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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 1/29/2016

Guests: Nick Confessore, Katie Packer, Michelle Goldberg, Charlie Pierce, Ayanna Pressley, Nina Turner

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: January 29, 2016 Guest: Nick Confessore, Katie Packer, Michelle Goldberg, Charlie Pierce, Ayanna Pressley, Nina Turner


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

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I kind of miss Donald Trump. I wish he was here.

HAYES: After a Trumpless debate, the GOP front-runner tests out a new line.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ted Cruz is an anchor baby in Canada.

HAYES: Why Ted Cruz is switching his attacks to Marco Rubio.

Then, just in time for the caucuses, the e-mail issue is back for Hillary Clinton.

JOHN KIRBY, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: These documents were not marked classified at the time that they were sent.

HAYES: And Bernie Sanders battles his opponent and the Washington establishment.


HAYES: Plus, what the Iowa ad blitz feels like.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not only is the news stories about the candidate, the commercials --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The commercials about the candidates.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


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

And there is one big question at the heart of the Republican race for president. Did Donald Trump cause the dynamic of the Republican Party or is he simply an effect of that dynamic? And last night with Trump boycotting the FOX News debate, we got to test that question. In fact, it was what many GOP gatekeepers have been yearning for, a field without the Donald -- which we were told would engage in a serious policy debate on the issues facing the country.

And it is true. There were fewer unscripted moments, fewer insults hurled across the stage. Without Trump, what the candidates actually talked about wasn`t really that different. The serious policy debate didn`t go much further than hitting applause lines and bashing Hillary Clinton.


SEN. BEN CARSON(R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, we need to stop allowing political correctness to dictate our policies because it`s going to kill us if we don`t.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When I`m president, unlike, Barack Obama, we`ll keep this country safe.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will apologize to nobody for the vigorousness with which I will fight terrorism.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She put American strategy at risk for her convenience. Let me tell you who is not qualified to be president of the United States, Chris -- Hillary Rodham Clinton did that to our country. She is not qualified to be president of the United States.


HAYES: On jobs and the economy, the candidates still had little to offer by way of an agenda to address the electorate`s anxiety, even though that issue is far and away, the one identified as most important by Iowa Republicans. At the same time, the very issue that Donald Trump has been maximally exploiting that his in some senses fueled his rise was the one that sucked up the most oxygen on debate stage, immigration. It`s, of course, the one policy area where the two leading candidates without Trump, the ones at the debate, have real record and FOX didn`t let them forget it.


RUBIO: You cannot grant amnesty. The American people see as grand amnesty, they will never again believe in legal immigration. They will never again support it. And that`s wrong for our country, bad for our future.

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS MODERATOR: Within two years of getting elected, you were co-sponsoring legislation to create a path to citizenship, in your words amnesty. Haven`t you already proven that you cannot be trusted on this issue?

RUBIO: No, because if you look at quote, and it`s very specific, and it says blanket amnesty. I do not support blanket amnesty. I do not support amnesty.

CRUZ: I don`t want immigration reform to fail. I want immigration reform to pass. I believe if this amendment were to pass, the chances of this bill passing into law would increase dramatically.

KELLY: Was that all an act? It was pretty convincing.

CRUZ: You know, the amendment you`re talking about is one sentence. It`s 38 words. Anyone can go online at and read exactly what it said. In those 38 words, it said anyone here illegally is permanently ineligible for citizenship. It didn`t say a word about legalization. I introduce --

KELLY: But the bill allowed both. The bill you were amending allowed citizenship and legalization.

CRUZ: But, Megyn, the bill was a thousands pages. I introduced a series of amendments each designed to fix problems in the bill. The fact the each amendment didn`t fix every problem didn`t mean that I supported the rest of the bill.


HAYES: Now, that exchange is widely seen as an especially tough one for Cruz who at one point tried to turn things around on the moderators, which is a favorite tactic though not quite as successful this time around.


CRUZ: Chris, I would note that the last four questions have been Rand, please attack Ted. Marco, please attack Ted. Chris, please attack Ted. Jeb, please attack Ted.


CRUZ: Let me just say this --


CRUZ: No, a debate is a policy issue. But I will say this, gosh, if you guys ask one more mean question, I may have to leave the stage.


HAYES: Compare that reception, the reception that got last night to what happened to the CNBC debate in October when Cruz almost identically attacked his host.


CRUZ: This is not a cage match. You look at the questions. Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do math? John Kasich, will you attack two people over here? Marco Rubio, why don`t you resign? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen?

How about talking about the substantive issues people care about?


HAYES: Today, "The Des Moines Register" which has endorsed Rubio issued a damming verdict on Cruz`s performance. On the front page, "Rough Night for Cruz."

"The New York Times" reported today the Cruz campaign is shifting all its negatives ads in Iowa from Donald Trump to Marco Rubio over all the final three days until the caucuses, suggesting they may be worried about a third place finish on Monday night.

If nothing else, a bad night for his closest rival meant a relatively good night for Donald Trump who says, I`m emphasizing says, he raised $6 million for, quote, "the vets". At this alternate event in Des Moines, though, there`s pretty much no way for us know if that`s actually true. A lot of it went through his own foundation.

And even though he wasn`t actually at the debate, Trump still managed to dominate the conversation online. As this animation from Google shows, he was the most searched candidate during the entire broadcast.

Campaigning in New Hampshire, Trump couldn`t resist sticking the knife into Cruz who has already suffered in the polls since Trump started talking about Cruz`s Canadian birthplace.

Today, the Republican frontrunner took it one step further.


TRUMP: Ted Cruz may not be a U.S. citizen, but he`s an anchor baby. He`s an anchor baby. Ted Cruz is an anchor baby in Canada.


HAYES: I`m joined now by Katie Packer. She`s former deputy campaign manager for the Romney campaign and founder of anti-Trump super PAC.

Katie, last night in some ways was a glimpse into a counter-factual world, an alternate campaign that could have been. And oddly, I guess, I`m curious what you thought of it, because in some ways, it didn`t actually strike me as that different.

KATIE PACKER, FOUNDER, OUR PRINCIPLES PAC: Well, if the one thing that was different is there wasn`t a lot of the conversation that just surrounds Trump personality. Trump insults, the brash sort of unfiltered things that Donald Trump is very comfortable throwing around and then candidates have to respond to them whether he said them on the stage or not.

And so, having that out of the dialogue, I did think it was sort of refreshing in that you got to hear from some of these other candidates. I think all of the candidates had pretty good nights last night with the exception of Cruz who did seem sort of off of his game after his exchange with Chris Wallace and not having Trump there as a foil.

But I thought that all the other candidates, actually, had pretty decent nights.

HAYES: Were you struck by how identical his spiel was to CNBC as it was to FOX in this sort of question of bias and unfairness in the eye of the beholder, right? Because it got huge applause in CNBC. He literally tried to trout out the same line last night and it just got resoundingly booed.

PACKER: Yes. I think some of that is a reflection of the audience that you have, and, also, when you do it the first time, it seems like sort of an interesting shot. The second time it looks a bit staged.

HAYES: The thing that truck me about last night, I thought the playing of the video on immigration -- immigration played a fascinating role until this election. It played a fascinating role with the candidate whose campaign you were work for in 2012 in which he was successfully able to wield that issue and get to the right of famously Rick Perry on the DREAM Act in the state of Texas. I think there`s an argument that his position in the primary hurt him in the general election.

Both Cruz and Rubio had to answer for their role in that Schumer bill, the comprehensive immigration reform. how can you watch last night and not come away with the message, never try to do any legislating ever if you`re a Republican member of the Senate minority, because you`re just going to get crucified for it?

PACKER: Absolutely. I mean, that`s a big problem with sort of the revolutionary type campaigns, because everybody is railing against the establishment. The minute you win, you`re part of the establishment.

The interesting thing is this issue has tripped up Donald Trump. You know, he announced and made very bold statements about getting rid of all immigrants, calling them horrible names, saying we`re going to put wall up, no exceptions, and two weeks later we put an add out yesterday that has him on record saying he`s for a path to citizenship. So, he`s very, you know, flip-floppy on that issue and we don`t really know where he stands.

HAYES: He talks about path to citizenship. I saw that ad which I thought was excellent.

PACKER: Thank you.

HAYES: But let me ask you this, doesn`t that ad end up philosophically planting the flag in essentially the anti-immigration campaign. Doesn`t it park your party, your movement, the center right of this country, in that kind of anti-immigrant space when you`re trying to get to Donald Trump`s right?

PACKER: No, not at all. I mean, we`re not trying to get to Donald Trump`s right. We`re trying to make the point that even if you`re one of those sort of minority of the Republican party for whom that`s the most important issue, you know, our message to them is you can`t even trust him on this issue.

He flip-flops. He`s taken every position on every issue. You don`t flow where he will be a year from now. So, you better play close attention.

HAYES: All right. Katie Packer, thank you very much.

PACKER: Thank you.

HAYES: Joining me now Michelle Goldberg, columnist for "Slate", Charlie Pierce, writer at large for "Esquire Magazine".

Michelle, you were there at Trump event. You were doing some reporting in Iowa. What did you find on the ground?

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, SLATE: You find that the Trump people are -- they are obviously incredibly committed but they are people in many cases haven`t voted in caucuses before or some of them told me they hasn`t caucused since Reagan or caucused two or three times in the last 30 years. Whereas the Cruz people are part of the conservative movement, you know, they are part of -- tie into the tea party or Christian right organization. They come out every four years.

Trump is basically replacing all the institutions or attempting to replace all the constitutions of the Republican primary process with his own celebrity, you know? He does away with -- he undermines the debates and whole style of campaigning. He doesn`t do the small meet and greats. He only does these huge spectacles where you can`t get close to him.

And we`re also going to see if he can kind of do away with a ground game, and, you know, if you can replace that with just celebrity and social media and charisma.

HAYES: Charlie, you`re there right now if I`m not mistaken and I was just hearing from a reporter who said they went by one of the field offices for Trump. It`s quiet as a church. There`s no one there.

You know, it`s fascinating from a removed perspective. The first run of the experiment will be Monday. Can this be transferred into votes?

CHARLIE PIERCE, ESQUIRE MAGAZINE: Yes, it`s interesting. I couldn`t get away from Michelle out here. She was at a Cruz rally that I was at the night before. We`re both at Trump rally last night.

And the two audiences are fascinatingly different. The Cruz people, as Michelle said, they`re true believers. I mean, we had a murderers row up there. We had Rick Perry, Louie Gohmert, Tony Perkin, Steve King, I mean, this was the 27 Yankees of, you know, wing nut philosophy. And then the Trump event was pretty much a show.

HAYES: He brought out, at the Trump event, he brought out extremely wealthy New York developers who have a ice skating rink in Prospect Park named after them, LeFrak, and talked about how good their real estate deals are. It`s like, what planet are we on?

PIERCE: That was only part of this endless list of plutocrats.

GOLDBERG: He brought out YouTube stars.

PIERCE: (INAUDIBLE) last night who gave him money. It must have gone on for 15 minutes. Yes, as Michelle said, this is politics of not giving a damn.

This is the politics of being so rich and so free that you don`t have to care about convention.

GOLDBERG: One of the things that`s fascinating is talking to the Christian right, the people who used to represent the populous insurgency of the party who are actually flummoxed by this.

HAYES: By the Trump phenomenon.

GOLDBERG: By the Trump phenomenon. I mean, at this point, the leaders of the Christian right, with a couple of exceptions, Jerry Falwell, Jr., had lined up against Trump and in many cases are coalescing behind Cruz. It`s almost like bubbles popped and they snapped out of it and doing this desperate last-ditch effort to derail a Trump victory. People said to me, people in the pro-life movement, I don`t understand what they are so mad about.

HAYES: Wow. That`s fascinating.

GOLDBERG: It sounded like the establishment Republicans gazing at their own majority.

HAYES: You`re talking about the people looked down upon by the actual Washington establishment.

GOLDBERG: Yes. But they are a counter establishment now. They settled into a counter establishment.

HAYES: Institutions, they have power, they fundraising, they networks, there`s capital --

GOLDBERG: And these Trump people are very loosely, if at all, tied into any of that. So, when you talk about Trump`s deviation from orthodoxy, they`re not orthodoxy.

HAYES: Right. So, then, Charlie my question to you is, I`m not asking for prediction, but my sense of this, I have not been out day after day on the trail. So, it`s at or removed is that, you know, it still seems plausible that when we count the votes, this thing turns out to have been a phenomenon that doesn`t transfer into votes.

PIERCE: Well, I think certainly in Iowa that`s a possibility because of the nature of how the voting is done. That`s going to be the most interesting thing to watch on Monday is whether or not these people, who are lining up, you know, for three hours to see the show, will show up at the middle school with their plate of brownies and actually vote for this guy.

The great thing about the Republican caucus is they are a lot easier to understand, and the process is a lot simpler than the Democratic process. So, you`ll know pretty early on on Monday whether or not this was a mirage or not.

HAYES: That is just fascinating.

If you had to say what your gut sense after talking to people, you think there`s real support there and people will come out?

GOLDBERG: I think so, but at the same time I also would -- I think nobody knows.

HAYES: But your gut sense, Charlie?

PIERCE: My gut sense was that Cruz`s organization and his strength among conservative Christians was going to be enough to throw him over the finish line a point or two ahead of whoever was in second place and that`s Trump.

Now, I`m less sure that Cruz will even finish second. He`s leaking air.

I mean, the most charming thing I found out here is the Christian conservatives who have found themselves following Donald Trump and don`t really quite know why. They just started following the guy and they started liking his positions, and it`s almost like they realized that most of their political philosophy that they have developed over 15 or 20 years really doesn`t have anything to do with religion. It has to do everything with politics. They like what this incredibly profane thrice married guy is thinking and saying.

HAYES: Well, my -- I`ve been watching Jessica Jones on Netflix. The villain in that has this bizarre mind power control seems like the best metaphor that`s been happening to certain parts of the electorate.

Michelle Goldberg, Charlie Pierce, thank you both.

Still to come, the resurgence of Hillary`s e-mail server. What the news means to her campaign?

Plus, can Marco close the gap in Iowa? Tonight, we`ll dissect Rubio`s path to victory.

And later, what it`s like to be the most sought after vote. We`ll look at Iowa and the people trapped in peak campaign saturation.

Those stories and more, ahead.


HAYES: As we may have already mentioned, the Iowa caucuses are on Monday. Now, you know that. It`s an important day because it will begin the process of picking the next leader of the free world. And for us, it`s deadline, because we must get some ALL IN content before it becomes completely defunct dated. Like our ongoing book review by "Guardian" columnist Jeb Lund of the candidates.

The latest installment, Rick Santorum`s book. You think anyone is going to care about that on Tuesday? No, they`re not. So, here it is.

And just one more note: one of the indications a candidate may not feel too confident about their chances is appearing at the front-runner`s campaign function.


JEB LUND, THE GUARDIAN: Do Republicans really care less about the person at the bottom of the ladder than Democrats do? To be painfully honest, I would have to say in some ways, yes.

Every poll in the last 30 years shows that roughly twice as many people identify themselves as conservative as identify themselves as liberal. So, why is our country moving to the left? The same reason an undermanned, underfunded collection of colonists defeated the British Empire in the American Revolution. But note, not the Atlantic Ocean and the French Navy.

Because they were willing to give their lives and honor for the cause. In short, the left wants it more than we do.

This isn`t something peculiar to this book. In fact, it`s pretty much common in all conservative campaign books. But the left that exists in it, those people didn`t get stomped in 2010 and 2014. In fact, they really seem to have their stuff together.

Santorum wants to be a populist, but his criticisms never really join up with policy. Tax cuts won`t have the same effect under Reagan but he still wants them. Consumption tax disproportionately hurts the poor, but he still want a fair tax.

He`s not in favor of free trade but he doesn`t want any tariffs. And, of course, he does want to rebuild a infrastructure but a government would have to do that with tax money.

This book is frustrating because Rick Santorum has clearly identified many of the problems facing the working class, but he`s running for president in party that won`t permit most of the solutions. He`s tantalizingly close to starting to wonder if maybe he is the problem. But he`s never going to get there.

Don`t read the book.



HAYES: Right now, the former first family that`s hoping to be the first family is about to hold a rally in Davenport, Iowa. Hillary Clinton will be joined by Bill and Chelsea tonight, making a final push before Monday`s caucuses. They`ll be on the state all weekend.

Now, this rally comes after questions over Clinton`s e-mail server resurfaced once again today, with word that there were at least 22 top secret e-mails on Hillary Clinton`s private server.

However, State Department spokesman John Kirby said, quote, "these documents were not marked classified at the time they were sent". And it`s very unclear if Clinton herself sent or forwarded these messages or just on the receiving end of them.

Now, on Twitter, Clinton`s press secretary criticized the decision to withhold those messages, the 22 messages that are being marked as top secret, saying this is overclassification run amok, we adamantly oppose the complete blocking of the release of these emails.

Now, whether this effects Clinton`s standings where Iowa voters remains to be seen. So far, it hasn`t seemed to play a big role. A new Iowa poll released today has Clinton up eight points over Bernie Sanders, which has to be encouraging for Clinton campaign that has seen this race really tighten.

Meanwhile, the Sanders campaign appears to be upping their criticism of Clinton, releasing an ad that takes aim at her connection to top Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs.


AD NARRATOR: They`re one of the Wall Street banks that triggered the financial meltdown. Goldman Sachs just settled with authorities for their part in the crisis that put seven millions out of work and out of their homes. How does Wall Street get away with it? Millions in campaign contributions and speaking fees.


HAYES: Clinton chief strategist Joel Benenson who we just had on the show earlier this week said yesterday that Sanders running the most negative Democratic primary campaign in history.

Sanders says he`s not going negative but simply drawing a contrast of Clinton on the issues.

Joining me now, Ayanna Pressley, she`s Boston city councilor at large, surrogate for the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Ms. Pressley, it`s wonderful to have you.

Let me ask you this, and I`m not going to ask you as Boston city councilor at large to get into the nitty-gritty of classification. So, let`s just put that aside for a second.

As a Clinton supporter, when a headline like this hits, is there some part in your back of your head that`s like worried about this? Do you lose sleep over this? Do you imagine this unspooling over month and months should she get the nomination?

AYANNA PRESSLEY, HILLARY CLINTON SURROGATE: Chris, not even a little bit. This does not keep me up at night because e-mail is not what`s keeping the American people up at night.

To be frank, voters have moved on from this. We need to move on from this. Funny enough, her opponent said it best, the American people are sick and tired of hearing about her damn e-mails.

What the American people have sleepless nights about are income inequality, joblessness, gun violence. I was with a secretary in Philadelphia several days ago at Mother Bethel AME Church, and those are the issues that are keeping Americans up at night. Secretary Clinton time and time again in a wide range of questions offered real solutions for real problems.

So, no, this doesn`t keep me up at night and I`m not worried in the least.

HAYES: Let me just ask you a question, you just mentioned inequality, which has obviously played a central role in this campaign, something Hillary Clinton has talked about. It`s sort of thematic center of Bernie Sanders campaign.

This new ad from Bernie Sanders, which makes mention of not just the campaign donations but the actual speaking fees that have been paid by firms like Goldman Sachs to Hillary Clinton, is that fair criticism to say this is someone that has received money from these firms. Don`t you think at some level that`s going to have some effect in the relationship she has to them, the way she conceives of them?

PRESSLEY: Well, I`ll tell you what I`m focused on the relationship that Secretary Clinton has with the American people that I saw evidenced in this room with faith leaders from throughout the country three days ago in Mother Bethel AME Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. And I have to say, as an elected official, I`m especially encouraged by Secretary Clinton saying she not only wants to be our president, but she wants to be a partner. That`s what I need.

On the municipal level, we`re faced with some very complex and challenging issues, underperforming schools, affordable housing, gentrification, displacement. So, I`m focused on her relationship with the American people.

HAYES: Right. But let me ask you this, as a municipal leader, as someone who operates in this world yourself, you know there are all sorts of pushes and pulls, all sorts of tradeoffs that politician has to make, and all sorts of sources of power that will come calling and knocking on your door at any given time, whether that`s a group of ministers that want something, whether it`s constituents, or whether it`s a big real estate developer, right? And you`re constantly having to negotiate between those, is it not a legitimate thing to say that the Sanders campaign thinks people should be concerned about the relationship she has with Wall Street when those kinds of tradeoffs will be one of the tradeoffs she may have to face as president?

PRESSLEY: Well, I have to tell you, the best predictor of the future in this instance from a value stand point is what you demonstrated in the past. I believe Secretary Clinton to be a woman of conviction. She`s unflappable. She has a vision for this country. But she has plan to back it up.

You know, let me take a moment to say this. I`m a woman of faith. I`m a progressive and liberal. I want to give you insight into what I saw in that church several days ago. It was clarifying for me.

I`ve been a Clinton supporter from the beginning, but it was really defining moment for me. You know, growing up in church I`ve seen preachers and pastors. Preachers and pastors are both good people. They both have a role to play.

Preachers, you know, they seem to speak right to you, to look right at you. They might get you to clap your hands, to shout. They really get you uplifted and inspired.

But at the end of the day, Chris, when I`m in crisis, I`m looking for a pastor, someone that will offer a steady hand and be a stabilizing force in the midst of the storm. That`s the contrast of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders is a preacher. Hillary Clinton is a pastor and she`s going to lead us. She`s got a vision and a plan for this country.

HAYES: Well, Ms. Pressley, that`s one of the best metaphors I`ve heard in this campaign. The Clinton campaign should have you everywhere giving that. So, that, I`m with you on that.

Thank you very much for joining us tonight.

PRESSLEY: Thank you.

HAYES: All right. Joining me now, Nina Turner, former Ohio state senator who withdrew her support from Hillary Clinton and endorsing Senator Bernie Sanders.

And let me start with us, Nina. Right now, Cornell West, Dr. Cornell West who`s sort of famed history philosophy professor, professor of Africa studies, and also a very sharp critic of President Barack Obama, calling him a global George Zimmerman for the drone program and the havoc that`s wreak.

Right now, he`s campaigning throughout Iowa with Senator Sanders. What does that say to folks who are looking for someone who is going to essentially carry on the mantle and inherit the legacy of President Barack Obama?

FORMER STATE SENATOR NINA TURNER (D), OHIO: I mean, Dr. West supports Senator Sanders and how he feels about the president is a separate issue. So, I`m not going to overlay how Dr. West feels about President Obama with how he feels about senator Sanders.

When I`m traveling the country with both Senator Sanders and Dr. West, folks love Dr. West and the fact he`s standing up and standing with Senator Sanders. So, those two things are different.

HAYES: Do you -- do you think -- are you seeing success in the Sanders campaigns efforts to reach out past the base of supporters they have amassed early on?

TURNER: I am, Chris. I mean, the senator has been in Baltimore. He was in Baltimore with Dr. Jamal Bryant, with a group of ministers that came in from all over the country to sit and have a conversation with Senator Sanders about the concerns in the black community. Not only that Black Lives Matter, but black education matters, black dollars matter, and that was a very, very good and strong conversation

Senator Sanders has been to Chicago.

So, he is a man of the people. And we talk about the difference between a preacher and a pastor. Senator Sanders personifies all of that and he`s standing up for all the people in the country. He has been that one in his twenties working, fighting for equal rights and justice in this country, being a member of CORE, fighting against his own University of Chicago for the segregationist policies.

So, what we need is a leader that can see beyond the future. We cannot -- we cannot go from a nation of yes we can and no we can`t. And that is pretty much what is coming from the other side. Don`t dream big, there`s nothing to see here.

Senator Sanders is saying in his political revolution in the same way that the reverend Dr. Martin Luther King did in his social revolution that we want it all right now, right here and that poor people, struggling people, middle class people in this country deserve better than what they`re getting right now, Chris.

HAYES: Well, let me ask you this. I mean, we want it all right now, which Dr. Martin Luther King`s famous letter from Birmingham Jail was sort of argues against incrementalism, argues against folks taking it slowly. There`s a Washington Post editorial that basically says Sanders is offering fiction to his base. And that`s being circulated by the Clinton campaign. And people could draw their conclusions about that.

But I want to ask you this, we have watched Republicans tell their base over and over, you elect me, I`m going to go to Washington and I`m going to repeal Obama care. And everyone watching knows it`s a con job, everyone watching knows it`s a hustle, everyone watching knows they don`t have the votes to repeal Obamacare, it`s not going to happen.

When Senator Sanders goes around and says I`m going to -- you elect me and I`m going to go to Washington to get universal health care, Medicare for all, how is that different than promise that Ted Cruz was giving his folks that he`s going to repeal Obamacare?

TURN: Well, Chris, it is different because -- let me tell you something, if the congress is controlled by Republicans, both houses of congress, it doesn`t matter what Democrat gets in there in terms of whether the congress is going to work with them or not.

But what we have in Senator Bernie Sanders is that it is not radical idea to say that we should have universal health care in this country.

You know, we watched Republicans burn 26 billion dollars when they shut down this government but yet we have The Washington Post and other folks saying that we don`t have the political will necessary to institute single payer health care.

Some of the strongest programs in this country as we know are the social insurance programs. They said the same thing about Social Security. They said the same thing about Medicare. But that didn`t stop us as a country for pushing for it, Chris.

We cannot continue the status quo in this country. If we continue that, the 13 colonies, we would not be the United States of America today. Black folks wouldn`t be free and women would not have the right to vote.

So, Senator Sanders is going to work very hard to make sure that he continues to push that agenda. And besides that, him winning increasing the tail that can help us elect people in congress who absolutely understand that titles are good, but purpose is better. And Senator Sanders is living that purpose and he will not relent in his efforts to bring this political revolution to our country.

All right, Nina Turner, always a pleasure. Thank you very much.

Coming up, presidential candidate spends so much time and money focusing on the Iowa caucuses, but why. What is so special about Iowa, that`s just ahead.


HAYES: All right. All week I`ve been sitting down with MSNBC host and political correspondent Steve Korancki to look at the path to the victory for candidates in the race.

Tonight, Marco Rubio. The man the establishment would love to see as the GOP nominee, if only they could get voters to play along.


HAYES: There`s a lot of people invested in there being a path to victory for Marco Rubio. I think almost more than any other candidate there`s this certain class of pundits and Republicans who are kind of willing him the way that you do with a child who is trying to do a difficult task. Like trying to make sure what is this path to victory?

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so it`s interesting because Rubio has tried to exist between -- somewhere between sort of the Tea Party base and the establishment, trying to be acceptable to both of them. That`s been a good foruma in the past. It could still potentially work for him.

It starts with is this: he`s got to get Ted Cruz out of way. He`s got to leave room for somebody to emerge and get some of that base excited. So, he needs Cruz to lose in Iowa and then what he needs to do at the same time -- he doesn`t need to come in second himself or first but a strong third place showing for Rubio in Iowa, you know, high teens, somewhere in there. You got the endorsement of the Des Moines Register the other day, not sure how important that is on the Republican side.

But Cruz loses to Trump and Rubio -- people look at his number and say not bad.

HAYES: So, Rubio`s rooting interest here is to cheer on Trump as he clobbers Cruz, hope Trump beats Cruz significantly and he`s not that far behind Cruz coming out of Iowa.

KORNACKI: Absolutely.

So, then you go to New Hampshire. And what you have right now is we keep calling it this establishment lane pile up. Christie and Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio and Kasich. By doing well in Iowa, does that separate Rubio in New Hampshire? Do New Hampshire Republicans look at him and say, OK, of those four we`ve been undecided about, here it is. This is his moment.

Does he then rise up and challenge trump? He doesn`t necessarily have to beat him, but again I`d say a really strong second place at least.

So, you`re coming out of New Hampshire. Maybe Trump wins it, but Rubio is right on his heels.

HAYES: So, you`ve got Cruz has been knocked out, essentially by that Iowa loss, right, he then -- if he sort of hemorrhages support so that Rubio can come in second in New Hampshire, ahead of those three other establishment candidates, then you really are looking at a Rubio-Trump situation into SouthCarolina which is what he needs.

KORNACKI: Which is exactly what he wants. And that`s where that sort of in the middle between the base and the establishment comes in. Because you go to South Carolina. The establishment is going to be pulling real hard for Marco Rubio at that point...

HAYES: And they don`t heap -- they like Marco Rubio in a way that they despise Ted Cruz. So, coming into South Carolina a two person race Trump and Cruz looks very different than a two person race Trump and Rubio.

KORNACKI: Right. And what Rubio is hoping is he can take that establishment and he has enough credibility with that sort of Tea Party base, with what would have been Ted Cruz`s base, which maybe is a little upset with Donald Trump for the way Cruz, in our situation here, loses in Iowa, that he can combine those two things, win in South Carolina, and then put together a national strategy from there.

HAYES; Does he have the money and organization to go deep after that? I mean, that -- we know Trump probably has the money. We think Ted Cruz has the organization and money. Does Rubio?

KORNACKI: Well, the beautiful thing is in that scenario he`s against Trump. And so you`re saying does Trump have the organization either? So no one has the huge advantage automatically there.

HAYES: You understand now why so many people are rooting for Cruz to fail in Iowa when you play this out. That`s Marco Rubio`s path to victory. Steve Kornacki. Thanks a lot.


HAYES: The Iowa caucus attendee has a uniquely powerful and important place in American democracy. You see, every four years, a few hundred thousand, just 100,000 Democrats and Republicans in a nation of over 300 million caucus in Iowa shaping the election from there on out.

But it`s both a process and a population that is deeply and increasingly unrepresentative of America as a whole. For example, the state of Iowa is 87.1 percent white compared to 62.1 percent nationally. Yet the state`s position on the calendar makes the caucus goers of Iowa the most important voters in the nation for a time.

And candidates are willing to spend big to get their support.

As of Tuesday, $70 million has been spent on advertising alone in Iowa. Constant mailers, phone calls, door knocks and commercials all because this tiny unrepresentative subset of voters could hold the fate of the election in their hands.

Two of the voters are Jay and Cheryl Sumerad (ph), a retired couple living in Adal (ph), Iowa. They are registered Republicans and are currently undecided about who they are going to caucus for.

And this week, the Sumerad`s (ph) were kind enough to welcome our own Jacob Soboroff into their home to see what they are up again.


CHERYL SEMERAD: OK, so here`s your mail.

JACOB SOBOROFF, MSNBC: This is ridiculous. So, this is over what weeks and weeks?

UNIENTIFIED MALE: This is yesterday.

SOBOROFF: Come on.

SEMERAD: This is yesterday.

SOBOROFF: Come on.

SEMERAD: And that`s from when Arny (ph), told me to start saving them.

CHERYL SEMERAD: No, seriously. This one is from Marco, Ted Cruz. We got one Huckabee.

SOBOROFF: OK. Jeb versus Donald.

CHERYL SEMERAD; Bernie sent me a letter.

SOBOROFF: There`s Ben Carson.


SOBOROFF: He says.

UNIDENTIFIED FAMEL: Ben with the hands.

SOBOROFF: Like one day do they expect you to get one of these things and be like, oh, this is the one. I`ll vote this way.

CHERYL SEMERAD: This is doing it for me.

SOBOROFF: You guys -- does direct mail like this make a difference to you?


SEMERAD: They just try to keep connecting with people. I think they try everything.

We get a lot of calls. I didn`t answer the last one. I try to answer maybe every other one.

SOBOROFF: If they (inaudible) while we`re here. We`ve got to pick one up.


CHERYL SEMERAD: Yeah. Let`s do it.

SOBOROFF: OK. So this is your local, this is your local NBC affiliate.

CHERYL SEMERAD: This is our local NBC affiliate. Every commercial, I would imagine, is going to be political with maybe the exception of one or two for the whole program.

SOBOROFF: The entire time?

CHERYL SEMERAD: Oh, turn it up.

SEMERAD: There he is.

I didn`t think he was going to get traction, you know, seven months ago, yesh.

CHERYL SEMERAD: Hillary had Jamie Lee Curtis.

SOBOROFF: Yeah, she was in town.

SEMERAD: Was she?

SOBOROFF: Yeah. I think she was in town yesterday or today or something like that.

CHERYL SEMERAD: I would have loved to have seen her.

SOBOROFF: Here we go, we`re getting ready for commercials. Here we go.

TRUMP: I`m Donald Trump and I approve this message.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sounded like you wanted the bill to pass.

CRUZ: Of course, I wanted the bill to pass.

SOBOROFF: To me, he was pretty effective at hitting (inaudible).

CHERYL SEMERAD: Oh my gosh, I mean, have you seen anybody better? And I`ll tell you, coming from a sales and marketing background, in my opinion Donald Trump is the best salesman.

SOBOROFF: Genius marketer right?

CHERYL SEMERAD: Genius marketer.

And says America is broken. America is -- they`re pouring in. I mean, you kind of get this image of rats coming through the house or something.

SEMERAD: He`s going to build that wall and Mexico is going to pay for it.

SOBOROFF: All right, shall we do Hillary.

SEMERAD: Yeah, let`s see their approach.

CLINTON: I want to go to bat for them every single day, get incomes rising, get equal pay for women, cut the costs of health care and child care.

CHERYL SEMERAD: She nailed it all.

ANNOUNCER: Hillary Clinton.

SOBOROFF: She nails it, huh?

CHERYL SEMERAD: In my opinion, she does.

CLINTON: I`m illary Clinton and I approve this message.

SOBOROFF: She has what it takes to get things done, that`s a Hillary Clinton ad paid for by Hillary Clinton.

CHERYL SEMERAD: Paid for by her. She didn`t tear down America. She didn`t tear down Bernie. She didn`t tear down anybody else.

SEMERAD: When you come away, you know what she`s going to do, not how you shouldn`t like the other guy.

ANNOUNCER: Marco Rubio ran for Senate saying he opposed amnesty, then he broke his promise, joining with liberal Democrats to co-author the path to citizenship bill.

CHERYL SEMERAD: I guess Jeb you know has been going after Marco from the beginning maybe because they`re both from Florida and they saw themselves as being similar.

But Marco`s getting it left and right.

SANDERS: One tenth of one percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMAE: This is where he taps into anger.

SOBOROFF: Is that good or bad?

CHERYL SEMERAD: It doesn`t move me, but it moves a lot of people.

Well, at least Bernie, you know, will show you what it Would be to be a socialist. You know, he will show you...

SOBOROFF: It`s funny, it almost sounds like you guys are being independents leaning Republican kind like the Democratic ads and the merits of them being ads more.

SEMERAD: I like that.

CHERYL SEMERAD: They are lot more issue oriented.

SEMERAD: Because I found at this go around, the Republicans have been spending more time...

CHERYL SEMERAD: Tearing each other apart and tearing the Democrats apart than presenting their own message.

SOBOROFF: So in just in the ad game, you think -- I mean, is it fair to say you guys think the Democrats are winning in terms of actually just deploying advertising?

CHERYL SEMERAD: Hands down. And maybe that`s the angle she`s going for.

SOBOROFF: Maybe it`s the campaign calling.

CHERYL SEMERAD: Yes, it is. It`s for you.

SOBOROFF: Put it on speaker. Put it on speaker.

SEMERAD: Hello, this is jay.

SANTORUM: It`s a live, toll free telephone tall hall meeting with me Rick Santorum.

SEMERAD: Rich Santorum.

CHERYL SEMERAD: Yeah, I got one of those on the answering machine. It`s like, you know, town halls, you know and these guys are doing the town halls and he just...

SOBOROFF: Does it drive you nuts? Does it drive you nuts?


SEMERAD: I mean, a little bit.

CHERYL SEMERAD: We expect it. It`s Iowa.


HAYES: All right, still to come, a look at how different we thought this field would be heading into the caucus.


HAYES: Tonight is a very, very special anniversary here at All In. Why are we celebrating? Well, here`s a hint. We`re remember a time when this guy was pegged as a lightly front-runner Republican n the field. We`ll relive the past and reflect on how far we haven`t come, straight ahead.


HAYES: It has been exactly one year to the day when we held our frankly pretty epic All In fantasy candidate draft show when five panelists drafted potential presidential candidates and we discussed those candidates` chances.

I think it`s fair to say we predicted everything that would happen with 100 percent accuracy starting with our decision to make Donald Trump a whammy pick instead of an actual candidate.


HAYES: You`ve got a lot of people thinking this is a consensus front- runner.

Scott Walker right now -- I`d like to say, we`re having a Scott Walker moment in this country.

Big money. Help him out. What have we got.


ANNOUNCER: I`m, I`m terribly sorry, you`ve got Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not sure that even the angry right is ready for an exceptionally rude president.

HAYES: Who is the most unvalued candidate on this board?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would say it`s Scott Walker.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I still think it`s Santorum.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re going to laugh, but Mitt Romney.

HAYES; Yes. I totally agree.


HAYES: Nailed it.

Now, a presidential election is basically like a therapy session for the body politic. You learn a lot as you talk through your issues. So what has America learned about itself over the course of this utterly crazy campaign season? That`s next.


HAYES: Joining me now to discuss what we`ve learned from the presidential campaign so far is Nick Confessore, political reporter for The New York Times who is in Des Moines, Iowa ahead of Monday`s caucuses.

Nick, what have we learned?

NICK, CONFESSORE THE NEW YORK TIMES: All right, Chris. the first thing I`ve learned is that evangelical voters are much less fussy about the personal beliefs of the candidate. Donald Trump is a playboy. He`s been divorced. He probably can`t quote a single line from the bible. But what he is for these voters is somebody who will stand up for them and protect them. He`s a bodyguard for their beliefs and that is enough for many of them. So, that`s one big thing that I`ve learned that that surprised me.

HAYES: That, I agree. That has been shocking to me. Although, one thing I would temper that is we will see on Monday. I still think it remains this nontrivial chance, no likely, but a nontrival chance that this doesn`t actually pan out at the ballot box.

What else have you learned?

CONFESSORE: All right, the second thing I think I`ve learned is that the GOP elite has really misread their own party. Somewhere in the last ten years, the GOP elite, the Wall Street Journal edit page, members of congress, lobbyists decided that the average working class American cares as much about the tax cuts for the rich as they do. And they told themselves this for a long time. And it turns out, it`s not true that working class white Republicans are actually totally fine with tax hikes on the rich. They don`t hate the rich, but they are comfortable with it. And they see it and the rich as part of the problem in terms of the influence and crony capitalism in their own party and in Washington.

So, there is a class war in the GOP that was not apparent until Trump.

HAYES: And not just access for the rich. I would say deficits. One of the things, the rallying cries that everyone got behind, both the elites and the base was deficits. And that`s because for the base the deficits I think played a symbolic role about decline, about -- you know what I mean? And for the elites, it actually was, we`re afraid we`re going to get taxed us ultimately to pay for this. We would not like to thank...

CONFESSORE: To pay for entitlements.

HAYES: That`s right, exactly. It was purely pecuniary. What`s the last thing you`ve learned?

CONFESSORE: And finally, the third thing is to look at both Trump and Bernie Sanders talking the same way on trade to see that there are trade unions who have endorsed Hillary Clinton but whose members prefer either Trump or Sanders tells me about how important this issue is as a live rail in politics and as a reflection of the insecurity that working Americans feel. I think it`s very powerful. It`s one big reason he`s doing well.

HAYES: I could sit here and I could give you a five minute monologue on the positive indicators, all the amazing things this administration has done in the recovery from the great recession, and they are all true -- 14 million jobs created, unemployment dropping, deficit. The fact of the matter is for 30 years the middle class and the working class in this country has been hammered and they`ve hammered in this recession -- in the recovery from this recession. And the level of alienation and frustration and rage that that has generated is a powder keg that has to be addressed through the political process.

Nick Confessore, thank you very much.

CONFESSORE: See you, Chris. Thanks.

HAYES: That is All In for this evening.