Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: January 5, 2016 Guest: Chris Murphy, Michael Burgess, Cornell Belcher, Nina Turner, Dean Parker
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The gun lobby may be holding Congress hostage but they cannot hold America hostage.
HAYES: President Obama`s emotional call for action on gun violence.
OBAMA: Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad.
HAYES: But will a fight over gun laws cost Democrats in an election year?
Plus, the predictable outrage.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He`s obsessed with undermining the Second Amendment.
HAYES: I`ll speak with Texas Congressman Michael Burgess who calls the president`s actions unconstitutional.
Then, Donald Trump refuses to say what he would do as president.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The voters want to see unpredictability.
HAYES: As one of America`s closest allies considers refusing Trump entry into their country.
And I`ll speak with Bernie Sanders about his bold new promise to big Wall Street banks.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Within one year, my administration will break these institutions up.
HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Today, President Obama signaled he would be opening a new contentious and politically risky battle over gun laws, with a proposal that was at once both frustratingly small and highly ambitious.
In a speech in the White House East Room surrounded by the family members of victims of gun violence and other advocates, the president announced a set of executive actions including measures to expand background checks. The scope and effect of which will probably be minimal. More on that in a moment.
What was far more important today was the president`s declaration of this - - as an agendist (ph) defining fight, one he is eager to wage in his final year in office, right into the teeth of conventional wisdom about the politics of the issue and the very powerful gun lobby and gun rights maximalists in Congress. It`s a fight that clearly comes from a personal emotional place as events when he referred to the massacre of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: From first graders in Newtown, first graders, and from every family who never imagined that their loved one would be taken from our lives by a bullet from a gun -- every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad. And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.
So, all of us need to demand a Congress brave enough to stand up to the gun lobby`s lies, all of us need to stand up and protect its citizens. All of us need to demand governors and legislators and businesses do their part to make our communities safer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The president acknowledged no real progress will be made unless and until Congress acts without the restraints of the gun lobby.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The gun lobby may be holding Congress hostage right now, but they cannot hold America hostage. We do not have to accept this carnage as the price for freedom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The president explicitly framed the battle as one that will take years if not decades of constant engagement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: It won`t happen during this Congress. It won`t happen during my presidency. But a lot of things don`t happen overnight. A woman`s right to vote didn`t happen overnight. The liberation of African-Americans didn`t happen overnight. LGBT rights, that was decades worth of work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Despite the fact that measures like federal background checks are widely supported by the public, there appears to be no political upside to the president`s actions today either for himself and for his potential Democratic successors.
Those candidates did embrace it, including Hillary Clinton speaking in Iowa today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know we are smart enough as a country to protect the rights of responsible gun owners consistent with our Constitution and to do more to keep guns out of the hands of felons, fugitives, stalkers, and for goodness sakes, potential terrorists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Republican presidential contenders responded, many before the president had even spoken today with some misdirection about how the president is targeting law abiding citizens.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This has been the most anti- gun administration in the history of our country. This has been an administration that has targeted law abiding citizens in particular, rather than targeting criminals rather than targeting is terrorists.
RUBIO: He`s obsessed with undermining the Second Amendment. He`s obsessed with burdening law abiding citizen who will follow the law no matter what it is.
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think the impulse of the left is always to create more restrictions on law abiding gun owners. And that doesn`t solve the problems, the tragedies of these well-publicized cases that have taken place, where we see the violence and the press focuses on it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Despite accusations, the actual executive actions announced today focus on mental health, gun safety technology, most prominently background checks, including a new rule from the ATF which is designed to expand those sellers which must conduct the checks to potentially include sellers of guns on the Internet and possibly narrow the so-called gun show loophole.
But as always, when any kind of gun safety measure is proposed, today was likely a great day for gun manufacturers, with another spike in gun sales correlating to today`s expected actions probably by people who have claimed from day one of this administration, the president was coming for their guns. People will then say "I told you so" any time another marginal measure is proposed.
Today was a day they were happy to do that.
Joining me now, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut.
Senator, I want to make an argument to you about today. And you tell me why I`m wrong. This was -- this is a sort of no upside sort of situation. The actual substantive thing today is pretty small beer by the president`s own admission. It`s what he can do within the square of the law from an executive perspective and also will alienate folks who don`t like the president`s gun politics.
And so, what exactly comes out of today? Why was today in your mind, a good positive step forward?
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D), CONNECTICUT: So, today was a good day for two reasons. One because I think there is real substance here. Gun sales have migrated away from bricks and mortar stores to the Internet and to these gun shows. By and large, those selling online and at gun shows, just think that they`re immune from the law that requires commercial sellers to conduct background checks.
And so, very few sellers are doing it online or in these gun shows now that this new guidance has been proffered, I think you`re going to see a rush of sellers worried for the first time ever of being prosecuted for not adhering to the criminal background checks law to do background checks and so I think you are going to see tens of thousands of new sales be subject to background checks, and that will save lives.
Second, this is an important signal to the movement to those of us that are in the trenches every day working to combat gun violence that the president is going to be committed to building this movement for the next 12 months. He`s spending the entire first week of 2016 focusing on this issue. Hillary Clinton has made it a signature issue in her campaign.
And so, this is I think a very, very important moment for the movement. The signal is sent to all of us and to all of the grassroots activists that this president and I would argue our future president are in this for the long haul. That`s what every great change movement needs. Every great change movement is defined by early failures but the persistence to get the job done in the end.
HAYES: Is this surprising -- this is his last year. He`s coming up on what will be his final State of the Union. This is the political battle that he shows very publicly today and very effectively. I mean, this will lead all the nightly news programs tonight.
Is it surprising to you that this is what led off this year?
MURPHY: No, it`s not surprising to me in part because I know how personally moved the president is by this issue. I saw it the day that he walked into the high school at Sandy Hook and told all of us that that day the Sandy Hook murders was the worst day of his presidency. I know right before his vacation, he went to San Bernardino and he spent three hours with those families.
These stories move him as they should move every elected official. I think he feels more personally invested in this than any other issue. So, no, in that way, I don`t think it`s surprising. And I think you`ll see that he will come back to this issue over and over again.
And here`s the other reason it`s not surprising, because I really do think in the end, in a general election context, this a political asset to those that are lining up with him. The Republicans may get some purchase within the Republican presidential primary, but ultimately, general election voters I think increasingly are going to look to candidates` positions on background checks when they`re casting their votes. I think that`s what he understands, as well.
HAYES: Do you actually anticipate this to be an election year issue this year? I mean, there`s -- I think there`s some people who think this play until the convention, even Jonathan Alter told me last as we were talking about the politics of this, this play out until the convention. But it`s not going to make much of an appearance in a general election.
MURPHY: I`ve started to see some polling coming out of districts that suggests that this issue, particularly the issue of support for background checking is incredibly salient with swing voters. And I think that some of the issues that have started to divide the two parties in the last few weeks and particularly this issue of stopping terrorists from getting guns will be ballot box issues.
People are concerned about protecting this country from terrorism. They say at a rate of 90 to 10 that they want more background checks. When those two issues join together, I think you have a salience at the ballot box that may actually play out in real-time this fall.
HAYES: All right. Senator Chris Murphy, thank you very much.
MURPHY: Thanks Chris.
HAYES: Joining me now, MSNBC political analyst Joan Walsh, national affairs correspondent for "The Nation" magazine. MSNBC political analyst Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont, former chair of the DNC.
Howard, let me start with you, as someone who was a Vermont politics where the politics of guns are very different than they are say in Washington, D.C. or in Chicago on the south side, that the president represented, what do you make of today?
HOWARD DEAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it was -- I agree with Chris Murphy. I thought he nailed it. I think this is a big issue in the general election because what it does is portray the Republicans or the Republicans portray themselves as heartless. You have to be heartless to say that we shouldn`t make any changes when you consider that the victims of Sandy Hook were 6, 8, 5 years old.
This is a no-win issue. They`ll beat it to death in the primary and everything those Republican candidates say are going to be put up on a television ad in a general election in places like Michigan and Ohio, and not to mention Connecticut, and I just think this is -- it`s smart politics and obviously, the president is incredibly deeply -- you rarely see Barack Obama get emotional. I think what we just saw was really a strong, strong picture.
HAYES: Joan, you know, there was one thing the president kept talking about I see liberals talk about a lot I think is a little bit misleading which is talk about the gun lobby.
JOAN WALSH, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes.
HAYES: The NRA is a remarkably effective organization. It`s very well- funded. It`s sophisticated. It organizes well.
HAYES: But a lot of its power is because there are millions of people who really do care about this.
HAYES: I mean, who love their guns, who really -- and also think that Barack Obama is essentially, you know, coming to destroy American privacy.
WALSH: There are millions of people. They are backed up at the ballot box, that is true. They are a minority of gun owners and gun owners are a minority of Americans. I mean, we know there are over 300 million guns in this country, almost as many guns as people. But only one in three Americans owns guns, Chris. And even most gun owners support background checks and closing the gun show loophole.
So, the president is right. I think -- I hope Governor Dean is right. I think there`s risk in the general election in 2016, but I think going forward, the politics are really good on this for Democrats because it`s become a red/blue issue.
Your average gun owner is a 55-year-old white male with a high school education. He`s a Donald Trump voter. He`s a Republican voter already.
The blue state, the rising Obama electorate is the pro-gun control. Over time, this is going to matter. In Pennsylvania, in Colorado and Ohio, it could be dangerous for Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. I`m not going to deny that.
HAYES: Yes, what`s interesting -- Joan makes a great point, right? The great sorting that`s happened in American politics on every issue, right? Where it`s -- and the sorting is happening such that the sorting happens and the issues comes later, right? So, people aren`t sorting because they have and that issue.
They sort based on where they live, what their sort of world view is, what their religion might be, their practice, their habits, their friends. That`s where the politics come from.
In that kind of universe, Howard, maybe the swing voters that so terrified Democrats particularly in the late `90s, early aughts don`t exist anymore.
DEAN: Well, they do exist. And I`ll tell you where they exist. Joan just mentioned a couple of them.
First of all, the collar counties of Philadelphia are Republicans. Republican women in the collar counties of Philadelphia are pro-choice and they do not like the NRA, and they do not like guns.
I can see Republican women in droves going to vote for Hillary Clinton or Bernie should he win on this issue because the Republican candidates are going to say a lot of things between now and their convention that are going to get them in a lot of trouble in the fall. Colorado is another one. They kicked out two the Democratic senators for tightening up gun control laws. Now, there`s a backlash against this kind of stuff in Colorado and the Colorado independent voters are going the other way and they want more controls that will help gun safety.
So, I do think it`s an issue. I think there are swing voters. I think the public is not as polarized as Washington is. And I think this is an issue that moves swing voters because it`s about children and they can see this happening to their children, just as Barack Obama talked about on the tape you had a few minutes ago.
HAYES: Joan, I always think that the NRA is a little like Donald Trump and that I`m always waiting for the backlash, like at what point did they go too far, like at what point do the rubber band snap back, and it never does. Wayne LaPierre says things that are just completely beyond the pale of all other American public discourse and then there he is.
WALSH: I know. I want to say, I`ve been right about Donald Trump because I`ve never written him off and said this is going to kill him. I was so wrong about the NRA after Sandy Hook. I was convinced --
HAYES: We all watched that press conference.
WALSH: We all watched that press conference. He is self-destructive. This is the train wreck. The American people are seeing these psychos.
HAYES: They`re going to reject this.
WALSH: Right. And they didn`t.
DEAN: I would just add though a lot of this has to do with the incredible lack of courage with people who oppose the gun lobby. Michael Bloomberg has done a tremendous amount to stiffen spines of people who are opposed to the gun lobby. Those people didn`t exist after sandy hook. Very few people as politicians stepped forward.
What they`re afraid of the NRA is the attack ads and the lies they tell which people believe. I think we may be past that at this point.
WALSH: I don`t know if we`re past it but we`re getting there, Governor Dean. That`s why I want to go back to something Senator Murphy said really quickly. Movements need victories. And this is a victory.
Winning is contagious. We say in baseball, hitting is contagious. This feels good to the movement and I think --
HAYES: Yes, it was the president as movement leader which was a very interesting role.
Joan Walsh and Howard Dean, thank you both.
DEAN: Thank you.
HAYES: Still to come, the problem with Republicans invoking the Second Amendment when criticizing Obama`s executive action.
Plus, as Republican presidential candidates focus on Iowa and New Hampshire, Ben Carson seemed to have gotten lost. Where he ended up last night.
And later, Bernie Sanders has a warning for Wall Street. I`ll ask him how realistic his plan is.
Those stories and more ahead.
HAYES: Three days after armed anti-government protesters seized control of a federal building on an Oregon wildlife refuge, the local sheriff said the steps are in motion to end occupation by the militants tell an Oregon newspaper, quote, "There are things being done. It`s not visible to the public."
Meanwhile, schools in the area remain closed for a second day. The militants who are occupying the building in the name of two local ranchers were arrested on arson charges say they will not leave until local residents are in control of thousands of acres of federal land.
That said, yesterday they urged supporters to send snacks because they didn`t pack enough.
HAYES: The response coming from Republicans today to President Obama`s attempt to sidestep Congress on gun safety measures appears to suggest it`s an act of aggression on the Second Amendment.
For example, House Speaker Paul Ryan released a statement that reads in part, quote, "No matter what President Obama says, his word does not Trump the Second Amendment."
Presidential candidate Jeb Bush appeared to echo those comments, writing in an op-ed, quote, "Obama`s declaration he will impose his gun control agenda by executive order shows an utter disregard for the Second Amendment, as well as the proper constitutional process for making laws in our nation."
But in his speech today, Obama appeared to hint at the silliness of these complaints.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I believe in the Second Amendment, it`s there written on the paper. It guarantees a right to bear arms.
No matter how many times people try to twist my words around, I taught constitutional law. I know a little bit about this.
(LAUGHTER & APPLAUSE)
I get it. But I also believe that we can find ways to reduce gun violence consistent with the Second Amendment.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In fact, to hammer home the president`s point of reducing gun violence while remaining consistent with the Second Amendment, it`s useful to look at the Supreme Court`s decision on the amendments meaning. Even as the court found an individual right to bear arms, in a 2008 D.C. versus Heller case, for the first time, we should note, in the court`s entire history, it also said that, quote, "Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It`s not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever for whatever purpose."
In other words, regulation that leads to gun safety policy changes at least in the eyes of the conservative majority of the highest court in the land is not unconstitutional.
Joining me now, Congressman Michael Burgess, Republican from Texas, whose statement today on the president`s executive actions on gun control reads in part, quote, "Americans deserve a leader who does not regard the Constitution as a suggest for the model on which our government should exist."
Congressman, am I right in understanding you believe the move here is unconstitutional because of the separation of powers not because it violates the Second Amendment? Or do you think it violates the Second Amendment, as well?
REP. MICHAEL BURGESS (R), TEXAS: Well, as you`ll recall, I prefaced my argument on this is an Article 1, Article 2 issue. Article 1, governing --
BURGESS: -- dealing with the Congress. We have the power to make the laws.
The president as the chief executive is the executor of those laws, but he`s not the maker of those laws. That, of course, is what the state that exists in a monarchy. And we specifically said we didn`t want to do that.
HAYES: Right. But there`s all sorts of executive actions that every president takes all the time, right? Routinely, President George W. Bush took a whole of bunch of them, in fact, more than President Obama if I`m not mistaken. Something like having sufficient staff to staff the background check hot line 24 hours -- you think that`s an abrogation of the Constitution?
BURGESS: Look, one of the things that I think is probably frustrating to people when they look at the administration`s actions in this regard, number one, the first two years of President Obama`s administration, there was virtually nothing that the Republicans could stop. So, if this was one of the things that was of the highest importance to him, this would have basically taken a week out of his first two years of his first term.
So, why that did not happen, I cannot posit a reason. But I will tell you this --
HAYES: Probably the greatest financial crisis in 80 years. But continue.
BURGESS: But the other aspect is we don`t even have a director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
HAYES: Yes, because Republicans have been blocking him in the Senate.
BURGESS: Now, that is actually not true.
HAYES: It`s true.
BURGESS: It is because of the resignations of the previous directors. I don`t know that the president can find anyone who wants the job. So --
HAYES: I wonder why.
BURGESS: -- I would recommend to the president that he fill that position first.
BURGESS: And the advice and consent of the Senate is there for a reason, as well.
HAYES: I just want to -- I want to zero in here though. Just to get specific for a moment. I mean, 200 more staffers to staff this hot line 24 hours, right? Is that an abrogation of the Constitution? Is that essentially an incursion upon the constitutional prerogative of the Congress?
BURGESS: Well, not of the Congress, and the Congress would obviously have to be the ones to authorize and appropriate those --
BURGESS: -- funds to hire those individuals. So no, that would not be an abrogation under Article 1 or Article 2.
HAYES: OK. Let me ask you this. You come from a state that has just inaugurated this year a fairly expansive open carry legislation. There was a long gun open carry in Texas. There`s now a handgun open carry. There`s also carry, if I`m not mistaken, in the Texas capital right now in Austin.
Do you think that would be a good idea in the U.S. Capitol? I mean, my understanding is advocates of guns think they make spaces safer. Should we get rid of the metal detectors and have guns in the Capitol?
BURGESS: Well, certainly, a discussion we can have. I just point out that although Texas is now an open carry state, it was one of the few states that did not have --
BURGESS: -- an open carry provision --
HAYES: No, but I`m --
BURGESS: -- and I mean that goes back really to the time of reconstruction.
HAYES: I`m curious --
BURGESS: So, is it appropriate that Texas has moved forward with this? I think so.
HAYES: But I`m curious just personally, you go to work in that building every day. Would you Congressman Michael Burgess feel safer if they got rid of the metal detectors and they let people just carry their side arms into Congress?
BURGESS: I don`t know that it would make a material difference to me. The fact of the matter remains, when I go into any public venue, you don`t know what you`re getting into.
HAYES: So you would support that?
BURGESS: In general, do I feel safe when I go into public venues where there are not metal detectors? The answer is, of course, I do.
HAYES: But you would support that in Congress? You would support people bringing weapons into the capitol?
BURGESS: Look, I think it all can be part of the discussion. If that`s the direction people want to go, I think it`s something that needs -- deserves to be heard.
But the bigger question here today is, Chris - I mean, the president put forward these proposals. It`s not really clear -- I mean on the gun show loophole, do you really understand what he`s talking about? There`s no prohibition on the number or there`s no limitation on the number that are sold, or the frequency of their sales? It`s only if you have a business card?
I mean, how can we -- what does that even mean when he says now he`s closed the gun show loophole? I don`t think -- I don`t think a great many people know what the president was talking about with that.
HAYES: I think it`s going to work its way through the regulatory process. It also will be interesting to see if legislation is taken up and that will be hashed out as well.
Congressman Michael Burgess of Texas -- thank you very much.
BURGESS: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Coming up, what country is having official genuine demand on banning Donald Trump from its borders? That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: If you were elected president and you don`t like a deal, you`re going to scrap the deal. Now, are you going to bomb their nuclear facilities? Are you going to do that.
TRUMP: Bill, I`m going to do what`s right. I want to be unpredictable. I`m not going to tell you right now what I`m going to do.
O`REILLY: But don`t the voters have a right to know how far you`re going to go?
TRUMP: No, because it depends on the circumstances. But the voters want to see unpredictability. They`re tired of a president that gets up and says every single thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Donald Trump last night on Fox News suggesting a game of nuclear pin the tale on the donkey, saying he won`t explain his Iran policies because what the voters want is someone who won`t say what they`re going to do.
One thing almost no one predicted is that with just 27 days left until the Iowa caucuses, Donald Trump would still be hanging on to his status as GOP front-runner despite a steady parade of antics, insults and what some call quasi-fascistic policy proposals which have prompted pundits to predict over and over he would finally fade.
A new NBC News/Survey Monkey national poll finds Trump with 35 percent support, nearly the double the support for second place Ted Cruz and nearly 30 points higher than fifth place Jeb Bush who has been backed by nearly $50 million in ads.
Trump supporters also appear to be the most committed. 51 percent say they`re absolutely certain they`ll vote for him, far higher percentage than say the same of his closest rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
The intensity of trump`s support was on full display last night at Trump`s rally in Massachusetts where despite bitterly cold weather, a crowd of thousands gathered to cheer the candidate, wave signs and shout down a series of protesters.
Now, it isn`t all good news for the Donald, at least if he wants to continue to travel the world. British lawmakers announced today they will debate whether to ban Trump from the UK over his comments about Muslims. After more than 500,000 people signed a petition calling for Trump to be denied entry into the country.
Last month, British Prime David Cameron said Trump would unite the country if he did show up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I think his remarks are divisive, stupid and wrong. And I think if he came to visit our country, I think it would unite us all against him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Thank goodness Trump struck up that bromance with Vladimir Putin. I hear Moscow is lovely this time of year.
Also today Trump went full birther, not on President Obama, but on rival Ted Cruz telling the Washington Post that Cruz`s Canadian birthplace was a very precarious issue that could make the senator vulnerable should he becomes the Republican nominee.
Cruz responded, and this is true, by tweeting a YouTube video of Fonzie actually jumping the shark -- pop culture reference to when great things like the show Happy Days, or in this case I guess the Trump campaign, decline in quality after a novelty stunt.
And there`s former front-runner Ben Carson, whose campaign jumped the Varanzano Bridge yesterday. I`ll explain next.
HAYES: The dozens and dozens of 2016 campaign events that have taken place over the past few days, many of them have occurred in places that make sense given where we are in the campaign season. Potential Iowa Caucus goers were treated to a coffee with John Kasich event at the Inspired Grounds Cafe in west Des Moines, while Chris Christie held a town hall at Fratella`s Italian restaurant in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Hillary Clinton has been crisscrossing the state of Iowa over the past few days, while Carl Fiorina has set up shop in New Hampshire.
Needless to say, some were a little confused by the location of the latest Ben Carson event held last night at the Hilton Garden Inn in Staten Island, New York -- New York State, of course, proud home of the 37th in the nation nominating contest which will take place three months after the Iowa caucus.
And apparently Staten Island voters are clamoring for Carson. One volunteer on hand remarking the event was standing room only because, quote, people got to hear the man.
Carson himself explained to one local news outlet that Staten Island is a pretty cool place.
Just the latest move from a campaign that has been, it`s safe to say, difficult to predict from the beginning.
The Carson campaign finished off 2015 battling a sharp decline in the polls while three top staffers, including the campaign manager, quit in the midst of campaign infighting and after the candidate himself publicly hinted at a staff shake-up days before.
But if there`s one thing that has been consistent from the Ben Carson campaign, it has raised a lot of money and it`s spent a lot of money mostly on raising money.
In the third quarter of last year, the Carson campaign raised nearly $21 million while spending just over $14 million.
Now, campaigns spend money to get a president elected, it`s not entirely clear if that what the Carson campaign is doing. It`s not what they called the burn rate in campaigns we should be looking at here, rather where the campaign spent its money.
Carson campaign told NBC News that of $14 million spent, over $11 million went to fund-raising. As The Atlantic pointed out at the time, Carson spent $3 million on everything else, from field staff to travel, the stuff needed to build a campaign infrastructure and strategy.
Last week, the campaign announced another huge haul, pulling in $23 million in the fourth quarter.
We don`t know yet how much the campaign has sent spent in that fourth quarter, more importantly whether it spent less money on fund-raising and more money on getting Ben Carson elected.
Joining me now Dean Parker, senior adviser to the Carson campaign.
Good to see you, Dean. And thank you for joining me.
DEAN PARKER, BEN CARSON ADVISER: Thank you for having me, Chris.
HAYES: so, I have had two different Republican consultants email me in the last week who basically say the Carson campaign is adrift. This is what people are saying. This is a consultant grift in which money is being raised from small dollar donors. Ben Carson is a beloved figure, charismatic, raises money. The money then goes back out the door to people hired to do the fund-raising and mailers. And when you look at the numbers, I mean, $14 million spent, $11 million on fund-raising, there`s no other campaign in the field that has numbers like that.
PARKER: You got to remember a couple things. Number one, Dr. Carson didn`t have a political fundraising list. We started this campaign with zero donors on the list. So, that`s the first reason why a traditional political candidate can say they`re a little different.
Number two, when you go to it, it`s the people in the pundit status that the list that charged so much money to have a chance to speak to the voters that want to talk to us.
So they just put money back into their pocket and back talking back to you.
And number three, the people are interested raising money. And they are interested in giving to Dr. Carson, so as we go through this process we are continuing to do what we need to do and that`s give voters that are aligned with us, we now have a strong list and a strong mailer.
And you have to remember, if you look at the end of the third quarter, we ended the campaign with as much, if not more, money than any other campaign with $11 million in the bank.
HAYES: Right. And according to the FTC, about half of that has been burned through.
The question I have is, in the fourth quarter are we going to see a ratio that looks like the one we saw in the third quarter in which you`re spending $14 million, $11 million of it on fundraising. Let`s just be clear, when we say $11 million on fundraising, that is contracts with consultants who are doing the fundraising.
PARKER: No, that is contracts with people that have to give us their list that we have to buy the ability to get to the donors. Number one. So there`s the big misnomer on what`s going on.
Secondly, if you look at our people and what they spent, they`re less than the industry averages of what`s happening because Dr. Carson was not for working through the traditional political system.
HAYES: Let me talk about the mailers.
PARKER: Happy to.
HAYES: I`ve seen a number of people, including someone I know who is a registered Democrat in Massachusetts, reliable liberal voter, who in the state of Massachusetts got a huge Ben Carson mailer, OK. And it`s got Ben CArson has got like a lithograph portrait of the guy. There it is right there. That`s an expensive piece of mail for people that work in campaigns.
That to me looks like a mail consultant essentially trying to come up with the most expensive piece of mail they can find and send it anywhere they can so they make a lot of money off it.
PARKER: And that`s entirely false.
At the end of the day, the people that came into our list came in because they endorsed him. They signed up for support or they were registered to a similar set of value system that allowed us to go after a prospect to them.
Our direct mail guy specifically is one of Dr. Carson`s closest friends. He`s an adviser. He`s doing this 100 percent the thing to help get Ben elected, he`s not focused on making money.
And if you look at what he actually gets, it was a small percentage of those numbers that you would expect.
HAYES: This guy`s not going to come out rich out of this?
PARKER: No, not at all.
HAYES: So then let me ask you this, if things were going swimmingly, then why the shake-up?
PARKER: Let`s think of it like this. Do you ever watch baseball?
PARKER: Then if you watch baseball, you understand there are different pitchers for different sections of the game. We had a team that was in there. There was things Dr. Carson wanted to change. He met with the team.
HAYES: They brought in the middle reliever.
PARKER: Maybe it wasn`t the right aspect to keep going in that perspective. So Dr. Carson let`s amicably move on. He handled it with respect. He handled it like you would as a presidential candidate should. And then he`s moved forward and put some people in place.
You`ve got to remember the people he kept in the organization were still in the organization before they started: General Bob Dees is chairman, and obviously Ed Brooker (ph) is our campaign manager.
HAYES: All right, we`re going to keep our eyes on that fourth quarter FTC filing. I really appreciate you coming in.
PARKER: I appreciate you having us.
HAYES: Thanks a lot.
All right, still to come, the group Bernie Snders needs to keep his campaign alive. How he`s doing ahead.
HAYES: All right, get this, House Republicans are getting ready to potentially hand Volkswagen, the second largest auto company in the world, a bailout. A bill that was introduced in April, expected to be voted on this week, titled "The Fairness in Class Action Litigation act," would make it impossible for thousands of Volkswagen owners to sue the company.
The House vote will come within days the U.S. Justice Department announcing they are suing Volkswagen for allegedly violating the Clean Air Act, remember that, way back in September when Volkswagen admitted to installing software in hundreds of thousands of diesel cars to systematically lie and cheat emissions tests?
Volkswagen owners who thought they were doing something good for the environment by driving low polluting cars found out they were doing just the opposite. Volkswagen could be facing billions, with a B, dollars in fines. But to date, no one at the German automaker has faced any charges over the scandal.
And if Republicans in congress have their way, Volkswagen owners won`t be able to get any justice either.
HAYES: Today, Bernie Sanders took a break from campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire to deliver a message to Wall Street. Addressing finance workers directly, he promised that if he is elected president, he will break up the big banks within his first year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: Here is a new year`s resolution that I will keep if elected president and that is, if Wall Street does not end its greed, we will end it for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Hours after he delivered the speech, I pressed the Senator from Vermont for the details of his plan.
SANDERS: Legislation that we have, and I think there`s a lot we can do through executive power, but essentially ask the Treasury Department to give us a list of banks that are too big to fail and our job is to break them up. And I certainly look forward to working with the congress to make that happen.
HAYES: I mean, but you`re the one -- you know as well as anyone the power of the banks. I mean, they...
SANDERS: Yes, I`ve heard about it.
HAYES: Right, but that`s the point, right? I mean, it`s not an accident that they are still together, right? So there`s no magic wand to wave.
HAYES: Look, here`s what you got. You`re dealing with a powerful ruling class in America and at the pyramid of that ruling class is Wall Street. They have unlimited sums of money. They have huge influence over the congress. But I think there is such anger at what Wall Street did to this country and the understanding that it may happen again and anger at the fact that after all of their criminal activity and destroying the lives of millions of people, not one of these guys has you know been prosecuted. I think people want change on that.
HAYES: Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton campaigning in Iowa sat down with our own Chris Matthews and distanced herself from Sanders` brand of socialism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS MATTHEW, MSNBC: What`s the difference between a socialist and a Democrat?
MATTHEWS: Is that a question you want to answer or do you rather not politically?
CLINTON: You know, you`d have to ask.
MATTHEWS: Well see, I`m asking you. You`re a Democrat. He`s a socialist. Would you like somebody to call me a socialist? I wouldn`t like somebody calling me a socialist.
CLINTON: But I`m not one.
MATTHEWS: OK, well what`s the difference between a socialist and a democrat?
CLINTON: Well, I can tell you what I am, I am a progressive Democrat. I am a progressive Democrat.
MATTHEWS: How is that different than a socialist?
CLINTON: Who likes to get things done and who believes that we are better off in this country when we`re trying to solve problems together.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, the latest polling shows Bernie Sanders is nipping at Hillary Clinton`s heels in Iowa down by just five points in the state. And he`s leading the former secretary of state by 14 points in New Hampshire.
The problem on the Democratic side, as opposed to the Republican side, is that Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two contests, they are not representative of Democratic voters as a whole, quite the opposite. They are among the whitest states in the country: Iowa 92 percent white; New Hampshire 94 percent white.
The next two democratic contests will take place among a far more diverse population, one much more representative with the rest of the country, with voters of color who have so far leaned heavily towards Hillary Clinton.
Nevada, for example, is 76 percent white, South Carolina just 68 percent white.
And the big question is whether or not Bernie Sanders can play in the other, more diverse states. I`ll ask a surrogate who switched her allegiance from Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders next.
HAYES: Joining me now, Nina Turner, former Ohio state senator and Bernie Sanders surrogate who previously supported Hillary Clinton, and Cornell Belcher, veteran Democratic pollster, president of brilliant corners research and strategies.
Anita, let me start with you. I mean, you personally switched and there has been a really concerted effort on the part of the Sanders campaign to make an outreach to voters of color. How is that going?
NINA TURNER, FRM. OHIO STATE SENATOR: It`s going well, Chris. I mean I think it is one-sided for anybody to assume that African-American voters are only going to vote for one candidate. African-Americans want their votes to be earned just like everybody else.
But it`s going well. I mean, I`ve been in Chicago with the senator. I`ve been in Baltimore, as you know he went there. And the African-American community is being introduced to Senator Sanders just in the same way as many other folks.
Let us not forget he`s a senator from Vermont, and he`s been serving honorably and nobly in that state. And now he`s running for president of the United States of America.
But it`s going well.
And he understands, just as the campaign understand, that they are going to have to earn the votes of the African-American community.
HAYES: You know, Cornell, partly what strikes me when you look at the numbers Bernie Sanders has lagged far behind Hillary Clinton among Democratic voters of color. That margin has narrowed over time.
But part of this, it strikes me, is two things: name recognition, right. He`s a senator from Vermont, she`s obviously a national figure. And two, the fact that the Democratic primary is set up in a kind of weird way for the modern democratic coalition, frankly.
I mean, really, to start in Iowa and New Hampshire when you look at what the Obama coalition actually looks like.
CORNELL BELCHER, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: Well, two things. One is the campaign should be -- the Clinton campaign should be concerned that they are pulling people of the caliber of Senator Turner who was a former client. So I`ve got a little personal interest there who can connect with the African-American community.
I mean, Bernie Sanders` problem, I`m going to drop some real heavy political science on you here, Chris, if you`re ready for this. Voters don`t necessarily vote for the best ten-point plan. They vote for people who they can connect with, and they can connect to. And I would argue that Bernie Sanders has had a problem connecting with the African-American community and to a certain extent connecting with the Hispanic community.
Look, he doesn`t have to win minority voters, but if you look at the states those southern states on super Tuesday with large segments of African- American population and even when you said 68 percent of the population in South Carolina is white, well, 68 percent of the Democratic primary will not be white. I mean, African-Americans will overperform in that.
He has to be able to compete with minority -- with, minority voters because you cannot win this nomination if you can`t compete in Georgia and Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, what have you, with these large segments of African-American populations. He cannot be the Democratic nominee.
And I think this is a problem that they need to focus on fixing. And if I were the Hillary campaign, I would sleep -- I would have a hard time sleeping tonight knowing that they`re beginning to figure this out and bringing people like Nina Turner on board the campaign.
HAYES: And this isn`t the first time this issue has emerged, Nina. I mean, obviously, in the past there`s been some similar splits and there has been a -- voters of color in Democratic primaries are incredibly crucial bloc. They`ve only got many more powerful as time got on.
And Barack Obama was a really kind of, you know, a novel breaking of the tradition partly because he is a person of color, but because he was able to win that constituency and people forget, Barack Obama himself had to climb an uphill battle with African-American voters in 2008.
TURNER: That`s right.
Absolutely, Chris. And I`m glad you brought that up. I mean, until then Senator Barack Obama won Iowa, a lot of folks didn`t think he had a snowball`s chance in heaven.
And they predicted that he would not win against the Clinton machine, but absolutely he did. So this is really about Senator Sanders introducing himself. And I do agree with Cornell, Senator Sanders and nobody else that`s a Democrat can win without the African-American community.
Let us not forget the African-American women were the highest voting bloc in 2012. You can`t -- but guess what, Senator Sanders does not want to win without having the African-American community. He has heart-soul agreement. And when he talks about increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, that will give an instant raise to African-Americans -- 51 percent of the African-American community.
When he talks about K through college education being offered to all, that helps the African-American community.
When he talks about racial justice and how in this country as the next president of the United States he`s going to work very hard to eradicate institutional racism. And, Chris, he doesn`t just say this to African- American crowds, he will say this to all white crowds.
And so the African-American community is being introduced to Senator Sanders. He is the president for the African-American community and dare I say all you have America. And we`re going to do everything that we can to make sure that his voice and his message is out there so that the African-American community will know that the Senator Bernie Sanders is the president for them.
HAYES: Cornell, let me ask you this. You mentioned Nina mention the sort of the way everything turned around in Iowa. And one of the things that`s been fascinating, this kind of cascade effect that can happen in primaries. Polling national numbers and then the actual results come back and things really change. I mean, how do you think that would happen, what would be the effect of a Bernie Sanders win in Iowa or New Hampshire? Is that going to change the polling in terms of people`s calculation of how possible a candidate he is?
BELCHER: Well, I kind of push back on -- I know there`s a mythology around there that Iowa, you know, we want Iowa in 2008 and then we started to win South Carolina as if though African-Americans were waiting for white people to say he`s okay.
Truth of the matter is, if you look at average polling going into the end of this week and January in 2008, we had basically caught up tossup in Iowa and a little bit ahead in New Hampshire and up by almost 10 points in South Carolina.
HAYES: That was the product...
BELCHER: So, we were building there anyway.
HAYES: That was a product of a lot of work on the ground there.
Nina Turner, Cornell Belcher, thanks for joining me.
Special programming note. All In is heading to Bernie country. We`ll be live from Burlington, Vermont, this Thursday night. You know who else is going to be there? Donald Trump holding a rally right in Bernie`s backyard. That`s going to be fun. We`re going to work on a big show. More details to come.
That is All In for this evening.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END