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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 10/14/15

Guests: Sherrod Brown, Angela Rye, Keith Ellison, Michael Tomasky, BenDomenech, Margie Omero

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN -- SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let me say something that may not be great politics. HAYES: Democrats seize the spotlight with a record audience. SANDERS: The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails. HAYES: Bernie and Hillary shine. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I can`t think of anything more of an outsider than electing the first woman president. HAYES: And Lincoln Chafee was also on stage. LINCOLN CHAFEE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think you`re being a little rough. HAYES: Tonight, why both frontrunners have a claim to victory. Plus, undecided voter and Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown on how he saw the debate. And what a difference a political party makes. DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I never attacked him on his look. And believe me, there`s plenty of subject matter right there. That I can tell you. HAYES: How the Democratic policy fight was way different from the Republican food fight. (CROSSTALK) MODERATOR: I understand that, Governor, but -- HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Following a pair of circus like GOP presidential debates, featuring an insult fueling reality television star, last night, Americans got to experience something quite different -- an engaging and legitimately substantial exchange of ideas between Democratic presidential candidates that was at times contentious but never grew nasty. The debate drew 15.3 million viewers, a record for a Democratic primary debate -- a number that to be honest absolutely blew away the expectations. While that number fell short of the 25 million who tuned into the first GOP primary debate, 15.3 million is a striking number especially in light of the relative seriousness on display throughout the evening. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: In this debate, we tried to deal with the very tough issues facing our country. That`s in stark contrast to the Republicans who are currently running for president. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: While the candidates were unafraid to draw contrasts, they were consistently respectful, collegial, and willing to defend each other when the moment demanded. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SANDERS: Let me say something that may not be great politics. But I think the secretary is right. And that is the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails. CLINTON: Thank you. Me, too, me, too. SANDERS: Enough of the e-mails. Let`s talk about the real issues facing America. CLINTON: Thank you, Bernie. Thank you. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: That doesn`t mean that candidates didn`t get into it. Clinton went hard at Sanders on guns as we`ll discuss later in the show, and both Sanders and Martin O`Malley went after Clinton with her unwillingness to break up big banks and reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SANDERS: In my view, Secretary Clinton, you do not -- Congress does not regulate Wall Street. Wall Street regulates Congress and we got a break off these banks. Going to them and saying, please do the right thing -- CLINTON: No, that`s not -- SANDERS: -- is kind of naive. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Clinton also had a number of really strong moments, including when she articulated where she stands politically. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: I have a range of views but they`re rooted in my values and my experience. And I don`t take a backseat to anyone when it comes to progressive experience and progressive commitment. I`m a progressive, but I`m a progressive who likes to get things done. And I know how to find common ground and I know how to stand my ground and I have proved that in every position that I`ve had. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: There is one unifying theme in the debate, it was that this was a Democratic Party that is not seeking to run away from its progressive roots rather than embrace them. Consider the exchange that took place after Sanders who calls himself a Democratic socialist suggested America should look to countries like Denmark for guidance on how to help working people. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANDERSON COOPER, MODERATOR: You don`t consider yourself a capitalist, though? SANDERS: Do I consider myself part of the casino capitalist process by which so few have so much and so many have so little by which Wall Street`s greed and recklessness wrecked this economy? No, I don`t. I believe in a society where all people do well, not just a handful of billionaires. (APPLAUSE) COOPER: Let me -- just to be clear -- is there anybody else on this stage who is not a capitalist? CLINTON: Well, let me just follow up on that, Anderson. Because when I think about capitalism, I think about all the small businesses that were started because we have the opportunity and the freedom in our country for people to do that and to make a good living for themselves and their families. (APPLAUSE) And I don`t think we should confuse what we have to do every so often in America which is save capitalism from itself. And I think what Senator Sanders is saying, certainly makes sense in the terms of the inequality that we have. But we are not Denmark. I love Denmark. We`re the United States of America. And it`s our job to rein in the excesses of capitalism so it doesn`t run amok and doesn`t cause the inequities that we`re seeing in our economic system. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: That exchange goes to what was so dramatic about last night. It was effectively coming out for Democratic Party that is massively different than it was 20 years ago when progressive ideas were anathema to many Democratic candidates. In fact, when Democrats running for high office often did everything they could to distance themselves as much as possible from the party`s left wing. On the notion of a serious exchange involving the relative merits of capitalism and democratic socialism involving the two frontrunners for the party`s nomination would have seemed pretty laughable. Joining me now, Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who has worked closely with a lot of the Democrats who are on stage and also who happens to be -- at least as far as we know -- an undecided voter. Senator, as an undecided voter, as someone who has yet uncommitted publicly, your focus group of one, you happen to be a senator. What was your impression of last night? SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: I`m decided in a sense that I`m voting for the Democrats for president. I know that`s not a major news break. But a couple of observations. First, I just -- my wife Connie and I were sitting there and watching the debate last night. I`ve watched -- we both watched two Republican debates in the contract was just incredible between our debate and their two debates in terms of substance, in terms of informational, in terms of the candidates` respect for the voters and for each other. All of that and the other thing that I think is what you just said that I think is so important, Chris. And that is clearly this party is the party of a little guy, little woman. I mean, this is a party clearly now where I want it to be for all my political life, a party that fights for progressive values, a party that fights for fair trade. A party that looks to raise the minimum wage, significantly, not just a dollar or two or three. A party that`s going to stand up to Wall Street. All the things that Democratic Party should be clearly the party is, and I think you can look at every candidate, all of them were emphatically saying that last night. HAYES: You know, I can`t help but think about, you know, the year, the sort of 1992, and then particularly also after 2004. And both those cases in the world of people that wrote about the Democratic Party analysts, journalists, pundits, there was a sense of, if you want to be elected to high office as a Democrat, you got to show that you`re willing to stick it to the left. In fact, you got show people that you actually -- you hate the left as much as the Republicans do. You got to go out of your way to say I`m not like them. I`m here for you, and I`m not George McGovern basically. What has changed in your mind having watched this and a long career as a progressive in politics? What changed? BROWN: Yes, well, some of us have run campaigns. I ran two campaigns for the Senate where you -- and in the end, whose side are you on? I think that party leaders and activists, and party activists have really driven this debate. It`s the Sanders campaign partly, but it`s just party activists realize where we`ve been and where we`re going. And they realize how far right the Republican Party`s moved. Earlier today, I was at the University of Dayton, speaking to the political science class taught by the former governor of Ohio, Bob Taft, who has become a friend of mine. He defeated for an election, my only loss in my career some 20-plus years ago. But what I -- I talked about his grandfather a little bit. His grandfather was Mr. Republican. Senator Bob Taft who stood on principle but was clearly the sort of leading conservative of his time in the mid- 20th century. But Taft didn`t have this I hate government. Taft actually believed in how a role of government and housing and some other things were government did it best. But the Republican Party now is so far right, that I think Democrats realize they don`t have to follow them to the right. We can stand for something. This race is not going to be a referendum in the general election on Hillary Clinton or whoever the nominee is. It`s going to be a contrast between us and them. And that contrast is so clear on Wall Street, on foreign intervention in the Middle East, on minimum wage, on trade issues, the contrast between the two parties is so clear and so sharp. That`s why we`re going to win this election, because clearly the public is with us. We don`t need to compromise our progressive values and our progressive stances because that`s clearly not just the mainstream of the Democratic Party, it`s the mainstream of this country. No doubt. HAYES: All right. Senator Sherrod Brown, thanks for your time tonight. I appreciate it. BROWN: Always. Thanks, Chris. HAYES: All right. Joining me are now are Democratic political strategist Angela Rye, CEO of Impact Strategies, and MSNBC contributor Sam Seder, co-host of "Ring of Fire" radio show. Sam, you were there in Vegas. What was your impression? SAM SEDER, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, the impression was a little bit sort of I guess dictated by the fact I was surrounded by media. But I got to say that I think, look, you know, Hillary Clinton, I think she put out the fire in terms of the establishment concern about her and closed the door on any opportunity that Joe Biden might have had. But I think what was really striking was that, you know, Bernie Sanders was sitting up there and he was going toe to toe. I mean, they weren`t necessarily going at each other. But there was a sense, I think, for a lot of people who didn`t know who Bernie Sanders was that some type of Democratic socialist was some type of bogeyman. I think that he really succeeded in I guess phase one of introducing himself to the country, because I don`t think there was a lot of Democratic voters who really knew much about him. I think he was very effective in showing a clear agenda. I think he`s got some work to do in terms of differentiating himself from Hillary Clinton who did a good job in trying to sort of draw him close. HAYES: Right. SEDER: But I think this was a good first step for him. You know, I imagine we`re going to tell in a couple days to see if that resonated with voters. HAYES: You know, Angela. I was never so happy to see CNN kill it in the ratings, as they did last night. Not usually my reaction to that turn of events. But I was really gratified. I mean, I was thinking to myself, two things. One, this is pretty substantive. Like we`re talking about shadow banking and whether Glass-Steagall reposition will address the financial regulatory concerns that might bring about the next crisis, but also pretty dramatic. And I was kind of wondering like, are people hanging with this? Are people going to go there with this? And I think it pretty gratifying it turned out they did. ANGELA RYE, CEO, IMPACT STRATEGIES: Yes. I think that people are less concerned about whether they know what that Glass-Steagall is and more concerned about the fact that is what is being discussed rather than how a woman`s face looks or whether or not there should be a wall built that is affordable. We cannot afford it in this country. And I think that is the bigger issue here. We got to see Hillary Clinton supporters that cheered really loud when she said something really positive and Bernie Sanders voters and supporters that are cheering really loud when he did. So, both of them, I think, reaffirmed to their support base why they were supporting them to begin with. I also think that Bernie got quite a few extra nods. I even want a Bernie shirt that says "enough with the damn e-mails". There were a up in of great moments. I think for the rest of them, unfortunately, Martin O`Malley didn`t show up the way that I thought he would. I actually am surprised by the fact that he came across more inauthentic than I`ve ever seen Hillary Clinton come across. Maybe he was too practiced and too rehearsed, but I`ve been saying today he was the Democratic version of Scott Walker. Lincoln Chafee, just weird. I don`t think we have time to get into. Who blames a vote on their dead father? And then, of course, with Jim Webb, who says that the enemy they`re most proud of is someone they killed? So, there was just really epic fail moments. But there were also amazing mic drop moments. HAYES: Yes, Sam, well, the Jim Webb is remarkable, because if anyone has any opportunity to go read the actually the honor that was bestowed on him for what happened in that fight, it`s incredible what Jim Webb did. It was an amazing moment in that room. People are speaking metaphorically about enemies, and Jim Webb is speaking quite literally. Sam, the point about this stature of Bernie Sanders there, I thought was also key there. I mean the big sort of take away and the pundit class is like, oh, well, Hillary Clinton isn`t tripping over herself which was never going to be the case anyway. But, you know, if you said to me on a 1 to 10, the performance of Bernie Sanders for the best hopes he could have had six months ago, I say it`s like a 30 right now. SEDER: Yes, I agree. And I think, you know, the next step I think that Bernie Sanders, I mean to really convince people within the Democratic Party that he is someone who can both win and also govern pragmatically. I mean, I think that clip you played of Hillary Clinton saying I`m a progressive but I`m also that can get stuff done. I think Bernie Sanders has a record of being able to work with people across the aisle and I think that he needs to establish that. The Democratic voters, so they can begin to get a notion of Bernie Sanders governing. I think he did a great job last night of sort of laying out an agenda. And, you know, frankly, I`m also excited there were a lot of people watching. It would have been nice if Anderson Cooper was able to show and introduce questions that showed that there is actually a bigger difference between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders than I think people got a sense of last night. HAYES: That`s less -- I think that is less on the debate moderation and more on a very specific point and strategy on the Clinton campaign to essentially do as much as possible to erase that distance and they have executed that incredibly well. I mean, that is really coming from them. Yes. Angela -- SEDER: You need to be in the weeds to really understand how she was parsing in some ways. In many ways, she`s adopting I think President Obama`s strategy from 2008. HAYES: Angela, is that sort of your feeling about that kind of Hillary Clinton managing the kind of allied those differences as much as possible, except on guns, obviously? RYE: So, a couple of things. One is I do honestly believe that Hillary Clinton has a record of being progressive both before she was ever secretary of state and before she was a senator in New York, before she was, you know, a country speaking first lady of the state of Arkansas. I mean, she actually does have a record of registering minority voters in Texas and working for the Children Defense Fund. She actually does have a record that supports that. Now, of course, we know that evolved. We know the party evolved and the party is still evolving now. So, I think she was very, very effective as well in saying, you know, listen, I continue to change as I read more things. There was an answer I didn`t like so much about Keystone because it wasn`t so much of an answer. But I think she was very effective. One thing that I would say about Bernie Sanders, he decided before they went into the debate that he was going to take the high road. That he wasn`t going to attack her. He stuck to that, even when she tacked him on guns, and he had an opening. When he said, you know, "We don`t regulate Wall Street, Wall Street regulates us", he could have taken it a step further, as we know Glass- Steagall was repealed under Bill Clinton. He could have said and regulated the Clinton administration. There would have been a thunderous applause. Maybe she already had a response. But that I think was a moment where he could have shown distance. HAYES: That`s a great point. Part of that is just who Bernie Sanders is as a human being and who he`s been for a politician and he`s not going to change now. We`re seeing that. It`s sort of remarkable that he is up there kind of toe to toe as Sam said. Angela and Sam, thank you both. RYE: Thank you. SEDER: Thank you. HAYES: All right. Still to come tonight, much more analysis on that first Democratic debate, including the two dominant performances by frontrunners Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. We`ll take in-depth looks at their best and worst moments. Plus, a study in contrast. How last night was a remarkably different scene from the Republican debates. Much more civil, much more policy driven discussion, fewer personal insults. Those stories and more, ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to be the party and I want to be different than we`d been in the past. I want to be someone who says, you know, I want to defend everybody -- rich, poor, black and white. I want to defend everybody and defend the entire Bill of Rights. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: That was Rand Paul in Iowa, calling on his party to get with the times. Put on a shirt and tie and blue jeans. Just four minutes later, Paul`s vision for a party that defends everybody was tested by a questioner in the crowd. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) QUESTIONER: Do you think an employer should be able to fire an LGBT employee because that person is LGBT? PAUL: I think really the things you do in your house, you just leave those in your house, and it wouldn`t have to be part of the workplace, to tell you the truth. It`s not so much about that question as it is about that it sets up a classification or a class of people who can now sue. You see what I mean? (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Paul went ton sat government should not get involved in this issue but offer the following consolation to LGBT Americans. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PAUL: I think society is rapidly changing. And if you are gay, there are plenty of places that will hire you. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Shortly after Paul`s comments surfaced on Twitter, Hillary Clinton issued this response, writing, "The feeling when a GOP candidate says it`s acceptable for being fired for gay," with the gif of her from last saying no. Just ahead, we`ll have a lot more. That`s the latest in gif reporting on ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES. We`ll have much more on last night`s debate, including the Clinton exchange you saw in that gif, ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MODERATOR: You said you smoked marijuana twice and it didn`t quite work for you. If you were a Nevada resident, how would you vote? SANDERS: I suspect I would vote yes. (APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: While many of the headlines today touted Hillary Clinton as the big winner in Las Vegas. Bernie Sanders fans are reporting to his dominance last night. For example, his campaign said it raised $1.3 million last night in the four hours, four hours after the Democratic debate began. Sanders also gained the most new Facebook followers, more than 35,000, increasing the following to 1.69 million. Clinton added about 18,000 increasing her following to 1.54 million. According to his campaign, Sanders also added more Twitter followers than the other four candidates. Plus, he got more Google search traffic than all the other debate candidates. And then there was the focus groups. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Raise your hands, think that Bernie Sanders won this debate. Most of you. OK. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many of you walked in here supporting Hillary Clinton, raise your hands? Half of you. How many of you are still supporting Hillary Clinton? Only a small percentage. So who won the debate? CROWD: Bernie Sanders. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Let me point out that there is nothing scientific about focus groups or Google searches or social media followers. But that said, I think it`s plausible ala Ben Carson of the Republican side, that the national exposure from last night`s debate could give Bernie Sanders a boost in national polls. And joining me now, Congressman Keith Ellison, Democrat from Minnesota, one of two House members who has endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders. Congressman, I want to -- I want to play an exchange about guns last night which was one of the more contentious exchanges in the entire debate. The place where it seemed like Bernie Sanders was on his heels the most and get your reaction to it. Take a look. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MODERATOR: Is Bernie Sanders tough enough on guns? CLINTON: No. Not at all. Senator Sanders did vote five times against the Brady bill. Since it was passed, more than 2 million prohibited purchases have been prevented. He also did vote as he said for this immunity provision. He was going to give immunity to the only industry in America. Everybody else has to be accountable, but not the gun manufacturers. SANDERS: As a senator from a rural state, what I can tell Secretary Clinton that all the shouting in the world is not going to do what I would hope all of us want. And that is keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have those guns and end this horrible violence that we are seeing. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Congressman, what was your reaction to that exchange? REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: My reaction was that Bernie clearly is on the side of sensible gun safety. Clearly condemn the violence. I believe he went on to say that he was in favor of background checks. He wants to keep guns out of the hands of people who don`t suppose to have them. I mean, I thought it was a clever moment for Hillary Clinton. It was, you know, certainly a point of vulnerability. But I think that he handled it well. And I think that it is absolutely true that violence is out of control. We do have to stop it and we got to take policy decision moves to make those changes. No doubt about it. HAYES: You`re someone who I remember having you on this program several years ago back when there was a question whether we would start airstrikes against Syria, particularly when the evidence emerge of chemical weapons. You`re someone who`s a member of the progressive caucus, generally has been opposed to American military engagements. But you supported intervention in Syria at that time. Do you think Bernie Sanders has enough command of foreign policy issues? Do you think he demonstrated them last night to be president of the United States? ELLISON: Yes, I do. I think that prudence is wise. I think it makes a lot of sense to get as much information as can you before you act. Now, look, me supporting Bernie doesn`t mean that he and agree on every single thing. HAYES: Of course. ELLISON: But I want a commander in chief who is going to really be deliberate. And I think Bernie will be that. You know, I think that he handled himself well. He showed command of the issues. He showed that he was emphatic to the flight of the refugees in Syria. He showed that he understood, you k now, how going in and doing a military intervention can have some really serious consequences. So I think that that`s a good thing. Here`s a reality. Any president who is going to be engaging advisors, members of Congress and a lot of people, and so, I think that is really what you want. What will this process be? I think it will be to engage and get the best information. And then as he said, if he has to defend America, he will do so. HAYES: Let me ask you this -- you`re one of two members of Congress that have endorsed Bernie Sanders. I believe Raul Grijalva is the other one. ELLISON: Yes, that`s true. HAYES: And Hillary Clinton I think in the House has ballpark about 115 endorsements. Why that asymmetry? How do you -- is that just pure fear of the Clintons? Is that people sort of backing the horse they think is going to win? What do you make of that? ELLISON: You know, it`s tough for me to guess people`s motives. I don`t know if it`s a good idea for me to try to do that. Here`s why -- I`m endorsing Bernie, and I think Raul is too, as a matter of conscious. We believe the bills that he and I both sponsored, I`m talking about Bernie, are good for America. Bernie and I are both -- the House and Senate office on raising the minimum wage to $15, on stripping the fossil fuel companies from subsidies, public government subsidies. We`re both the House and the Senate author on making sure proposing that we only have prisons be a public function and not be sublet to the private sector through privatization. I mean, this is what -- this is why I`m in. The other reason I`m in is because I love the fact he is reaching out so broadly, that he is engaging electorate. He is causing excitement. After an election with 72-year low on voter participation, 36 percent of the people voted. You know, we need somebody who is going to generate some street heat. Bernie is doing that, and I`m excited to be a part of it. HAYES: All right. Congressman Keith Ellison, great thanks. Coming up, if you started to get a feeling that Hillary Clinton was a candidate falling by the way side, she made sure to clear up that for you last night. A look at her performance is next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: After last night debate the big, collective response from professional pundits on TV was something akin to, wow, look at Hillary Clinton. She`s not some kind of defensive, inauthentic, scandal-laden robot like so many of us have been saying she is. She did actually pretty good. Which, of course, should not be shocking to anyone. She is the same woman who got some 18 million votes last time around. Who is, without a doubt, one of the most formidable public figures of our time. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANDERSON COOPER, ANDERSON COOPER 360: Secretary Clinton, is Bernie Sanders tough enough on guns? HILARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No. Not at all. Senator Sanders did vote five time against the Brady Bill. Since it was passed, more than two million prohibited purchases have been prevented. COOPER: Which enemy are you most proud of? CLINTON: Well, in addition to the NRA, the health insurance companies, the drug companies, the Iranians, probably the Republicans. This committee is basically an arm of the Republican National Committee. MARTIN O`MALLEY, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE : I think we need someone that has the best in ethical standards as our next president. That`s how I feel. COOPER: Secretary Clinton, do you want to respond? CLINTON: No. COOPER: Governor, governor -- CLINTON: I can`t think of anything more than of an outsider than electing the first woman president. But I`m not just running because I would the first woman president. It`s always the Republicans or their sympathizers who say you can`t have paid leave, you can`t provide health care. They don`t mind having big government to interfere with a woman`s right to choose and try to take down Planned Parenthood. They`re fine with big government when it comes to them. I`m sick of it. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now, Michael Tomasky, special correspondent of The Daily Beast, author of a Hillary Clinton biography, which is an excellent read I would recommend to you out there watching. No, it is, Michael. MICHAEL TOMASKY, THE DAILY BEAST: Okay. HAYES: You, you know, you -- that first book is sort of about her when she was run for Senate in 2000. Sort of the first time after a long time in public life running as a candidate. I feel like there is always this weird thing about oh, she`s bad. She`s inauthentic. She`s robotic. It`s like, she`s actually quite good at thins and has quite a commanding presence. Last night you can almost kind of watch everyone remember that. TOMASKY: Yeah. You`re really right, and you nailed it in your lead in. I think among media elites, I think the expectation was so low because this view has set it, has become so ingrained. She`s wooden, she`s robotic, she`s this, she`s that. I think the expectations of her were so low that when she exceeded them-- and I don`t think she was astonishingly better than Bernie Sanders. I guess I would say between the two of them, she won it, but I thought Sanders had a really good night, too. I think the expectations for her were so low among the chattering class that when she proved to be competent both substantively and performatively, that she just knocked people out of their shoes or something. HAYES: Right. And I think there were a few key moments. One was when she was offered the opportunity to go after Bernie Sanders on guns, which is not-- you know, it`s a perfectly legit shot in a debate like this. I thought she had the better of the argument, and she pressed it, and she delivered it effectively. It was sort of this moment where it was like, right, we`re debating. I`m doing this. We`re all doing this. I thought that was a great moment for her because it in some ways felt like that was the first moment of this campaign officially. TOMASKY: Yeah, it was. It was a surprising moment I thought. I don`t think many of us expected her to go after him that hard. She knocked him back on his heels a little bit. I mean, this was the only time of the night, I thought, when he wasn`t sounding really like the authentic guy that he sells himself as and that he usually is. This is a guy that wants to slice the ears off of Wall Street people, and yet he wants to sit down and reason with Wayne LaPierre? She got him there. HAYES: She also, I mean, it is really noticeable the degree to which this campaign has drawn a lot of lessons from 2007 and 2008. And one of the most obvious is in 2007 and 2008, the fact that she would be the first woman president was a kind of subtext that was never explicitly said. In some ways I think they were defensive about it or worried that they had to convince American voters that a woman could be commander in chief. That is not the case here. This is front and center. She is proud, she is unabashed, and I think effective when she says this is a big deal what we`re talking about. TOMASKY: Yeah. I think she`s effective at it. I mean, this is going to be something that if she is the nominee is going to, you know, it`s going to play out obviously over the course of the next 13 months. And we`ll have to see. And underneath this rhetoric, Chris, of course there are numbers, and I`m sure her pollsters are crunching the numbers now, and trying to get to the bottom of it. If she emphasizes this, she`s probably going to increase her percentage of the women`s vote and her percentage of the white women`s vote in particular, which a lot of viewers may not know, Democrats usually lose. Mitt Romney won among white women. Democrats always win among women overall. So she`ll augment her percentage among white women, but she`s going to lose some men by doing this. Let`s face it. She`s going to. Now, is she going to gain more than she`s going to lose? That`s the gamble that she`s taking by emphasizing it. I think she`s right to emphasize it, because it`s a contrast to Barack Obama. Barack Obama could not talk about being the first Black president for a lot of reasons. But one, one of which, to go back to numbers, African-Americans are only 13% of the country and women are 51-52% of the country. HAYES: Right. That shear demographic fact that informs a lot of the kind of structural and strategic calculations that were being made by this campaign. Michael Tomasky, thanks for joining me. TOMASKY: Thanks. HAYES: Last night was the chance for the other, lesser known Democratic candidates to address the nation they hope to lead and well, we`ll show you how they did straight ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: There are really only two declared Democratic presidential candidates that are commanding large amounts of support, if you don`t count Vice President Joe Biden who, of course, is not declared, not running. So, last night was a big opportunity for three of the other four candidates to make their case before 50 million people. It`s fair to say that none of them had truly breakout moments. Former Governor Martin O`Malley was forceful and accomplished. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) O`MALLEY: We are a nation of immigrants, we are made stronger by immigrants. Do you think that for a second that simply because somebody is standing in a broken cue on naturalization they`re not going to go to the hospital and that care isn`t going to fall on to our insurance rates? I am for a generous, compassionate America that says we`re all in this together. We need comprehensive immigration reform. It will make wages go up in America. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Former Governor and former Senator Lincoln Chafee was hard to describe. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: In 1999 you voted for the very bill that made banks bigger. LINCOLN CHAFEE, (D) PRESIDENTAL CANDIDATE: The Glass-Steagall was my very first vote. I had just arrived. My dad had died in office. I was appointed to the office. It was my very first -- COOPER: Are you saying -- CHAFEE: I had just arrived at the United States Senate. I had been Mayor of my city. My dad died. I had been appointed by the governor. It was the first vote and it was 90-5. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Former Senator Jim Webb was interesting in having a world view in politics quite different from anyone else on stage, and he had a really classy moment on stage with Senator Bernie Sanders, when Anderson Cooper tried to prompt him to attack Sanders for being an conscientious objector to the Vietnam War. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JIM WEBB, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Everybody makes their decisions, particularly one at a time when there is conscription, and as long as they go through the legal process that our country requires, I respect that. It would be for the voters to decide whether Senator Sanders or anyone else should be president. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: At the end of the debate, Webb added this exclamation point to his evening. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: You all have made a few people upset over your political careers, which enemy are you most proud of? WEBB: I`d have to say the enemy soldier that threw the grenade that wounded me, but he`s not around right now to talk to. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: I went into last night thinking that out of the six Democrats running for president, with just five on stage, I`d like to hear from all of them. And, Larry Lessig being the sixth, he was not there. If Lincoln Chafee is on that stage again in the next debate and Larry Lessig isn`t, something is very wrong. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LARRY LESSIG, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We`ve got a real campaign with a real issue. That`s the important thing here, right? We could change the way campaigns are funded tomorrow. And if we did, and made so candidates for congress were not spending 30 to 70% of their time talking to the tiniest fraction of the 1%, but instead raising money from everyone in their district or across the country, that would radically change the concentrated interest in congress. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Lessig goes on to change how all campaigns, presidential campaigns included, are funded in this country. That strikes me as a pretty important thing to be debating. He should be on that stage. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTAL CANDIDATE: I thought that Hillary did her job. She got through it. I personally thought she won the debate. I thought Bernie was off, he was not doing so well. I thought that other people shouldn`t even be up there to be honest with you. I thought a couple of them were ridiculous. But -- you know , it`s always tough when you have people that shouldn`t be there, and they`re taking up a lot of time, a lot of effort, and a lot of everything else, and you`d like to hear more from the people that really have a chance to win. I mean, in all fairness, the Republicans have the same situation going. So, it`s one of those things. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Donald Trump offering up his critique of the Democratic debate and of his own competition in the Republican party where his front-runner status seems to be solidified. New poll showing Trump dominating among Nevada Republicans with 38%, a full 16 points ahead of number two, Dr. Carson, and 22 points ahead of Jebb Bush, who comes in at six. It`s a similar situation in South Carolina where Trump is at 36%, Carson has half that, while Jeb Bush languishes at 6%. Perhaps the best indicator of Trump`s current status, when asked who has the best chance of winning the general election in November 2016, becoming President of the United States, nearly half of Republican voters, 44% in South Carolina and 47% in Nevada, pick Donald Trump. A number that didn`t escape Mr. Trump. You`ll be shocked to hear. Here he was in Richmond, Virginia just over an hour ago. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Here`s an important one. The best chance of winning in November, Trump, number one, 47%. Amazing. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Last night`s Democratic debate was a study in contrast with the Republican field, which has already faced off in two prime time contests. While the Democratic candidates largely agreed on the main problems facing the country and differed substantively on the best ways to tackle them, both Republican debates, especially the second one, also hosted by CNN, where short on policy and long on mudslinging and sensationalism. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I hear your wife is a lovely woman. JEBB BUSH, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She is, she is fantastic. TRUMP: I don`t know her -- BUSH: She is absolutely the love of my life and she`s right here. And why don`t you apologize to her? TRUMP: No, I won`t do that because I said nothing wrong. MARK ORUBIO: America is a lot of things, the greatest country in the world? Absolutely. But America is not a planet. BUSH: 40 years ago I smoked marijuana and I admit it. TRUMP: I never attacked him on his look, and, believe me, there is plenty of subject matter right there. CARLY FIORINA: Watch a fully formed fetus on the table. Its heart beating. Its legs kicking. TRUMP: She`s got a beautiful face and I think she`s a beautiful woman. BUSH: You wanted casino gambling in Florida. TRUMP: I did not. BUSH: Yes you did. TRUMP: Totally false. BUSH: You wanted it and you didn`t get it. I was opposed to casino gambling before, during, and after. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Now, we wanted to bring you a similar montage from last night Democratic debate, but it turns out it didn`t really work out so well. The candidates refrained from taking personal shots at each other. Certainly no one taking shots at someone`s looks. And they didn`t produce much in the way of context free sound bytes. Even the most pointed exchanges look like this one on Obama Care for undocumented immigrants. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: I want to open up the opportunity for immigrants to be able to buy in to the exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. I think to go beyond that, as I understand what Governor O`Malley has recommended so that they would get the same subsidies, I think that is -- that raises so many issues. It would be very difficult to administer it. It needs to be part of comprehensive immigration reform when we finally do get to it. COOPER: Governor O`Malley? O`MALLEY: I think what we`ve heard up here is some of the old thinking on immigration reform and that`s why it is gridlocked. Do you think for a second that simply because somebody is standing in a broken cue on naturalization they`re not going to go to the hospital, and that care isn`t going to fall on to our insurance rates? (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: All right. Coming up, what the contrast says of the state of our two major political parties. Stick around. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SETH MACFARLANE, FILM MAKER : I`m going to be brief because I want to make sure that Jim Webb has a chance to talk. That poor guy. His whole debate strategy was, excuse me, we haven`t gotten our salads yet. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Seth MacFarlane warming up the crowd for a Bernie Sanders event in L.A., giving his impression this evening of last nights debate. Joining me now, Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist, and, Margie Omero, she`s democratic strategist and pollster. Ben, part of -- I`m really curious how people in sort of conservative media, the sort of chattering class, who are people who write at length and think a lot about policy -- and I know these folks. I interact. I read their stuff when Marco Rubio comes out with a tax plan. How they must think watching the Democratic debate just in terms of the level of the amount of time that`s being spent on that versus who did Donald Trump insult? BEN DOMENECH, THE FEDERALIST: You know, it`s interesting in the contrast there. I`m not sure that I agree with your premise. I looked at this debate and I saw very little debate about the ramifications of all these different policies where pretty much everybody on stage had the same views. You know, whether you`re talking about minimum wage, whether you`re talking about free college, whether you`re talking about just about any other subject. It seemed like there was very little wrestling with perhaps the negative ramifications, the costs, the implementation of any of these things. I think on the Republican side, you have certainly seen within the Trump conversation, a lot more of these back and forth, that`s more about insults and that sort of thing. They do, to their credit, have it down when it comes to everybody being in favor of the capitalism thing, which the Democrats did not have. But, to their credit, the Democrats did have someone who killed an actual communist on stage, and that was I think certainly something that goes to Jim Webb`s credit. I just think that most of this is about the fact that there is very little disagreement on left when it comes to these various policies. On the right, there is more disagreement. We haven`t been able to see that as much in the debates this far. I think that has a lot more to do with the questions that are being asked, and Donald Trump`s presence than anything else. HAYES: Part of that, though, also to me is, I mean, you know, we`ve got a situation where you have, Margie, the two people leading the field in the Republican party are two people that are explicitly anti-policy. I mean, Ben Carson, Donald Trump, they have a world view and they have sort of some kind of sense of where they want to take the country, but these are not people that really like to get in the weeds. And they are being rewarded by Republican primary voters. Where as last night I felt like what Democratic primary voters tend to reward is some sense of like, command of these issues? MARGIE OMERO, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, polls show that Republican primary voters want a candidate who is an outsider. By almost 2-1 Republicans say that. Democrats are more evenly divided between whether they want someone with experience or someone who is an outsider. Now, it`s hard to know what comes first. Your support for a particular candidate or your decision that you like an outsider or someone with experience. That said, you do see on the Republican side candidates being rewarded, whether it`s Trump or whether it`s Carson or even Fiorina for that matter, who are outsiders, who haven`t held elected office, who especially with Carson and Trump, don`t feel the need to really fill in a lot of policy details, as opposed to folks with a lot more command of the material like Jebb Bush, who are struggling to breakthrough. And other governors of large states. On the Democratic side, I think a lot of Democrats watched the debate last night and found it very refreshing, found it refreshing to see a contrast, an actual real contrast over the issues and not the kind of personal attacks that we have grown to expect from what has been happening on the Republican side. HAYES: To Ben`s point, I think you`re right that there was a kind of remarkable consensus. I do think there were areas of disagreement about how you go about financial regulation and, you know, the college plans. I mean, these are in the weeds. I agree that there`s a sort of agreement of the broad trajectory and priorities. But I got to think if you`re watching that, you`re Scott Walker and Rick Perry, right? You didn`t even make it, like several months into this. Those two guys could sit down and walk you through, you know, they cone engage in a policy debate, and they`re looking at these polls and Ben Carson and Donald Trump still, multiple months into this, who couldn`t hold a hand a candle to either of those people getting into the weeds of say, how you balance a state budget. And they`re sitting at home and those guys are still out on the stump. DOMENECH: You know, it is certainly something that I think is a challenge for the right, but I also don`t think that there has really been an opportunity to have this argument about do you replace Obama Care with a deduction based plan that or a tax credit based plan, or that sort of thing to this point. And, I think that`s going to change over the course of the Republican field. But again, I think that we really saw is a lot of unanimity from a lot of people who are older, white, career politicians for the most part, with the exception of Jim Webb again. And I think that is a pretty much consistent field in terms of their economic and social policy priorities. The differences are relatively small between the Democrats. And I think that`s why frankly the Republicans make for better TV at a certain point. HAYES: Yeah, although I actually think that in the Republican party there hasn`t been a huge amount of policy difference. There`s been more sort of, you know, kind of triumph the insult comic dog differences driven by one person in particular on that stage. Ben Domenech and Margie Omero, thank you both. Appreciate it. That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. 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