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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 3/7/2016

Guests: Michael Steele, Jonathan Chait, Gary Peters, Ben Jealous, Philip Bump, Soledad O`Brien, Jess McIntosh, Josh Barrow

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: March 7, 2016 Guest: Michael Steele, Jonathan Chait, Gary Peters, Ben Jealous, Philip Bump, Soledad O`Brien, Jess McIntosh, Josh Barrow

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And with us, ALL IN with Chris Hayes, from the real to the unreal, for no sound or reason except our humanity because it`s so much happier over there. And that`s hard ball for now.

Thanks for being with us. ALL IN with Chris Hayes starts right now.



DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Should we do the pledge? Raise your hand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But Donald Trump pled rolls on as the President of Mexico compares Trump to Mussolini and Hitler.

TRUMP: I swear I`m going to vote for Donald Trump next week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight, new signs of hope for the "Never Trump" contingent, and why a congested convention is becoming a real possibility.

Then Democrats boil over in Michigan.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While the Clinton-Sanders fight is getting decidedly test here.

Plus, why there is now a full on panic over Marco Rubio.

TRUMP: I`d call for him to drop out of the race.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And a stunning update to the All In Fantasy Candidate Draft standings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Number five, oh my gosh.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And "All In" starts right now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSBNC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes with four more states set to hold the Republican nominating contest tomorrow.

The better late than never stop Trump faction of the GOP still pays this long on. But after weekend of mixed results for Trump, for the first time, that faction may have some win at its back.

On Saturday, Republican voters managed to blanch some of Trump`s momentum coming out of Super Tuesday. Well, he beat Ted Cruz in two Southern State Primaries, Louisiana and Kentucky.

Cruz won the Republican caucuses in Maine and Kansas by pretty wide margins. 46 to 33 in Maine, where Trump had been endorsed by Governor Paul LePage, and 48 to 23 in Kentucky. That gave Ted Cruz nine more delegates on Trump over the weekend. And overall, it`s looking more and more like a two-man race with Trump at 392 delegates, Cruz at 305 and Marcio Rubio and Kasich trailing, 153 and 35 respectively.

We`ll have more about Rubio in a bit.

Tomorrow, the Republican frontrunner faces what may be his biggest test debate, the Michigan Primary with 59 delegates up for grabs, and a largely white working class electorate who one might think would be receptive to Trump`s message on trait.


TRUMP: Look, I`ve been fighting hard for cars. Cars are going to be made in our country. We`re going to be made in our country. And we really have been. I mean, we`ve been fighting very, very hard for that industry. I`ve been to Michigan a lot.


HAYES: And the moment (ph), poll shows Trump of commanding lead over his rivals, among likely primary voters at 36 percent, Ted Cruz at 23, John Kasich at 21, and Rubio at 13.

But his margin appear to shrink over the four days in which the poll is conducted. On Thursday and Friday, Trump was at 39 percent, 17 points ahead of his closest rival, Ted Cruz. By Saturday and Sunday, he was down to 32 percent, just 6 points ahead of a rising John Kasich.

If you talk to Republicans who maintain that Trump can still be stopped, their case has always been that there is a ceiling to his appeal. Well, Trump`s hardcore supporters will stick with him no matter what. They don`t represent anything close to majority Republican voters.

That`s now looking like a more plausible prediction as the field (ph) winnows, and Ted Cruz continues to make gains. And as we see more evidence of the completely singular bond between Donald Trump and his diehard fans, one that probably doesn`t extend to the rest of GOP electorate.

Take, for example, this instantly iconic and deeply disturbing image of the crowded rally on Saturday, raising their right hands and they pledged to vote for Trump.

Abe Foxman, the Former Head of the Anti-Defamation League and a Holocaust survivor called it, "About as offensive, obnoxious and disgusting as anything I thought I would ever witness in the United States of America." "It is a facist gesture", Foxman said.

He is smart enough. He always tells us how smart he is to know the image this evokes.

Even after a response like that, Trump now seems, who made the pledge a part of his stung (ph) speech, and these crowds are only too happy to comply.


TRUMP: Should we do the pledge? Should we do the pledge? Raise your hand. I swear I`m going to vote for Donald Trump next week. I swear. Right? Good. Raise your right hand everybody. Do you swear that you`re going to vote for Donald Trump tomorrow? Raise that hand. I love you. I love you.


HAYES: His devoted following especially among the more extremist edges of the American right has become an essential of how the Trump phenomenon is now understood. It is enshrined in pop culture, thanks to our pretty cutting commercial parody, I`m sorry I didn`t watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trumps` an outsider. Washington needs that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he can make this country great again.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So when people ask why you support Donald Trump, you just tell them

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s going to take our economy from here to here and I like that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s not some cautious politician. He says what I`m thinking.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know what it is. I just like the guy.


HAYES: Right on cue, the actual Rights Premises who support Donald Trump issued a statement taking defense.

At SNL`s Patrell, "Racists for Trump presents Trump supporters as wholesome people until the punchline of swastikas, clan robes and book burnings. The fact is, it is wholesome for a people to be proud of her race, heritage and culture. It is not wholesome for a people to give away her land, culture, language, heritage and race without a struggle or a fight. Donald Trump`s candidacy is a modest step in the awakening of Western Civilization."

Joining me now from, (inaudible), Michael Steele, now an MSNBC Political Analyst.

Well Michael, here is .


HAYES: Yeah. Just now, here`s my theory. I want to get your feedback on my current here, OK?

I basically think you got a third, a third, a third right now.


HAYES: You got basically a third hardcore Trump supporters. You got a third pretty hardcore "Never Trumps". And you got about a third in the middle. And I actually think, believe it as it is, that Mitt Romney stopped all of the signals being sent to that middle third over the last two weeks is actually having somewhat of the intended effect.

It is sending the signal to those people that I think could get themselves onto the bandwagon with enough sibling to just hold up and not get on that bandwagon. What do you think of that theory?

STEELE: I don`t buy that.

HAYES: Why not?

STEELE: Because I don`t think it was Mitt Romney. You know what I think has the affect, and it`s interesting, this is what I thought you were going with your setup, the KKK comments .

HAYES: Interesting.

STEELE: Or lack thereof, the sort of refusal to just kind of put that down. He did it on Friday but the story didn`t stick until Saturday, Sunday, Monday. And I think that that had a chilling effect on the turn out that we saw this weekend to Trump. I think people will like, I just don`t want to be a part of that.

HAYES: That`s interesting.

STEELE: You know, I`m really suspicious of it. And I think it burned much more than they thought it would or anticipate it would.

HAYES: Do you think that story produced a sort of revulsion effect, that that showed up tangibly?

STEELE: I do. I do because I talked to a lot -- well I got a lot of phone calls on that one, and there were a lot of people like I cannot believe this. This is -- I don`t want to be a part of this. This is not the party I want to be a part of. I can`t do it.

So, I think that that had sort of that residual effect. The other piece, that the Romney piece probably played more to those who still have establishment leanings.


STEELE: But were kind of lured into the Trump narrative, but I really do believe that that had more of an impact in people who want to give a credit for him.

HAYES: That`s a really interesting point. There`s also something else going on which I`m curious to get your thoughts on. When I was down in Houston, I talked for a while to a pastor who actually had come out to watch our live show and he`s a Republican.

He had just come. He said he voted for Rubio. And he said, every pastor, Christian pastor, Evangelical pastors he knew were pretty strongly anti Trump.

STEELE: Right.

HAYES: And we`re trying to persuade their flock, essentially, "Do not go for this guy." And I think part of what you`re seeing in Cruz is showing this week, and the fact that there really is a basis support for Ted Cruz is that Evangelical base has not gone over to Trump, which is a key hurdle for him to cross.

STEELE: Yeah, I think there`s something to that, Chris, and in the sense that what we saw in Iowa and New Hampshire, in South Carolina in particular where the early stages of the Trump phenomenon that drew evangelicals into the discussion beyond evangelical issues, you know, with matter of faith to morals, to a more economic argument.

Now, that sort of settled out. The Cruz effect is kind of taking hold and they`re now finding that going back home to that port.

HAYES: Yeah, yeah.

STEELE: That it`s a state, place to go back to. So yeah, I think there`s some truth to that.

HAYES: And it also strayed to me that the final part of this here is organization. I mean, he`s got no organization. That`s been true basically from the beginning. But when you`re contesting on, say, like Kansas and Maine which are, you know, people forget, Barrack Obama run up that delegate lead on Hillary Clinton in places like North and South Dakota, and Iowa, and in Idaho, and Montana where there were small thing -- small caucuses and primaries that they organized the heck out of, and Cruz is basically playing that role this time around.

STEELE: He is. The caucus is a killer in this primary process because a lot of folks don`t get the totality of the process and understand this is about delegates tend to not play there much. Those who do like Barrack did in `08 and Cruz is doing now, will reap the benefits of that.

And particularly given that now we`re in a space where you`re going to have a close primary/caucus period, that`s going to work to Cruz` advantage potentially as well.

HAYES: All right, Michael Steele, always a pleasure. Michael, thank you.

STEELE: Bye-bye.

HAYES: I`m joined no by Jonathan Chait, Columnist from New York Magazine.

Jonathan, I really like this piece that you have in New York about why conservatives hate Trump.


HAYES: Well, it`s quite good and that`s saying something considering about 90 million words have been spent on Trump on the past six months, right? You could poke out of that.

This was the key line, "By making race and nationalism the text rather than the subtext of Republican politics, Trump threatens not only the party`s agenda but the self-conception of its intellectual class."

What do you mean by that?

CHAIT: So conservative intellectuals, the people who really have been behind the conservative movement for decades have a story they like to tell themselves about how their movement took power.

HAYES: Right.

CHAIT: In the Republican Party. It starts with gold water. And this is a story that really omits race from the narrative and it`s omits anti- intellectualism from the narrative, and it really puts the power of their anti-government ideology at the center, and it really persuaded Americans that big government was wrong and the new deal was a wrong turn in some ways.

And I think this is really totally false story about how their movement did exercise real power in America. But Trump is really the instrument that`s come along and shown just how false it is. And so, I think that`s one of the factors in the resentment they have for this man.

HAYES: Yeah that`s -- I think that`s well said. And I think you`re seeing, even Bret Stephens, I think, from Wall Street Editorial Page basically said, they guy is playing out every liberal caricature of what they think we are right in front of our faces. We`re just part of, I think, the sort of shock and horror on the part of the Republican establishment.

This is my favorite article of the day was HuffPost (ph) report on a meeting, a secretive meeting at a luxurious island. There were Tech CEOs and Top Republican Commiserate, Plot to Stop Trump. It`s like an Alex Jones article except it`s real.

CHAIT: No, that`s exactly right. And if I could go back to that Wall Street Journal column you mentioned.

HAYES: Yeah.

CHAIT: It said, look, you know, William F. Buckley, great example of what we think is moving this about. He was against racism.

Well, the fact is that William F. Buckley was for segregation. He was for white supremacy. And then two decades later, he was for a part side (ph) in South Africa. So, I think that actually encapsulates the truth of how conservatives took power in the United States in a way that they still don`t really want to recognize. So, it`s not that he .

HAYES: OK, now .

CHAIT: Yes, it`s not that he makes a mockery than he actually shows what really has been happening.

HAYES: But now, let me stand up for the good honor of my friends among the conservative intelligence. Yeah. I mean, they are, right now, putting their money where their mouth is, right? I mean, people are, actually, they`re fighting him strenuously. They`re coming out against him. They are possibly also, we should say, taking some sort of risk, right, if the guy is the nominee, if he does actually end up running the Republican Party. You know, particularly a guy is vindictive (ph) who`s that guy, right?

CHAIT: Yeah.

HAYES: I mean there is a certain amount of people in the "Never Trump" Movement. And even among those sort of Evangelical base, I think, that`s walking away from him that are, in some ways, on the other side of that pieces, right? They`re saying, "Look, we`re not just about this subtext of nationalism and, sort of, and race.

CHAIT: Well, that`s absolutely true. And I would go even further, it`s important to know that conservative ideas stand on their own. You don`t have to be a racist to be a conservative. These are ideas that are independent of race. The problem that they have and acknowledge is that they don`t have a constituency that could win without race.

So, you`ve got a lot of people who aren`t racist coming up with the ideas but who`s applying the votes. Well, Donald Trump is answering that question.

HAYES: Well, and the favorite -- my favorite part of this is running the experiment of the Marco Rubio candidacy which is basically get rid of capital gains taxes.

CHAIT: Right.

HAYES: And maybe start some new horse (ph) in Middle East. And it turns out, even among the Republican electorate, there is no -- no one wants that. No one actually wants that. No one is choosing that.

CHAIT: But don`t these people remember how much they like George W. Bush?

HAYES: Right.

CHAIT: And that`s why I don`t get them. I mean, they were really happy with Bush until like the last year.

HAYES: And that`s what`s so, I think, shocking. And that has been sort of wake up call this election.

Jonathan Chait, great piece in New York Magazine. Thank you.

CHAIT: Thanks Chris.

HAYES: Still to come, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders erupt at the debate last night, a look at the screen relations in that democratic contest.

Plus, Marco Rubio has now won the two of the first 20 states. He`s batting an even 100. So, is everyone ready to stop trying to make Marco momentum happen? We`ll see.

And later, could it be possible for either the current frontrunners to lock up enough of the delegate lead by next week that would make it impossible for their opponents to catch up? The secret math to victory ahead.



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I know how much she meant not just to President Reagan but to the country as a whole. He was lucky to have her and I`m sure he`d be the first to acknowledge that. So, she will be missed.


HAYES: That was President Obama earlier today, talking about the passing of Nancy Reagan. Funeral plans for the former first lady were announced today. She will lay in repose to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California on Wednesday and Thursday. And private funeral services will be held on Friday.

She`ll be buried next to her husband, the 48th president of the United States, Ronald Regan died on June 5th, 2004.

Back in a moment.


HAYES: We`re about 12 hours to go before voters go to the poll in Michigan in the state of the race between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton has appeared to settle into what one might call a tense equilibrium.

Putting this up, nearly 200 awarded delegates for this point, sizeable lead when you consider the fact that these delegates, so far and going forward, are all allocated proportionally, which makes it difficult for a candidate to overcome a big deficit.

But if we learn anything from the voting this past weekend in which Sanders won three for the four Democratic contests is that the center for Vermont isn`t going anywhere. And while he may not have a pack to match Clinton`s delegate total right now, current voting trends hold, he can continue picking up states here and there and running competitively.

The reality and perhaps frustration over a prolonged fight for pledge delegates seem to be on full display at last night`s debate in Flint, Michigan.


CLINTON: You know .

SANDERS: Excuse me, I`m talking.

CLINTON: If you`re going to talk, tell the whole story, Senator Sanders.

SANDERS: Let me tell my story, you tell yours.

CLINTON: I will.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you support fracking?

CLINTON: You know, I don`t support it when any locality or any state is against it. I don`t support it when the release of methane or contamination of water is present.

SANDERS: My answer is a lot shorter. No, I do not support fracking.

One of us has given speeches on Wall Street for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

CLINTON: I`ll be happy to release anything I have as long as everybody else does too.

SANDERS: Well, I`m your Democratic opponent, I release it. Here it is. There ain`t nothing. I don`t give speeches to Wall Street.


HAYES: OK. We now have Senator Gary Peters, Democrat from Michigan who has endorsed Hillary Clinton.

Senator, there were a lot of talk about the auto bailout last night, obviously crucially important to your state. I want to play what Hillary Clinton said about Bernie Sanders and then talk to you about it, if you don`t mind?

Take a listen to Hillary Clinton`s comments on the auto bailout.


CLINTON: Well, I`ll tell you something else that Senator Sanders was against. He was against the auto bailout. In January of 2009, President Elect Obama asked everybody in the Congress to vote for the bailout. The money was there and had to be released in order to save the American auto industry and four million jobs.

I voted to save the auto industry. He voted against the money that ended up saving the auto industry. I think that is a pretty big difference.


HAYES: So Senator, that strikes me as technically true but fairly misleading. Senator Sanders voted for the auto bailout that did not pass in 2008. He supported it.

The vote she`s indicating in January 2009 is for the second launch (ph) of third funds, $350 billion, which was not a gear marked for the auto bailout. In fact, it was gear marked for the Wall Street banks, was used by the administration afterwards to shore up some of the financial services aspects of the Big Three auto companies.

Is that a fair hit?

SEN. GARY PETERS (D-MI), HILLARY CLINTON`S SURROGATE: I do think it`s fair. In fact, I had just come in at the Congress at that time. We were confronted with, as you remember, a very scary time in our economy, as the economy was hemorrhaging hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The auto industry was hanging on by its finger nails, and was really a victim of what had happened on Wall Street. And we knew that vote was going to be very important to provide resources to continue to support the auto industry. And certainly, that was talked about at length at the time.

And I remember supporting that loan because I knew how important it was to the auto industry. And had Secretary Clinton and President Obama not stepped up for the auto industry, it would have been absolutely catastrophic for us in our state. So, that is a very fair point, and I think one that people are going to take a good hard look at.

HAYES: I just want to be clear though, the total amount that was authorized by that vote was $350 billion. That was the second $350 billion sum. The first went through before January. The second was put there.

The argument at the time was this was essentially a blank check. Now, the total amount that went to Detroit, if I`m not mistaken, was on the order of $10 or $11 billion, right?

PETERS: No, it was more than that. So yeah, it was a bigger number than that, so that went to the automakers. And without those loans, these companies would have collapsed. In fact, I remember sitting with the CEO of Chrysler at that time who said, you know Congressman, we need help from the Federal Government. We`re heading towards bankruptcy, but the credit markets are completely frozen. There isn`t money available. And if we don`t get better in possession financing, he told me, he was just weeks away from liquidating Chrysler. And that would have been absolutely catastrophic to our state.

So, you know, these loans were certainly very controversial at the time. But thank God, folks joined the Michigan delegation in supporting them to make sure that we have an auto industry. So, you know, I can`t say enough on how important those decisions were at that time if we go back and to think about what was happening at that time.

HAYES: Senator, Bernie Sanders has called for the resignation of - Senator Sanders called for the resignation of Rick Snyder, your governor their in Michigan, over what`s happened in Flint. Secretary Clinton has also now called for that.

Do you think the governor of your state should resign?

PETERS: It may come to that. Certainly, we`re getting more information coming out with e-mails. There are all sorts of investigations that are being conducted right now, from the Inspector General to the FBI, to the State Attorney General.

But I`ll tell you myself, I`m focused on getting legislation here in the United States senate, working with my partner, Debbie Stabenow, to get resources for Flint and for water infrastructure across the country.

So, that`s what I`m focused on. This week in particular, we`re very close to really moving some very important legislation, not just for Flint but for communities all across this country that may be facing similar types of catastrophic situations because we have not invested in critical water infrastructure.

HAYES: Yeah, that`s a truly terrifying part is how much of these pipes are out there.

PETERS: Right.

HAYES: Senator Gary Peters from Michigan, thanks for joining us. I appreciate it.

PETERS: Thank you. Thank you.

HAYES: So now, Ben Jealous, Former President of the NAACP, also a Bernie Sanders supporter.

All right Ben, I thought this was an interesting moment last night, talking about racial blind spots.

Question from Don Lemon of CNN, and here is what Bernie Sanders had to say in response. Take a listen.


SANDERS: I was with some young people active in the Black Lives Matter Movement. A young lady comes up to me and she says, "You don`t understand what police do in certain black communities. You don`t understand the degree to which we are terrorized. When you`re white, you don`t know what it`s like to be living in a Ghetto. You don`t know what it`s like to be poor. You don`t know what it`s like to be hassled when you walk down the street or you get dragged out of a car."


HAYES: So, he has taken a little bit of flack for that for the use of the word "Ghetto". To me, the more interesting sentence is, "You don`t know what it`s like to be poor. When you`re white, you don`t know what it`s like to be living in a Ghetter. You don`t know what it`s like to be poor."

That seems, to me, precisely the kind of conflation of race and class that a lot of people have attacked the Senator for being unable to think of those categories differently. What do you think?

BEN JEALOUS, FORMER PRESIDENT, NAACP: You know, look, what I saw last night was two candidates try to answer one question. So, one candidate just completely dodged the question. Hillary Clinton didn`t even try. You know, and she, in doing so, I think displayed a glaring racial blind spot.

She talked about being inspired by Dr. King and seeing him speak when she was 14, and then working for marrying adult men in her 20s, and skipped over the fact she had campaigned for Barry Goldwater in between who was campaigning against the Civil Rights Act.

She also missed an opportunity, quite frankly, to really sort of come clean about her mistreatment of the activist, commonly referred to as Ashley, who had confronted her over her statement that appear to compare poor black children to dogs. Part of the whole super predator quote.

In the case of Bernie, you saw somebody really try, you know, try to answer that question, sort of quoting, you know, some body he was talking to and stumble a bit as he did.

I`m not ever one to really jump on somebody who is trying to answer a tough question about race. I frankly believe we should give a little safe space and people the opportunity to try to answer it because it`s the overreaction when somebody stumbles, that discourages many people from even having, trying to have an honest conversation.

With that said, and I`m getting to your question, but there`s, you know, a lot here, Chris.

With that said, Bernie Sanders has talked about racial justice and economic justice his entire life. I think it`s, you know, a stereotype, more -- or a caricature rather. A caricature of him to act like he just simply, you know, some economic justice advocate from the woods of Vermont.

And to forget the fact, not only that he was with the Congress with racial equality in SNCC in the early 1960s. But quite frankly, he wasn`t just on Jesse Jackson`s `88 campaign which is more of a class based campaign, if you will. He was on Jesse Jackson`s `84 campaign which is every bit of a racial justice activist exercise.

HAYES: Right, so let me just say this, Ben. This has struck in a moment, and I agree, you know, whatever about the stumbling, right? I mean it strikes me. This is a moment in which a guy who is, you know, Ben, he has represented a constituency that is overwhelming white for a very long time. That`s not sure his fault. That`s just is what it is, right?

And if you took the person who is the Bronx Borough president and you dropped him into Kansas to go talk for farmers, it would take him a while to adjust, right? I mean politicians stuck (ph) for constituencies, is that part of what we`re seeing in play out right now, particularly when we look at the exit polling among African-American voters?

JEALOUS: You know, look, the exit polling is a different phenomenon. I mean certainly, Bernie`s engaging a broader constituency. And if you`ve seen the seen the Black Lives Matter, activists have a real impact on his thinking, and he`s embraced them, and they`ve embraced him.

You know, he`s been the only one to stand up, for instance, to say that in the case of Laquan McDonald in Chicago, anybody involved in the cover up should resign, which leaves room for the mayor. While Hillary has been defending the mayor, and who appears to have covered up the killing of an unarmed black man manager to ensure he was re-elected.

But, you know, as far as the exit polling, what we`ve seen is that in the places where we really campaigned, and not of these states -- and frankly, none of these campaigns have really been campaigning in every state.

HAYES: Right.

JEALOUS: Hillary has had a head start everywhere because of a dynasty. Place where we`ve really campaigned, we`ve gotten a bigger share of the black voting. In Kansas in Saturday (ph) night, and we won eight out of ten. Eight out of ten, the majority, black senate districts with more than 60 percent of the vote. And that speaks to what happens when you really campaign.

HAYES: All right, Ben Jealous, thanks for joining us tonight.

JEALOUS: Thank you.

HAYES: Let me just note for the record, I think the Goldwater attack on Clinton is sort of immaterial, just to put that out there.

All right, coming up, as two frontrunners turn their attention to each other, we get a glimpse of what a Trump versus Clinton General Election might look like. And it`s not great. That`s next.



CLINTON: As of last night, Donald Trump had received 3.6 million votes, which is a good number. And there`s only one candidate in either party who has more votes than him, and that`s me. I think that Donald Trump`s bigotry, his bullying, his bluster are not going to wear well on the American people.


HAYES: Hillary Clinton made a point about Donald Trump last night that the president has previously made that the American people, voters at large, will eventually tire of his volatility, his veiled, not so veiled authoritarianism, his support by white supremacist groups and his crudeness.

As the two frontrunners increasingly turned their attention to each other, Donald Trump recently gave us a preview of what that contest might look like.


TRUMP: Folks, I`m beating her in many polls. I`m beating her in many polls, and I haven`t even started yet. I haven`t started with her yet. Only once. Only once. Four weeks ago she said something about me being sexist right after she said that, I attacked her and Bill, and Bill. We talked about the word. We came up with the word, a very true word, enabler. You know what an enabler is? And we talked about Bill. I said, you mean to tell me I`m bad but her husband is okay? Maybe one of the worst in the history of politics, right. And I had to put up.

OK, this was a disaster for them. I guarantee you they had one of the worst weekends of their life. This was not a friendly weekend that they had sitting together at home, wherever they are at home, if they were together.


HAYES: In a general election, against Hillary Clinton I pledge this to you, the bottom of the barrel has yet to be scraped.



RUBIO: It`s very straightforward. A vote for John Kasich or a vote for Ted Cruz in Florida is a vote for Donald Trump. I`m the only one who has any chance of beating Donald Trump in Florida.

So, if you don`t want Donald Trump to be the Republican nominee, you have to vote for Marco Rubio.


HAYES: That`s Marco Rubio today imploring non-Trump voters to coalesce behind him in his home state of Florida. And his campaign received some good news today, although I supposed relative. A new Monmouth poll showing him within eight points of Donald Trump, grabbing 30 percent support compared to Trump`s 38.

And among the nearly one in five voters who said they cast early ballots, Rubio is actually beating Trump 48 percent to 23. But among those who say they have yet to vote, he trails Trump by 16 points.

Now, just eight days until that winner take all primary, it`s clear that Florida would be Rubio`s last stand. And he`s in real danger of becoming the former future of the Republican Party.

The candidate the establishment rallied around in hopes of setting up a two man with Trump has consistently disappointed on election nights. Although, the Rubio campaign celebrated a win in Puerto Rico Sunday, that leaves him with a win-loss record of 2 for 20.

His campaign tried to spin that, writing in an email to supporters on Sunday, "Rubio blows away the competition in Puerto Rico. It`s not the number of states won that decide a Republican nominee, it`s the delegates."

The problem with that logic is that the delegate math does not look good for Rubio. He has just half as many delegates as Ted Cruz, and he`s trailing Trump by 239.

Contributing to the delegate chasm is the fact that in five states that award delegates proportionally, he`s failed to make the minimum threshold to qualify for any delegates. And in Michigan, which votes tomorrow, latest polling shows him below the 15 percent threshold to qualify for statewide delegates.

While recriminations about what went wrong in Rubio`s campaign have already begun, the issue may lie more in the candidate himself and the patchwork of donor interests he staked his campaign on, a brand of Republicanism which combines promises of more wars in the Middle East, eliminating capital gains taxes and the potential for immigration reform.

Joining me now, Philip Bump, political reporter for The Washington Post.

It`s too early to write postmortems on Marco but when you look at what`s happened so far, this has not been a particularly successful campaign as of yet. What`s your theory?

PHILIP BUMP, THE WASHINGTON POST: My theory is precisely that he was a candidate that would have very, very done well in 2012 had all the cards fallen in the right place in 2012. He`s not a good 2016 candidate. He, like so many others, was overwhelmed by this Trump tsunami and has no way to respond to that. There is no way -- the establishment right now is still trying to figure out how to respond to Donald Trump. He, as a member of the establishment, as the person who is carrying the banner for the establishment similarly has no way to figure out how to stop Donald Trump.

HAYES: There`s an L.A. Times piece that I thought about the sort of class divide that I thought was fascinating about the Starbucks voter strategy of Marco Rubio.

Marco Rubio`s mounting list of primary losses points to limits of what some call his Starbucks voter strategy. A campaign that has banked heavily on winning upwardly mobile young suburban families.

It turns out that people who are upwardly mobile are not a majority of Republican primary electorate. Most are downwardly mobile or plateauing and really ticked off about it. So, there`s just not enough votes to mine there.

BUMP: Yeah, that`s exactly right.

And -- but the other half of that problem is that Donald Trump does very well across the spectrum. He does very well with people who -- yes, he leads everyone across all economic groups, across all age groups, usually, not always but typically. And that`s why he keeps coming in first or second in all these different states.

HAYES: They are now -- I mean, there`s a story today, CNN reported that top advisers are telling him to possibly drop out. His people are furious about this, somewhat understandably. I mean, what are they -- you know, it does seem like it`s make or break this Florida.

BUMP: Oh, yeah. I mean, there`s no question it`s make or break in Florida. There is, the only question is can he actually win? His campaign is trying to argue it`s not make or break. They`re trying to argue that he can actually win the state. If he doesn`t get those 99 delegates, those 99 delegates are 8 percent of the total you need to become the nominee. If he doesn`t get that, it`s hard to see where he could make it up.

HAYES: Well, this is the problem, right, I mean, after you get those big winner take all contests -- the question for me also is, Trump now is hitting Rubio very hard. He`s going after him. If anyone around There`s been so much rooting for Marco Rubio among certain precincts of the right whether people are understanding why it hasn`t been working.

BUMP: I think it`s safe to say that they aren`t, right. I mean, you know, like part of what we`re seeing, this report from CNN that you mentioned before, the question that`s raised is do people keep throwing good money after bad on Marco Rubio? And the question is, are people going to wait until March 15 to invest more heavily in Marco Rubio`s campaign? He hasn`t run a good campaign. He hasn`t establish -- he`s the establishment candidate without and established campaign, right. He doesn`t have field operations the way the other candidates do.

HAYES: He`s missing the -- how can you be the nominee if you`re missing the threshold in four states? Just think about that for a second. That -- those thresholds are designed to cut off the people who are also ran.

BUMP: Right.

And then over what over the weekend is that he is starting to cannibalized by Ted Cruz. So people who are worried about stopping Donald Trump are turning their attention to Ted Cruz instead.

HAYES: And we almost saw a one-to-one of those votes (inaudible) one column to the other in terms of where expectations were and where they came out.

Philip Bump, thank you for joining me.

Still to come, can anyone catch Donald Trump? With two major Republican contests coming up, can his opponents keep enough delegates out of his reach for them to stay in the running. We`ll look at that just ahead.



JESS MCINTOSH: Because I`m clearly in the lead based on great skill at this game.

HAYES: Yeah, you`ve got Jeb Bush...

MCINTOSH: I`m confident about number 11.

HAYES: Number 11, here we go. Jeb Bush, you`ll be adding to your roster with.

Who are you going to get?

Oh, Ben Carson.

MCINTOSH: That`s tough.

ANNOUNCER: Ben Carson, he`s a retired world class neurosurgeon, recipient of the presidential medal of freedom and says Obamacare is the worst thing since slavery. He`s Dr. Ben Carson.


MCINTOSH: Don`t applaud that. There`s no need to applaud that.


HAYES: Well, folks, we have a stunning update in ALL IN 2016 Fantasy Candidate Draft. And, no, it`s not Ben Carson dropping out of the race, although that did happen. It`s that Michael Steele picked up 2,200 points over the weekend. So, let`s look at the latest standings. Our friend Jesse McIntosh is still in the lead with 14,600 points and Donald Trump. And now Michael Steele is just 1,500 points behind her followed by Sam Seder at 10,900 points. He`s got Hillary Clinton. So, stay tuned for some possible good news for him in the future.

And bringing up the rear is Josh Barro and Joy Reid whose candidates have all dropped out.

Just a reminder of what`s at stake here, besides the future of our democracy, the winner of our draft will take home this lovely speedboat. Here have a closer look.

Ahead, another game, the race for delegates. Stay with us.


HAYES: All right, Donald Trump needs 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president. At this point it all comes down to basic arithmetic. The biggest Republican contests are coming up next week in the winner take off states of Ohio and Florida, the home states of presidential hopeful John Kasich and Marco Rubio with 66 and 99 delegates up for grabs.

Now, according to calculations by MSNBC News, if the next five races follow the pattern of the races so far, Trump can end up with 466 delegates with Ted Cruz just over 100 delegates behind.

If that is the situation going into March 15, and Trump wins Florida and Ohio, he only needs, then, this is important, 52 percent of the remaining delegates to secure the nomination.

If Trump wins Florida, but loses Ohio to John Kasich, he will need 59 percent of the remaining delegates. And if he loses Florida to Marco Rubio, and Ohio to John Kasich, he will need a whopping 69 percent of the remaining delegates to lock up the nomination, which is a lot.

Joining me to talk about tomorrow`s presidential primaries and the path or math to victory, former CNN/NBC News anchor Soledad O`Brien, CEO of Starfish Media Group; Jesse McIntosh, spokesperson for Emily`s List, pro- choice PAC working to elect female candidates, which has endorsed Hillary Clinton; and my friend MSNBC contributor Josh Barro who is now back as a senior editor for Business Insider.

All right, we are going to talk about this math and the tantalizing possibility of a contested convention after this quick break.


HAYES: Still with me, Soledad O`Brien, Jesse McIntosh and Josh Barro.

OK, so the point about this is, the math is actually steeper than I thought it was when you look at it. Like, even if things go the best possible way for Trump on -- in the next four contests and after that, like even 52 percent is still a lot more than he`s winning right now, which is basically about 44 percent of the delegates.

JOSH BARRO, BUSINESS INSIDER: Yeah, I say two things about that. One is that the delegate roles gets more favorable as you go on. Not all these states are winner take all, but a lot of them use this winner take all by congressional district structure, which is favorable to a candidate like Trump who does relatively well with moderates. Because if you look at a state like California where basically every congressional district you win you get three delegates. So, Nancy Pelosi`s district in San Francisco awards the same number of delegates as a heavily Republican one in the central valley.

And so I guess, I don`t think there are a lot of Donald Trump supporters in San Francisco, but there probably more than there are Ted Cruz supporters.

The whole Republican nominating system is actually weirdly structured to overrate the importance of Republicans in blue states.

Donald Trump won 49 percent of the vote in Massachusetts. He`s going to clean up in places like New York, New Jersey. So, I do think 52 percent looks like a reasonable number for him to collect assuming he can get about the percentage of the vote that he has been.

HAYES: Although, if it turns -- right, if it turns -- if you get a different outcome next week in Florida and Ohio, or even if you don`t, like to me the big take away this weekend is people are strapped in for a while, at least in the next two months.

SOLEDAD O`BRIEN, STARFISH MEDIA GROUP: Yeah, I think so. And I think we`re all sort of part of the dismay of watching some of these debates has been that. It feels like it`s going to b a slog for a long time, because partly I think the delegate map, partly I think we`re also seeing the candidates shift.

Listen, Trump`s message in a state like Michigan, tomorrow, is kind of similar, if you`re talking about trade policy to a Democratic message. That`s going to be very interesting down the road. I`m sure you`re going to have some people who admire -- a bunch of my neighbors who shall go nameless -- love to Mr. Trump and who.

HAYES: Mister. It`s always mister.

O`BRIEN: Mr. Trump.

HAYES: It`s always mister.

O`BRIEN: Donald -- Donald Trump.

HAYES: Donald -- call him Donald. Anyway.

O`BRIEN: But, you know, the idea of take America back, make America great again, really appeals to a certain kind of voter who feels a certain kind of way about shifting demographics. Isn`t it a nice way to put it?


O`BRIEN: By the way, about shifting demographics in America.

And so I think that it`s way too early to talk about contested. I mean, that 52 number doesn`t seem out of reach...

HAYES: But -- OK, Jess.

MCINTOSH: The one thing that I want to say about delegate math is it doesn`t work out to be any less steep for any one else. The thing about the Republican nominating contest that I`ve loved the whole cycle is one of them has to win.

HAYES: Right, that`s true. But it does if you`re saying is your bet Trump or the field, right. It`s like when people bet on like Tiger. It`s like you could bet on Tiger or the field. Like, I agree that it`s like your bet right now is Trump or the field. But I just think that the bet on the field isn`t so...

MCINTOSH: In every contest the bet on the field gets worse. And at the point when the bet on the field was better were they able to bet on the field. So why now that it is a steeper climb they`ll suddenly get it together.

HAYES: Here`s why. Here`s why. Because there`s, a, determination on -- I think there is a little bit of coordination happening among the party elites that I do think matters.

I do think like being like, we`re going to try to stop this matter.

MCINTOSH: They`re coordinated in running in a circle firing at each other now as before they were doing on their own.

BARRO: But Florida, where that`s falling apart.

HAYES: Right, we`ll see.

BARRO: I think the collapse of Marco Rubio and the rise of Ted Cruz in Florida actually is saving Donald Trump from whatever trouble he might be having there.

O`BRIEN: I would agree with that completely.

BARRO: And it`s also funny to watch -- the Rubio people are furious at Ted Cruz for competing in Florida. And it`s like this is the way it works.

O`BRIEN: When Marco Rubio at the end of the debate was asked so, after saying never Trump and tweeting never Trump and says I will support the Republican candidate.

At that, it was like...

HAYES: Yeah, you could feel the air come out.

My favorite is the interview he gave, which we quoted on the show, the Kentucky Sports radio. And the guy con fronts him. And he`s like, well, I was saying I would never vote for him in a primary. And the guy is like, well, you`re running against him. Obviously, you`re not going to.

He`s like -- that`s what I was saying.

O`BRIEN: Well, that and hashtag #nevertrump.

BARRO: I`d also challenge this assumption that if Donald Trump does not get to 1237, he has lost. That he needs to have...

HAYES: No, I agree.

BARRO: Because if he`s coming into the convention with 46 percent of the delegates, Republicans are going to be faced with this choice of what`s the biggest disaster for the party.

HAYES: That I agree with. But I`m just talking about...

O`BRIEN: You don`t allow people to have the candidate they`ve chosen? That would be an absolute implosion.

HAYES: Now, of course, on the other side I was reading someone running a model of how the delegate apportionment rules would work on the Democratic side, right. The Democratic side already has this built in anti-democratic check called the super delegates who are literally there for just this occasion. I mean, the reason the super delegates is just this case our voters lose their minds. We want to -- no, that`s really why they`re there.

Like, we want to have this pool of votes that we can like bring in to put a thumb on the scale.

That said, even when you take those away, it does look to me like unless something changes, it`s very hard to come up with a scenario in which Sanders catches Clinton with awarded delegates.

O`BRIEN: And that`s the least of his problems. A big issue that he`s going to have in the macro is he has not figured out -- he cannot articulate a message to African-Americans. I think this little fiasco mini-storm from the debate, and then the clarifying of the comments, which actually made it worse is a real symbol of just how inept he is of speaking.

HAYES: You think he`s inept?

O`BRIEN: Maybe inept is a little harsh, but I think he really struggles for a smart man to articulate what he`s really describes African-Americans often as, you know, hanging out on the street corners. He has this vision of like black people in poverty and in struggling in the ghetto. And even when he`s talking about the lawyer who can`t flag a cab, that man is, by the way, is not flagging a cab I`m going to guess, a black lawyer. He`s not going to the ghetto. He is not going to -- so, you know, he has a very simplistic view of race and when it intersects with economics that is going to be hugely problematic for him. And he can`t articulate it very well.

MCINTOSH: I think when you answer a question about what your racial blind spots are by presenting them by saying I don`t understand what it`s like to live in a ghetto or be poor and be black and they ask him to clarify.

O`BRIEN: The Middle Class black people...

HAYES: Although, let me just also say this -- let me also say, there is something about this whole race which is that like these are the two people, these two white people are running to succeed the first black president. And like, there`s a lot of racial blind spots up there.

O`BRIEN; Absolutely.

HAYES: And that is pretty evident. I think that Hillary Clinton obviously has performed better with black voters.

MCINTOSH: But I think that`s because she has a record of engaging with that community in a thoughtful way that he simply doesn`t. Every time he`s asked about racial relations he talks about poverty and jobs.

HAYES: I think it`s as much tonal as record at this point frankly.

MCINTOSH: I would grant...

HAYES: All right, Soledad O`Brien, Jess McIntosh, Josh Barrow, thanks so much for being here tonight.

And that is ALL IN for this evening.