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

All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 1/8/2016

Guests: Norm Ornstein, Sabrina Siddiqui, John Nichols, Michelle Goldberg

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: January 8, 2016 Guest: Norm Ornstein, Sabrina Siddiqui, John Nichols, Michelle Goldberg


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you`re a DACA recipient, it means you were brought here illegally and violating the laws has consequences.

HAYES: Ted Cruz directly tells a woman he will deport her. How the Republican Party has gone a long way beyond self-deportation.

Then, Trump`s challenge.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Oh, would I love to run against Bernie. I would love. That would be a dream come true.

HAYES: We have Bernie`s unexpected response today.

Plus, more of what I learned talking to Trump`s supporters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The guy`s a genius, really.

HAYES: Did you miss Bush?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, hell, yes. Yes.

HAYES: Maine`s Republican governor tries to explain these comments --

GOV. PAUL LEPAGE (R), MAINE: These are guys that have D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty. Half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave.

HAYES: -- by blaming the press.

LEPAGE: You don`t like me. I don`t like you. You`re in the back pocket of Maine bloggers. Shame on you.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.

It is a law in biology that plants grow inexorably toward the light and it is a law in 2016 that GOP presidential candidates move relentlessly to the right. Even when it seems like there isn`t any further they can go.

With 24 days until voting can begins, Ted Cruz is in the middle of a bus tour around Iowa, the first in the nation caucus state where polls show he narrowly leaves Donald Trump. On Wednesday, Cruz cause path with a 30- year-old non-profit worker named Ofelia Valdez who`s brought to America from Mexico as a child and who has been protected from deportation by President Obama`s DACA program.

What Valdez asked could be her faith if Cruz was elected president.


CRUZ: Well, listen, I would note if you`re a recipient, you were brought here illegally and violating the laws has consequences.

And one of the problems with our broken immigration system is that it is creating human tragedies. And there are human tragedies when people break the law.


HAYES: In other words, tough luck. I`m going to find you and I`m going to deport you. Four years ago, Mitt Romney was ridiculed and criticized for advocating this policy for undocumented immigrants.


MODERATOR: If you don`t deport them, how do you send them home?

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, the answer is self self-deportation, which is people decide they can do better because they can`t find work here, because they don`t have legal documentation to allow them to work here. So, we`re not going to round people up.


HAYES: Four years later, the two leading GOP presidential candidates are going much further. Not self-deportation but active deportation, the rounding people up that Mitt Romney talks about, a forcible government round up of 11 million people.

Immigration is just one area we`re seeing this right where it lurched. Consider abortion. Mitt Romney said he wanted to make abortion illegal in most cases with exceptions for victims of rape or incest. Cruz and Marco Rubio who are currently pulling in second and third place in the GOP race say there should be no exception, no legal abortion even for victims of rape.


MODERATOR: You favor a rape and incest exception.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, Megyn, first of all, I`m not sure that`s a correct assessment of my record. I would go on to add that I believe human life --

MODERATOR: You don`t favor a rape and incest --

RUBIO: I have never said that and never advocated that.


HAYES: All of the GOP candidates are proposing a massive, just deficit ballooning tax cuts in favor of the rich. Rubio is pushing a tax cut more than three times the size of the George W. Bush tax cut. There`s Jeb Bush whose tax plan gives more than half of the tax cuts to the top 1 percent.

Today, Bush rolled out a new welfare plan that would, among other devastating cuts, eliminate the federal food stamp program, replacing it with grants to the state, which would mean that, for instance, governors like Maine`s far right Paul LePage who will be discussing later in the show, will decide whether poor families get to eat.

I asked scholar Norm Ornstein who`s written extensively about the GOP`s modern lurched to the right if this campaign has proven its point.


NORM ORNSTEIN, AMERICAN ENTEPRISE INSTITUTE: Definitely so, Chris. I think with a twist it`s not just a move to the right. It`s a move in a more radical direction and now an enormous angry backlash against a very conservative establishment. You know, the fact that 60 to 70 percent of Republicans and that includes all of them, registered ones, the more active ones opt for outsider candidates with only 20 percent or so going for the insiders and a team of candidates all of whom are very conservative by past standards way off to the right really tells us something. There`s a level of anger out there that goes way beyond Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats to their own establishment leadership.

HAYES: Rick Santorum told me just a few days ago that the loudest applause lines he gets on the stump are when he goes after Republican establishment. Those are the people eat that up more than they do attacks on Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

ORNSTEIN: And I think -- you know, I did this piece in "The Atlantic" last week on the roots of not just Trump but by Trumpism. I think it`s important to realize this is not just a new phenomenon. The roots of this were laid sometime ago. A lot of it goes back to a populist backlash, to things like a federal pay raise in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Much of it was the ground work that Newt Gingrich laid, that led to a Republican majority in Congress in 1994. And then the financial crisis really contributing even more to it.

The young guns and other Republican leaders basically told Tea Party activists and members of Congress just put us in power and you`ll get everything that you want and that we promise will happen, including bringing Barack Obama to his knees and getting him out of office. From their perspective, it`s been a bait and switch, seduce and abandon mentality. And now, you`re seeing Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and some others really take advantage of it.

HAYES: So, do you think about this -- I mean, in terms of the role that Trump has played in this, Dave Weigel made the argument which I thought was quite astute is the antics of Trump, the outrageousness and the occasional bouts of condemnation of him by some other candidates has obscured just how far the center of gravity has moved out even among people that are being called the establishment candidates.

ORNSTEIN: Yes, I think we get a lot of people who make the mistake of calling them moderates. They aren`t moderates by previous standards out there. What`s interesting about Trump, though, in contrast with Cruz is that in a lot of areas, if you move away from immigration and from saying he`ll ban all Muslims, from talking about how he`ll snatch away the oil from ISIS and then bomb them back into the Stone Age, there isn`t really a strong ideological component in the same way that you have a coherent, more radical righteous ideology from a Cruz or even a Huckabee or some of the other outsiders.

But all of that is a part and parcel of what is a very substantial movement in a direction ideologically and even I think culturally that`s different from what we`ve seen before.

We used to have a moderate wing or even you could call it a Wall Street wing against a mainstream and quite conservative wing. Now the center is occupied by what would have been the Robert Taft or Barry Goldwater wing and others have moved off to a very different direction that`s more radical.

HAYES: Part of what I think is going on and tell me if you agree with this is there`s also a sense in which the normal rules of politics, more broadly don`t seem to apply in so far as this lures the right hasn`t appeared to hurt the party, particularly if you look at two rounds of midterm elections and also a sense there are no swing voters left in national elections anyway. So, there`s no consequences. There`s no such thing as too far right because there`s nothing bounding you or pulling you back towards the center.

ORNSTEIN: Well, you certainly have to knowledge that you have a Republican Party that controls the vast majority of states. Governorships and state legislatures has robust majorities in Congress and has done extraordinarily well in those midterm elections. In that sense, with a tribal electorate where people are voting straight party tickets, there isn`t a fall out.

But at the same time when the key issue, the one that motivated Trump and moved him to the top of the ledger that has gotten Cruz distanced from even Marco Rubio, immigration is a reflection of another reality that the demographic changes mean long term enormous headaches for the Republican Party and the attempts to try and moderate that have been cast aside by these anti-establishment candidates.

HAYES: All right. Norm Ornstein, a pleasure. Thank you.


HAYES: Joining me now are Sabrina Siddiqui, political reporter of "The Guardian", and MSNBC political analyst Robert Costa, national political reporter for "The Washington Post".

Robert, here`s the dog that I don`t think has barked yet interestingly enough. You have not seen the Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio or Chris Christie, Chris Christie a little bit, basically say are you guys out of your mind? Obviously, America is not going to elect Ted Cruz president.

Like the idea that electability should be a constraint or a consideration for voters seems entirely absent. And let me give you an example. This is Ted Cruz on the trail today saying something I`m sure the people on the room ate up but would not be eaten up in a general election. Take a listen.


CRUZ: Was Secretary Clinton awake or sleep when four Americans were being murdered? We don`t know to this day. We do know that Hillary told her daughter Chelsea, well, gosh, I knew it was a terrorist attack while we were out telling the American people it wasn`t. I`ll tell you in my house if my daughter, Catherine, the 5-year-old says something she knows to be false, she gets a spanking. Well, in America, the voters have a way of administering a spanking.


HAYES: I mean, am I wrong that electability doesn`t seem to be front of mind for anyone in the Republican side this time around?

ROBERT COSTA, THE WASHINGTON POST: I think your assessment is correct. I was up in New Hampshire for the week and met with a lot of Republican leaders and donors, and they said they would like to make the electability argument and if Trump wasn`t in the race, they`d be making the case against Senator Cruz.

But right now, they`re all in survival mode. They are afraid they may not make it until the later primaries. So, that kind of case against the right of their own party is just not being made.

HAYES: Sabrina, Marco Rubio is an interesting study in this respect, right, because all the energy and the sunlight and metaphor is over here. Rubio has done that as well, despite the fact that was a period his political handlers thought positioning him as a moderate was the smart thing to do.

SABRINA SIDDIQUI, THE GUARDIAN: Right. And actually, I`d say this primary, they`re actually trumpeting the fact that he`s not a moderate, they really emphasize his conservative credentials and ratings from pro- life groups. What he as a candidate is trying to tow the line is on this deep rooted anger among supporters of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz because he still need them in order to be the nominee. You see his stump speech evolve from this sunny, optimistic message to more of this apocalyptic, you know, appeal on national security where he talks more so in the past week in New Hampshire about how America`s in decline. Almost dare I say, about how we need to make America great again.

HAYES: Right.

Robert, what are the arguments for the people that are occupying that court of establishment traffic jam, as it`s been called, particularly in New Hampshire with Christie and Kasich and Jeb Bush and to a certain degree Rubio, what are the arguments they are trying to make? What sells?

COSTA: There are two divergent paths right now within the Republican Party. If you`re an establishment candidate you`re grappling with a primary electorate that is animated and enthused about trade and immigration issues, and Trump and Cruz are approaching the economic situation for the working class by going after trade and immigration.

You look at Rubio, I was with him on trail. He talks about a child tax credit. He talks about vocational education. He doesn`t use the harsh language on immigration or trade that Trump and Cruz have employed.

I think you also see the Republican Party right now is shifting radically to the right in terms of its tone and its message. But on policy, it`s a mess on Social Security and Medicare. This is a total contrast to what the GOP did in 2012. They`re not really running against curbing benefits. They are running on a new tone, and as Sabrina said, it`s really an apocalyptic message.

SIDDIQUI: Actually, we`ll see that even Marco Rubio who was not talking a lot about immigration outside of his personal story as a son of immigrants, in the past couple of weeks, he`s actually brought immigration into his stump speech to frame it as a national security issue. He`s in New Hampshire talking about how the debate before about what do you do with the people already here illegally. It`s still about that.

But at this point we have to view it as who is trying to come into this country who might be capable of harming us. Talking about it more from the perspective of ISIS and the potential that they night infiltrate the country. You do actually see him adopting that hard line. That`s something that`s more recent on his part.

So, it`s a reflection about how his campaign sees that as a potential liability and having to get out in front of the attacks he`s receiving from people like Ted Cruz.

HAYES: Robert, new FOX News national poll is Trump at 35 percent and Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio at 13. I mean, looking like what we have seen. Ben Carson still at 10 percent. He`s out polling sitting governors, et cetera.

The question I have is this, right? I mean, you can imagine a scenario, I think there`s been an assumption that the Cruz shtick won`t work in New Hampshire, that he`s essentially written off, that he`s going hard for Iowa and New Hampshire, it will be Trump and a bunch of other people and it will sort of resume.

But I do wonder how much momentum is going to factor in the early states. How much people are looking around to kind of back the winner or how much that`s not figuring in voters minds.

COSTA: You look at the new poll, Cruz and Trump are pretty close together. I think the margin of victory in Iowa if Cruz wins will really matter for his momentum going into New Hampshire. I think there`s a forgotten element of Cruz this New Hampshire. The liberty vote, Ron Paul finished second in 2012 in New Hampshire.

Those libertarians have not been moving toward Senator Paul. So, where are they going go? If Cruz can get the liberty bloc, along with the evangelical and Tea Party bloc, that puts him in prime position in New Hampshire, perhaps to even eclipse an establishment person should Trump win there.

HAYES: I had forgotten that Ron Paul came in second in 2012.

COSTA: People forget.

SIDDIQUI: Yes, but I think one of the points of Ted Cruz is you have to think about his position on issues like surveillance, on military intervention. He`s tried to bring in that middle line where he`s recognized we`re not just at a point of neo-conservatism where that`s where the Republican electorate is. He recognizes that people want maybe something someone between Marco Rubio and between Rand Paul. That`s a space he`s occupied. And Rand Paul, I think, to his detriment, did not try and occupy that space earlier in the primary.

HAYES: It`s a fascinating space, because what Republican voters seem to want is, absolutely, the most apocalyptic rhetoric about declining, fear, invasion and terror, combined with real skepticism about actual American intervention, right? And that`s what Cruz has managed to pull off, though, it doesn`t really coherent to an actual foreign policy, I would editorialize.

Sabrina Siddiqui and Robert Costa, thank you both very much.

Still ahead, why Governor Paul LaPage held a press conference to insist he is not racist.

Plus, the massive fossil fuel leak in California that cause a state of emergency and thousands of evacuations and later, why Hillary Clinton wants to remind you that the Supreme Court is at stake in the 2016 election. Those stories and more ahead.


HAYES: For Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the hits just keep on coming. The teachers union in Chicago, which has 27,000 members, voted overwhelmingly yesterday to call for Mayor Emanuel and Cook County prosecutor Anita Alvarez to resign, in the wake of the ongoing controversies over police shootings and the allegations of a cover up.

The union has had a rocky relationship with the mayor`s administration, dating back to a very, very hard fought 2012 strike. It`s currently locked in negotiations with the city school board over new contract. After weeks of protests, mounting calls for him to step down.

A recall bill that`s being considered by Illinois lawmakers is out another loud voice to the movement demanding Mayor Emanuel to call it quits.



LEPAGE: I don`t know if you`ve seen the movie "Rocky". But one of the movies of "Rocky", he makes up -- he has a quote in there, and I`ll just rephrase it.

Yous don`t like me, and I don`t like you.


HAYES: Maine Governor Paul LePage kicking off a colorful press conference to defend himself after comments he made at a town hall Wednesday night went viral. That night, LePage was asked about the heroin epidemic in his state and this is part of his response.


LEPAGE: Now the traffickers, these aren`t people that take drugs. These are named D Money, Smoothie, Shifty, these type of guys that come from Connecticut and New York. They come up here, they sell their heroin and they go back home. Incidentally, half the time, they impregnate a young white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because we have another issue that we`ve got to deal with down the road.


HAYES: Safe to say in 2016 in America, you don`t often hear major politicians expounding on the D-Money`s of the world impregnating white women.

But LePage is known for his, what`s called unvarnished speaking style and over the summer, he endorsed the Republican presidential candidate with similar reputation, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Just last month, LePage campaigned with Christie in New Hampshire, Maine`s next door neighbor and a state crucial to Christie`s prospect.

After LePage`s comments started circulating yesterday, his office released a statement insisting they had nothing to do with race. Quote, "Race is irrelevant."

But someone apparently decided that wasn`t enough, and this morning, LePage stepped in front of the cameras, but it soon became clear he had more to say about the press than about his own remorse.


LEPAGE: I made one slip up. I might have made many slip ups. I was going impromptu and my brain didn`t catch up to my mouth. Instead of saying Maine women, I said white women. And I`m not going to apologize to the Maine women to that, because if you go to Maine, you`ll see we`re at essentially 95 percent white.

Now that I have you here, I was to say this to you. Get your heads out of the sand, please. Help us. Help us.

My passion and my desire is to rid ourselves of domestic violence and get drug dealers off the street. These are the type of things that while you people look for the sound bite, like Rachel Maddow who for years who have been after me, and one of my favorite reporters is Robin Meade because I wake up to her because I like watching forensic files and in the morning, that`s what`s on.

The point is, you`re not helping us with the drug deals. You`re not helping us to make it a really major issue. Am I perfect? No. Do I want to be perfect? No. If I was perfect, I`d be a reporter.

I`m sorry. I`m not like you guys. I`m not polished speaker, but I have a heart. I have a heart for Maine and for Maine people. I made a mistake and I`m not perfect, but I will not stop correcting myself and bringing the issue at hand -- drugs, drugs, and more drugs.


HAYES: Joining me now, MSNBC national correspondent Joy Reid.

Well, there was no ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES shout-out in that speech. I`m trying not to take it personally. Congratulations, Robin Meade.

So, this is someone who just give a little context for people that may sort of think about Paul LePage, I mean, this guy`s been doing this now for a second term.

JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Exactly. He is one of the walking-talking consequences of Democrats failure to show up in 2010 because now across the political spectrum including our friend Rachel Maddow, who got that shoutout, she`s been talking at one of the governors in trouble, Rick Snyder in Michigan, there was this whole set of Tea Party governors who came into office in 2010.

And to put it in context for Paul LePage, he didn`t even get 38 percent of the vote. He won in like a five-way race. There were independents who stayed in. It was a group of people all running. He came out marginally ahead.

It`s sort of analogous in a way to what Donald Trump is doing in the Republican primary, just winning by a little bit but being enough. And then he came in and the first year he was in office, he started off by dissing MLK celebrations and he followed up to say he wouldn`t talk to the NAACP and they could kiss his posterior. He`s gone on and on and on like that and got reelected in 2014.

HAYES: Well, to get to the substance here, Maine has a sort of fascinating situation. In is a state that`s struggling in many ways, extremely high rates of joblessness, very high rates of opioid addictions, tremendously high poverty rate. A state that`s 98 percent white. A set of sort of conditions that often are talked about in the context of inner city pathology, which are among the largely rural citizens of Maine and here you see a governor trying to come up for a theory about how that is the cause of people outside of Maine.

REID: Yes, they have to be coming in from Connecticut and New York New York and bringing it in. Main Maine`s economy has been sluggish for something like a hundred years of stagnation, like some ungodly number, because they`re just hasn`t been an engine. But, of course, in the last 50 years, it`s gone downhill even faster, as a lot of the manufacturing has slipped away. A lot of industrial base.

And you`re seeing this across a lot of place that are early primary states.


REID: If you go to Iowa, if you go to New Hampshire, I was in Keene, New Hampshire, following Hillary Clinton`s campaign around, and we were hearing the same issues, methamphetamine addiction, prescription drug addiction -- this sort of sense of stagnation among the large part of the population that has nothing to do with inner city America.

But the despair is there. The economic rot is there. The drug addiction is there. It`s not coming from these fictional characters who are coming from New York and Connecticut

HAYES: LePage in Maine is also been a really interesting test case because we talk a lot about the way the politics have say, the welfare state or criminal justice is very racialized. They are particularly, in the south, they are in New York, right, you know?

In Maine they`re not that racialized because it is so overwhelmingly white. We have seen LePage pursue the same kind of policies that cut benefits to poor people that we`ve seen in, say, the Deep South.

REID: And we`ve seen in places like New York when we had welfare reform happening here in New York. But, yes, Maine is 1.1 percent African- Americans. So, this is not the place where the big battle is mainly racial. When Paul LePage was elected, his first ideas for how to fix the stagnation in this slow moving state was number one, to put a five-year cap on the provision of welfare benefits or social service benefits to dramatically attempt to cut taxes for the top earners in Maine.

He actually fought the Republican legislature over wanting to gut environmental regulations, essential cancel environmental regulations and roll them back to earlier decades. And so, his policies have been seen as too extreme for the Republican legislature in Maine. But they were all along that same line.

This is a guy who grew up dirt poor. He`s one of 18 children, the oldest of 18, has this really tragic life story. He was homeless for a while, ran away at age 11 and all this story.

But his policies as governor have been to go after the poor in Maine with everything that the government`s got and cut taxes for the richest people in Maine. And again, I will say it again, he got reelected on that platform.

HAYES: All right. Joy Reid, thank you very much.

REID: Thank you.

HAYES: Coming up, a Sanders versus Trump 2016 race. Donald Trump said it would be a dream come true and Bernie`s response is ahead.



BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC ANCHOR: We continue our reporting on developments in the Gulf of Mexico.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our first sight of the video of the dark oil and the lighter natural gas gushing into the water off the coast.


CHRIS HAYES, "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" HOST: 40,000 to 50,000 barrels a day coming out of that hole in the ground which was created by man.

In 2010, millions of Americans watched live pictures of thousands and thousands of gallons of oil gushing the sea floor in the Gulf of Mexico.

But in California right now, as I speak to you tonight, there`s another catastrophic fossil fuel leak that has been going on for months. A leak that environmentalist have been comparing to the BP oil spill and when it`s getting a lot less attention likely because, as we`re showing you right now, you can`t actually see the disaster with a naked eye.

It takes infrared technology to see methane gushing out of a blown out gas well in Southern California at the rate of 110,000 pounds per hour. Now methane is a green house gas and it can be 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide in its greenhouse effect.

Tonight, California is under a state of emergency with the local authorities calling the leak of California`s single biggest contributor of climate change now. This week, Governor Jerry Brown put emergency measures in place as toxic gas continues to gush out into the Los Angeles area with no end in sight.

According to the environmental defense fund, the impact of the leak has already equaled the equivalent to the daily emissions from seven million cars. The FAA has declared a no-fly zone concerned that low-flying planes could ignite the flammable methane gas fumes and thousands of residents from the near by town of Porter Ranch have been evacuated. While two local schools relocated last month.

This week, the company that runs the leaking gas storage well reached an agreement with the state to try and capture and incinerate some of the gas leaking out into surrounding area.

But Southern California Gas Company told us tonight, they can`t stop the actual leak until some time in the next two months. It was recently discovered in the San Fernando Valley in late October. Weeks later, residents were evacuated after complaining of nosebleeds and nausea, dizziness and headaches. Some have now got out of their home for whole month.


SONIA SORFAZIAN, PORTER RANCH RESIDENT: My eyes were burning and it was watering and itching. It was to the point that my vision was getting bad.

CHRISTINA SORFAZIAN, PORTER RANCH RESIDENT: The first week, I had to be crying every single day because it was such a hard experience on me.


HAYES: Southern California Gas Company claims there are no long-term health effects from the leak. That has not stopped residents in home owner from calling on the company to shutdown the facility entirely. The company says they are working around the clock drilling relief wells try and plug the leak.

But until then, the residents of California must live with nearly 8,000 tons of methane pouring into the air every single day.

Keep this in mind, the next time you hear about just how safe and clean natural gas is.



DONALD TRUMP, (R) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Oh, would I love to run against Bernie. I would love. I would. That would be a dream come true.


HAYES: The Donald Trump show came to Bernie Sanders backyard last night in Burlington, Vermont. Trump telling the crowd gathered at the Flynn Center, they`d love of Trump-Sander`s face off in a general election.

And today, Sanders told his supporters in the statement the feeling is mutual. "Donald Trump and I finally agree on something. He wants to run against me. I want to run against him. It would be an extraordinary campaign and I`m confident I would win."

Last night, in case you missed it, we had a front row seat for the whole Trump in Vermont spectacle broadcasting live from the Vermont Pub and Brewery and capped off the day spent in Burlington where we met people waiting in line for hours and hours to see Trump in the flesh.

We also met people working just 163 steps away from the site of Trump rally at the Bernie Sanders Campaign headquarters.

One of the people we talked to there isn`t directly affiliated with the campaign but he is organizing a groundbreaking effort for Sanders online. Aden King is the co-founder of something called, "The Sanders for President" subreddit. A group created on a website Reddit, which is one of the most influential online communities.

Aidan King`s subreddit, as it`s called, for Sanders has been incredibly effective and wildly popular serving as place where community members could fundraise and engage in discussions and share content.


We will do an interview of Bernie Sanders and we`ll put online and it just get monster track click, are you the person that I have to thank for that?


HAYES: You wanted to say yes but you also wanted to be humble.

KING: Right, we -- there`s a lot of promotion going on. And, Bernie articles, Bernie interviews, whether he`s live on air, we`re sending those links all over the place.

HAYES: And its -- the Bernie Sanders subreddit is really, my understanding, very active thread, right?

KING: Yeah. We`ve got about 145,000 people, on any given day we have between 2,000 and 5,000 active members. You know, we`ve raised nearly a million dollars, we`re at 750,000.

HAYES: Just from that?

KING: Just from that page.

HAYES: Why, you know, I sometimes think I associate the Politics of Reddit with the politics different than the politics of Bernie Sanders. Like, there`s been a lot of controversies around, you know, harassment or misogyny or things like this on the website.

KING: Yeah.

HAYES: It`s literally million of people so you can`t generalize. But, why do you think you found a home there for him?

KING: Well, I always say, we`re not a typical subreddit.

HAYES: Right.

KING: We`re not the same as other groups. We`re kind of -- we have a mission. We`re trying to get Bernie Sanders elected president. And, no other subreddit on the entire website can say that. And, for a lot of people shared the discussion forum they just want to talk about the topic that they like. We really -- we have a goal. We`re trying to be an activist in whatever way we can.


HAYES: Now, there`s one thing and probably the only thing that Sanders and Trump, it is passionate supporters. I went inside the Flynn Center ahead of Trump`s speech and we talked with some of his fans.


HAYES: What are the issues that you are most fired up? What do you want to see most from a Trump Administration?

MICHAEL HART, TRUMP SUPPORTER: The security, immigration, taxes.

HAYES: Yeah.

HART: They`re just giving too much stuff away to the country and I got grand kids. And I`m just scared for the future.

HAYES: Yeah. How much do you think other candidates might be able to address that? Is it sort of Trump and then everyone else or there other people your thinking about?

HART: Trump doesn`t owe nobody nothing.

HAYES: Yeah.

HART: He does that, he is for us. He ain`t somebody`s back pocket. So he can just tell it like it is.

HAYES: What did you like that he said? What are the thing he sort of feel like, is it in the next to have...

ERIC GRAY, CONSIDERING VOTING FOR TRUMP: Well, being from Vermont, you know, gun control is something big. So, I like his stance on that. I like his business sense and I think after several years of stagnant economy it`s time for changes.

HAYES: Do you think Trump can survive not winning? If he doesn`t win in Iowa and loses in New Hampshire, can he keep that going?

TONY ANDERSON, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Iowa means nothing in the big spectrum.


ANDERSON: Once New Hampshire starts then South Carolina and they said it will be over by Super Tuesday.

RONALD BOUCHER, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I do think Trump calculates everything he says before he says it. Even though it may not seem like that.

HAYES: And you like that about him?

BOUCHER: I do. Because he can...

HAYES: Do you think he`s cagey?

BOUCHER: Not cagey. No, I think he talks like as if I was talking to a friend of mine at work. In talking back and forth freely without worrying about what else someone else is going to say or think. You know, I`ve been a builder for 40 years almost. And, you know, guys on a construction job, we say jokes, say different things. Say opinions and ideas and we don`t worry about what other people are going to think or what we say after that. In other words, when we`re in private conversations you don`t worry about political correctness.

HAYES: Right.

BOUCHER: And I think that`s what he does in a public sense.

HAYES: What do you think about Barack Obama? What you got with Barack Obama?

BOUCHER: He`s my president but just not my choice. And I don`t agree with his thinking at all. You know, but I...

HAYES: You don`t that he was born in Kenya?

BOUCHER: No, no, no. That`s, you know, that`s foolish, really.

HAYES: Coming up, as Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton make their closing arguments for their electability, we take a look whether electability even matter anymore. That`s ahead.


HAYES: Tonight there are growing calls from activist for the arrest of the Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder over the amount of lead in the City of Flint`s drinking water. The problems begun after emergency managers appointed by the Republican Governor switched the city`s water supply in the Flint River in 2014. Last year, a study found that lead levels in local children doubled since the switch to dangerously high levels.

Tonight according to NBC News, "Six months before Michigan`s Governor declared state of emergency over high lead levels in the water in Flint. His top aide wrote in an e-mail that worried residents were, "basically getting blown off by us." No National News outlet has been covering this story as it unfolded better at the Rachel Maddow Show. And then we back at it tonight with the special look at how you can actually help the residence of Flint through this crisis. You definitely want to stay tuned for that.



BILL CLINTON, FRM. U.S. PRESIDENT: We need to recognize something that has received almost no attention in this election, which is that in all probability the next president of the United States will make between one and three appointments to the United States Supreme Court. And I know who I want...


HAYES: That`s Bill Clinton stomping solo for his wife this week in New Hampshire. The first time his campaign cycle reminding supporters the prospect of changes in Supreme Court might be one of the most important and enduring outcomes of this presidential election. Of course the subtext of that argument is that Democrats have to think about winning above all else.

The former President obviously thinks his wife has the best chance to win. Which is something Hillary herself reaffirm in an op-ed today in the Boston Globe, writing, "As president, and a former lawyer and law professor, I`ll appoint justices who will protect the constitutional principles of liberty and equality for all."

"In a single term, conservative justices could undermine virtually every pillar of the progressive movement. Imagine what they will do in the future if the court becomes even more conservative."

And if Democrats need a reminder of those days from Monday, Supreme Court will hear a case that could essentially do for the entire nation what Scott Walker did in Wisconsin, which is, in an election year, gut the only part of the labor movement that continues to thrive. That`s public sector unions.

The case, Friedrichs versus California Teachers Association who have a lawyer argue that 10 California teachers are unconstitutionally being forced to support unions. Now the thing is, in a general election, voters don`t generally have one thing to think about. Who is going to be best for the job? But in primary like were going through now a candidate`s electability or at least perceived electability also plays a major role. You want someone that can win.

And it appears the Clinton campaign is beginning to lean on that argument. I want to talk about whether electability matters as much as it used to after the break.



STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: In a national campaign you go with the most electable candidates.

Well, what is electable mean?

It means the candidate who possesses electability. Which is, the ability to get elected.

Oh, so wouldn`t that be the one who got the most votes?

No. It`s the candidate who people are most likely to vote for.

So, the candidate who people most agree with on the most important issues?

No. It`s the candidate who knows the most important is electability.


HAYES: The Steven Colbert there a few years back debating the value of electabilty. Joining me now and take about more this, Michelle Goldberg, she`s a columnist of, and John Nichols, Writer for the "Nation Magazine".

Let me start -- I think -- do we have that -- the Sanders sound from earlier today? Just to be clear, right? Bernie Sanders is very clearly making an electability argument also. He`s not ignoring this. His supporters are making it. Here is Sanders earlier today making that argument.


BERNIE SANDERS, (D) U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My opponent Secretary Clinton has basically raised an issue in recent days. And what she has said is well, you know, you may like Bernie Sanders or not but he`s not electable. You`re going to vote for Hillary Clinton if you want to prevent the Republican from getting the White House.

So let me respond to that in this way, in three ways actually. Number one, the last national poll that I saw, it was done by a group called Quinnipiac, which is a fairly very reliable pollster, had us defeating Donald Trump by 13 points, almost double of what Hillary Clinton was defeating him by.


HAYES: John, are you buying the Bernie Sanders as a genuinely electable candidate argument?

JOHN NICHOLS, THE NATION: Sure. I would buy that Bernie Sanders, Martin O`Malley and Hillary Clinton, all can make a case that they`re electable in this election cycle.

And one of the things to understand, Chris, is that the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama have changed politics a lot. We have a lot of political players who still seemed to imagine that there`s a whole bunch of swing voters out there.

HAYES: Right.

NICHOLS: That`s not the reality. The reality of our politics today is, can you excite your base to come to the polls on Election Day? And I think dynamic candidates can make the case that they`re electable even if they tend to be a little bit against the establishment and a little bit on the outside.

HAYES: So I`ve heard this, Michelle, I`ve heard this argument on the right as well. It`s sort of prepares itself for the possibility of Ted Cruz, who I, personally would think of being an electoral disaster for them.

But basically saying, look, we`re not -- we don`t live in an era -- I mean, look -- you look at the `64, this is the Goldwater, right? This is LBJ- Goldwater, I mean, massive blowout, right? 1984, also, massive blowout, right? This is Mondale and Reagan. But basically, we live in a world, as John was saying where swing voters don`t really exist anymore. Partisan polarization is so intense that people are just going to vote for the nominee. So these concerns about electability are a little outdated.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, STATE.COM: I think -- I mean I think it`s certainly true that we live in an era of partisan polarization. But, you can`t simply say that they are going to elect whoever the Democrats put forward. So let`s put forward the person who`s closes to our own views, right? There were states that Barack Obama won in 2008 and lost in 2012.

It`s just -- it`s not a lock, and also, I don`t think it`s automatically a lock, although the Bernie supporters are incredibly enthusiastic. I don`t think you can assume that he has a lock on the base of the Democrat Party. I mean, it`s the base the Democratic Party, the core the Democratic electorate is women of color. And they are supporting Hillary in all the polls that I`ve shown...

HAYES: Right.

GOLDBERG: ... by far larger margins.

And so -- and I do think that although there aren`t any kind of significant number of swing voters anymore, there are people who are persuadable, one way or the other. I think there are probably people who would vote for John Kasich but won`t vote for Ted Cruz. And I think there are people who would vote for Hillary Clinton but wouldn`t vote for Bernie Sanders.

HAYES: John, one of the things, I think, you know, we should say that Bernie Sanders is pulling up by 13 points in the latest Fox News poll, New Hampshire. He`s close in Iowa. So this is really, really one click, 100 percent race right now. Just -- let`s be clear on where this stands. And it`s also getting much more intense.

This was really interesting to me. Hillary Clinton called in the hardball tonight to attack Bernie Sanders on his record on guns. Take a listen.


HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it`s important for Democrats to know that 10 years ago, gun safety advocates wanted to make gun makers and sellers have to go to court to answer for their reckless disregards of human live. So the NRA (inaudible) has said, no one sends to a gun maker or a gun seller and called it the most significant piece of program legislation in 20 years.

And when it matters, Senator Sanders voted with the gun lobby and I voted against the gun lobby. Maybe it`s time for Senator Sanders to stand up and say, I got this one wrong.


HAYES: Two things about this, John. One, the fact that Hillary is doing this show that she thinks politics is on her side. Two, she does, I mean, this strikes me as a fair hit. I mean, this is a clean hit. This is on a -- a matter of public record, on policy, on a vote.

NICHOLS: Yeah, absolutely. I think you`ve got it right to point out, you know, that you have a difference with another candidate and push him on it and/or push her. You know, Bernie Sanders goes after Hillary Clinton on her vote on Iraq.

These are fair debating points. And what I`d go to here, Chris, is that I think what the Democratic Party desperately needs at this point is a whole bunch more debates.


NICHOLS: And the fact of the matter is, they can debate about electability. It would be great to hear all three of three candidates make the case on why they`re electable in a debate setting.

HAYES: And let me just say, editorialize more debates and debates on weeknights. Please, Michelle Goldberge.

GOLDBERG: You know, and if -- I don`t know if he...


... but Bernie Sanders actually hit back on Hillary Clinton in what is also a fair hit showing this very inflammatory...

NICHOLS: Piece of mail.

GOLDBERG: ... piece of mail that she send out, kind of questioning Barack Obama`s commitment to gun rights.

HAYES: Back in 2008, right.

GOLDBERG: And so, you know, and so the fact that they`re now, kind of going at...

HAYES: They are genuinely going at each other.


GOLDBERG: ... they actually have both have a sense that this has become a real race...

HAYES: And also...

GOLBERGE: ... that`s really in contention.

HAYES: Right. And also, I think, this is the -- this is good. This is -- you know, this is on the substance. This is -- These are some substantive fights. And I hope, this is going to intensify. I think, particularly, if would narrow, as I predict it will. Michelle Goldberge and John Nichols, thank you both. That is all in for this evening.

"The Rachel Maddow Show" starts right now.