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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 10/29/15

Guests: Charlie Pierce, Amy Davidson, Betsy Woodruff, Jesse McIntosh, JoyReid

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN -- SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How about talking about the substantive issues people care about? (APPLAUSE) HAYES: Republican candidates attack at the shark tank debate. DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Such a nasty question. HAYES: We`ll break down the predators and the prey. GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Even in New Jersey what you`re doing is called rude. So -- HAYES: Then the student becomes the teacher. SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you. HAYES: After a rough debate night, can Jeb get his campaign off life support? JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I wish I`d gotten questions on -- I got to answer questions on things that are on the minds of people. HAYES: Plus, the Democratic response. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You would have been better off watching the World Series because the debate in my view was a swing and a miss. HAYES: And fact-checking the candidates, including Ben Carson`s complicated relationship with a supplement company. BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Do I take the product? Yes. DEBATE MODERATOR: To be fair, you were on the home page of their Web site with the logo over your shoulder. HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now. (END VIDEOTAPE) HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. The day after a raucous third GOP debate, Ben Carson is launching a revolt against the Republican National Committee, calling for major changes to the format and rules of future debates. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CARSON: Specific things we`re looking for are first of all moderators who are interested in actually getting the facts and not in gotcha questions. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Yet another sign of the unraveling of the party`s institutional center, Carson said his campaign has already reached out to Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina, the two other candidates with no government experience, and they`re planning to talk to representatives of all the other presidential hopefuls who were on the main stage last night. Trump for his part is now pushing to get rid of neutral moderators altogether. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: We`re having a Republican debate. Maybe every moderator should show that they vote Republican. Because why should we have -- why should we have these people that hate everything we stand for? And I won`t mention his name. But the questions were so nasty. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Trying to get ahead of the criticism last night, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus attempted to deflect attention away from the fact that it was he who is the one who set up the debates, calling out hosts CNBC in a statement, quote, "The performance by CNBC moderators was extremely disappointing and did a disservice to their network, our candidates, and voters. CNBC should be ashamed of how this debate was handled." And even as the candidates challenged and talked over each other, there was one subject where the whole field seemed to be on the same page. Everything is the media`s fault. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RUBIO: In 2008, Barack Obama missed 60 percent or 70 percent of his votes and the same newspaper endorsed him again. So, this is another example of the double standard that exists in this country between the mainstream media and the conservative movement. The Democrats have the ultimate super PAC. It`s called the mainstream media. CHRISTIE: Wait a second. We have $19 trillion in debt. We have people out of work. We have is and al Qaeda attacking us. And we`re talking about fantasy football? (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) CRUZ: The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don`t trust the media. (APPLAUSE) This is not a cage match. And you look at the questions. Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do math? John Kasich, will you insult two people over here? Marco Rubio, why don`t you resign? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen? How about talking about the substantive issues people care about? (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: While that may have seemed like a spontaneous outpouring fueled by the crowd`s response, there were plenty of indications before the debate it was more like a preordained strategy. For example, this tweet from Donald Trump yesterday morning, "After a great evening and packed auditorium in Iowa, I am now in Colorado looking forward to what I am sure will be a very unfair debate." OK. Or a pretty revealing blind item in "Politico`s" playbook yesterday that a lot of people missed. Look at this. "Look for the candidates to push back harder on the moderators than in previous debates. One of the debate preppers told us I think you`re going to hear a lot of, well, we didn`t see any of this tit for tat that time in the Democrat debate." Something else that was foretold long ago before the candidates took the stage last night, Jeb Bush`s attack on Marco Rubio over his record- setting absences in the Senate. Bush surrogates including Jeb Bush have been hitting Rubio for weeks calling on him to step down. And then before the debate last night, we had a cryptic little teaser from Republican strategy exist frequent guest on the show Rick Wilson, "man, oh man, the dumb preplanned move of a certain campaign is about to make in the big debate is campaign-ending stupid." Turns out Wilson may have been exactly right. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BUSH: I mean, literally, the Senate -- what is, it like a French work week? You get like three days where you have to show up? You can campaign. Or just resign and let someone else take the job. RUBIO: Well, it`s interesting. Over the last several weeks I`ve listened to Jeb as he walked around the country and said you`re modeling your campaign after John McCain, that you`re going to launch a furious comeback the way he did, by fighting hard in New Hampshire and places like that, carrying your own bag at the airport. You know how many votes John McCain missed when he was carrying out that furious comeback you`re now modeling under? (CROSSTALK) RUBIO: Well, let me tell you I don`t remember you ever complaining about John McCain`s vote record. The only reason why you`re doing it now is because we`re running for the same position and someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now, Charles Pierce, writer at large for "Esquire", Amy Davidson, staff writer for "The New Yorker", Josh Barro, MSNBC contributor for the Upshot at "The New York Times." I got -- where to start? There are so many thoughts. I mean, I guess let`s start with this idea. It did seem to me like a coordinated strategy. Obviously, the crowd was feeding into it, and we`ve had moments like this before. There`s the infamous John King moment in the CNN debate where he asked Newt Gingrich about should allegations about when his marriage was breaking up and you know, Gingrich tore him a new one and the crowd applauded. You can`t go wrong basically attacking the media. What did you make of it? JOSH BARRO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, but the thing is it looks like a coordinated strategy but a primary campaign is literally a zero sum game. Only one of these people can win the nomination. So, attacking the media cannot be good for all of them and I think it actually isn`t. I think Carly Fiorina actually benefits from these fairly hostile debate formats because she is better and quicker on her feet with these sorts of questions than the other candidates. You may have noticed before this debate, there was controversy over how long it would be, whether there would be opening statements. HAYES: Yes. BARRO: Donald Trump and Ben Carson both wanted a more structured format where they would have more ability to give their own answers rather than answer hostile questions. Fiorina`s campaign was out there saying, no, let`s let the debate go long, I`m not afraid to take questions. So, I think this is good for Ted Cruz. I think Marco Rubio played to this very well. HAYES: Right. The people that are better at this sort of thing, which is sparring with essentially interlocutors who are coming at you with questions which, you know, are sometimes tough or hostile or gotcha, whatever you want to call them, but that`s kind of what the deal is. BARRO: Right. AMY DAVIDSON, THE NEW YORKER: Let`s look at the definition of a hostile question. You`ve got John King asking Newt Gingrich about his personal life, which is complicated. But in this case they had said to Ben Carson, you have all these numbers in your tax plan, they don`t add up, help us with the math. That`s -- when did that become a hostile question, to say, I don`t get it, these numbers are not making any sense. That`s what a debate is supposed to be. HAYES: I totally agree about that exchange, right? And part of the issue here, Charlie, is the whole thing gets painted with this broad brush of bias which frankly I find somewhat preposterous, particularly in this context. But part of it, Charlie, also strikes me as there are too many people on stage to manage a traditional debate. So, everyone`s frustrated at the end of these things. They were frustrated at the first two also. Their candidates are not getting enough time, they`re not making statements, there`s all these questions. But, you know, you`ve got 10 people. What are you supposed to do? CHARLIE PIERCE, ESQUIRE: Well, first of all, if they are going to rejigger the process I would suggest to Ben Carson and the people he`s meeting with that they have the next one in a sandbox. Because, God, what a bunch of unruly nasty children we had. But basically, Chris, I think it`s really easy to be a Republican presidential candidate. The answer to every question is liberal media. Are you a snake -- do you associate with snake oil salesmen? Liberal media. What about the budget deal? Liberal media. What about the fact you that don`t do your day job? Liberal media. That`s simple. That`s great. And plus once you lay truth aside and don`t consider a factor in what you say, it becomes an even simpler job. DAVIDSON: You know, you raise a good point that`s related to that. When you -- the stage is so crowded, one function of these debates is supposed to be to figure out who has things that are disqualifying about them. HAYES: Right. DAVIDSON: And maybe that`s where the gotcha questions come in or the questions about people`s finances or their basic policies. You know, what`s going to get you off the stage? What`s going to be clear to the voters, OK, I know who this guy is and it`s not who I want to vote for. If you`re not going to ask any of those questions, you`re going to have ten guys yelling at each other, ten guys and one woman yelling at each other for who knows how long. BARRO: I want to say, though, I think Donald Trump`s idea that you should have Republican moderators for a Republican debate is not crazy, or at least that should be done in addition to this sort of debate format, because I think -- you know, the way -- I don`t think that the moderators were unfair at all last night but I do think the media comes at this from a perspective of trying to represent the electorate overall. And I think there`s something to be said for the idea that this is the primary among Republicans, why not have Rush Limbaugh moderate -- HAYES: So, actually, Ted Cruz today -- I think there`s something to this. I genuinely do. Ted Cruz was on Bret Baier, he recommended a debate moderated by Sean Hannity, Marc Levin and Rush Limbaugh, and I thought to myself, I`d love to see that. Like I think America should see that. DAVIDSON: Two things. We had a debate moderated by FOX where the media was also attacked. (CROSSTALK) DAVIDSON: But something like the gerrymandering that we`ve seen where you have legislators who only answer to people increasingly who already agree with them, and that`s one reason we see this extremism in Congress. And I wonder if it would have the same rhetorical effect if you`re only debating in front of moderators who also agreed with your party. What are we going to end up with? HAYES: Well, Ezra -- Charlie, Ezra Klein made this point I thought was interesting. He basically said people are -- they angry but partly they`re angry because the policies of Republican Party have gotten so detach from reality, the problem for Republicans substantive questions about their policy proposals end up sounding like hostile attacks. And, you know, I think there`s something to that particularly when you`re talking about tax math, right? PIERCE: Well, I mean, Ben Carson`s tax plan is apparently written in clouds of cotton candy supported by bailing wire. Marco Rubio right at the end, lets slip that he wants to have no taxes at all on investment income. You know, out in Malibu, Mitt Romney felt a warm breeze from the mountains and didn`t know why. Carly Fiorina essentially said there`s no constitutional basis either for the minimum wage or for Social Security. Yes. I mean, those are not gotcha questions. When you come to Ben Carson and say, you know, how is your 10 percent tithing attitude toward taxation going to enable us to have a federal government, if his answer to that is, you`re wrong and the math will add up and liberal media, then he hasn`t answered that question. HAYES: Well, and here was something interesting. Kasich, who was -- I saw this great iPhone video today, someone -- anytime the attention was on someone else, he was like pacing around his podium. It`s really interesting. I think he was just frustrated by it, frankly. I understand also all of them are getting ultimately, two, four, five, six, seven minutes, right? So they`re spending a lot of time watching. It`s frustrating. Here he is on Carson and Trump`s tax fantasy. Take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: These plans would put us trillions and trillions of dollars in debt. I actually have a plan. I`m the only one on this stage that has a plan that would create jobs, cut taxes, balance the budget, and can get it done because I`m realistic. You just don`t make promises like this. Why don`t we just give a chicken in every pot while we`re coming up with these fantasy tax schemes? Just cleaning up. Where are you going to clean it up? (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: And I thought this was interesting that afterwards he was fine with the debate. Part of the frustration I think is like OK, you want to talk policy then let`s talk policy. But that is not what has been essentially valued thus far in the Republican Party. BARRO: There was a hilarious thing, though, about Kasich as truth teller which is that he has his own tax plan which he has his own projections for. He says I`m going to cut taxes massively and by 2025, tax revenues will be $250 billion higher a year than if I had never cut taxes. There`s this dispute in the Republican primary about how fantastical you`re allowed to be. HAYES: Right. BARRO: Basically, it`s like you have Jeb and you have Kasich that are with fairly fantastical tax plans and they`re being topped by these people. Donald Trump just comes out and says I`ll do the same but bigger, and I`ll make us so rich -- no, but that`s fantastical. We`d agreed we would be only this fantastical and now you`re over the line. DAVIDSON: Right. HAYES: Do you think Carson and Trump are going to be able, Amy, to actually -- I mean, are they going to affect what we see next? DAVIDSON: There are already all of these forums of this and that where the candidates do speak to the converted. Are they going to be able to push the next debate in their direction? I just wonder what that would be. You know, if the debate where the moderators did a great job and asked a lot of substantive questions something they would like better? And I don`t think it perhaps would be. What we might have are non-debates, just more for forums and presentations and that`s not going to help figure out who will be the candidates. HAYES: Charlie, I think a Sean Hannity, Marc Levin, Rush Limbaugh hosted debate is actually a great idea personally. PIERCE: I want them all on the panel at the same time. HAYES: Exactly. PIERCE: Because you will then have a critical mass of bullpucky that may well end the universe as we know it. BARRO: I`m sure a number of these campaigns would hate that idea. Because it`s not like that would be a softball debate. HAYES: No, no. (CROSSTALK) HAYES: It would be a different kind of hardball. Exactly. I would love to see Marco Rubio up there getting nailed on his Gang of Eight stuff on immigration from the right. That would be interesting. Charlie Pierce, Amy Davidson, and Josh Barro, thank you all. BARRO: Thank you. HAYES: Still ahead, Jeb Bush is looking pretty desperate after another debate performance falls flat. Now, he`s left assuring people no, he really isn`t going to drop out. Plus, fact-checking the front-runners. We will look at questionable claims by Donald Trump and Ben Carson. Democratic candidates had a third chance to measure up their possible opponent. We`ll see what they thought about their debate. Those stories and more, ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. HARRY REID (D), NEVADA: If a person coming before this body wanted to be a cabinet officer, he couldn`t be if he had the -- he did the same refusal Mitt Romney does about tax returns. So, the word`s out that he hasn`t paid any taxes for ten years. Let him prove that he has paid taxes, because he hasn`t. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: That was Senator Harry Reid back in 2012 making the later debunked claim on the record in the well of the Senate that Mitt Romney hadn`t paid his taxes in a decade. Now, the chief Republican troller is at it again. One day after a Florida newspaper called on Senator Marco Rubio to resign for missing votes than any other senator this year, Reid echoed that call, telling "Politico", "Rubio hates the Senate. Why should the taxpayers of this country and people of Florida put up with having only one senator? It doesn`t seem fair to me." Reid added in an interview with "The Huffington Post", "Rubio reminds me of John Edwards, not because of any personal stuff. Edwards was so fixed on becoming a national figure his Senate service was basically over. That`s what I see in Marco Rubio." Moments ago, he told NBC News, "The taxpayers in this country and Florida are being ripped off by him." (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BUSH: Marco, when you signed up for this, this was a six-year term and you should be showing up to work. I mean, literally, the Senate, what is it, like a French work week? You get like three days where you have to show up? You can campaign. Or just resign and let someone else take the job. RUBIO: Well, it`s interesting. Over the last few weeks I`ve looked into Jeb as he walked around the country and said you`re modeling your campaign after John McCain, that you`re going to launch a furious comeback the way he did, by fighting hard in New Hampshire and places like that, carrying your own bag at the airport. You know how many votes John McCain missed when he was carrying out that furious comeback that you`re now modeling? (CROSSTALK) RUBIO: Jeb, I don`t remember -- well, let me tell you, I don`t remember you ever complaining about John McCain`s vote record. The only reason you`re doing it now is because we`re running for the same position and someone`s convinced you that attacking you is going to help you. BUSH: No, I`ve been -- RUBIO: Here`s the bottom line, I`m not -- (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: All right. Going to last night`s debate, everyone knew Jeb Bush needed to do well. Despite his massive institutional advantages, Bush has been languishing in the polls and just last week his campaign was forced to slash payroll costs by 40 percent amid rising donor concerns about his performance. It is fair to say that Bush did not change the narrative last night. Instead he faced headlines today like "Yeah, Bush is probably toast", and "Jeb Bush`s campaign on life support after rough debate." Bush spent today trying to put a good face on what happened. In a conference call this afternoon with donors, he vowed to improve as a candidate. And in a perhaps unintentional bit of messaging, he spoke in front of a "Jeb can fix it" sign at a campaign stop in New Hampshire where he insisted all is not lost. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REPORTER: What do you make of the headlines that say your campaign is on life support? BUSH: It`s not on life support. We have the most money. We have the greatest organization. We`re doing fine. REPORTER: What do you say to your loyalists who fear that you botched it last night and they`re starting to walk away? How do you -- BUSH: They`re not walking away. They`re not walking away. This is just -- look, there`s eight more debates. There`s ample time to do exactly what candidates do. The end is not near. Memo to file. Life is good. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now from New London, New Hampshire, where Jeb Bush just wrapped up a town hall this evening is MSNBC political correspondent Kasie Hunt. And, Kasie, the question is, what was the mood like at that event today? KASIE HUNT, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Chris, this event -- I`ve been to several of these town halls with Bush actually here in New Hampshire over the course of the months that he`s been campaigning. You could definitely tell in that room tonight that he has had a rough couple of days. He, you know, all of the things that we`ve come to see on the debate stage where he struggled, sometimes stumbling over words, sometimes getting down into the weeds. We saw a little bit more of that tonight than we would have otherwise. But I will say he had a pretty good crowd. The fire marshal was pretty concerned that this building was going to fill up. The crowd was very friendly to him. People will not asking him about his terrible debate performance or asking him yes was falling in the polls. People were focused on policy, a lot of the same types of questions that you would expect to hear at any kind of town hall like this. But I will say, as a candidate, you were starting to see all of those things that could have come across as weaknesses. You know, he has a pretty sarcastic sense of humor. At one point, he joked about that fantasy football question and said, well, it was like -- and then he rolled his eyes. Which is something he does pretty often, but in this particular case, it came across as some evidence that things are not going so well, Chris. HAYES: Kasie, what is the mindset of the folks around Bush? I wonder how much they think this is all -- I mean, I remember the Obama folks in 2007, 2008 were like don`t read "Politico", don`t watch cable news, don`t keep your pulse on this stuff, ignore, stick to the plan. But it`s impossible not to let it get to you. HUNT: I think it is. Also, I will say the Obama campaign was a little bit different than other campaigns because when they made those pitches to reporters, and I remember sitting in plenty of background polling meetings, they had numbers to back up the things they were saying. They were making assertions, but they could prove to you with information and it turned out they were right even though a lot of us were skeptical. That`s not really the case here. We actually just saw a leaked strategy memo basically the extended version of what donors saw in Houston over the weekend. And if you look at one sheet that`s full of data on Iowa, they made 1,200 contacts and they think that they would need -- excuse me, there are 1,200 identified supporters according to that chart and they need 23,000-plus votes to win. So, right now, I don`t think that the information that they have is necessarily backing up what they`re saying in public. Now, I could be wrong about that and they could be coming forward with something. They certainly have built an operation that`s more focused on the long term than a lot of these other Republican campaigns, but that`s turned into a liability because they were essentially building something to win a general election while ignoring what was going on in the primary. HAYES: All right. Kasie Hunt, thank you very much. Joining me now, MSNBC host and political correspondent Steve Kornacki. So I get very suspicious of conventional wisdom, particularly in politics, and this as we cover the horse race and the narrative, he`s leading and he`s leading -- no, Hillary Clinton, she`s dead, oh, amazing, rising like a phoenix from the ashes. So, what -- is everyone overreacting? Are donors overreacting? Is the press overreacting when they talk about the dire straits Jeb Bush is in? STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: I tend to look at it the other way. The original conventional wisdom is now being corrected, because the original conventional wisdom was to treat Jeb Bush like George W. Bush in 2000. George W. Bush stepped onto the scene in 2000, the shock and awe term you heard for Jeb, his expectation at start of this year, that`s what George w. did. And at this point in the 2000 cycle in the fall of 1999, it`s amazing, if you go back and look at the polls, in the Republican primaries George W. Bush was polling at 60 percent. His nearest competitor was John McCain down at 12 percent. And you look at it right now, Jeb Bush is at about 7 percent. So, we are finally now seeing, it`s been a slow-moving train wreck here, but you`ve seen it over the last nine months, the big difference between Jeb Bush and George W. Bush, but also between the year 2000 and the year 2016 in the Republican Party. HAYES: Part of that also I think has to do with the degree of power the, quote, "establishment" has, the degree to which the base was kind of willing to take signals from its leaders, which has really changed in -- KORNACKI: It`s the ultimate undoing. People say oh, it`s Bush fatigue, oh, it`s the Iraq war. The ultimate undoing of Jeb Bush is the legacy of the George W. Bush era because George W. Bush became -- the reason they were willing to fall into line for George W. Bush was Republicans in 2000 the mindset was we want our own Bill Clinton. He beat us in the `96 election. He beat us in impeachment. He keeps beating us, we can`t figure it out, let`s get our own guy. That`s what compassionate conservatism was all about, the idea that you can be conservative and still be pro-government. And at the end of the Bush years, when Barack Obama became president, the lesson the conservative movement took was we should never, ever, ever try to be like the other party again. That`s what the Tea Party grew up out of. That`s what that anti- establishment mindset came from. And so, now, Jeb Bush comes along and today`s Republican Party says absolutely not. HAYES: You know, Peter Beinart had a piece today thought was good where he said basically this is kind of a triumph for democracy. It shouldn`t be the case that literally the smoke-filled room, right? A bunch of donors get together and say I wrote a check for your brother, I wrote a check for your dad, I`ll write you a check, and look we`ve got all the talent and all the money now I`m your nominee, right? The folks in the Republican Party should decide who their nominee is going to be. KORNACKI: Sure. I keep hearing, well, we still have time, there`s still plenty of time between now and Iowa and New Hampshire. I`m skeptical he`ll be able to rise to it, Jeb will be able to rise to the moment, but if he does he has to go earn it right now. And that`s what you have to do in democracy. You have to go make the case to the voters in your party, that it`s not just that it`s your turn, it`s that they should vote four. You`ve got nine other options, 12 other options, whatever it is, he has to go out and make that case and convince them. HAYES: What did you -- that moment last night, what -- that moment was so jarring to watch. I mean, someone compared it to like a Mortal Kombat like finish him moment, where Rubio had just clearly -- they`d workshopped that response for weeks. I mean, it was watching someone just turn up and just get absolutely destroyed. KORNACKI: It was so many things were going on there at once. One is just Rubio is good at this. Rubio is so good in the off-the-cuff settings. You`ve got the whole mentor-protege aspect to it. The fact that it is the mentor who is forced to turn his debate and launch the attack on the protege, and that specific line that Rubio throws back at him, it`s somebody convinced you -- HAYES: That was devastating -- KORNACKI: He said it. And then did you notice he pivots. It`s like he knows he has just landed the blow. He pivots on stage, looks into the camera, plows right ahead. And Jeb Bush is sitting there, it`s almost like he`s slack-jawed at the end of that. I don`t even know what to say. HAYES: Part of has to do with, you know, it does come down, you know, these are human beings. And some people like conflict and some don`t and some people are good at staring someone in the face and just absolutely ripping their throat out and some aren`t. You know what I mean? And that may be adaptive or not adaptive or good or not good in terms of your eternal soul or what kind of person you are to be with but there are some things that campaigns select for. KORNACKI: It`s Rubio`s reputation too. If you look at his political career his reputation is if the hard choice means cutting somebody`s legs off -- HAYES: He will do it. Yes. KORNACKI: Yes. HAYES: Steve Kornacki, thank you. KORNACKI: Sure. HAYES: Coming up, Paul Ryan is sworn in as speaker of the House and starts his term with a pretty awkward handshake. We`ll show you that next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: John Boehner is no longer speaker of the house. Today Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan was elected and sworn in as speaker, taking over the job from Boehner, who was drummed out by far right house conservatives. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PAUL RYAN, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: But let`s be frank. The house is broken. We`re not solving problems. We`re adding to them. And I am not interested in laying blame. We are not settling scores. We are wiping the slate clean. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Ryan and Boehner shared a very public hug as they exchanged power today. Take a look at what happened when Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who handed Ryan the speaker`s gavel, tried to do the same. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) NANCY PELOSI, MINORITY LEADER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: This is the -- hand this gavel to the speaker of the house, congressman and honorable Paul Ryan. [ applause ] RYAN: Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you, Nancy. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Did you see that? You see what happened there? Paul Ryan didn`t want to be seen hugging Nancy Pelosi. He went straight to the handshake because apparently a hug would not play very well with the base. As for Boehner, who is giving up not just the speakership but also his seat in congress, he was his usual emotional self in his good-bye speech, even holding up a tissue box in an acknowledgment of his propensity for tears. But in an interview yesterday, Boehner talked frankly about the conditions that drove him out, citing hundreds of radio hosts trying to outwrite each other, who have boosted the ability of a small group of members or some small outside organizations to stir up antics or mislead people. On his way out, Boehner made Ryan`s job slightly easier by negotiating a budget deal that should allow Ryan to avoid some of the most divisive fights that Boehner faced, including over the debt limit, at least in the short term. But the conditions that`s Boehner referenced, they have not changed at all. And while Paul Ryan may want to turn the page, he now finds himself in the exact position as his predecessor, who got so fed up with his uncontrollable caucus, that one day he finally just woke up and decided to walk away. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: The two Republican front-runners who had been dominating the polls did not, by all accounts, dominate last night`s debate, either in time or in substance. But they are both the dominant focus of fact checkers today. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BECKY QUICK, CNBC MODERATOR: You have been very critical of Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, who has wanted to increase the number of these H-1 -- DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I was not at all critical of him. QUICK: So you`re in favor of increasing -- TRUMP: I have not been at all critical of him. QUICK: Where did I read this and come up with this, that you were -- TRUMP: Probably -- I don`t know. You people write this stuff, I don`t know where you -- QUICK: You had talked a little bit about Marco Rubio. I think you called him Mark Zuckerberg`s personal senator because he was in favorite of the H-1 -- TRUMP: I never said that. I never said that. This was an erroneous article the whole way around? TRUMP: He`s got another gentleman in Florida who happens to be a very nice guy -- QUICK: My apologies. I`m sorry. TRUMP: Somebody`s really doing some bad fact check. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Now, as to where CNBC`s information came from, after a quick commercial break, moderator Becky Quick provided some clarification. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) QUICK: I found where I read that before. It was from the Donald J. Trump.com website. And it says -- it says that, again, Mark Zuckerberg`s personal senator, Marco Rubio, has a bill to triple H-1bs that would decimate women and minorities. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Alright. So the moderator was entirely, 1,000% correct. Trump was absolutely mistaken. As for the other front-runner on the stage last night, when Dr. Ben Carson was asked to explain his involvement with a supplement company called Mannatech, which had to pay millions of dollars to settle a deceptive marketing lawsuit, here`s what he said. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BEN CARSON, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, that`s easy to answer. I didn`t have an involvement with them. That is total propaganda. And this is what happens in our society. Total propaganda. I did a couple speeches for them. I do speeches for other people. They were paid speeches. It is absolutely absurd to say that I had any kind of a relationship with them. Do I take the product? Yes. I think it`s a good product. CARL QUINTANILLA, CNBC COMMMENTATOR: To be fair, you were on the home page of their website with the logo over your shoulder -- CARSON: If somebody put me on their home page, they did it without my permission. QUINTANILLA: Does that not speak to your vetting process, or judgment in any way -- CARSON: No, it speaks to the fact that I don`t know that it`s going on. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Dr. Ben Carson`s relationship with Mannatech has been well documented. As Jim Geraghty of the National Review reported in January, for ten years he interacted with a medical supplement maker accused of false advertising. Carson is even featured praising Mannatech on a video that used to be featured on the company`s website. So, as Jim Garaghty of the National Review points out, when it comes to Ben Carson`s claims on the debate stage last night, quote, "his declarations that I didn`t have any involvement with them" and "absurd to say that I had any kind of relationship with them are just bald-faced lies". That`s conservatives National Review. Today, Ben Carson once again tried to qualify just what his relationship is with Mannatech. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CARSON: I don`t have any official involvement with them. They don`t pay me, other than if I give a speech, a paid speech. And I do like the product. It doesn`t mean that I have any special relationship with them. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now, Betsy Woodruff, politics reporter for The Daily Beast. I thought, Betsy, that moment was just so interesting because that was one of those moments where the crowd booed and it was, this is unfair, this is gotcha. But, you know, this is actually something that Jim Garaghty at the National Review, the conservative National Review, has been reporting out. Mannatech was sued by Greg Abbott, currently the very conservative Republican governor of Texas, for their deceptive advertising when he was A.G. This is not some liberal conspiracy. BETSY WOODRUFF, THE DAILY BEAST: Absolutely not. I mean, this is perhaps the single most historic conservative publication in the United States saying that what Ben Carson did was extraordinarily questionable. It`s worth noting, by the way, that this Mannatech supplement that Carson touted, that he used his medical credibility to basically praise, this supplement is mostly aloe vera extract and larch tree bark, and scientific studies have shown the main impact of glyco-nutrients that they have is increasing flatulence. Like, that`s what this stuff does. I mean, good for Ben Carson if it`s a supplement that he likes, but it`s a totally valid question, why he would use his massive platform and his medical credibility to suggest that this helps people. And one of the really quick things, this is not the first time he`s touted pseudoscience from the debate stage. Last debate he suggested parents space out their kids` vaccines, which is, a, scientific nonsense, and a very, and a species of anti-vax trutherism. It`s just perplexing. HAYES: Well, this leads me to the second point, which is I think, people watch these debates and there`s this kind of media consensus that forms, oh, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio did really well, and Jeb Bush did poorly. And what we`ve seen is that there`s a kind of durability to Trump and Carson, debate after debate, no matter what the performance is. Do you think we`ll see that change coming out of this debate? WOODRUFF: I think so. I think one thing national media reporters often miss is the extent to which Carson`s supporters just tune out of east coast media narratives about their candidate, and more and more these supporters are getting their views and their analysis of the candidate from Ben Carson himself. He has a massive, incredibly devoted social media following. One thing that struck me, looking at his Facebook page, was that shortly before the debate started, he posted a message that was a prayer, him praying that the lord would give him counsel and guide him over the course of the evening. That short post that he put up had more than a quarter million likes, more than 10,000 comments. Many of those comments were his supporters writing their own prayers for him. People who like Ben Carson, love him, they`re committed, and look, media hubbub about Mannatech or Glyco-nutrients or what have you, doesn`t really impact them. HAYES: Now that`s different, though. Now, that I think is true of Ben Carson, who`s got this appeal that is very distinct and focused, and has this sort of connection with the base. Donald Trump is different because that appeal seems so based on him doing outlandish things or saying provocative things or drawing free earned media, I guess we call it, earned media. Do you think the lack of that kind of bombasticness and getting caught in this sort of obvious untruth last night is going to hurt? WOODRUFF: I don`t think so. I think this is helpful to Ben Carson. I think his supporters are largely going to be ignoring this Mannatech story. I thought the most important statement that any of the candidates made last night was when Ted Cruz said to one of the moderators, your question is why we cannot trust the media. I thought that was really telling, not only -- he didn`t say the liberal media, he didn`t say the mainstream media, he said the media. HAYES: All of it. WOODRUFF: And none of the other candidates called him on it, right? The consensus is that journalists are not trustworthy. We can talk about glyco-nutrients, Mannatech, scams, lawsuits all day. Supporters of Carson and supporters of Trump, probably aren`t going to be swayed by that at all, which is, it`s an interesting state of affairs. HAYES: Well then, the question becomes what does -- presumably there`s a lot of give left in the minds of voters making up their minds, particularly in the early states. I do think the closer we get, the more people start to make these calculations about whether the person could actually be president, although maybe that`s naive. I guess we`re going to see as time goes on. WOODRUFF: I feel like every time I`ve made a prediction about what`s going to happen in this primary, I feel incredibly dopey within 48 hours. To be frank, I have no idea. Maybe, though, I mean, you would expect that to happen. You would expect voters to say okay, let`s get serious, let`s pick someone who`s electable and conservative. But I mean, at this point -- HAYES: Who knows? WOODRUFF: Who even knows? HAYES: Alright. Betsy Woodruff, thank you very much. WOODRUFF: Thank you. HAYES: After last night`s debate, who are Democrats preparing to face in the general election? Because it`s looking less and less like the once- favored Jeb Bush. We`ll talk strategies ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: Today The New York Times called on New Jersey governor Chris Christie to end his bid for the presidency. The paper`s editorial board, saying in an op-ed, quote, "New Jersey is in trouble and the governor`s off pursuing a presidential run that`s turned out to be nothing more than a vanity project. Mr. Christie`s numbers are in the basement, and he`s nearly out of campaign cash." Governor Christie responded by tweeting, "can`t read the article because I don`t have a subscription, but I can tell you this -- I am not going anywhere." Okay, a couple of things. Number one, governor, you get ten free articles every month, even without a New York Times subscription. So go ahead and read the article. Number two, you`re right. You shouldn`t quit your run for the presidency just because a newspaper editorial board says your campaign is rubbish. No candidate should. No one has voted yet. It`s a pet peeve of mine when people try to get other people to quit things. Run for office and let the voters decide. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: Everybody said it couldn`t be done. Everybody said it was going to be three hours, 3 1/2, including them, and in about two minutes, I renegotiated it down to two hours so we could get the hell out of here. Not bad. And I`ll do that with the country. We will make -- we will make America great again. And thank you, everybody. JOHN HARWOOD, CNBC MODERATOR: Just for the record -- just for the record, the debate was always going to be two hours. Senator Rubio -- TRUMP: That`s not right. That is absolutely not right. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: The Republican reaction to last night`s debate was largely contempt and anguish, and the Democratic candidates` reaction is probably best summed up by this meme tweeted out by Hillary Clinton. As a matter of fact, judging from at least one tweet Hillary Clinton gave her followers the impression that she was laughing out loud about the debate as she live texted and shared her thoughts with her followers, saying things like, quote, "seems to me, ten new candidates, zero new ideas." Now, on the campaign trail in New Hampshire today, Hillary Clinton even suggested voters would be better served flipping the channel. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You would have been better off watching the world series, because the debate, in my view, was a swing and a miss, and didn`t really further the national conversation that we need to be having with each other. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: For his part, Senator Bernie Sanders spent last night taking questions at a town hall event at George Mason University. He managed to tweet out a picture of the Republican candidates with the question, "which one will the billionaire class choose?" After three Republican debates, Democratic candidates are basically left with these questions, what will emerge as a sort of consensus Republican agenda for the Democratic nominee to run against, and which candidates are they most worried about facing? We will tackle those questions, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: But I feel that the gun-free zones and, you know, when you say that, that`s target practice for the sickos and for the mentally ill. So, I think gun-free zones are a catastrophe. They`re a feeding frenzy for sick people. QUINTANILLA: We called a few Trump resorts, a few Trump properties, that do not allow guns with or without a permit. Would you change those policies? TRUMP: I would change them. QUINTANILLA: All right. Thank you. (END VIDEO CLIP) HAYES: Joining me now, Joy Reid, MSNBC national correspondent, and Jess Mcintosh, vice president of communications for Emily`s List. Jess, let me start with you. I have gotten the sense for a long time from reporting informal conversations, that the Clinton campaign, and I think this is less true of the Sanders campaign, but it`s definitely true of the Clinton campaign, has been gaming out a Clinton-Bush general election. That`s the sense I`ve gotten. Do you think that is changing? JESS MCINTOSH, EMILY`S LIST: Yes. I think that obviously Bush was the big loser of last night. And I wouldn`t really be too surprised to see him not make it much past Iowa if he doesn`t have a great showing there. I think no one knows what`s going to happen. All we can do is keep running the Democratic primary that we`re running, and the Clinton campaign running the campaign that they`re running, and I think that both of those things are things the Democrats can really be proud of, especially if you compare what happened at the Democratic debate to what happened at the Republican debate last night, where like no one won, no one lost, no one made any sense. I learned nothing. Where did it all go wrong? What have I done with my life that I`m watching this instead of game 2? It was kind of sad. But, I felt the exact opposite way watching the Democratic debate, where a really substantive conversation was taking place. I think all you can do in this through the looking glass world of the 2016 Republican primary is keep trucking along with the forward-looking progressive agenda that frankly all of the Democrats are putting forward, and know that that is going to contrast so sharply with whoever comes out of this mess that is the Republican primary. HAYES: So, one of the places that`s going to contrast, there`s a few things, but first I want to talk about Rubio, right? Because the case, Joy, that Rubio is going to make is twofold, right? Forget about policy, because frankly there`s tremendous consensus on policy. Is, a, I know what the struggles of ordinary working Americans are like, I have this great sort of American dream story of the child of immigrants who worked his way up, I`ve struggled with finances myself. And b, I understand immigrants and immigration, I speak fluent Spanish, I can reach Latino voters. Those both seem like fairly plausible arguments and part of the pitch he`s going to make increasingly as he goes to try to poach Jeb donors in the wake of last night. What do you make of it, Joy? JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah. I think what you`re going to see, as far as Rubio`s campaign making the case to donors, is a lot even more simple than that. I think what you`re seeing is a part of the Republican party believe that they can run the Obama strategy against Hillary Clinton, that they can simply have a young attractive ethnic candidate who will have an ethnic appeal. I had a great conversation with Bruce Bartlett the other day were he was talking about the fact that the Republican party has long sought to sort of duplicate the Obama effect, and if they can find a person of color, particularly a minority candidate like a Marco Rubio, who can sort of make an ethnic appeal, that they can run the same dynamic against Hillary Clinton that Barack Obama did, meaning, I`m the younger candidate, I`m the candidate that`s more like the ordinary person, I can understand average Americans as you said, but also add that ethnic dimension. Now, of course the challenge with that is that Marco Rubio is foursquare against the majority of policy positions of most Latinos. So it`s sort of a facile position to say just because he`s Latino, he`s going to have this sort of automatic appeal to Latino voters, when his positions on issues, particularly on immigration, where he`s dropped his own bill, that that`s not going to get litigated. That`s a supposition I think that is flawed because it`s too simplistic. But I think that is part of the appeal, that the Rubio team is going to make to the party. They`re going to say look, you know, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are really the same candidate. They`re both neoconservatives, they`re both on that neo con side of the ledger for Republicans, but Rubio is going to market himself as a younger more ethnic model. The question I would have is whether it`s real they`d have us appeal to conservatives. And quickly on the other side, you have the Clinton campaign, which has enough of the Obama campaign apparatus inside of it that they`re just strictly looking at the demographics she needs to pull out. She needs to get 80% of that 28% to 30% of the vote that`s going to be minority, and I think they just look at the metrics and think they can apply that to any of the Republicans. MCINTOSH: I think Marco Rubio is exactly like Barack Obama, only without any of the hope and change. HAYES: Well, he`s also -- I mean, part of it also is there`s this quality of political talent and it can sometimes be overrated. Certain people are very good at it. People have different natural aptitudes. Marco Rubio seems to be someone with a considerable aptitude for -- there are certain aspects of politics for which he appears to have a considerable aptitude. MCINTOSH: Definitely. HAYES: But part of it also, Jess, is one thing that struck me last night is the thing that unifies this Republican field, that unifies every Republican field I`ve seen in my adult life, is big tax cuts for the rich. That is going to be a corner stone. It`s almost existential that that`s what a Republican`s going to run against. And if you`re Hillary Clinton, I think you`re pretty happy to have that debate. MCINTOSH: This is why I think it doesn`t matter all that much whether you were planning on a Jeb Bush nomination or a Marco Rubio nomination, or even a Donald Trump nomination. I know he`s a little bit anathema to Republican doctrine in terms of how he wants to divide his tax cuts but, aside from saying that he`s not bought and paid for by the giant corporations that are shaping income inequality in America, he is the giant corporations that are shaping income inequality in America. So, I think no matter who comes out, you`re running the same playbook. It`s an agenda that deals with the economic populism that this country is striving to hear more about, versus folks who just want to keep it exactly the same way. Rubio`s been kind of winning by default for a while now. He`s been laying really low and watching everyone else sort of self-immolate. And he looked great last night. I don`t think that strategy`s going to work for him anymore, because now he`s in the front. He`s going to be in the spotlight. HAYES: Right. And Joy`s point about not reinventing the wheel -- the Clinton campaign understands what the winning path is because it`s been demonstrated in two successive elections. I think pertains as well. Joy Reid, Jess Mcintosh, thank you both. That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel. THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END