Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: February 22, 2016 Guest: McKay Coppins, Sabrina Siddiqui, Nick Confessore, Yvanna Cancella
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I love to win. Don`t we love to win?
HAYES: As Donald Trump`s domination continues, are Republicans kidding themselves to think they have chance of stopping him?
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m a conservative that will win this election. We have to win.
HAYES: Tonight, the state of race on the eve of the big Nevada caucus, why Sheldon Adelson is staying under the radar. The telling truth about when the lights went out in Georgia.
TRUMP: Because the lights won`t work, I won`t pay the rent. Turn off the lights. Turn them off.
HAYES: Plus, turnout for what? Do Democrats face a problem getting out to vote?
And, Jeb, we hardly knew you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many are Democrats?
HAYES: A look back at what happened to Jeb Bush.
JEB BUSH (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Please clap.
HAYES: ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from Las Vegas, Nevada. I`m Chris Hayes.
And we are 24 hours from the fourth contest in the Republican nominating fight, the Nevada GOP caucuses which will kick off here in Las Vegas and all around the states. The caucuses here come on the heels of Donald Trump`s 10-point victory on Saturday in South Carolina, a win that Trump credited to his broad appeal among GOP voters.
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TRUMP: We won with everything. We won with women. I love the women. We won with women.
We won with men. Meh. I`d rather win with women to be honest, but that`s all.
We won with evangelicals, like unbelievable. We won with the military. We won with everything. We won with highly educate, pretty well-educated and poorly educated, but we won with everything. Tall people, short people, fat people, skinny people. Just won.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, a South Carolina exit poll shows Trump lost among Republicans with a post-graduate education and we don`t have breakdowns based on height or weight. Other than that, what Trump said is pretty much true. And here`s the result, Trump took all 50 delegates in the state, leaving every one of his rivals with a big goose egg, filling a hilarious bit of spin. Last place finisher Ben Carson noted received as many delegates as all others but the winner, which would be zero.
The win left Trump with a big lead in the overall delegate county, with 67 delegates. But he still needs more than a thousands more delegates to secure the nomination. Still, at this point, you have to conclude history is on his side. Trump has won South Carolina and New Hampshire and no Republican dating back to 1980 has won those two early states and then failed to win the nomination.
Trump continues to lead by double digits in national polling. He appears to be poised to win many of the Super Tuesday states eight days from now. Here in Nevada, meanwhile, the latest polling shows Trump with massive lead over his nearest rival who effectively seem to be battling for second place.
In other words, Donald Trump sure looks like the heavy, heavy favorite at this point to win the GOP nomination. That`s left Trump`s two closest competitors, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, increasingly desperate to make the case it is not too late to turn the tide.
In the wake of Jeb bush`s decision to drop out of the race, following his fourth place showing in South Carolina, the so-called GOP establishment has been rallying around Rubio, with many of Bush`s deep pocketed backers making it known they have shifted their allegiance.
Today, the Rubio campaign rolled out endorsements from GOP establishment figures, including Senator Orrin Hatch, former Governor Tim Pawlenty, and most notably, former GOP presidential nominee, Bob Dole.
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BOB DOLE (R), FORMER GOP PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Now that my good friend Jeb Bush is no longer running, I`m supporting Rubio. And he wants to grow the party. As opposed to Cruz, I don`t know what he wants to grow.
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HAYES: Rubio made the case that nominating Trump would doom the GOP in the general election.
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RUBIO: If we nominate someone that half the Republican Party hates, we`re going to be fighting against each other until November. We will never win that way. I don`t care how much you think they are funny or how interesting they may sound, if we nominate someone that 40 to 50 percent of our party doesn`t -- can`t stand, we are going to lose.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Rubio himself however is yet to win a state. And when he`s asked on "Meet the Press" yesterday when he finally might get one, he seemed to suggest it could be one.
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RUBIO: When we get into the winner-take-all states in the middle of March, Ohio, Florida, big chunks of delegates, that`s where you really need to begin to win states. I feel good where we`re going to be by then.
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HAYES: By then, of course, Trump will have won a bunch more states and it might be too late to stop. The anti-Trump faction is not yet ready to throw up its hands. "What the Trumpalists don`t get is that we`re not giving up or going away," tweeted Dem McLaughlin, editor of the conservative website, "RedState". "The other 66 percent of the party, assuming the Republicans who opposed Trump, needs to be defeated inch by inch."
Joining me now, MSNBC political analyst Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee.
And, Michael, in your capacity as head of the RNC, as you look over the nominating process, the way delegates are regarded, and the contours of the calendar, this idea that the Rubio people are pushing, which is, we`re going to lose and we`re going to lose some more and after that we`ll do a little more losing and we`ll start winning.
HAYES: I know I sound mocking about it because I do find this spin from the camp a little, you have to take it with grain of salt.
But is there something to this idea that they can wait for the field to winnow and then start a bunch of victories starting in mid and late March with the winner-takes-all states, Florida, Ohio, and then start, you know, getting California and stuff like that?
MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I guess in fairy tale in politics somewhere you can do that. But in real life, no.
I mean, think about it this way, Donald Trump is leading in ten, probably 11 out of the 14 states that will take -- that will be playing Super Tuesday in that week. At the end of that period, 50 percent, by the 15th of March, Chris, 50 percent of the delegates will have been selected, all right? Donald Trump could be sitting somewhere close to 700, 800 delegates at that point.
I don`t understand how you think that you`re going to make up that kind of a gap if you`re going to start winning once you get into the end of March, beginning of April? What makes anyone think that Donald Trump is going to lose any states after that?
I mean, it doesn`t -- it doesn`t make any sense. He`s right now beating Marco Rubio in Florida. Hello? I mean, I don`t understand what people are looking at within the establishment that makes them think that Donald Trump is just going to give up the ghost come the 15th of March.
HAYES: The case that they are making, and it`s not one that I necessarily buy, but here is the contours of the case: A, Cruz underperformed in South Carolina. He is getting squeezed. His lane is diminishing. Maybe he doesn`t last that long.
Two, that essentially that Trump is someone with a high Florida low ceiling, which is to say his supporters are bedrock with him but they`re a small percentage relatively to the entire GOP and people that are not with him aren`t going to come to him. You see in some of the exit polling about late deciders, basically this idea the party is one-third Trump, two-thirds non-Trump if you get down to non-Trump versus Trump, non-Trump wins.
STEELE: Those late deciders are a small percentage of the vote. There are a lot of folks coming out early and backing him. Donald Trump is bringing new voters to the table. He`s bridging voters who have been disenfranchised and out of game for cycles. I mean, so, you`ve that to offset the late deciders who float towards some other candidate.
Second point, where do we get this math that makes us believe that Donald Trump is not somebody else`s second choice in the field of remaining candidates.
STEELE: So, they`re not -- so Marco Rubio or Cruz or anyone else is not going to get all those votes if Carson or Kasich drops out. We`ve already seen that play out. Donald Trump has picked up support from voters from candidates who already left the race.
Again, he has set this thing in motion in a way and the voters -- this is the critical thing for me -- the voters in our primary are setting this thing in way that they are telling us who they want right now. And I do not see any indication that when you get to winner take all that Donald Trump doesn`t win any of those states number one, and number two that voters just suddenly go, OK, that was a nice fling. We`re done. I just don`t see that happening and there`s no indication out there that it will.
HAYES: You know, I was playing with an online delegate calculator where you march through after tomorrow unless the polling is wrong, Trump is going to ramp up again. It`s pretty easy to come up with a scenario, very plausible scenario, where essentially you get to the convention with Trump just shy of what he needs.
That`s not a ridiculous scenario at all. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 800 to 1,000 delegates when he needs, 1,100 or something like, that is a real possibility, isn`t it?
STEELE: That is a real possibility. It`s one of the reasons why -- you know, you can have this scenario with folks getting out, depending on when they get out, it may not be enough for the person who stand mano-a-mano and go against him in the convention will have enough to actually seal the deal. Once you`re inside the convention, I don`t again know what makes anyone believe that Donald Trump supporters are going to peel off of him and go to someone else after they`ve been with him and pledge to him throughout this process.
HAYES: All right. Michael Steele, thanks for your time.
Joining me now, McKay Coppins, senior political writer of "BuzzFeed News", Sabrina Siddiqui, political reporter at "The Guardian".
Let me start with you. You`ve been following the Rubio campaign. And I have, I think on the record, been skeptical of the Rubio campaign`s spin. But he did a performance in South Carolina and there is something here, right? I mean, you talk about the establishment. I think it`s viewed as more abundantly ineffectual because of Jeb Bush. But the point about, not just the donor class, but the fact that there is a contingent of fiercely anti-Trump folks that are not to go quietly.
I mean, that is the best argument for Rubio, I think.
SABRINA SIDDIQUI, THE GUARDIAN: That`s a good argument. One of the things they benefitted from in South Carolina was not just Marco Rubio was able to somewhat bounce back from New Hampshire and that proved not to be a fatal blow but that Ted Cruz underwhelmed over going to these SEC states, they feel confident that Ted Cruz now is in a position of having to, not claw his way back but he`s the one who is struggling at this point in time.
HAYES: Although they were separated.
SIDDIQUI: But the issue is, the reason I bring that up is say Marco Rubio`s campaign succeeds in squeezing Ted Cruz out of the race. There`s no guarantee that his voters are going to defect to Marco Rubio. In fact, a lot of them will go to Donald Trump and then there`s also the John Kasich factor, the untold story, where he`s playing the role of spoiler now, where you look at Michigan, for example, and he`s polling ahead of Marco Rubio.
HAYES: And Ohio.
SIDDIQUI: And Ohio, so he has no reason to get out of the race. So, you know, this idea the consolidation at this point is enough to carry Marco Rubio into a position of winning, there isn`t any data that really backs that notion up.
MCKAY COPPINS, BUZZFEED: But I will say, though, and brought this up briefly with Michael, that I think what the Rubio campaign, the reason you started to hear them talk in the run up to South Carolina about going to a brokered convention, their campaign manager is openly talking about it, Rubio is talking about it, is because of the possibility, the likelihood that you could get there without Trump having enough delegates to clench the nomination, and once you get inside the hall, all bets are off.
If you go through the ballot and the delegates are released, then it`s not about the voters anymore, as terrible as that is to say. It`s about the bathroom deals and whatever you can kind of cobble together. And I think the Rubio campaign is not ready to say this quite this way, but they are basically hoping that they can at least prevent Trump from clenching the nomination when they get there.
HAYES: I think that`s a much better way to understand how this is carrying this out. Rubio`s path to getting the 1,100 delegates he needs, it`s very hard. If you understand the path as stopping Trump from getting to the threshold, which I think is now the fallback retreated to mathematical position of the so-called establishment, that seems more plausible.
SIDDIQUI: It seemed more plausible at least in terms of the argument that they are making. Of course, all evidence points to the fact that Donald Trump is running with the nomination. This would be citing a historical precedent for them to build at this point, especially given his points now overwhelming win here in Nevada tomorrow as well. Now, you`re capping off three consecutive overwhelming victories in three out of four of the early voting states.
And also, look, Donald Trump is leading in Florida. Marco cannot afford to lose his home state. The same way Ted Cruz can`t afford to lose Texas. That will be even harder to make the case he can remain in the race and really proved to be a competitor to Donald Trump.
HAYES: Well, so we got Nevada tomorrow night and polling showing up there. Texas is interesting because it comes to where Ted Cruz is in this race right now and particularly, today, he had this thing where he fired Rick Tyler, his campaign spokesperson, who tweeted a link to a video of Marco Rubio with Rafael Cruz.
HAYES: This is the video. Rubio says something to a Cruz staffer about the bible on his desk that said, there`s no good answers in there, as if Marco Rubio in front of cameras and Rafael Cruz and the staffer is just like, yes, I hate the bible. He clearly didn`t say that. The subtitles are wrong.
SIDDIQUI: All the answers are there.
HAYES: He`s not an idiot. He`s running for president and Republican nominee who is going to ex nihilo apropos of nothing be like, yes, I hate the bible.
COPPINS: The Book of Mormon there, that would have been interesting. Because Rubio (INAUDIBLE) one thing to watch tomorrow. He was once a member of the Mormon Church. His campaign has very aggressively targeted Mormon voters here, who made up 25 percent of the caucus-goers.
HAYES: And Romney (INAUDIBLE)
COPPINS: And Romney behind the scenes. There was a lot of talk of him endorsing Rubio. I don`t know when that will happen. But Romney behind the scenes is directing donors and other people for Rubio.
HAYES: Here`s one thing that I find funny. We`re at this point where we have seen Right to Rise crash and burn. That`s the Jeb Bush super PAC.
I love this idea of great news. All that money that was lit on fire is now been freed up for Marco Rubio to light on fire. Like, I mean, obviously, the days being made there is that the problem with the money with the candidate. There`s also the case to be made it was ineffectual for structural reason with Jeb Bush.
COPPINS: Them spending $100 million in ads maybe just doesn`t make a difference in the --
HAYES: That`s one question, or it doesn`t make a difference in primary, but it does in the general.
SIDDIQUI: We get to the point where this will be waged more so in the media markets than before. You know, we`re passed the stage of retail politics.
HAYES: Yes, that`s true.
SIDDIQUI: So, it is important to have that money.
HAYES: When you`re running at 11 states at a time.
SIDDIQUI: And Marco is a lot stronger candidate than Jeb Bush. A lot of criticism was they weren`t using the money the promote Jeb Bush. They were just using it to torture Marco Rubio.
COPPINS: Marco Rubio is also at the point where he hasn`t -- he doesn`t have that much money right now. And so, one of the reasons he`s saying March 15, March 15th -- that`s when we start doing well, is because they need time to hurry up and get all the establishment cash to come to him and his super PAC. It`s very unclear whether that will happen before Super Tuesday.
HAYES: You can just feel, I`ve seen this for a while. You`ve seen it when politico does the polls. The desire to get Marco this nomination among a certain cohort is so powerful and I think not incorrectly in the sense they think he`s the most electable.
But I also think, my pet theory on this is, part of the reason the electability argument doesn`t sell is because in the conservative bubble, Hillary Clinton is seen is so despised they don`t recognize she`s a formidable candidate.
COPPINS: Yes. There`s this idea -- I mean, you can tell there`s so many conservatives and Republicans who still believe that she`s going to be indicted at some point before the election. I mean, that very farfetched possibility is actually seen as like a 50/50 chance among a lot of Republicans.
HAYES: That ends up hurting Rubio. Rubio has the incentive at this point to be more honest about how formidable a possible general election candidate Hillary Clinton than anyone else because if the whole argument is you need someone who can win, right?
COPPINS: That`s right. If you think he`s going to crash and burn, let`s put Trump up --
SIDDIQUI: In the eyes of the voters, they are inclined to say is you`re the most formidable opponent, why aren`t you winning?
HAYES: And they are reaping the rewards of the caricature they have created of Hillary Clinton over 30 years.
HAYES: It sounds it`s coming back to bite them.
McKay Coppins, Sabrina Siddiqui, always great to have you guys in person.
SIDDIQUI: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Enjoy Vegas. Don`t stay out too late.
Still to come, $130 million lesson of failed presidential campaign. What we have learned.
Plus, why are few Democrats shows up to vote this election and does it bode poorly for the party in the fall?
Later, Donald Trump`s strong man approach to politics, negotiation, this truly bizarre moment that happened at his rally in Atlanta.
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TRUMP: Let`s go, ready. Turn off the lights. Turn off the lights. Turn off the lights. Turn them off.
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JESS MCINTOSH, EMILY`S LIST: I`m going to go right snuck in the middle and start with four.
HAYES: No big names out yet, no big names out yet. It might be a big one. Let`s see what we got.
ANNOUNCER: Jeb Bush, his father was President Bush, his brother was President Bush, and now, he wants to be President Bush.
BARBARA BUSH, FORMER FIRST LADY: We`ve had enough Bushes.
ANNOUNCER: Sorry, mother, it`s time for another. He is former Florida governor, Jeb Bush.
HAYES: I think that`s -- give it up for Jess McIntosh. I think there`s a strong consensus you got the Bush network. You got the Bush last name, which is the Bush last name. You have a lot of people thinking this is a consensus front-runner.
MCINTOSH: I`m looking forward to saying I`m taking my candidate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Just a mere 389 days ago when our 2016 fantasy drafter show first aired. It seems likely to a lot of people that Jeb Bush had a good chance of winning the Republican nomination, maybe even the White House.
That`s certainly what Sam Seder thought who later traded his, get this, Donald Trump whammy pick for Jess McIntosh`s Jeb Bush pick.
Needless to say, a lot has changed since then. On Saturday, following the South Carolina Republican primaries, the world watched as Jeb bid farewell to the 2016 race, while Donald Trump for the victory.
That means Jess McIntosh is still leading our fantasy candidate draft with Donald Trump at 9,000 points. Michael Steele is going strong with 8,200 points. While Sam Seder lost Jeb Bush`s 2016 gods, he gained a Hillary Clinton win in Nevada Saturday, giving him 6,200 points.
Meanwhile, Joy Reid, who has zero left to the race, has 5,300 points. That still puts her ahead of Josh Barro, who`s chugging along with Ted Cruz with 4,500 points.
Ahead, Jeb Bush`s presidential quest comes to an end. We`ll examine the unbelievable amount of money spent on it. How Jeb and the donor class lost, or did they? Next.
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BUSH: The people of Iowa, and New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken, and I really respect their decision. So, tonight, I am suspending my campaign.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: No.
BUSH: Yes, yes.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you, Jeb.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Somewhat stunned crowd listened to Jeb Bush end a campaign that began with shock and awe. That was the description of the initial fundraising efforts by the Bush campaign. In the end, Bush and Right to Rise spent nearly $130 million to get exactly four delegates.
Not surprisingly, the recriminations have begun. Bush supporter and Florida speaker of the house designate Richard Corcoran taking aim at the man who ran the Bush super PAC. "I was told Mike Murphy was a political magician and now I believe it. He took the most transformational, courageous conservative governor of the modern era and made him look like a moderate. Also, he could be viable in the general election that he`ll never be in."
So, the big question now is, where does that money go? And in the era of Donald Trump, what is that money good for?
And there`s certain man on a scooter here in Las Vegas, who spent out $100 million in 2012. When does he get off (INAUDIBLE).
Joining me now, a man who can answer all those questions better than almost anyone I know, Nick Confessore, political reporter for "The New York Times", who wrote today how Jeb Bush spent $130 million running for president with nothing to show for it.
Nick, you guys tweeted out, I love this list, you guys tweeted out of all the clubs, yacht clubs and private clubs that Bush team stroked donors at.
What is your understanding? You cover money in politics full time? How do you understand this debacle?
NICK CONFESSORE, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, look, I think we have not seen a candidate more cosmically mismatched to the moment than Jeb Bush. You probably could have given his super PAC the entire gross domestic product of the United States and he still would have fared poorly. A smart guy, a thoughtful guy, experienced but not well-matched for this election.
I don`t think anyone ahs ever claimed, Chris, that money is the only thing in politics. It`s just very important. By the way, who is left in the GOP? A billionaire himself, Marco Rubio, the other favorite of the donor class and Ted Cruz who has rallied and cultivate a new class of socially conservative big donors who are not as active. These guys all have money.
HAYES: Yes, I think that`s a really good point. If you look at the total money raised this election cycle of the Republican primary field, this is candidates and super PACs combined. Jeb Bush have won 57.6, and you have Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and Ben Carson after that. It doesn`t track so absurdly when you take away Jeb Bush and Donald Trump.
The other thing I would say and I think it`s important to recognize is, if you look at policy, say things like tax breaks for the top, Marco Rubio wants to get rid of capital gains taxes. Jeb Bush was proposing a tax cut, I think, four times as big as George W. Even Donald Trump has huge tax break at the top. So, in that way, on the policy terrain, it`s not like the donor class is out of luck.
CONFESSORE: Look, elections are not the only way in which wealthy people exert influence in American politics. I would say if you`re a bit worried about Citizens United is it would bring lots and lots of money into politics and the person who get the most would win all the time, that hasn`t happened.
But if your concern is the elected class in this country has to spend almost all their time ma marinating in the prejudices and preference and desires of other wealthy people, that is bad for policy and democracy, I think that`s probably a concern.
HAYES: And in some ways, right, what the Donald Trump phenomenon has shown to the extent that creates this mass oceans of social distance between the actual voters and donor class, Trump has exploited that distance quite effectively and exploiting how far the donor class is from the actual voters who presumably in the democracy should be deciding things.
CONFESSORE: I mean, look, Donald Trump is a riddle, he`s a self-made or a partly self-made billionaire, who is running as a populist for mobile conservatives who are angry about their loss of economic and cultural clout in the country.
But you`re right. He has exposed a class divide in his own party. What he said, look, wait a second, it`s possible to run for president and say immigration is bad for the country as a Republican and win on that. It`s also possible to say reducing the capital gains tax rate to zero is not perhaps the be-all and end-all in public policy, which is the direction of many of his competitors.
And a lot of Republican voters say, hey, you know what, I actually have other concerns. I actually like entitlement spending if it goes to people like me. I like Social Security and I`m really, really against immigration which the party keeps telling me is good for us. So, yes, there`s a huge opening for Donald Trump to exploit and he`s seized it.
HAYES: Do you think -- what do you think the conversations are among the, quote, "donor class" in the wake of this? I mean, do you think we`re going to see a change in their behavior if the money flows to Marco Rubio? Are there going to be different ways to avoid essentially getting burned again?
CONFESSORE: Well, you know, I think we have seen them try a couple of things. We talked earlier on the show, in the past months, about how they set up the super PACs now to be controlled by themselves. They hold the purse strings and decide how the money can get spent.
So, they have gone through the revolution. Super PACs now have boards of directors to oversee the spending. And the questions is, you know, how much more of an impact can the money make against a guy like Donald Trump?
I think what we`ll see is a lot of these guys will go to Rubio. Some will go to John Kasich. We`ve seen tonight, actually, some news that Julian Robertson, a big hedge fund who`s close to Mitt Romney, is now going to back him.
And so, they`ll try and try again, and we`ll see if the money is any match against Donald Trump`s mass free media.
HAYES: Seems fitting as I sit here in Las Vegas to talk about fools and their money.
Nick Confessore, thanks for your time.
Coming up, the enthusiasm gap. Why Republicans are seeing record breaking turnout as more Democrats stay home. What that means for November, ahead.
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OBAMA: The attack in San Bernardino killed 14 of our fellow Americans and here is a hard truth, we probably lost even more Americans than that to guns this weekend alone. On Saturday, another one of our communities was terrorized by gun violence.
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HAYES: That was the president speaking today at the National Governor`s Association referring to gun violence over the weekend including a particularly horrifying case which took place in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Jason Brian Dalton, a 45-year-old father of two, was charged today with six counts of murder for a shooting spree that took place over six hours in Kalamazoo on Saturday.
Dalton, who was moonlighting as an Uber driver, is accused of carrying out the shootings in three separate locations leaving six people dead and two more injured. Police say the victims appear to have been chosen at random. The suspect continued to pick up passengers after the bloodshed began.
President Obama called the mayor of Kalamazoo and local law enforcement to offer federal support in the investigation. Dalton had no criminal record and Uber said in a statement today he had passed a background check.
While authorities say they have not determined a motive right now, there does not appear to be any evidence of a connection to, say, ISIS or a foreign jihadi group.
Well, president`s remark today, relating the San Bernadino massacre to shootings in the past several days point to a fundamental truth about our society and political systems` disparate levels of tolerance for violence committed by people who we view as, quote, the enemy or as terrorists and the violence that Americans inflict on each other. Think for a second about how different the reaction would be if, in fact, a social media post pledging loyalty to ISIS had been uncovered in the wake of this mass murder in Kalamazoo, but since there is no such connection, or at least none discovered yet, it`s just another day in America with guns.
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SANDERS: The voter turnout was not as high as I had wanted. And what I have said over and over again, we will do well when young people, when working class people come out. We do not do well when the voter turn out is not large. We did not do as I had wanted to bring out a large voter turn out.
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HAYES: Senator Bernie Sanders has argued that his success is dependent on large voter turn out. He lost the Democratic caucuses here in Nevada on Saturday to Hillary Clinton. And the voter turn out represented a 33 percent drop from 2008. In fact, in first three Democratic contests of 2016, voter turn out is down.
In Iowa, the Democratic turn out saw a nearly 30 percent drop from 2008. In New Hampshire, which Sanders won, turn out fell 13 percent relative 2008. Republican turn out, on the other hand, is upsetting records in Iowa and New Hampshire. As the Washington examiner points out 1.2 million people voted in Republican primaries and caucuses so far. That`s up 24 percent from 2012.
These contrasting trends in voter turn out between Democrats and Republicans should not just concern Bernie Sanders, but also could be a warning to the entire Democratic Party.
Are Democrats suffering from enthusiasm gap and will that haunt them in November?
Joining me now, Joy Reid, MSNBC national correspondent.
Now, Joy, there`s a bunch of reasons that you -- there`s a b unch of ways you can read this data. What is your read of this so far?
JOY REID, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: So, Chris, there`s a couple ways, as you said, to read the data. One way to look at it as what I`ve been calling the shadow reelect phenomenon where Democrats already have the White House. So, they are not motivated to take back the White House, right. They believe essentially a lot of Democratic voters assume Hillary Clinton will be the nominee, don`t feel any urgency to go out and do anything about that. And they just presume that this is sort of a reelect, so they may come back in the fall.
The danger for Bernie Sanders is in that presumption is baked in, number one, questions about whether or not he really has an actual chance of being the nominee meaning there`s less motivation because they think, well, he isn`t going to win any way. And that the who are most motivated to, quote unquote, make a change are a small minority of the Democratic party who actually want to make a change from Obama.
That`s not a great place to be in if you`re Bernie Sanders.
HAYES: Well, there`s also a question, right. So, there`s some apples to oranges here. 2008 you had a larger field, particularly you had larger field in Iowa. John Edwards still in the race through the first bunch of early states.
You know, an organizer I talked to about this today made the point that more campaigns means more people calling, more people working the list, most people canvasing, more people doing get out the vote operations. So, there`s a certain degree which you have that.
But you wonder how much to the degree there`s complacency manifesting in the primary whether that carries over.
REID: Well, and so I`ve been -- I`ve had a lot of people sort of saying to me well there`s really not a correlation between the level of enthusiasm necessarily in the primary, becuase as you said it`s not as active of primary, but it`s a pretty active primary.
I mean, Bernie Sanders is making a heck of a run at Hillary Clinton. It`s not as if she`s...
HAYES: Look, everyone should look at the awarded delegates right now, which are tied, just to remind everyone.
HAYES: About what the current state of the race is, the scoreboard, if you take away the super delegates who are pledged, but haven`t voted yet, the awarded delegates so far is a tie.
REID: Right. But the problem is, is that much of that action is taking place among the younger cohort of Democrats who are essentially energizing the Bernie Sanders campaign. Among the sort of core of Democratic voters: African-Americans -- you know, the older set, to be frank about it, of Democratic voters. There`s not as much action going on. There`s not as much as a contest between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. And that`s the bulk of the Democratic cohort.
Whereas Republicans are super motivated because they see the opportunity to take the White House away from the Democrats.
So, there`s a more natural motivation on their side of the aisle.
HAYES: One important statistic I should note, the Democratic Party announcing that 14,000 new registrants at the Nevada caucuses, which in some ways is also an argument for the benefits of a contested primary. That 14,000 new registrants was down from 30,000 in 2008. But you can imagine if Bernie Sanders had, say, dropped out by now, or was polling in Nevada 40 points behind, how many people are coming out? And those are 14,000 new registrants, those are 14,000 new people that you have registered added to your state`s voter roles for the general election.
REID: Yeah. And as caustic as things get inside primaries, the reality is that most people at the end of it still wind up voting for the party even if their candidate loses, right. There are some people who are diehards who won`t.
But I think if we look back on this election, and let`s say the Democrats don`t win in November, I think Democrats will come to regret this idea they had to essentially wipe out any competition for Hillary Clinton and sort of clear the field for her. Because without a contested primary, without the excitement of a multi-person real contested race, you don`t have that native not only enthusiasm and excitement, but you actually don`t have what you talked about which is the actual work of voter registration and voter mobilization that only campaigns can really do.
So, I think Democrats are sort of baked in a complacency into the electorate that they are now seeing reaped at the voting booth when Republicans are just shellacking them in turn out.
HAYES: Yeah. It`s interesting you say that. I mean, obviously again, we do have a contested primary. It is quite contested, but there is...
REID: It`s very contested.
HAYES: I think -- I`ve had organizers tell me they have a hard time reaching people to make them think it`s contested.
And if you will allow me a personal prerogative, my brother is an organizer. He actually was a state director in this state in 2012. The organizers for both campaigns have been doing a phenomenal job. I mean, the limits that they are reaching are much more structural. Jorge Narian (ph) and Emmy Ruiz (Ph) who ran this state, the organizing in this state, basically saved the Clinton campaign. The organizing on the ground in Iowa is excellent.
There`s a lot of talent in those ranks. The Bernie Sanders operation in New Hampshire There`s a lot of talent in those ranks. It`s a question of they`re still being commitment off the top.
REID: Indeed, and one of the things that`s been really alarming is that I`ve talked to a lot of African-Americans who say black voters are not engaged. And I`m sorry, but there`s been this whole fight about who did what in the `60s. That`s not engaging black voters. Black voters don`t want to hear what people did in the 60s. There hasn`t been enough engagement. And that`s not a good thing for a Democratic Party.
HAYES: Yeah. We will see if that changes in the next few weeks. Joy Reid, thank you for joining us.
Coming up, a very strange yet aptly telling moment during a Trump event yesterday. You have got to see it. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: And as much as you want to put them in our jails, they were probably sent here so that we put them in our jails, because to put them in our jails -- they didn`t pay the electric bill. To put them -- I like that much better. And because the lights didn`t work, I won`t pay the rent, so we get better lighting and we don`t pay the rent. Right. Right. No, get those lights off. Off. Off. Turn them off. They`re too bright. Turn them off. Turn them off.
Let`s go, ready. Turn off the lights. Turn off the lights. Turn off the lights. Turn them off.
TRUMP: so much nicer.
No, no. That`s the way we have to negotiate for our country.
It`s the kind of sick thinking we really need for our country, isn`t that right? So, because the lights didn`t work, even though it`s better, we say we`re not paying the rent. The lights didn`t work. This is ridiculous. We will not pay the rent and we say bye bye.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was Donald Trump last night in Atlanta turning his crowd on the light board operator. As it turns out a protester reportedly pulled the cord out causing the lights to go out. Still, it`s a sort of prime example, that tape, of Trump`s strong man approach to politics, to negotiation and the core I think of a lot of his support.
But it doesn`t work on everyone. In fact, he`s currently having a problem with his hotel right here in Las Vegas. We`re going to tell you about that, next.
HAYES: Donald Trump`s standing in the Republican primary, I believe, has a lot to do with his strong man personality. But if an when he makes it into a general election, that personality is going to cut both ways, because there`s a lot of his bullying Trump has done in his time that doesn`t look particular populist.
Right now, a scene is unfolding at the Trump International Hotel here in Las Vegas where voters voted to unionize in December in a union election. The hotel is refusing to negotiate a contract.
Here`s Donald Trump`s son Eric in an interview on MSNBC earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC TRUMP: Every hotel in Las Vegas, quite frankly, is unionized. We`re the only one. And I think it`s actually a great testament to our company that, you know, we`re not.
I mean, people love working in the building. We`ve had amazing success..
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now to be clear, not all hotels in Las Vegas are unionized. Roughly 5 percent of them aren`t, including The Venetian, which is owned by Sheldon Adelson.
Just a few hours from now Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a rally in Las Vegas and employees from his hotel, along with members of the union, that is trying to get a contract, will also be there.
They are planning to set up bargaining tables where they hope to get Trump to negotiate their first contract.
Joining me now Yvanna Cancela. She`s the political director for that union. Culinary Workers Union local 226. The union has not endorsed any presidential candidate yet.
So, you guys had a union election...
YVANNA CANCELA, CULINARY WORKERS UNION LOCAL 226: We did.
HAYES: You won that election.
CANCELA: By 53 percent of the vote.
HAYES: So 53-47.
HAYES: You won that election.
Now, I want to read the Trump organization says the hearing officer`s recommendations erroneously disregarded the severe misconduct undertaken by union agents," this is referring to an (inaudible) process, "which clearly impacted incredibly close election. We will continue our fight to ensure a fair election for our valued associates, many of whom vigorously oppose union representation."
Your response to that.
CANCELA: Yeah, so I think what happened -- not a lot of people understand how a union election works. And that the company has a lot of power to appeal the results at all sorts of different levels. And the company went through the first level and the government said, very clearly, these charges are in no way reasonable, threw them all out and said the company should bargain.
HAYES: And so the company has been -- I mean, we should also be clear -- winning a union election without neutrality, the employer is...
CANCELA: Not easy.
HAYES: It`s not easy. It`s essentially almost impossible, frankly. In the current state of American election law, the fact you guys won this election shows that there`s real support for this union.
I mean, I think Trump would take a victory in any state by 53 percent of the vote, right.
HAYSE: So he is now refusing to negotiate?
CANCELA: He has not come to the table. And workers have been very clear about saying we`re ready to negotiate a contract. You`ve negotiated a contract with your workers at the Trump hotel in Canada. And why should we have a different standard?
You know, Trump talks a lot about wanting to make America great again. And I think all of his supporters, and certainly his workers have said start here. His workers have said start right here at your hotel in Las Vegas
HAYES: With a contract that gives us fair wages and gives us a structure and understand what our relationship is with our employer.
CANCELA: That`s right.
And with better health care and with an ability to retire with dignity which is what all the employees doing the same jobs in the casinos down the strip enjoy.
HAYES: There are unionized workforces among -- at many Trump properties across the country and world, right. I mean, this is not something he never experienced before.
CANCELA: That`s exactly right.
I mean, he just signed a contract less than a year ago with his workers at his hotel in Canada.
HAYES: Are you guys going to keep after him? I mean, do you see this election as an opportunity to sort of force the issue here?
CANCELA: Well, it goes back to your point earlier, winning this election is not easy. And workers aren`t going to do -- workers are going to do everything it takes to make sure that they get the full contract, because it`s not worth just winning the election and then walking away. They`re going to follow him across the country until he sits down at the table and negotiates with them for what they fought for.
HAYES: All right, Yvanna Cancela of the Culinary Union, it`s a really great pleasure to have you back here.
CANCELA: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: Thank you so much.
OK, still ahead, as we bid farewell to Jeb Bush`s presidential campaign, a reminder of just how genuinely uncomfortable, even excruciating it was to watch unfold. Those moments ahead.
HAYES: It was one of the most expensive and least successful presidential campaigns in American history that makes it nearly impossible to play a highlight reel commemorating the 2016 candidacy of John Ellis Bush. And so here with, we present some of the low lights.
BUSH: That`s my case is that I have a steady hand and I will lead the country through tumultuous events. That`s what I believe I can do, because I learned how to do it when I was governor of the state of Florida.
GEORGE W. BUSH, 43RD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know you can do it.
BUSH: 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.
My watch can`t be talking.
TRUMP: I know you`re trying to build up you`re energy, Jeb, but it`s not working very well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you there?
BUSH: Is it my watch?
You`re never going to be president of the United States by insulting your way..
TRUMP: You`re real tough, Jeb, yeah? Well, let`s see, I`m at 42 and you`re at 3, so so far I`m doing better.
BUSH: It doesn`t matter.
I know when it`s ringing but I`ve never actually used it.
UNIDENTFIED MALE: Well, there you go.
BUSH: Underutilized iWatch (sic).
Where were we?
TRUMP: You know, you started off over here, Jeb. You`re moving over further and further. Pretty soon you`re going to be off the end.
BUSH: If you could go back in time and kill baby Hitler, would you? I need to know.
Hell yeah, I would.
TRUMP: Am I talking or you talking, Jeb?
BUSH: I`m talking right now. I`m talking.
TRUMP: You can go back. You`re not talking. You interrupted me.
BUSH: September 30, you said it.
TRUMP: Have you apologized yet? No.
BUSH: He has had the gall to go after my mother.
TRUMP: That`s not keeping us safe.
BUSH: Look, I won the lottery when I was born 63 years ago and I looked up and I saw my mom. My mom is the strongest woman I know.
TRUMP: She should be running.
BUSH: This is not about my family or his family.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can Jeb Bush be a surprise story here on caucus night?
BUSH: Yes, since the expectations are so low.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, you have succeeded there, governor.
BUSH: Mission accomplished.
TRUMP: You have a guy named Bush. You have a guy named -- he was a governor, low energy -- very low energy, extraordinarily.
More energy tonight. I like that.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: What would you want your secret service code name to be?
BUSH: EverReady. I`s very high energy, Donald.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many you have are Democrat?
It`s your country, too.
BUSH: This is real story here in New Hampshire. I can promise you the best way to show respect outside of rebuilding our military to men and women in uniform is to fix that mess as fast as I can. That`s it. Thank you.
They`re kicking me out the door.
HAYES: All right. And that is All In for this evening. Now tomorrow night we will be live back here at the New York New York Casino in Las Vegas at 8:00 p.m. eastern, then our special coverage of the Nevada Republican caucuses begins at 10:00 p.m. eastern. And joining me now in the wonderful city of Las Vegas, the Rachel Maddow Show starts now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END