of people, probably anybody who was CEO would have ended up laying off a lot of people. The big problem with what she did is she looked at a number of difficult declining or low-profit businesses and decided to expand in them. She bought Compaq, as Donald Trump pointed out. HP had a personal computer business that was not very profitable so, she went out and bought a much larger personal computer business that was also not very profitable. The theory was by becoming a bigger player they`d be able to get economies of scale and make higher profits and that turned out to be wrong. In fact they had a business that was not very impressive and was larger. HAYES: That`s right. And that`s what she says all her top line numbers. The revenues went up, size of the company doubled. Right, you bought this company that then was a disaster. BARRO: Right. And so -- I mean, it could have been worse. HP didn`t go bankrupt. It could have been bankrupt. But I think, you know, if the question is about was she a terrible CEO or merely mediocre or sort of bad CEO, neither of those is really a great record to run on to be president. HAYES: Well that`s -- see, that`s what I find so bizarre about this. Because we`re not talking about someone who`s got this career in which they`ve got a whole bunch of different things they`ve done in the public eye and some were wins and some were losses, right, like, oh, I`m a filmmaker and I had some busts and I had some blockbusters. The reason that people know who Carly Fiorina is before she ran for that senate seat, the reason she`s famous is because she was the CEO of Hewlett-Packard. That one job which she was either terrible at or not great at. BARRO: Right. Well, then as Trump pointed out in the debate the other thing she did. The thing that got her the job at HP p is she ran this business called Lucent that was a large division of AT&T that was very hot when she ran it. It was a telecom equipment business and like a lot of telecom businesses it did extremely well in the 1990s and then she left and it crashed afterward. And now granted it wasn`t just Lucent, it was basically every business like Lucent ended up doing very badly after 1999. But again she looked very good because she built this huge business, but it turned out to be basically a bubble in telecom equipment. So, those are her two accomplishments. HAYES: And this actually gets to a broader point about the way CEO compensation often works, right, which is if you have the good fortune of being in a business in which the entire field is doing well you`ll be extremely generously compensated because compensation usually doesn`t even factor into what your peer class is, right. If the stocks are up because of a broad bubble you`re going to be cashing out as a CEO. As soon as things go south 30,000 people get laid off. BARRO: Right. And then there`s the flip side where when everything`s bad in the industry you look like an idiot when you`re just being dragged down by broader factors. But I would note, while she was running HP, it was tough time, but some companies managed to do better. Dell was doing much better at the time. It`s had some troubles in more recent years, but they showed that during this `99 to `05 period you could outperform HP. Apple, of course, did much better. Now, Apple is the most successful company in the world. So not everybody has to live up to that standard, but basically there are peers that make it clear it is possible to do somewhat better than HP did. HAYES: All right. Josh Barro, thanks so much. BARRO: Thank you. HAYES: Coming up the truly moving acceptance speech by Viola Davis for her historic win at the Emmys last night. Plus my interview with Ta- Nehisi Coates. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) We`re facing the worst refugee crisis since the end of World War II, and I think the United States has to do more. And I would like to see us move from what is a good start with 10,000 to 65,000 and begin immediately to put into place the mechanisms for vetting the people that we would take in. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: For the first time democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton is assigning a number to how many Syrian refugees the U.S. should be taking in. The former Secretary of State urging the U.S. to allow in 65,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees, a significantly higher number than what the Obama administration had previously committed to, about 10,000 over the next year. Clinton`s democratic opponent, former Maryland governor Martin O`Malley has been calling for the acceptance of 65,000 Syrian refugees since the beginning of the month. Meanwhile, the Obama administration announcing it will increase the number of refugees the U.S. accepts not just from Syria but from around the globe. Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. will increase the total number of refugees it welcomes over the next two years. Currently, the U.S. accepts about 70,000 refugees each year. That number will increase to 100,000 annually by 2017. Just last week, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois said on this program the U.S. should accept 100,000 refugees just from Syria. Given the scope of this crisis unfolding across the Middle East and Europe, there is still a global demand and need for the U.S. to do more. And we should. Just a few weeks ago not a single candidate was willing to commit to a number. We now have two candidates calling for 65,000 and the administration raising the cap on how many we will take. That is progress, but it is still not enough. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Coming up, my interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates, but first, history was made last night when Viola Davis became the first African- American to win an Emmy for best lead actress in a drama series for her role in How to Get Away with Murder. That`s first ever in the history of the Emmys. It was an achievement marked by an emotional and powerful acceptance speech. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) VIOLA DAVIS, ACTRESS: In my mind, I see a line. And over that line I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me over that line. But I can`t seem to get there no- how. I can`t seem to get over that line. That was Harriet Tubman in the 1800s. And let me tell you something, the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. [ applause ] You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: The United States accounts for just 5% of the world`s inhabitants and about 25% of its incarcerated inhabitants. Or, put it another way. 1 in 4 prisoners in the entire world is in an American prison cell. That stunning statistic is just one of many revealed by Ta-nehisi Coates in a new blockbuster cover story in The Atlantic, in which he investigates the origins of the largest incarceration regime in the world and the damage done by it. For several decades the U.S. has been running a bizarre experiment on its citizens, imprisoning a larger share of the population than any other country in the world. And while supporters of the mass incarceration state point to a decline in crime, the data backing that up is very, very thin indeed. Earlier today I spoke to Coates, who`s currently in Paris, at the release of his best-selling book Between the World and Me. And, I asked him why he focused his latest article on mass incarceration in the black family specifically. TA-NEHISI COATES, BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME: I think family has become one of the lenses through which people talk about African-American communities and this has gone across the board from conservatives, you know, focusing on family and focusing on rates of out of wedlock births to basically the mainstream dialogue among liberals in the Democratic party too. And so, I have to be honest. Starting this piece, I was very very interested, A, in the direct affect of mass incarceration on the African- American family. But by the end of the piece, I became fairly convinced that family is not the soul or perhaps even the primary lens through which one should, you know, understand problems in the African-American community. HAYES: You start the piece, and the title is in some ways a sort of callback to the famous Moynihan Report by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, U.S. senator, before he was a senator he was an academic and a bureaucrat. And he wrote this famous study of the black family that in some ways I think has been misinterpreted or misread, perhaps intentionally so. You do a kind of re-excavation of it. What do you think we`ve missed about the now infamous Moynihan Report? COATES: Well, I think, you know -- Chris, I hate to do the both sides thing. Usually, I oppose it, but I think there have been misreadings on two fronts, from a conservative perspective and from a liberal perspective. I think from the liberal perspective the notion that Moynihan was in any way blaming the victim, I think is just completely off. I think anybody who reads the report, Moynihan is very, very clear about where the blame should be. And, not only, that but if you listen to the speech that Lyndon Johnson gave that was inspired by the Moynihan Report, he literally says that even as he talks about family breakdown, that blame must be laid at the feet of white society, a statement that no sitting President would make today. On the other hand, I think conservatives, who like to make these allusions to the Moynihan Report and his focus on family, are not so eager to make allusions to the fact that Moynihan was calling for government action, for money to be spent on behalf of black people. He thought it should be done through the family but he was a liberal who believed in government action. And I think one of the regrettable decisions that Moynihan made was leaving out solutions and the result was it left it open for folks who wanted to just lament the problem but felt that government should do nothing about it. HAYES: So here`s the chain that you get a lot of times with a certain kind of interpreter of mass incarceration and sort of African-American crime rates. It goes like this. You know, white supremacy and the legacy of racism and Jim Crow created this kind of segregation and poverty. The poverty created these quote "pathologies." You hear this all the time as embodied in the Moynihan Report. Those pathologies lead to elevated levels of criminality, which then led to disproportionate incarceration. That`s the kind of story mainstream politics tells about this era. What`s wrong with that story? COASTES: I don`t any there`s anything pathological about the African- American community at all. I think the African-American community, you know, if you go into particularly deprived or poor African-American communities and you see certain behaviors you that feel may not be suitable, say, at Harvard or, say, in a boardroom or, say in a job interview, I think viewed within the context of the African-American community and viewed within people who are struggling with elevated rates of violence, viewed from the perspective of people who are very much concerned about getting from point a to point b on a given day, and I mean that geographically, those behaviors automatically make sense. I`ve long maintained this even before I was doing this piece, that within the context of racism, within the context of the boot upon your neck, all the behaviors within the African-American community make sense. The only problem is the boot upon your neck, and the minute that folks remove the boot, I believe we will see a lot of those behaviors that we term as pathological begin to fade. HAYES: One of the things you talk about in the piece, and this is something that I`ve encountered when I`ve been reporting on, particularly with ex felons, is when you put massive amounts of people in prison, and you do a great job in the piece of just laying out the scale of what we have done, which, people I think people know, oh, yeah, we put more people in prison. But, the scale of it is really something to behold when you sort of lay out the data. When you put that many people in prison -- COATES: It`s stunning. HAYES: ...they then acclimate to what life is like there, and that lasting effect on how a human being comports themselves. COATES: Right. It totally does. And I didn`t really get to emphasize this enough in the piece, was that listen, African-American communities, which have suffered from centuries of deprivations, are therefore more violent than most communities that we see in America. And I don`t think there`s really much debate about that statistically. Prison is that in a nutshell. It`s what I remember from my neighborhood times ten. And people are sort of amazed that you could send somebody in that environment, and many times at a very very young ages, and they come out acculturated to that, thinking like that. Trying to conduct business in that sort of way. And not only that, with society continuing to view them that way. We have all sorts of data within the story showing that African-Americans even after they leave prison continue to be treated in a sort of second-class way, that imprisonment is a badge, that you would behave a certain way in reaction to that is not shocking at all. HAYES: You know, when you and I have had conversations about this piece, particularly, and the issue more broadly, I think we have slightly different perspectives on how much political progress we`re going to make towards bringing the era of mass incarceration to a close. What`s your sense as you watch the politics of this play out of what hope there is? People talk about the bipartisan movement for criminal justice reform and conservative think tanks talking about it. Where do you think this is going? COATES: It`s interesting. I`ll just lay this out for the viewer. Chris, you and I had a conversation and I believe it was about a month or so ago, and you were saying it would not surprise you, and you can correct me if I have this wrong, but within the next 20 or 30 years if we somehow got our incarceration rate down to about 400,000 per 100,000. Right now we`re at 700 per 100,000. There`s no country in the world with reliable numbers that`s even compatible with us. At 400 per 100,000 we would be somewhere in the vicinity of Russia. We still would be a major outlier and still an embarrassment to democracy and the world, but that would be some sort of progress. I just don`t know. I hope you`re right. I hope you`re more than right, in fact. But when you see the reaction to what folks are calling the Ferguson Effect which is really just a juking of the numbers, a total mathematical innumeracy. When you see that, when you see people like Ted Cruz, when you see Nikki Haley, the governor of South Carolina, running a campaign against Black Lives Matter, when you see Donald Trump, you see people standing up, talking about a war on cops, anybody who thinks progress in the era of prison reform is a done deal really should be humbled by that. It only -- God forbid crime actually rise for real. I mean, forget Ferguson Effect. God forbid it actually happened. I don`t know, I think it`s highly dependent on the weather. If it rains tomorrow, we`ll get prison reform -- I mean we won`t get prison reform. If it`s sunny, we will. HAYES: Alright, Ta-Nehisi Coates, thanks so much, man. Really appreciate it. COATES: Thanks for having me, Chris. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Alright. That is All In for this evening. If you haven`t read the piece by Ta-Nehisi Coates, I urge you to. It`s at The Atlantic`s website. It is long and fantastic. Chalk full of data. An amazing synthesis, a lot of work, a lot of academics and reporters have done. Go check it out. The Rachel Maddow`s Show starts now. Good evening Rachel. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END