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All In with Chris Hayes, Transcript 3/10/2016

Guests: David Graham, Charlie Pierce, Sarah Isgur Flores, Thomas Frank, Katrina Vanden Huevel

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: March 10, 2016 Guest: David Graham, Charlie Pierce, Sarah Isgur Flores, Thomas Frank, Katrina Vanden Huevel


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

Violence at Trump rallies getting worse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Next time we see him, we might have to kill him.

HAYES: Tonight, an arrest is made and the man assaulted at a Trump campaign event, he is speaking out -- as a female reporter says she was roughed up by Trump`s campaign manager.

MICHELLE FIELDS, BREITBART.COM: Obviously, no one wants to be touched and violated like that.

HAYES: Plus, ahead of tonight`s debate, why Ted Cruz is evolving his convention talk.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A contested convention is a different thing.

HAYES: A revealing new twist in the Democratic primary.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I do not have the same policy as the current administration does.

HAYES: And President Obama responds to the question, are you responsible for Donald Trump?

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`ve actually heard this argument a number of times.

HAYES: Tonight, the president`s answer and author Thomas Frank on why liberals share the blame.

OBAMA: I have been blamed by Republicans for a lot of things.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


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

And tonight, the protester who was viciously elbowed smashed in the face at a Donald Trump rally in North Carolina yesterday is speaking out. While the assailant now facing criminal charges told the TV show, quote, "the next time we see him, we might have to kill him."

Seventy-eight-year-old John McGraw was arrested this morning and charged with assaulting Rakeem Jones and with disorderly conduct. Jones was being escorted from the Trump rally, when out of nowhere, McGraw stepped toward him and attacked.

In an interview after the rally with "Inside Edition" airing today, McGraw said he had no regrets.


REPORTER: Did you like the event?

JOHN MCGRAW: You bet I liked it.

REPORTER: Yes? What did you like?

MCGRAW: Knocking the hell out of that big mouth.

REPORTER: So, he deserved it?

MCGRAW: Every bit of it.

REPORTER: What was that?

MCGRAW: Yes, he deserved it. The next time we see him, we might have to kill him.


HAYES: McGraw also told "Inside Edition" of Jones, quote, "We don`t know if he`s ISIS" and, quote, "He might be with a terrorist organization."

On MSNBC this afternoon, Jones and his friend Ronnie Rouse who shot video of the incident discussed what happened.


RONNIE ROUSE, ATTENDED TRUMP RALLY: The guy hits the guy in front of the police, behind the police, on the side of the police and they threw Rakeem down and tell him to sit back down. He finishes eating his popcorn. It`s just -- it`s crazy that you get pretty much almost arrested because you got assaulted. And that`s just not -- it`s insane. It`s insane.

We`re the first people thrown out at -- he just came out. This is the first 60 seconds, two minutes of him being there and we`re the first people thrown out.

At this point, he`s telling him, he`s like go home to your mother. Go home to your mother. You know? Then the crowd, they enamored with it. And they`re chanting it, too.

INTERVIEWER: Rakeem, the Trump campaign only gave us one statement and it`s four words. And they said, "We are not involved."

What would you say back to the Trump campaign? They say they`re not involved. This isn`t their problem.

RAKEEM JONES, ASSAULTED AT TRUMP RALLY: I mean, I`m pretty sure heard him, sound pretty involved to me. He was saying tell me to go home to my mom.

INTERVIEWER: I want to read a quote from John McGraw. He`s the man accused and arrested for hitting you. He said, quote, he said, quote, "You bet I liked it, clocking the hell out of that big mouth."

This man has now been arrested. You want to see him go to jail?

JONES: Yes. I want justice. Reality is, he`ll probably be bailed out. Somebody will probably reward him, you know?


HAYES: The events at the Trump rally in North Carolina follow a series of incidents where protesters face threats and physical intimidation and shoving, spitting, things like that, at Trump rallies, often with a wink and a nudge, if not more from the candidate himself.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There`s a guy totally disruptive throwing punches. We`re not allowed to punch back anymore.

I love the old days. You know what they used to do to guys like that when they`re in a place like that. They would be carried out on a stretcher, folks.

He`s walking out like a big high fives, smiling, laughing. I`d like to punch him in the face, I`ll tell you.

Yes, get him out. Try not to hurt him. If you do, I`ll defend you in court. Don`t worry about it.

But you see somebody throwing a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. OK? Just knock the hell -- I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise. I promise.


HAYES: Pressed on whether Trump will, in fact, pay the legal fees of John McGraw, the man who allegedly sucker-punched Rakeem Jones last night, the Trump campaign said, quote, "We`re not involved in that incident."

The campaign also said it takes significant measure to ensure safety of all rally attendees and, quote, "obviously discourages physical contact with protesters."

But there`s another new incident in which the Trump camp cannot deny direct involvement. It involves Trump`s very own campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, in a claim that he assaulted a reporter at a press conference on Tuesday.

Michelle Fields, former FOX News contributor and reporter at the conservative website Breitbart, said she was asking Trump a question when she was jolted back ward, grabbed by the arm and almost thrown to the ground. "Washington Post" reporter Ben Terris says he witnessed the incident and identified Lewandowski as the perpetrator.

Fields allegations provoked something of an existential crisis for her employer Breitbart, which has been one of the Trump`s most stalwart defenders in the conservative media, in which initially issued a rather tepid state suggesting Lewandowski may not have been the perpetrator. Breitbart eventually took the stronger stance behind Fields, though its initial statement prompted reporter Andy Kaczynski of "BuzzFeed" to tweet, quote, "It`s beyond pathetic Breitbart had to be shamed into standing up for its reporter."

Trump`s campaign meanwhile denied that Lewandowski has assaulted Fields, releasing a statement reading in part, quote, "The accusation is entirely false".

And Lewandowski, of course, went on the attack. Taking to Twitter to deem Fields a, quote, "attention seeker," suggest she`s a liar. This despite an audio recording obtained by "Politico" that while not definitive certainly supports the reporter`s version of events. Fields tweeted a photo of her bruised arm, writing sarcastically to Lewandowski and Trump, quote, "I guess these just magically appeared on me. So weird."

"Daily Beast" citing unanimous sources reported that Lewandowski had acknowledged manhandling Fields to a Breitbart editor, reportedly explaining that he didn`t recognize Fields as a Breitbart reporter, instead mistaken her for an adversarial member of the mainstream media.

Late tonight, a source close to the Trump campaign told NBC`s Katy Tur, quote, "Corey has always had an extremely aggressive and contentious relationship with the media. We have known his irrational anger would not be a liability, but we`ve crossed our fingers that something over the top like this would not happen."

Earlier today, Breitbart editor at large Ben Shapiro called on Trump to fire Lewandowski, although there are no signals that the one-time reality star plans to deploy his famous catch phrase.

All this comes as conservatives and Republicans consider the possibility of a contested nominating convention in a potential effort to deny Trump the GOP nomination in Cleveland, even if he has a lead in delegates, though fall short of the threshold.

Now, they find themselves having to factor in the possibility of mob violence from Trump supporters if they try just that. One Trump advisor told "New York Times" reporter Trip Gabriel that if Trump comes to Cleveland with a lead and the establishment tries to deny him, his delegates will burn the place down.

Conservative commentator Erick Erickson warned of an outbreak of physical violence under such a scenario, writing the establishment would watch Trump supporters pour gasoline across the convention floor and strike a match.

Joining me is David Graham, staffer writer for "The Atlantic", who is at that rally in North Carolina where Rakeem Jones was attacked and who wrote a piece today on, quote, "The lurking menace of a Trump rally."

David, tell me what it felt like in that room while all of this was going on.

DAVID GRAHAM, THE ATLANTIC: It felt very strange and a little bit uncomfortable. There`s this whole sort of tension in the room and a lot of people who are very angry about a lot of things. Then, in the course of this, you have, there were 18, 20 instances of protesters being taken out. So, in fact, I didn`t see the punch being thrown where I was sitting.

Every few minutes, someone would get up with a sign or shirt and stand. Police would swarm toward them. Sheriff deputies and police would swarm and remove them, pulled them out.

While this is going on, Trump is making fun of them. He had a punch line for most of them and everybody is jeering and yelling at those folks.

HAYES: Have you been to a political rally like that?

GRAHAM: No. I`ve never been to a Trump rally like this even. It felt a little bit different.

HAYES: The Trump campaign makes the argument basically, we cannot control our supporters. This man has nothing to do with us. Thousands of people come to Trump rallies and the vast majority of them are totally peaceable. Do you buy that?

GRAHAM: I mean, I think it`s true that most of them are peaceable.

I`m sure I go with the idea they`re not in control. He said last night, in the old days, this wouldn`t have happened. You know, people would have handled them very roughly, but, you know, we have gotten weak -- which sounds like an invitation to do something that isn`t weak and to haul off and take a swing at someone.

HAYES: It`s been amazing to watch. There`s this back and forth about the spectrum mob violence in Cleveland and a debate about it.

Erick Erickson, as I quoted, wrote that piece basically saying, look, this is something you factor in when you think about a contested convention.

Noah Rothman, who`s a conservative writer in a commentary basically saying, have we really sunk this low? Have we gotten to the point where we have to factor in the possibility of violence?

What -- do you feel like there`s an air of menace that is growing? That is not some sort of side show but in some ways central to what`s happening here?

GRAHAM: Yes. I think very much that`s the case at this Trump rally. Even outside the rally, when we got out there, there were a bunch of protesters who have gathered and you had you had all of the protesters in one place, and the attendees circling around them. Some of them, you know, curious. But many of them wanting to yell at the attendees and it felt like there was a riot about to break out. There`s a fist fights that I saw.

So, there`s a very tense atmosphere and I think people -- it`s people are transmitting their anger about the political system into physical violence and anger at specific individuals.

HAYES: That`s a bridge that is a very dangerous bridge to cross.

GRAHAM: Absolutely.

HAYES: All right. David Graham from "The Atlantic", thank you so much. I really enjoy it.

GRAHAM: Thank you.

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

Charlie, I want to talk about the endorsement that Trump appears to be about to get from Ben Carson.

First, I want to ask you about this phenomenon. I mean, I was talking to someone, two gentlemen that are veteran political organizers who talked about the last campaign that felt like this was `68. They said, you know, in `68, there was so much action in the streets and there`s so much mayhem happening across America in variety of different ways. The campaign was sot of interplaying with that. Here, it all feels like the mayhem is in the campaign itself.

CHARLIE PIERCE, ESQUIRE MAGAZINE: Yes, the `68 analogy doesn`t hold because it really wasn`t coming from the podium. It was coming from Richard Daley who controlled the police and the hall. That`s how Dan Rather got roughed up.

If you want a historical analog, I would go back to 1964 when the Goldwater people took over the campaign, which is certainly a direct ideological predecessor to what we`re seeing now. David Brinkley told his son Allen (ph), who`s now a great historian, not to wear any NBC gear.

You know, Norman Mailer in of his great phrases, said this was a convention murderous mood. I think we can all say that`s not too far off from what we`re seeing now.

HAYES: Today, there`s news that Ben Carson will be endorsing Donald Trump tomorrow. And let`s just play a bit of what Trump had to say about Ben Carson when the two of them were vying for first in Iowa last year. Take a listen.


TRUMP: He said he`s pathological and he`s got basically pathological disease. So, he said he has pathological disease. Now, if you`re pathological, there`s no cure for that, folks. If you`re a child molester, there`s no cure. They can`t stop you. Pathological there`s no cure. Now, he said he was pathological, OK.


HAYES: I guess on some level, I guess it`s not that surprising to find that Carson is going to go now kiss the ring. But here`s something dispiriting and depressing about the spectacle.

PIERCE: Yes, I think -- I think we are obtaining the event horizon on campaign grift right here. I mean, there`s no other there`s no other reason for it. Ben Carson is taking what`s left of his reputation that he built up with a truly inspiring life story and just tearing it up into small pieces and throwing it up in front of an electric fan.

I mean, this is even more embarrassing than Chris Christie. I didn`t think -- I thought that was the bottom of the barrel. I`m beginning to think that maybe there is no bottom to this barrel.

HAYES: And also suggests to me, when we talk about what`s happening right now both this sort of undercurrent of menace, these actual instances of actual violence, just the live bullying of the press and the lying about it with no, you know, consequence. I mean, they are lying about it. I`m going to say that on air. They`re lying.

They`ve been lying about a lot of things. That`s been obvious and clear to anyone that`s reported anything out, that for all the never Trump folks that there`s going to be a whole lot more Ben Carsons and Chris Christies as we go forward.

PIERCE: Oh, there`s no question about that. They will fall in line. And a lot of people who are making the most noise about #NeverTrump will fall right in line especially if Hillary Clinton is the nominee. There`s no way they can stop themselves. They`ve been working up an abandoned wrath against her for 25 years now. They can`t turn it off.

HAYES: Do you think there`s any possibility, we`re going to have a debate tonight, a Republican debate tonight, that we`ll see someone. Last time, they pledged they would vote for the nominee no matter who it was. Do you think anyone will try to make news by retracting that tonight?

PIERCE: These guys? No, I don`t think so. I think Cruz will tap dance around it. Your best chance with it I think might be Rubio, because he`s not nothing to lose at this point.

HAYES: That`s right.

PIERCE: I mean, he could take out a cream pie and hit Trump in the face with it and it wouldn`t cost him or gain him any votes at this point.


PIERCE: So, if you want a long shot, I would say he would do it. But I don`t think any of them will.

HAYES: Unsolicited last minute advice, I think he should.

Charlie Pierce, thank you very much.

All right. Coming up, a preview of the last Republican debate before a potential knock out round next Tuesday night.

Plus, the most telling moment from last night`s Democratic debate that had you blinked, you probably missed it.

And later, President Obama has some thoughts about the idea that his presidency is responsible for the rise of Donald Trump. Trust me, you`ll want to hear it.

Those stories and more, ahead.


HAYES: Any day now, President Obama is expected to nominate his choice to replace the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Today on Capitol Hill, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley argued why the next president should select the replacement, and he reaffirmed why he`s committed to the completely historically unprecedented move of denying the president`s nominee even a hearing.

One Republican in the room deviated from the party talking points, delivering the sobering reality if this obstruction tactic.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: We`re setting a precedent here today, Republicans are, that in the last year, at least of a lame duck eight-year term, I would say it`s going to be a four-year term, that you`re not going to fill a vacancy of the Supreme Court based on what we`re doing here today. That`s going to be the new rule.

I`m very much supportive of what you`re doing, Mr. Chairman. I don`t think you`re doing anything wrong, but I just want the members on the side to know, if we lose this election, my view of what the president to come will be able to do is the same. If it`s Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders and they send over a qualified nominee, I`m going to vote for them in this committee and on the floor, because I think that`s what the Constitution envisioned by advice and consent.


HAYES: Up next, what to expect as the four Republicans hoping to face president face off in their 12th debate.



SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A contested convention is the great hope of the Republican establishment. It is how they are drowning away their sorrows. If they say, we have a brokered convention and all these crazy voters will go one way and then we`ll step in with our money and we will anoint our white knight to ride in and save the day. That`s not going to happen.


HAYES: Ted Cruz speaking out against the idea of a contested convention just a few weeks ago. But last night, on the eve of the final Republican debate before yet another Super Tuesday primary bonanza, Cruz appeared to sort of change his tune a bit. The Texas senator who was in second place in the delegate count argued while he`s opposed to a brokered convention, the antiquated notion of power brokers within the party selecting the nominee behind closed doors, he said he might be amenable to a contested convention.


CRUZ: A contested convention is different thing where you go -- if no one gets 1,237 and you`ve got two front runners, look, Reagan and Ford battled it out in a contested convention. That`s what conventions are for. If you`re fighting between the candidates who have earned the votes of the people and it`s the delegates at the convention who have been elected to do that, that`s the way the system works.


HAYES: Meanwhile, Cruz`s cluster of super PACs are pursuing a seven-figure ad buy in Tuesday`s primary states, Missouri, Ohio, Illinois and North Carolina. Notably absent from that list, Florida, home of Marco Rubio, because according to the super PAC`s president, Kellyanne Conway, it appears Rubio can lose Florida all by himself. Ouch.

And it seems like the Cruz camp isn`t taking anything for granted. Earlier this week, "The National Review" posted a story Cruz was set to unveil endorsements from four or more of his Senate colleagues. A really big get for team Cruz, and quite surprising, considering Cruz`s reputation in the Senate.

As "New York Times" put it back in December, Mr. Cruz is so unpopular that, at one point, not a single Republican senator would support his demand for a roll call vote, leaving Mr. Cruz standing on the Senate floor with a man with bird flu, everyone scattering to avoid him.

Needless to say, "The National Review" corrected its reporting on Ted Cruz`s impending multiple endorsements with this update, "An earlier version said the Cruz campaign was set to unveil four more endorsements from Cruz`s fellow senators. The number of senators will endorse Cruz is not known."

Today, we got a little more clarity. Senator Mike Lee, that`s one senator, of Utah, (INAUDIBLE) Cruz as lazy, came out to endorse Mr. Cruz and said he could encourage Marco Rubio to drop out.

Joining me now, Sarah Isgur Flores, the former deputy campaign manager for Carly Fiorina. Early this week, Ms. Fiorina also endorsed Ted Cruz.

Welcome, Sarah.

Sarah, my understanding is you yourself are also supporting Ted Cruz now.


HAYES: So, here`s the challenge. It seems to me that the best chance to stop Donald Trump is for people to rally around Ted Cruz. That`s one line of thinking.

The other line of thinking is everyone stay in and win the states you can. Rubio wins Florida, maybe Kasich wins Ohio, everybody kind of take their different pieces of the pie. Which of those do you adhere to?

FLORES: I think should everyone should unite behind Ted Cruz. Not just because he`s the best chance for beating Donald Trump, although I think he is, and the only chance of beating Donald Trump, but because he`s the conservative in the race who has shown he can run a great campaign. He`s had his character tested. He`s proven to be a great candidate out there.

And so, I do think it`s time we pick Ted Cruz as the guy we`re going with. It`s what Carly said earlier this week. I agree with her.

HAYES: Do you think tonight -- now, tonight`s the debate. We saw team up of by all the contestants, certainly Rubio and Cruz on Donald Trump. Do you think we`re going to continue to see that tonight?

FLORES: Well, I think that you`ll continue to see Donald Trump`s record, you know, brought out to light. He doesn`t have much of a record, when he does, it`s contradictory. He doesn`t know his health care plan and then he does and takes it back. Same with the immigration issue with visas.

So, I expect we`ll see more of that sort of, you know, dumpster fire-esque debate performance from Donald Trump. But I think Ted Cruz will show he`s the conservative in this race who, you know, the people of Texas trusted him. He did what they asked. They overwhelmingly voted for him for president. And I think you`ll see why tonight.

HAYES: Do you think -- there are Rubio people who are mad that Cruz is even contesting Florida. They are basically saying that in contesting Florida, what they are doing is essentially acting as a de facto adjunct to Donald Trump because Rubio is the best chance to beat him in Florida. There`s already a lot of early votes bank. And Ted Cruz sinking money into Florida and putting in campaign staff and fighting for Florida is essentially paving the way to Trump`s nomination.

What do you think of that?

FLORES: I think the Rubio campaign has enough to worry about in their own strategy and tactic. They probably shouldn`t start messing with other candidates and giving them advice. So far, theirs hasn`t been working too well.

HAYES: Do you think that Ted Cruz can plausibly win a general election?

FLORES: I do. I think that Hillary Clinton is a formidable and flawed candidate. I think when her record is brought to the front, which Ted Cruz is very capable of doing, contrasted with someone who does have high trust numbers, high accountability that he`s brought and shown, keeping his word. I think Hillary has got a real problem, both authenticity and trustworthiness.

HAYES: I think formidable and flawed is correct. But I mean, Donald Trump -- Donald Trump -- Ted Cruz is someone whose politics are -- I think he`s right when he says he`s the true conservative, right? He`s the true ideologue.

But those politics are just not shared by a majority of American voters. I think that`s just a sort of as an empirical matter. And more than that, he also seems like someone who every single person who is interacted with him in his professional life has basically come away not liking the guy, which doesn`t seem like the best personal quality when running for president.

FLORES: It was a lot in there. Let me try to unpack it.

So, on the first issue, I don`t think you`re giving voters enough credit. Voters are smart and nuance. I think voters will see that Ted Cruz`s policies are those that will lift people up and policy for a positive future for the country.

I think Hillary Clinton`s policies we have tried for the last eight years and not a lot of people are happy with them.

As far as Ted`s likability, I`ve known Ted for a decade now. Ted is a wonderful person. I think that Americans will get to know him, particularly in a general election and they`ll really start to see why so many of us like him.

HAYES: Sarah, you just tipped your hand to the great weakness and flaw of the center-right as it enters the general election. I mean this empirically. The approval rating for the highest since 2013. He has considerably high favorables. And I think that to the extent the conservatives go into this election thinking that people don`t like the last eight years, they`re going to have a hard time winning.

Sarah Isgur Flores, thank you for joining me tonight. Appreciate it.

FLORES: Thank you.

HAYES: Coming up, why Hillary Clinton is now creating some daylight between herself and President Obama. That`s next.


HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you`re asking about everyone who`s already here, undocumented immigrants, the 11, 12 million who are living here, my priorities are to deport violent criminals, terrorists and anyone who threatens our safety.

I do not have the same policy as the current administration does.


HAYES: You blink last night, you might have missed one of the most revealing moments of the entire debate when Hillary Clinton distanced herself from the current Obama administration, specifically the president`s deportation policy.

Over the past couple of months not only did it seem evident that Clinton was running to preserve Obama`s legacy, she has wrapped herself very tightly in the administration policies, in praising the Affordable Care Act, reminding voters of her service as Secretary of State under Obama, to defending a president for taking on Wall Street.

And the calculus here seemed to be both a political commitment to assuage uneasy Democrats that things are going to be okay when Obama leaves office, and to preserve her standing and cultivate her support with black voters, particularly while campaigning throughout the South where they make up huge shares of the Democratic elector.

But what we saw last night was not a calculation necessarily based on regional interest, after all, Florida, North Carolina, two of the five states where Democrats will vote on Tuesday are in the South, but rather constituencies who aren`t as on board with certain parts of this president`s agenda, including the issues of deportations.

Joining me now, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation, and Joy Reid, MSNBC National Correspondent.

I thought that was -- if you blinked you missed it, right? But because of this period of going through the South where the debate really has focused I think, Hillary Clinton very effectively wielded the president as a wedge issue against Bernie Sanders, very effectively. That one moment made me realize we`re in a different phase of the campaign from the perspective of the primary.

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, THE NATION: Well, I think the Democratic party is in a different phase. The center of gravity has shifted inside the party. We`ve seen this in this campaign.

It was the first time, I believe, Hillary Clinton came out unequivocally against deportation of children. We saw it in Michigan where she -- a few months ago she distanced herself from the president on trade and trade has emerged as one of the central issues of this campaign.It will play out in the next week in those industrial heart land states.

Chris, you`ve written about the system failures of elites. For too long the Washington elite, the beltway consensus has been free trade, free trade. But it`s ravaged communities, ravaged jobs, and you know, between Bernie Sanders and the economic populace worn wing of the democratic party, Hillary Clinton`s already moved on that and seen a lot of light between herself and the president.

It`s fighting for the (inaudible) which I don`t think is going to pass.

JOY REID, MSNBC: Well, I think you`ve seen throughout the campaign and it`s been more subtle than it was last night that where Hillary Clinton does differ from Barack Obama, where she stops hugging him, it`s been to move to his left.

HAYES: That is true.

REID: She`ll fade to left on trade. Never to his right. And on immigration she`s doing the same thing. She has previously said that she would be more aggressive on DOCA AND DOPA, right?

HAYES: Those are president`s actions on protecting people from deportation.

REID: Children and parents, and elderly parents of people who were brought here when they were young, and also children who were brought here themselves when they were very young. So, she`s always sort of gone to his left a little bit.

In Florida there`s an interesting sort of nuance, right? So what you have seen in Florida is the various Hispanic groups, both Cuban Americans and of course Puerto Ricans have started to align much more with Mexican Americans who are mostly out West on policies, including on immigration.

They are all moving in the same direction and becoming more like other Hispanics.

HAYES: This is a really key point because we saw this formation of identity that`s been happening. I think it happened, my favorite exit polling data from 2012 is that Mitt Romney lost Asian Americans by 70 points. Why would that happen? What is the coherent, a Filipino nurse in Connecticut and a fourth generation Chinese American cop in San Francisco.

But the fact of the matter is one of the things we`re seeing on the American immigration debate is the white backlash politics of the Republican party creates this sort of counter effect.

REID: One of my former producers who is Indian American, he said they are quite conservative on social issues. They used to lean Republican, but when they hear the Republican party talk about Mexican Americans they say, we`re next.

HAYES: We don`t want to be on that team.

VANDEN HUEVEL: Let me say something contrarily, because I do think there`s an area where Bernie Sanders has more in common with President Obama in terms of sensibility, which is foreign policy.

Sanders and Obama, by instinct, are less interventionist. They worry about the unintended consequences of regime change. They are more restrained. They don`t want to police the world. They want to rebuild at home.

And you know, Hillary Clinton in 2008 said of President Obama, he was irresponsible and reckless in saying he would talk to Iran and Cuba without preconditions. And you know, she criticized the president when she left the Secretary of State position --

HAYES: Don`t do stupid stuff.

VANDEN HUEVEL: Don`t do stupid stuff. Well, it may not be an organizing principle but hell, do no harm isn`t a bad U.S. foreign policy principle.

HAYES: Here`s what`s interesting to Joy`s point. I totally agree with you. I hadn`t thought of it in that way. Whenever she goes do his left on domestic policy. Your reporting that we have about her behind closed doors on foreign policy is that when she has separated from him it is tends to be more interventionist, but, interestingly enough, that has not been something she`s highlighted on the campaign trial, because I think Katrina is right about where the poll says.

REID: It`s not just the finger of the party, remember one of the main reasons Hillary Clinton did not become the nominee of the democratic party was Iraq. But you can argue that as a woman running to be the commander in chief she, by necessity had to be more Margaret Thatcher --

VANDEN HUEVEL: Someone who I admire on all issues is Tulsi Gabbard, who, just a week or so ago came out and endorsed Sanders, but more importantly, came out for a less interventionist against regime change.

REID: She`s not running for president.

VANDEN HUEVEL: Listen, last night was interesting when Benghazi was mentioned, was brought up. The boos. The real scandal of Benghazi is not what Fox purveys, it is that --

HAYES: Yes, but I thought that was a perfect moment that encapsulated to me one of the limitations of the foreign policy debates so far, which is that Bernie Sanders responded by saying, there`s an article in The New York Times about it, then he was like then move on.

He didn`t make the case.

VANDEN HUEVEL: No but Chris, you`re not going to get any argument from me. I think Bernie Sanders has not used the opportunity to lay out an alternative foreign policy, which I think a lot of Democrats, people, citizens seek. He didn`t do it last night.

But I also hold the moderators of these debates accountability. We have gotten foreign policy (inaudible). Whether the Republican debates or the Democratic debates.

REID: I think it`s also true that Bernie Sanders has not articulated foreign policy as a thing that`s important to him. It comes across clearly he has one thing that`s important to him and that`s raining in Wall Street and income inequality, but it comes across this is not an emphasis for him.

VANDEN HUEVEL: Alright, but the Pentagon, the NSA and the CIA would disagree to a certain extent. They believe climate change, climate crisis is one of the great security challenges of this century and the future.

HAYES: That is true. When you talk about the questions, one of my favorite questions in all the debates was Chuck Todd`s question about Afghanistan, which ws just a very simple, what are you going to do, right?

Now, part of the problem is that the answer to any question about foreign policy right now as laid out in the really interesting Atlantic piece, cover story interview with Barack Obama, is that it`s very hard to articulate any of them in a context of a 30-second answer.

Katrina Vanden Huevel and Joy Reid, thanks so much for joining us.

Coming up, in case for some reason Marco Rubio is out of race next week, we wanted to make sure we paid him do homage and reviewed his book for our very prestigious and inclusive All In candidate book series.

Marco Rubio`s, American Dreams, is next.


HAYES: Every single poll out of Florida this month had Marco Rubio losing his home state to Donald Trump, which means it`s time for another installment of our candidate book report series before it`s too late.

American Dreams, Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone, hit book shelves over a year ago. We never got around to reading of course.

Fortunately Jeb Lund, columnist for The Guardian and Rolling Stone did.


JEB LUND: "I believe that the most creative and innovative nation on Earth is uniquely qualified to lift the poor by putting Americans on a path to prosperity and self-sufficiency."

I hate this thing and I never want to do it again.

"Imagine the opportunities that will open up for the American people when economic growth creates jobs, lifts wages, and restores hope."

Rubio`s book is filled with these little tautologies, imagine the growth will have a job and the jobs will have a growth. Imagine the opportunity that will open up once everyone has opportunity. Friends, it`s just that easy.

This is the ideal Marco Rubio book. You can`t find a big idea in here you can`t also find in the chairman of commerce pamphlet or an arm`s contractors wish list.

He just adds the words creative and innovate to them.

In fact, his big anti-poverty idea is that the biggest determining factor in poverty rates is single parent households.

Who knew two income households help prevent poverty?

He also uses the same study that Rick Santorum`s book did correlating single poverty rates and single parent rates and comparing Atlanta to Salt Lake City. Why the difference between the two cities? Could there be be deep institutional structures that might have led to a underclass in one of them? Nope, it`s the marriage thing.

Don`t read the book. Within a few days, there probably won`t be reason to any way.


HAYES: And this Monday, on the eve of the Florida primary, we`ll be in Marco Rubio`s hometown, broadcasting live from the Bayside Marketplace in downtown Miami at 8 pm Eastern. You do not want to miss it. If you`re nearby in Miami, come by and say hello.

Alright, still ahead, as Democrats and Republicans try to figure out who exactly is to blame for Donald Trump`s popularity, President Obama responds to the suggestion that his presidency had something to do with it.

His remarks, ahead. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: While we were all focused on the presidential race and the next big primary on Tuesday, there are some other issues on the ballot that day too, including a race in Illinois. The outcome of which may result in a district attorney paying a price for the way she handled an explosive story of a police shooting.

Cook County district attorney Anita Alvarez became infamous last year during the case of 17 year old Laquan McDonald, who you may recall was shot 16 times by Chicago police back in October of 2014.

Alvarez waited 400 days to charge the officer accused of shooting McDonald, Jason Van Dyke, and announced she was doing so just hours before the video you`re seeing now was publicly released thanks to a court order. And she has yet to bring charges against the other officers whose reports of the incident did not reflect what the video showed.

Alvarez has been doggedly and repeatedly con fronted by protesters. Now she has an unlikely competitor for her job.

Kim Fox, a woman who spent her childhood in public housing, a sexually assault survivor who was homeless for a short time in high school, but later earned her undergrad and law degrees and got a job in the state attorney`s office working under Alvarez herself.

Now Fow is running for that position on an explicitly progressive platform to transform the way criminal justice works in Cook County and Chicago. This basically never happens in American politics. A would be prosecutor challenging another prosecutor from the left, running to end what Fox calls the tough on crime boogeyman approach.

The coverage of Black Lives Matter over the last few years, the movement has focused a lot on police and a lot less on district attorneys. But it`s district attorneys who play the single most central role in both police accountability and mass incarceration.

And if things are going to change in this country they`re going to need to change at that level. And that`s the kind of change that will be on the ballot for the voters of Cook County on Tuesday.

I`m curious to see what happens.


HAYES: With Donald Trump inching ever closer to securing the presidential nomination for the Republican party, there`s a lot of finger pointing going on about who is responsible for his unpredictable rise.

Liberals like to accuse the fevered right wing pathologies of the Obama era, many conservatives blame President Obama himself for the political polarization of the last seven and a half years, and for paving the way for Trump.

Today, the president answered that charge at length during during a joint press conference with a visiting Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have been blamed by Republicans for a lot of things, but being blamed for their primaries and who they are selecting for their party is novel.

Objectively, it`s fair to say that the Republican political elites and many of the information and social media, talk radio, television stations have been feeding the Republican base for the last seven years, a notion that everything I do is to be opposed.That cooperation or compromise somehow is a betrayal. That maximalist positions on issues are politically advantageous.

I don`t think I was the one to prompt questions about my birth certificate. I don`t remember saying, hey, why don`t you ask me about that. And, so, what you`re seeing within the Republican party is to some degree all those efforts over a course of time creating an environment where somebody like a Donald Trump can thrive.


HAYES: Now, that`s the president`s account of what`s happened. But there are liberals who contend that liberalism, itself, at least in its modern incarnation, contributed to the rise of Trump, and one of those liberals joins me, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Joining me now is Thomas Frank, the author of "Listen Liberal or Whatever Happened to the Party of the People."

Tom, it`s great have you here.

THOMAS FRANK, WRITER: It`s my pleasure.

HAYES: Congrats on the book. I`ve been reading it. You sent me an early copy. I think it`s extremely provocative, it`s fantastically written, as all Tom Frank products are.

FRANK: Very kind of you, sir.

HAYES: So, what`s -- let`s talk about Trump, particularly, in this context. You wrote this piece for The Guardian basically saying you liberals, you get some of the blame for this. Why?

FRANK: Because it goes back to inequality and to the sort of larger question of the relationship of the the Democratic Party with the working class, specifically the white working class -- this is a question that goes back to the 1970s. But it`s a story that I trace in the book. There`s a long back story to this -- basically what I end up with is at some point the Democrats, the kind of elite Washington Democrats that Katrina was referring to a few minutes ago, decided they didn`t want to be the party of working people any more. That that`s not -- that really wasn`t who they were. That`s not what they were about anymore. This took a long time, the 70s, the 80s and sort of comes to -- it flowers with Bill Clinton.

And who they were, instead, was they were a party of the professional class, OK. So, they`re a part of the sort of most accomplished elements of the various professional groups in America. That`s who they are. A party of the top 10 percent, specficially of the new economy`s winners.

And that was pretty funny. I like the Marco Rubio book review, by the way. But a lot of language that Rubio that he was quoting Rubio saying in the book, you find the exact same kind of thing in Democratic books about the creative class and innovation and all this kind of thing.

HAYES: So, let me stop you there and give you a counter narrative, right. So, you sort of talk about the abandonment of white working class and the takeover of the Democratic Party as the sort of professional class, the sort of upwardly mobile affluent -- now, obviously, that`s not the Democratic base of the party, because you can`t...

FRANK: That`s the problem. Therein lies the problem.

HAYES: But see, here -- the other piece that people will think is, no, what happened was the white working class decided they did not want to be in the party of civil rights. That basically, this was a decision that was made not from the top down about we`re to be part of the elite, but really the cleavage point is that the Democratic Party became forthrightly basically starting with LBJ and certainly in the era of Obama, the party of non-white america.

FRANK: Maybe so. But we can actually -- and in the book I specifically pinpoint where the Democrats made this decision, and it wasn`t that, it was Vietnam. Vietnam was the killer. This was the issue that broke the Democratic Party.

There were -- you think about the United Autoworkers -- you know, big, big supporters of the march on Washington in `63. Martin Luther King was always doing things in conjunction with -- I mean, what was the march on `63 called, remember.

Yeah, that`s right, but it had a big labor component to it. And the civil rights movement always has.

But it was specifically Vietnam is where the main -- here in New York, you remember. We don`t remember, because we aren`t old enough.

HAYES: The famous moment.

FRANK: There was a riot in favor of the Vietnam War. All these hard hats working construction jobs. And that was really what did it. It was after `68 -- it was `68 and `72 and the Democrats decided to read labor out of their party, which is in some way was a disasterous move, you know because they preceeded, they lost the election really, really, really badly.

But they did it in a kind of -- for idealistic reasons. And the reasons this had mainly to do with Vietnam.

HAYES: You now have a situation -- and the book gets in this argument, it`s a very complex argument in certain ways. But you have got a situation, which my favorite description of the Trump voters was like in chemistry, free floating electrons on the outer ring. That they`re not actually down to any party, and then in comes the sort of physical force of Trump kind of like draws them into his orbit.

FRANK: That`s good. I like that. But, you know, when I watch these Trump rallies with these vast throngs of people. And you know they can`t all be bad people. I mean, I think Trump is a demagogue and charleton and what did I say in the story, a gold-plated buffoon. I mean, all that stuff, right. But I don`t think you can say that about all of -- we can dismiss all of his followers that way.

And I`ll tell you when I watch those -- when I watch the footage of these giant crowds I think back to a very formative incident for me. I was in Decatur, Illinois in 1994. This was a left wing moment, but I could -- you know, it was a labor rally and you could see throngs -- well, anyhow. It`s all in the book.

HAYES: Read the book.

FRANK: You`ll like it. It`s why the Democrats failed.

HAYES: Let me endorse the idea they`re not all horrible people, because I have talked to a lot of Trump supporters and I think the guy is socking people in the faces...

FRANK: Of course, that`s insane.

HAYES: All right, Thomas Frank, thank you for being here.

That is All In for this evening.