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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 2/3/2016

Guests: Tad Devine, Joel Benenson, Dave Weigel, Jennifer Horn, Grant Bosse

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: February 3, 2016 Guest: Tad Devine, Joel Benenson, Dave Weigel, Jennifer Horn, Grant Bosse


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

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If it`s about our records, hey, I`m going to win by a landslide on Tuesday.

HAYES: Clinton and Sanders trade jabs ahead of their first ever one-on-one debate tomorrow.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There`s nothing wrong with people who are moderates. Some of my best friends are moderates.

HAYES: The attack Clinton is calling a low blow. And what the Sanders campaign says is insulting.

Then --

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is no surprise that Donald is throwing yet another temper tantrum, or if you like, yet another Trumper tantrum.

HAYES: Will Donald Trump actually sue Ted Cruz?

HOST: Will you file a formal complaint?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I probably will, yes. No, what he did is unthinkable.

HAYES: Plus, we`ll look at the recently departed --

SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Today, I will suspend my campaign for the presidency.

HAYES: -- and those desperately trying to stay in the race.

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To get back in the business of creating a more peaceful world. Please clap.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from Manchester, New Hampshire. We are in the heart of it. I am Chris Hayes.

And the once fairly polite contest for the Democratic nomination is now an all-out high-stakes brawl, a tone of attacks today between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders getting very, very heated. That comes on the eve of, what, 24 hours from now will be the very first head-to-head debate of the entire 2016 cycle, moderated by my colleagues Rachel Maddow and Chuck Todd, not far from here at the University of New Hampshire.

And as the two Democratic candidates prepare to face off for the first time since the Iowa caucuses, and since Martin O`Malley suspended his campaign, a fiery back and forth has broken out over who deserves to be called the real progressive in the race.

While Clinton is still the favorite to win the nomination, after her narrow victory in Iowa, New Hampshire looks like Sanders` game to lose at this point. He`s ahead by more than 17 points in the "Real Clear Politics" polling average, led every poll in the granite state for the last month. It`s a sign of the shifting power dynamics in the race.

But today, the Sanders campaign finally got something it`s been pleading for, for once -- more official debates added to the schedule, after Clinton seeking to make up her New Hampshire deficit agreed to tomorrow night`s debate. Sanders refused to commit until further matchups were scheduled late in the spring, an indication his campaign plans to keep fighting until the end of primary season.

Today, after resisting pressure for months, the DNC approved three additional debates after tomorrow night`s here in New Hampshire, including one next month in Flint, Michigan, the site of the lead poisoning crisis.

At a press conference this evening, Sanders said there`s still room to negotiate further.


SANDERS: They still do not want a debate in New York City and that`s hard for me to understand. I`m proud and delighted to debate in Vermont any time the secretary would like to do that. But I don`t know why she doesn`t want to debate in the state that she represented. In any case, I will be there tomorrow night.


HAYES: In the homestretch lead-up to Tuesday`s primary, Hillary Clinton is now attempting a difficult dance, managing expectations for her performance while simultaneously conveying how much she needs New Hampshire.

It`s a state, of course, that holds special significance for both Clintons. The site of Bill Clinton`s surprise second-place finish in 1992, and of Hillary Clinton`s upset of Barack Obama in 2008 after finishing third in Iowa.

While Sanders didn`t have any public campaign events on his schedule today, by this hour, Clinton has already attended three different get out the vote events if three locations around the state. Starting last night according to "BuzzFeed", at least 150 staffers from Clinton campaign headquarters in Brooklyn are making the five-hour drive up to New Hampshire to lend a hand.

At the same time, Clinton has been arguing the deck in New Hampshire is stacked against her and in favor of her opponent.


CLINTON: A lot of political pundits have been opining, as political pundits do, that I should have just skipped coming to New Hampshire. Their argument is, look, you`re behind here. I am. You`re in your opponent`s backyard. New Hampshire always favors neighbors, which I think is neighborly.

And, you know, maybe you should have just moved on to some of these other states where everybody says you`ve got big leads and all of that. I have to tell you, I just could not ever skip New Hampshire.


HAYES: You know the race is heating up when the Sanders campaign puts out a statement rebutting Clinton`s spin, quote, "The people of New Hampshire will go to the polls Tuesday and vote for the candidate they will believe fight for them. To repeatedly suggest otherwise is an insult to voters in the Granite State."

But the latest back and forth between the campaigns is over the newly popular progressive label on whether Hillary Clinton has earned it. It all started with a question to Bernie Sanders yesterday from MSNBC`s own Kasie Hunt.


KASIE HUNT, MSNBC POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hillary Clinton has called herself a progressive with a plan. Do you think Hillary Clinton is a progressive?

SANDERS: Some days, yes, except when she announces that she is a proud moderate. Then I guess she`s not a progressive.


HAYES: Sanders were referring to remarks Clinton made at a campaign event in September, part of her argument for being able to get things done.


CLINTON: You know, I get accused of being kind of moderate and center, I plead guilty. I think sometimes it`s important when you`re in the elected arena, you try to figure out how do you bring people together to get something done?


HAYES: Today, speaking at a campaign stop in southern New Hampshire, Clinton sounded a bit defensive about Sanders` comments about her own record.


CLINTON: I was a little disappointed, to be honest, yesterday. It was kind of a low blow when Senator Sanders said in response to a question, well, you know, maybe she`s a progressive on, you know, some days. I think it was a good day for progressives when I helped to get 8 million kids health care under the Children`s Health Insurance Program.


HAYES: After unleashing a tweet storm this afternoon about what it means to be progressive, Sanders told reporters he stands by what he says.


SANDERS: There`s nothing wrong with people who are moderates. Some of my best friends are moderates. But you -- you can`t go around saying I`m a progressive and then say, you know, I`m accused of being a moderate and I plead guilty.


HAYES: I`m joined now by Tad Devine, senior adviser to the Sanders campaign.

And, Tad, in the words of Will Ferrell in "Anchorman" that really escalated quickly today. Things seemed to go zero to 60.

Was this a strategic choice or did you guys get caught up in what felt like a Twitter fight between two people as opposed to two people running for president?

TAD DEVINE, SENIOR ADVISOR TO BERNIE SANDERS CAMPAIGN: Well, Chris, the Clinton campaign and Hillary Clinton want to have a fight of who`s the most progressive, I suppose, you know, we`ll be happy to discuss that for the next few days. I mean, she said, as your clip just showed, that she pleads guilty to being moderate in center, and now, she`s telling everybody she`s very progressive.

I mean, sure, we can have a back and forth on that but the truth is what Bernie Sanders wants to talk about is the thing he`s been talking about since the beginning of this campaign, the economy of America is rigged. It`s sending almost all the new wealth to the top. It`s held in place by a corrupt system of campaign finance.

So, if we can just talk about that every day, we`ll be very happy.

HAYES: Let me ask you this. Bernie Sanders` official account today said you can be a moderate or progressive, you can`t be both. He also talked about the progressives he knows oppose TPP, the big trade deal, Trans Pacific Partnership.

DEVINE: Right.

HAYES: Is Barack Obama, in your campaign`s view, in the center`s view, is Barack Obama a moderate or a progressive?

DEVINE: Listen, I think what the president has done is a great example of progressive leadership. When he came into office this country was hemorrhaging jobs, 800,000 jobs a month. We were engaged in two wars, by the way, both he -- and the Iraq war in particular -- that both he and Bernie Sanders opposed. OK?

And, you know, so I would say President Obama has absolutely attempted to assert progressive leadership, but we`ve got to put it in the context of the circumstances that he found himself when he came in office. The truth is that the next president can build on the record of achievement of President Obama and Vice President Biden who took us from the depths of a second Great Depression and has put the economy on the right course.

The question is, do we want bold, progressive leadership that`s ready to take on the challenges of our time, ready to fulfill the unfinished agenda of Franklin Roosevelt? That`s what Bernie Sanders is prosing to do and that`s the kind of leadership he`ll provide.

HAYES: But your campaign today engaged in this sort of definitional fight which I think is an interesting one and worthwhile one.


HAYES: Basically saying you can be one or the other.

Some of the things that you are saying about Hillary Clinton that make her not a progressive, whether it`s supporting the Wall Street bailout, or supporting regime change in Libya or the Trans Pacific Partnership, those are also all positions the president shares as well. Is that a problem for you to be essentially criticizing the president as well?

DEVINE: You know, we`re not running against President Obama. We`re running against Hillary Clinton.

And Hillary Clinton one day wants to say she`s a moderate and a centrist and then the next day wants to say she`s a progressive. I guess it depends whether she`s in Ohio or she`s in New Hampshire.

I mean, the truth is, you know, that`s where our campaign is focused about Hillary Clinton, about her positions on issues. For example, if you want to be a progressive, you should be in favor of breaking up the big banks. OK? That is a progressive economic position.

If you want to be a progressive, you should be like President Obama and Bernie Sanders opposed to the death penalty. OK? That`s a progressive position.

So, listen, our fight is with Hillary Clinton. And if she wants to have a fight over who`s progressive and who`s not, we`re happy to have it.

HAYES: Tad, I don`t think President Obama is opposed to the death penalty.

DEVINE: OK. Well, you know, well Bernie Sanders is, and Hillary Clinton supports --

HAYES: I know.

DEVINE: -- the death penalty. There`s a big difference there.

And, listen, if you can look at their records, going back now, she wants to take a look at a long record of Bernie Sanders and all the things he has supported in the course of his career, I think you will find it`s a remarkable progressive agenda, you know, that he has supported progressive policies since the time he was the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, and certainly pursued him in the course of his service in 25 years in the House of Representatives and also in the United States Senate.

So, you know, that contrast is there, but for Hillary to say that one day, she`s a moderate and centrist, the next day, she`s a progressive -- I mean, I think that shows real inconsistency and it also shows that she`s willing to say basically anything to anybody to win their support.

HAYES: All right. Tad Devine, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

DEVINE: Thank you.

HAYES: Joining me now, Joel Benenson, chief strategist and pollster for the Clinton campaign here in Manchester.

So, I am -- I am actually bewildered by this, because it doesn`t seem to me the kind of argument the Clinton campaign wants to get into as is who is to the left of whom with Bernie Sanders. Is that really the fight you want to have?

JOEL BENENSON, CLINTON CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST & POLLSTER: Well, I think this is about integrity, frankly, and I think Bernie Sanders wants to act as if he`s the judge of integrity among progressives.

You know, it`s pretty interesting. I heard Tad talk about inconsistencies. They`re being quite inconsistent right now. He`s saying they`re running to build on the progress President Obama`s made. That was a different song than Sanders f was singing in 2011 when he called the president weak, a disappointed to millions of people, hadn`t stood up to the right week and urged people to run in a primary against him.

HAYES: Wait, this is my favorite thing about this.


HAYES: Let me -- this gets to the definitional point. In the graphic today tweeted today about things that may not make Bernie Sanders progressive, one is them is call for President Obama to be primaried, right?


HAYES: Well, but this gets to the definitional issue. Like, clearly, he wanted to primary him from the left.

BENENSON: But here`s the bigger point.

HAYES: Right? He didn`t want a primary from the right.

BENENSON: The bigger point -- well, first of all, that may be true. The bigger point is, the issues that he wants to decide are progressive, he doesn`t get to decide that. If you look at Bernie Sanders as well, you know, you can stand here after listening to Tad, you can stand here and say, well, look, on the days that Bernie Sanders voted five times against the Brady Bill, that wasn`t very progressive. When he voted against Ted Kennedy`s immigration bill, that certainly wasn`t very progressive.

I think there`s a host of things like that when he voted to give gun immunity to gun manufacturers from liability, that`s not very progressive.

So, the point here is he`s making an attack on secretaries Clinton, Secretary Clinton`s progressive values and her consistency in being a progressive fighter on behalf of people and making a difference. And that`s what she`s done --

HAYES: Do you think there`s not tension saying I`m a moderate, I`m a centrist, I`m a progressive, because if you can be all of those things at once, what do those words mean?

BENENSON: Well, first of all --

HAYES: Right?

BENENSON: I think the points here, the labels, what they jumped on is a question she answered in a debate very specifically. What Secretary Clinton said at that point, I`m a progressive who likes to get things done. She said to get things done sometimes you don`t get your way.

Maybe Senator Sanders hasn`t noticed that. It`s been pretty tough on President Obama. You have to work with moderates, you have to work with conservatives.

HAYES: Sure.

BENENSON: She did that, by the way, to reform the foster care system with Tom DeLay, one of the most conservative Republicans during a terrible period in the --

HAYES: Right. And Bernie Sanders would say he worked with John McCain on passing the V.A. bill, right? I mean, anyone in Congress worked across the aisle. My question to you is --

BENENSON: That`s not true.

HAYES: Anyone on the Democratic side --

BENENSON: Secretary Clinton`s done it a lot more than most and a lot more than most Democrats, too.

HAYES: Here`s the question. I mean, would you say that Secretary Hillary Clinton, her politics, her views, her ideology to the world view is to the left of Bernie Sanders?

BENENSON: I would say she`s a progressive. I don`t have to be to the left of Bernie Sanders to be a progressive. He`s not the litmus test for who a progressive is. Let`s be clear about that.

HAYES: I just want to make sure on what we`re talking about.

BENENSON: Just like they attack President Obama for not being a progressive.

HAYES: Right.

BENENSON: You know, he`s promoting a book now that talks about buyer`s remorse and his consultant stood up and said they`re running on building on his record. I mean, come on.

If they want to make it about consistency and progressive values, Hillary Clinton over 40 years has done one progressive thing after another.

HAYES: But she has also done things that liberals have not liked, right? I mean, voting for the Iraq war, for instance. Was that a progressive -- I mean, to say -- to say on some days, the way you voted for the Iraq war is not a very progressive day?

BENENSON: I don`t think decisions on foreign policy is where progressives come in. If Bernie Sanders wants a debate about foreign policy, and who`s got a better view of the world right now in commander in chief, we`ll have that debate. He`s been completely wrong on what he`s laid out on how to fight ISIS. Every foreign policy experts, ten put out a letter in fact, saying what he would do would create more chaos in the region. You know, that`s a question of judgment.

Hillary Clinton has the judgment. That`s why Barack Obama picked her to be his secretary of state. And, you know, we`ll run on those issues against them all day long. He doesn`t want to talk about foreign policy in this debate.

So, you want to use that --

HAYES: He does here.

BENENSON: Yes, he does. He wants to use a vote on a foreign policy question, 15 years ago, 12 years ago, whatever the number was, that`s his prerogative.

But let`s have an honest debate about the issues, and which one of these two people is going to stand up for making a differences in their lives because of their progressive values?

I`m glad that Tad just praised President Obama, and if you want to go back to what President Obama said about Hillary Clinton just recently in an article in one of the -- I think it was in "Politico," right, she is the person who knows how to take a progressive values and put them to work for people and get things done.

HAYES: Here`s my question to you. The closing argument in Iowa, which was this ad you guys, we don`t have time to sort of deal with the stuff in theory, right, on things that are never going to happen.

When you`re talking about Hillary Clinton`s college plan, which I`ve read, right, which is not free universal tuition free, it`s structured a little digit differently and Bernie Sanders, right, which is free tuition. Neither of those are happening with the Republican House.

So, who are kidding? I mean, if the argument is we don`t have the free tuition one, we have the more structured one, we just saw seven years of what the Republicans did to Barack Obama. You think either of those are going to pass the Republican House?

BENENSON: I think if one of those bills has a chance, it`s Hillary Clinton`s, because what it does is it calls on everybody to do their part. Students who get the break --

HAYES: If you honestly think you could see Republicans saying to President Hillary Clinton we`re going to work with you on this higher ed bill?

BENENSON: Of course I can. If she gets elected president which I believe she will, right, the Republicans are going to have to come to terms with the fact that what they`ve been opposing and standing against the interests of working men and women and the fight she`s making on their behalf, they`re going to have to move somewhere in the center here to make up some ground or continue losing some of these elections.

HAYES: That`s the first time I`ve heard the theory articulated expressly and I think it`s an interesting one, important one.

Joel, it`s great to have you here.

BENENSON: Great to be here, Chris. Thank you.

HAYES: All right. Still to come, a lot of show. Donald Trump accuses Ted Cruz of stealing the Iowa caucuses. It`s getting good over there.

Plus, President Obama checks off another first during his last year in office. Where he went this afternoon and what he said.

And later, the post-Iowa exodus continues. Republican candidates, as more drop from the race. The recently departed, ahead here from New Hampshire when we come back.



HAYES: There`s not a part of you that thinks to yourself, that there`s something sort of profound and urgent about electing a woman president?

SYLVIA GAYLE, BERNIE SANDERS SUPPORTER: I can wait for that. Just any woman will not do. I`m waiting for the woman that I actually believe will bring forward all of our values equally together.


HAYES: That was part of my conversation with the Bernie Sanders supporter right here in New Hampshire.

Coming up, I sit down with three registered Democrats in the Granite State, one for Sanders, one for Clinton and one still making up his mind. That`s just ahead.


HAYES: Donald Trump is not here in New Hampshire tonight. He is holding a rally in Little Rock, Arkansas.

While Trump was surprisingly gracious in the very immediate aftermath in his loss to Ted Cruz in the Iowa caucuses, it has not taken long for the Donald to revert to form, today unleashing a string of harsh, one might even say unhinged, attacks on the man who defeated him two nights ago.


TRUMP: He really lies. I mean, I don`t like to use that term, but he really lies, and I now know why there`s not one U.S. senator that`s supporting him. He works with these people. And why everybody considers him to be not a very nice person. What he did to Ben Carson was a disgrace.


HAYES: Trump spent the day, Cruz for allegedly stealing the Iowa caucuses arguing the state of Iowa should disqualify Cruz over voter fraud and suggesting he plans to file a formal complaint.


HOST: Will you file a formal complaint? You said that everybody is, but have you or will you?

TRUMP: Well, I probably will, yes. No, what he did is unthinkable. He said the man has just left the race and he said it during the caucus.


HAYES: Trump cited a controversial mailer from the Cruz campaign that appeared to be an official document accusing Iowans of, quote, "voting violation", as well as the Cruz campaign as you just heard falsely indicating on caucus night that Ben Carson was dropping out of the race and that Carson supporters should caucus for Cruz. That is something Cruz has apologized for.


DR. BEN CARSON (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It`s clear that there were people who tried to take advantage of a situation, who tried to distort information. There`s no question about that.


HAYES: Campaigning in New Hampshire today, Cruz dismissed Trump`s complaints as sour grapes.


CRUZ: I think it is no surprise that Donald is throwing yet another temper tantrum or if you like, yet another Trumper tantrum. It seems his reaction to everything is to throw a fit, to engage in insults, and I understand that Donald finds it very hard to lose. That he finds that very difficult for him. But at the end of the day, the Iowa people spoke.


HAYES: Joining me now, NBC News correspondent Katy Tur who has been covering the Trump campaign this season, Sam Stein, senior politics editor at "The Huffington Post."

So, Trump came out, everyone was like, oh, that was gracious. That was sort of surprisingly muted. And then we saw, he went on a Twitter drag last night.

KATY TUR, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: This is what he does, though. He`s gracious one night, he goes on the attack the next day. We`ve seen him be nice, seen him be mean. He goes up and down. He`s unpredictable in that way -- he`s actually predictable because he goes up and down.

I think that Donald Trump doesn`t like to lose. He took his personally. He`s angry at Ted Cruz. He`s angry at how Ted Cruz won and he`s going to try to manipulate the system, the situation to benefit him by spinning the headlines.

HAYES: Do you not think -- so the question about this, like, there`s all this, like, obviously everyone`s enjoying this. A lot of people are enjoying this because --

TUR: It`s entertaining.

HAYES: It`s entertaining. And also because, you know, he built this brand as a winner, then he lost, people are calling him a sore loser.

Is this strategic or is he just ticked off?

TUR: I don`t think this is strategic at all. I think the campaign -- I think he really thought he was going to win Iowa. I think, you know, when I talked to sources on the ground from his campaign in Iowa, they said they really didn`t have the support from the national office, didn`t have the money, didn`t have enough people, couldn`t go up against Ted Cruz.

There are people out there who are thinking that they really pushed in the last couple weeks in Iowa, because of that they didn`t come in third. I mean, they were maybe at risk of coming in third there. So, I think there was a real wake-up call and I think he`s trying to figure out how it went wrong and the best way that Donald Trump knows how to do that at this moment is by being in the attack mode. He doesn`t have a second act.

HAYES: So, here`s, Sam, if you were to describe the way that this kind of pundit class and the media have, and the political professionals have interpreted Donald Trump --


HAYES: Yes, well, you. I`m an outsider. I`m not an establishment candidate.

That basically it`s gone from wildly undervaluing to wildly overvaluing his chances I think.

STEIN: I think that`s right.

HAYES: There`s no way, there`s no way, it`s beat Trump, then a few weeks ago it was like the guy is going to get the nominee, no question. I think it swung back where people think they`re watching the death spiral now but I don`t buy that.

STEIN: I agree with you. I think there is the undervalue/overvalue. I think part of it is we are really obsessed as a media enterprise with polling numbers and polling numbers in a primary can be wildly inconsistent. 2008 New Hampshire is great example of that, where we just assumed Obama was going to win the state based off the Iowa results, and, of course, we had the great Clinton surprise.

One thing that`s interesting about Trump right now, you know him better than anyone, I just think he must realize that that loss is an existential threat to his brand. His brand was, is winning. He`s a winner. For him to be humiliated in that respect that he didn`t come in first, he obviously didn`t put in the resources because they`re traceable. He did not spend that much money. It must be in his estimation a real threat to what he`s trying to project.

And so, that`s why I think he`s lashing out in this way because he has to reclaim that aura of I`m the big guy, I`m the center of the stage.

TUR: Needs to spin the headline.

HAYES: Right. You also -- you had a great picture the other day of them passing out, Trump people passing out essentially flyers to come walk and talk, do ground canvassing for Donald Trump, something this campaign has not done at all.

STEIN: I got an e-mail today. They`re organizing in Washington, D.C., which is very strange. I hadn`t seen that e-mail. But the Trump campaign is now soliciting organizers in Washington, D.C.

TUR: Listen, Donald Trump`s campaign manager is from New Hampshire. He is a New Hampshire operative. He worked for AFP up here. He, as I`m told by people who know him up here, was very good at stirring up anger and getting people to vote out of anger. That`s what he has done with this campaign.

HAYES: Right.

TUR: What they said he hasn`t been so good at, what they don`t think he really knows how to do, maybe they`ll prove everybody wrong with this next week, is the ground game. That it hasn`t been as consistent here.

I spoke with one GOP person who said that they didn`t see any evidence of the ground game from the Trump campaign until this month. And in fact, those flyers I saw yesterday, that`s the first time I`ve seen them hand that out.

And so, they say they have thousands of calls made to volunteers, they say thousands of doors have been knocked on, they say they have seven phone banks right now with volunteers doing that. They say there are people coming in from Missouri, from Connecticut, all coming in to help get out the word for Donald Trump. But we haven`t seen that.

HAYES: Right.


TUR: -- because the campaign won`t let us see it.

HAYES: So, here`s my prediction is there is no way we get through this campaign without Donald Trump suing Ted Cruz. I`m serious. And yesterday, particularly all this stuff he`s been talking about how Ted Cruz is not actually a natural-born citizen. Trump now has cause, he has injury, right? I mean --

STEIN: The standing question.

HAYES: The standing question, like, we are going to see Donald Trump sue Ted Cruz at some point if he`s losing, don`t you agree?

TUR: I don`t know.

HAYES: You don`t think so?

TUR: I don`t know. I don`t think so.


HAYES: I`m not making predictions about where (INAUDIBLE) but I am predicting that.

STEIN: I will avoid that question. I`m going to pose a question to you. I heard this from Jacob Weisberg (ph) about why Trump may have done poorly in Iowa, could do well in New Hampshire. In caucus setting, you have to announce who you support.

HAYES: Well, that`s actually little misleading.

TUR: No, no --

HAYES: On the Democratic side, yes or no.

On the Republican side, it`s a secret ballot. That said, it`s a very public environment. Right? So there`s this real question about, are people -- there`s a question about are people telling pollsters they`re voting for Donald Trump and they`re not showing up or --

STEIN: The reverse.

HAYES: The reverse, people don`t actually want to tell people. That is going to all play out on Tuesday and we are flying blind. We have no idea --

TUR: He`s up by 24 points here.

HAYES: Yes, that means nothing.

STEIN: If only Donald Trump knew a billionaire who could give a lot of money to his campaign and actually the ground work.

HAYES: Push him over the edge.

Katy Tur and Sam Stein, thank you both.

TUR: Thanks.

STEIN: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: Coming up, establishment candidates or so-called establishment candidates are getting desperate as they try to claw their way to third or better. We will look at the scrum ahead.


HAYES: We`re live from Manchester, New Hampshire, just hours away from the first head-to-head debate of the entire 2016 presidential cycle. It`s amazing to think about that. We have not had a one-on-one debate, but tomorrow night right here on MSNBC, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will face off for the first time since Monday`s nailbiter of a caucus in Iowa.

So what do Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire want to hear from the candidates? Earlier I spoke with three of them -- Clay Lasher, a survivor of gun violence, and is supporting Hillary Clinton, Monica Johnson, an 18-year-old student who is backing Bernie Sanders, while Dan Weeks who runs a non- profit watchdog group focused own money in politics is at this point still undecided.

The four of us sat down at Murphy`s Diner right here in Manchester to discuss the battle for the heads and hearts of the Democratic primary voters.


CLAY LASHER, GUN VIOLENCE SUPPORTER: I think one of the great things that`s happening in this campaign is that we have two Democrats that except for a few things really complement each other. I feel like I have to be very pragmatic right now and I believe that when we look at Citizens United being overturned, when we look at climate change, when we look at student loans and we look at all these things that we really have to work on, I believe in my heart in being pragmatic and who can, who`s been actually tenacious her whole career, and so I just think I need to bring that up.

I mean, she gets it done.

HAYES: Let me ask you this. So there`s two arguments that people tend to be making right now about pragmatism, right. So, one of them is about the toolset that Hillary Clinton has.

LASHER: Right.

HAYES: Right, that she`s very pragmatic, she can operate the machinery of governance. That`s one set of argument about pragmatism, right.

LASHER: Right, it is.

HAYES: Like she knows where to find compromise, how to work with people across differences.

The other pragmatism which personally I think is sort of more compelling because it`s just who`s going to win, right? I mean, those are different.

LASHER: Right. They`re very different.

HAYES: Let me ask you this. Do you think -- do you think a 74-year-old Democratic Socialist is going to be elected president of the United States?

MONICA JOHNSON, STUDENT: I obviously would love him to be. I think there`s a good chance. I really do. I feel like he`s definitely resonating with people especially the youth, hence, myself.

But I know a lot of, like, my friends and a lot of people who going into this election thought that Hillary was just going to sweep the floor and I feel like Bernie`s definitely, like, making a name for himself.

HAYES: You honestly believe, you believe the United States of America, you can imagine a day on January 20th, 2017, when Bernard Sanders takes the oath of the bible?

JOHNSON: Again, yes.

DAN WEEKS, UNDECIDED: He is creating that political revolution that he talks about. And that excites me a lot as a democracy guy who wants to see high school kids excited about voting for the first time. And so, you know, I hope this continues, I really do. I want -- we need a political revolution where we`re going get the billionaires out in terms of the dominance of our politics by big money.

I hope that they will both kind of compete for the leadership of that, you know, taking that mantle to get the big money out and they`re great on paper. I hope they`ll show that passion in their rhetoric in this primary.

HAYES: Clay, Monica, Dan, thank you very much, really appreciate it.

LASHER: thank you very much.




JEB BUSH, 2016 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think the next president needs to be a lot quieter but send a signal that we`re prepared to act in the national security interests of this country, to get back in the business of creating a more peaceful world.

Please clap.


HAYES: That was Jeb Bush politely imploring for applause here in Manchester, New Hampshire, today. He is one of four candidates with the general approval from the Republican Party elites and the donor class who include Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, and John Kasich, all of whom all need a third-place finish or better in New Hampshire. Of course, that`s mathematically impossible for all of them to do so which makes for an interesting dynamic, each of them trying to finish ahead of the other three.

Today, Bush took out a full-page ad in New Hampshire Union Leader with an open letter from eight of the last 10 Republicans speakers of the Florida House saying that Bush is a better choice for president, not the former Florida speaker Senator Marco Rubio.

Governor Chris Christie has continued his attacks on Rubio, portraying him as a lightweight.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY: The way he`s been treated so far on the campaign trail by his own staff kind of reminds me of the boy in the bubble. You know, he never answers questions. He never holds gaggles. He`s very controlled. And the boy in the bubble has got to get out of the bubble if you want to be president of the United States.


HAYES: Today, Rubio was asked about attacks from Bush and Christie. He brushed them off, refused to hit back.

He did, however, chose to take a shot at the Cruz campaign for telling voters ahead of the Iowa caucus that Ben Carson was dropping out.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO, (R) FLORIDA: Obviously we`ve all seen the reports of the rumors they spread about Ben Carson and we know those weren`t accurate. And I thought it was unfair to Ben.

And, you know, ultimately I think it goes back to what I said before, and that is a willingness to say or do anything, in this case spread a false rumor about Ben Carson.


HAYES: As for John Kasich, well, he`s taking the politically pacifist approach.


GOV. JOHN KASICH, (R) OHIO: I don`t -- not going to get into Trump and this and that. I got about five more days to go and you know what, I`m not attacking anybody. And I wish everybody would stop attacking everybody else and have a positive message.


HAYES: Joining me now, Grant Bosse, editorial page editor for The New Hampshire Union Leader, which has endorsed Chris Christie and Jennifer Horn, chair of the Republican Party of New Hampshire.

And Jennifer, let me start with you. So, the guiding framework that has been used I think by almost everyone covering this race is that those four candidates, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and John Kasich are all of whom are polling around 10 points, 9 to 11 somewhere in there, are more or less all fighting for the same pool of votes of Republican primary voters in New Hampshire.

Does that scan to you as someone know who knows this party as well as anyone?

JENNIFER HORN, CHAIR, NEW HAMPSHIRE REPUBLICAN PARTY: Well, I think that there`s some accuracy there, absolutely.

You know, when you look at the polls as recently as yesterday or the day before, anywhere from 50 percent to 60 percent of our voters are still undecided. And so obviously that`s...

HAYES: That`s a lot.

HORN: Exactly. That`s a lot. And that`s why I always sort of caution folks when they come in and start looking at New Hampshire, it is different than some other states that get a lot of political attention.

So, you know, that`s what this whole week is about, all those clips you just showed. This whole week is about them trying to really close the deal with all those undecided voters. And the question becomes, are those voters going to kind of split between four, five, six different candidates...

HAYES: Right.

HORN: Or are they going to coalesce between two or three?

HAYES: Yeah, I mean, is there any sense -- I think there was this -- my line about Marco Rubio is that it`s almost like watching -- it`s like the way an adult tries to will a toddler to do a difficult task is the way that certain political professionals in the Republican Party are towards Marco Rubio, like they keep predicting the Rubio bump, he comes in third, everyone says he`s the winner. And there`s a sense of like, okay, let`s all coalesce around this guy.

Pat Toomey endorses him today. I think you`ll probably see other big endorsements. Do you think New Hampshire Republican voters care about that push to coalesce around Rubio that`s coming from some corners?

GRANT BOSSE, NEW HAMPSHIRE UNION LEADER: Well, you`ve met New Hampshire Republican voters. No, we don`t. We`re very independent. Candidates rarely get an Iowa bump into New Hampshire.

It helps them down the road but it doesn`t help them into New Hampshire.

Ted Cruz, he is not skipping New Hampshire but he`s not seriously contesting it, because he knows he`s not going to get an Iowa bump and he`s probably not going to do all that great in New Hampshire. He doesn`t need to. He`s kind of gotten a bye to South Carolina.

So, New Hampshire voters move quickly at the end and they generally move to one, maybe two candidates.

So you`ve got four candidates, five including Carly Fiorina, fighting for maybe two spots to get down to South Carolina.

HAYES: You`ve endorsed Chris Christie. You and I have talked about him on the air. I want to play you something he said today at a campaign even in New Hampshire about Hillary Clinton. Take a listen.

Oh. Okay. Sorry. We don`t have the sound.

He says "you know the last person she wants to see on the stage in September, you`re looking at him. You know why? She`s been running away from federal prosecutors for the last six months. Man, she sees a federal prosecutor on the stage, I`ll beat her rear end on that stage. And you know what, after I do, she`ll be relieved because she`ll just be worried I`d serve her with a subpoena."

I`ll beat her rear end on the stage. What kind of thing is that to say?

BOSSE: It`s a metaphor. I think people are fine with that.

HAYES: You think it`s appropriate?

BOSSE: Yeah, It`s a figure of speech and I think people realize what he`s talking about, that Hillary Clinton`s got her own problems with the law and facing a prosecutor in a debate might be the least of her worries.

HAYES: Let me ask you this, you have tangled, I think almost unidirectionally with Donald Trump who has had some nasty things to say about you, which puts you in massive company.

HORN: No one ever says nasty things about me. I don`t know what you`re saying.

HAYES: So, Donald Trump has had some harsh words for you. Can you genuinely be impartial in this process given that?

HORN: Of course. This primary...

HAYES: You don`t hate the guy and hope he loses?

HORN: I don`t hate anybody.

HAYES: is that true?

HORN: Of course it`s true.

Listen, this race is about figuring out who is the best person to take on Hillary Clinton in the fall. This is about offering America a leader who can correct the of the past seven years and make sure that we don`t end with a president who is widely and proven a proven liar in the White House. That`s what this primary`s about.

That`s what all of...

HAYES: Can I tell you guys -- I know you feel about that, and you`re not saying that just to say it. You feel that`s the case.

President Obama`s approval rating right now is almost exactly what Reagan`s was at this point in the second term. He`s at 50 percent today in Gallup.

Do you think the Republican bubble, as it were, Republicans talking to Republicans in a primary, lose sight of the popularity of the president?

HORN: I think that there`s no question that sometimes folks, you know, you hang out with the people who agree with you.

HAYES: Which is what the primary process is, let`s remember.

HORN: However, the vast majority of Americans believe that Hillary Clinton is dishonest. The word that they most closely associate with her is dishonest and liar.

I think that is what`s going to drive this election.

HAYES: do you have a stake in this Democratic debate? Is there a candidate you think is easier to beat?

BOSSE: I think Bernie Ssanders is not necessarily a candidate that translates very well, and I don`t think Democrats will allow him to be the nominee.

HAYES: Well, this is...

BOSSE: I think Hillary Clinton is a massively overrated candidate. I think she`s a bad candidate to put on the ballot.

I think Democrats have other candidates out there that would have been stronger against the Republican nominee.

HAYES: All right, Grant Bosse, Jennifer Horn, thank you both. Appreciate it.

Coming up, the culling of the Republican field continues as Rand Paul becomes one of two candidates to drop out today. That`s just ahead.



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Muslim Americans keep us safe. They`re our police and our firefighters. They`re in homeland security in our intelligence community. They serve honorably in our armed forces, meaning they fight and bleed and die for our freedom. Some rest in Arlington national cemetery.


HAYES: The first time in his presidency, Barack Obama visited a mosque today, the Islamic society of Baltimore, where he gave perhaps the most detailed and effecting speech any American president, maybe any American politician, has ever made on the religion of Islam.

It comes after Congressman Keith Ellison, one of only two Muslim members of congress, was on our show last fall calling for President Obama to visit a mosque in the final year of his presidency.

Today`s visit comes at a time of increased attacks against Muslim-Americans in mosques, some of them violent, hateful and bigoted campaign rhetoric. And calls for Muslims to be banned from entering the country and polling showing a significant number of Americans agree with them.

Obama`s mosque visit today even at this late stage in his presidency served as an important reminder of the core vision of religion pluralism that represents the very best of the American tradition.


OBAMA: If you`re ever wondering whether you fit in here, let me say it as clear as I can as president of the united states. You fit in here. Right here. You`re right where you belong. You`re part of America, too. You`re not Muslim or American. You`re Muslim and American.



HAYES: Tonight, the once enormous Republican field is looking noticeably svelter. With just five days to go until New Hampshire`s first in the nation primary, the GOP field is narrowing.

Just moments ago, Rick Santorum suspended his campaign saying his talents could be better used elsewhere.


GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS: Does that mean you are suspending...

RICK SANTORUM, FRM. 2016 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are suspending our campaign as of this moment.

VAN SUSTEREN: Okay. This is the official announcement.

SANTORUM: We decided that I think we can be better advocates for that in supporting someone who shared those values.


HAYES: Santorum, who won Iowa last time around, has struggled the entire way through this cycle. Once showing up to an event in Iowa finding no one there and sitting down to order a milkshake.

Former senator from Pennsylvania never made it onto the main stage debate and finished in Iowa with just under 2,000 total votes or 1 percent.

Santorum becomes the second Republican in just the last 12 hours to drop out, the third this week alone. This morning, Rand Paul, who finished with 5 percent of the vote in Iowa, also announced he, too, would suspend his candidacy for the presidency. Paul, who is low on cash and now facing a Democratic challenge to his senate seat in Kentucky, which he`s up for this year, said he will be focusing on that Senate seat race.

Paul was once hailed by Time magazine as the most interesting man in politics and believed by many to be the candidate to bring the libertarian movement into the mainstream of the Republican Party building on his father`s coalition.

That`s not quite what happened. We`ll ask what doomed the Rand Paul candidacy and get an answer from the one person in the best position to answer it, next.



DONALD TRUMP, 2016 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: First of all, Rand Paul shouldn`t even be on this stage. He`s number 11. He`s got 1 percent in the polls.

He attacks me. He`s now down to 2 percent.

I don`t think you heard me, you`re having a hard time tonight.

What`s going on with this guy?

I never attacked him on his look. And believe me, there`s plenty of subject matter right there.

You know, he`s a nasty guy.

I said, Rand, I`ve had you up to here. I`ve had you.

All of a sudden, I see him chirping on the stage. He`s like chirping. I said who is that over there, that person? Who is he?


HAYES: Joining me now, Dave Weigel who covers national politics for The Washington Post. And Dave, I first met you I think nine years ago and you were the guy covering Rand Paul. The Libertarian movement, the Ron Paul revolution. You`ve covered Ron Paul and Rand Paul for nine years. Why did this not work out for Rand Paul?

DAVE WEIGEL, THE WASHINGTON POST: The easiest way to understand it is maybe think of a place that sells really good sandwiches, right, and think if that place tried to sell Chinese food and tried to sell pasta and tried to sell steak. He tried to be too many things to too many people. And he didn`t have the personality or the interest in carrying that off.

And he thought he could add to his father`s coalition. And what he learned very quickly, and couldn`t really undo, was that if you try to add or change anything to the pure libertarian message, people just bolt and they don`t trust you anymore.

HAYES: Right, because Ron Paul actually did much better. He always had his sort of bloc, 15 percent to 20 percent of the primary electorate that he superserved in terms of talk radio. I mean, he was diehard with them.

And you could tell Rand kind of came from that world obviously and thought he could give a Libertarianism light that would work.

WEIGEL: He did, but he was not as much of kind of America first alternate right person as Ron Paul was.

I mean, Ron Paul -- it was a scandal every time he ran, that he had some Pat Buchanan-ish views on race in the long past and they never hurt him as much as anything Rand Paul did when it came to foreign policy.

There were just people I think who gravitated more to Donald Trump who is by no means a libertarian. It`s really hard to pin down ideologically, but had it turned out had come to Ron Paul for sort of cultural, tribal, patriotic reasons and then didn`t see it in Rand.

HAYES: Right, Sand Paul ditched the kind of ethno nationalism, which is the sort of polite term I`ve been using for what is frankly white supremacy, and kept the libertarianiam and lost people to Donald Trump who has got -- doesn`t have a libertarian bone in his body but carried the mantle of that ethno nationalism.

WEIGEL: Yeah, Rand was trying to prove that a broader libertarian message would draw in more people, and it just didn`t. And there are lots of reasons why it didn`t happen with the competition he had in this race. But I think by going to the Senate, he`s going to be an influential figure in a way that his father really couldn`t. His father built a movement that you could tell wanted to reach out and become a bit more moderate, a bit more friendly on criminal rights and things like that, the younger generations that worked for Ron and then went to Rand I think are going to remain important in a way this presidential campaign did not.

HAYES: He also -- it strikes me also that it`s about how much ideology really matters to...

WEIGEL: Right.

HAYES: ...excuse me, to Republican primary voters, right. I mean, it proves to be maybe not as important as it does to a true believer like a kind of Paul-like disciple.

WEIGEL: It does.

And I thought one turning point for Rand was that he signed Tom Cotton`s letter saying that the Iran deal -- saying to Iran that it turns out there`s a senate that might block this deal, and I saw when Rand came to New Hampshire right after that down the road a mile away, people really didn`t like that. People wanted him to be anti-war. He wouldn`t. And some of them went to Bernie Sanders instead of him for that reason.

HAYES: Dave Weigel. Thank you so much for being here in Manchester, New Hampshire.

That does it for us on All In this evening live from Manchester, New Hampshire. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.