Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: March 16, 2016 Guest: Elizabeth Warren, Joel Simon, Olivia Nuzzi, Dick Durbin, Bill de Blasio
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --
HAYES: Hillary Clinton celebrates her biggest night yet.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are moving closer to securing the Democratic Party nomination and winning this election in November.
HAYES: While chaos reigns on the Republican side, with threats from the front-runner.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don`t think you can say that we don`t get it automatically. I think it would be -- I think you`d have riots. I think you`d have riots.
HAYES: Senator Elizabeth Warren joins me to discuss both races and the major story out of the White House today.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am nominating Chief Judge Merrick Brian Garland to join the Supreme Court.
HAYES: Then, we`ll look at Trump`s war on the media.
TRUMP: Some really disgusting people back there.
HAYES: And speak with one of the few elected leaders openly calling him a racist. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Plus, the two elections last night that proved the power of Black Lives Matter, when ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
And somehow, amidst the most turbulent election cycle of recent memory, the past 24 hours have been, perhaps, the most frenzied bringing into sharp relief the very different directions that America`s two major political parties are currently headed.
On the one hand, we have a Democratic Party that while confronting significant internal disputes over its principles, policy, and future is working out those differences through a fairly straightforward process. And on the other hand, a Republican party in complete chaos, both on the campaign trail, and in Washington, hurdling towards total institutional collapse and threatening to take the rest of the country with it.
Last night was the biggest one yet for Hillary Clinton whose path to the Democratic nomination is now clearer than ever. She won five big states over Bernie sanders giving her a bigger delegate lead than President Obama held at any point in his 2008 contest with her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Let`s stand with everyone who believes America`s best days are ahead of us. For all of our challenges, I`ve never had more faith in our future and if we work together, if we go forward in this campaign, if we win in November, I know our future will be brighter tomorrow than yesterday.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Having steadily picked up pledged delegates since Iowa, Clinton now needs to win just 35 percent of the remainder of pledged delegates to clinch the nomination. Sanders on the other hand would need 65 percent of all the remaining delegates, a feat his campaign maintains is possible given the states yet to come on the primary calendar.
This morning in Washington, the man that both of them are running to succeed now at his highest approval rating in almost three years fulfilled his role in another process crucial to American democracy, appointing Supreme Court justices.
President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, the 63-year-old chief judge of the D.C. Circuit Court, to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Garland is regarded as a moderate jurist, well-regarded on both sides of the aisle. And as recently as last Friday, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch said President Obama could easily name him, calling Garland a fine man adding the president, quote, "probably won`t do that because this appointment is about the election, so I`m pretty sure he`ll name someone the liberal Democratic base wants."
In his announcement this morning, President Obama called on the Republican- led Senate to do its part in the constitutional process.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: To suggest that someone who has served his country with honor and dignity, with a distinguished track record of delivering justice for the American people, might be treated as one Republican leader stated as a political pinata -- that can`t be right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Republicans on Capitol Hill like their party at large responded by thrashing around between all out norm-defying maximalism and trying to look reasonable and accept political realities, as he did within hours of Scalia`s sudden death, Mitch McConnell wasted no time in rejecting outright the president`s prerogative.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: Let`s let the American people decide. The Senate will appropriately revisit the matter when it considers the qualifications of the nominee the next president nominates.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Several at-risk Senate Republicans who will be up for election, including Susan Collins, Kelly Ayotte, even judiciary chair Chuck Grassley have all said they`d be open to meeting with Garland. And now, lawmakers are reportedly talking behind the scenes about confirming him in a lame duck session if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency.
While refusing to hear a holding on the nominee takes the GOP`s congressional dysfunction to new lows, it pales in comparison to the state of crisis in the Republican primary. Donald Trump won four out of five of the state contests held last night. More than doubling his lead over Ted Cruz and forcing Marco Rubio, who lost his home state of Florida, to drop out of the race. Trump now needs to win 55 percent of the remaining delegates to secure the nomination, difficult but distinctly possible. Cruz needs 80 percent and John Kasich needs a mathematically impossible 106 percent even after winning Ohio last night.
Those odds explain why Kasich is now openly banking on a contested convention and Cruz is heaping praise on Marco Rubio after months of trying to tear him down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is unlikely that anybody is going to achieve enough delegates to avoid a convention. They`re going to look at somebody who could actually be president of the United States who has a record.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Marco is a good man. He ran an honorable, a strong campaign, but Marco Rubio`s supporters, we`re welcoming them to join us. We`ve seen that happening all across the country, Marco supporters coming to join us and it`s time for the Republican Party to unite.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: According to "Politico", a group of conservatives, including Erick Erickson is meeting tomorrow to discuss a potential third-party run against Donald Trump. While former House Speaker John Boehner is backing a candidate who`s not even running.
The GOP`s perpetual white knight, current Speaker Paul Ryan, after initially declining to rule it out, Ryan said in a statement he wouldn`t accept the nomination. But don`t forget, that`s exactly what he said about being speaker of the house. And look where he is now.
Meanwhile, as Donald Trump`s lead in the delegate count continues to expand, so does his control over the Republican Party, itself. After Trump warned of riots in the case of a contested convention this morning, implicitly threatening violence to make sure he gets his way, RNC spokesman Sean Spicer actually came to his defense.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I think you`d have riots. I think you`d have riots. You know, we have -- I`m representing a tremendous, many, many millions of people.
SEAN SPICER, RNC SPOKESMAN: Yes, I assume he`s speaking figuratively. I think if we go into convention, whoever gets 1,237 delegates becomes the nominee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A Trump surrogate later said in an interview that the party tries to overall its voters, quote, "Riots aren`t necessarily a bad thing."
Today, after Trump dropped out of next Monday`s Republican debate, the RNC and FOX News decided to, well, cancel it all together, sending a clear signal to the current front-runner, "Yes, Mr. Trump, right away, Mr. Trump."
I got a chance to speak earlier with Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, about all this and I started by asking what she makes the Republican response to President Obama`s Supreme Court nomination.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: You know, the most -- one of the most solemn undertakings that we have in government is filling a vacancy on the United States Supreme Court. The president has just completed his constitutional duty, Article 2 Section 2. He has nominated someone to fill that vacancy.
And now, what we want is for the Republicans to join us in doing the job that the Senate is supposed to do. Hold our hearings and have a vote. Give our advice and consent on this nominee.
It`s pretty straightforward. It`s there in the Constitution. What we`re asking for is do your job.
HAYES: Do you think there`s a relationship between -- I mean, we`re seeing the Republican Party in some ways come apart at the seams through this nomination process, the primary that`s happening. The folks that you work with, your colleagues represent essentially the establishment to the extent there is one, their elected leaders.
Do you see a relationship between the behavior of your colleagues and -- who are senators and what`s happening in this primary?
WARREN: So, look, what they`re doing right now at the Supreme Court is completely unprecedented. There`s never been anything like this in history.
But I have to say, the Republicans in the Senate have been building this for a long time because they have truly given in to the extremists in the party. Remember that right after President Obama was re-elected in 2012 by 5 million votes that the response of Republicans in the Senate was to try to block him from filling any of three vacancies on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, second most important court in the United States.
Tried to block him from filling any vacancy on the NLRB. Why? So they could shut down the NLRB because thaw wouldn`t have a quorum.
Tried to keep him from naming anyone to the Environmental Protection Agency, as secretary of labor, to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Why? Because they were trying to hold those as vacant so they could shut down parts of government.
And when you`ve given into your extremists like that, when the whole animating of energy, of the United States Senate, is in effect to try to deny the legitimacy of the president who was democratically elected, the legitimacy of what`s called for in the Constitution means they really have just gone the extremist route, and let`s face it, Trump is the natural consequence of that.
So, I think all these pieces are weaving together and they`ve all hit this high point now or low point with Trump as the presidential nominee and Senate Republicans having picked this position that says, we`re not going to even hold hearings and a vote on a vacancy in the United States Supreme Court basically for a year. This is really pretty stunning.
HAYES: And when you put the two together, you have the last nominee that this party nominated, Mitt Romney, calling the current front-runner essentially a charlatan, a fraud, a con artist, possibly a threat to the republic, and at the same time, his party saying we must preserve this seat, so said charlatan, fraud, con artist may be able to fill it in the future.
WARREN: Exactly. And look how Mitt Romney plays into all of this. The kinds of things I was talking about, where the Senate Republicans said, we don`t want anyone for the next four years in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, we don`t want anyone over at the NLRB because we just want to shut it down.
Where was Mitt Romney then? Where were the supposedly cooler heads of the Republican Party at that point? The answer is, they were in bed with the extremists.
WARREN: And now, look what they`ve got on their hands.
HAYES: Are you someone who is scared by Donald Trump? Do you find what`s happening around his rallies, around his rhetoric deeply worrisome, scary?
WARREN: I take Donald Trump very seriously. What he is promoting is a form of hate that is virulent and that is bad for this country.
My view on it is this. It`s time for all of us to speak out, Republican, Democrat, independent, libertarian, vegetarian, everybody, to say no to The Donald. We cannot have a man like this as a serious candidate for president and have him threatening to take over the White House.
This is not a reality show. This is real life and this is our country and when we`re talking about president of the United States, we got to take a deep breath here and get really serious. Not Donald Trump.
HAYES: You`ve been very careful about your relationship to the primary on the Democratic side. You have not endorsed either candidate. I -- my sense is you don`t really love talking about it but I would feel remiss if I didn`t ask you about it. A lot of people are asking if you will endorse, if you have plans to endorse before the convention, and what your current thinking is on the race.
WARREN: Let me say one thing about it -- as you call it my relationship to the primary. The way I think of it, I`ve been cheering them on because I am really proud to be a Democrat and this primary has made me prouder, even prouder to be a Democrat.
Why? Because our candidates are out there talking about the issues. Our candidates are out there debating the very best way to make sure that our young people can get an education without being crushed by debt. Our candidates are out there talking about trade deals that leave workers in the dirt and saying that we`re not going to support that kind of thing anymore.
Our candidates are out there talking about how we get more money into rebuilding infrastructure, roads and bridges so that we have better jobs not overseas but right here in America. Our candidates are having the kind of debate that we should be having in a democracy. It makes me proud, and I got to tell you, it makes clear the difference between Democrats and, boy, that show that`s going on over on the Republican side.
So, right now, I tell you what my timeline is, I like what we`re doing on the Democratic side and I think it`s what we ought to be doing.
HAYES: All right. Senator Elizabeth Warren, as always, a great pleasure. Thank you for joining us. I appreciate it.
WARREN: Good to talk to you.
HAYES: Still a come, a chilling message from the Republican front-runner as he took the stage from his victory speech last night. Donald Trump`s escalating fight with the media is next.
Plus, breaking news stemming from the violent scene at last week`s Donald Trump rally.
And later, on the heels of a Hillary Clinton sweep last night, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on his candidate`s path forward and candid remarks about Donald Trump`s, quote, "racist appeal".
HAYES: All right. Last night when Republican voters in Illinois went to the polls, they weren`t just voting for a presidential candidate. They were also voting for delegates like the actual people, the delegates who are tied to a candidate who are going to actually go to the convention to, you know, support, say, Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, and the assumption being that if you vote for Donald Trump, you vote for his delegates. You vote for Ted Cruz, you just vote for his delegates.
But last night, for Trump in Illinois, that didn`t happen. As Dave Wasserman of "The Cook Political Report" first noted tweeting, quote, "Interesting GOP result in Illinois` sixth district. Two Trump-bound delegates named Barbara Kois and Paul Minch won, but a third named Nabi Fakroddin lost." In fact, Trump`s delegate, a person who`s gong to be vote for Trump, Nabi Fakroddin, received almost 5,000 less votes than Trump`s other two delegates in that very same district, costing him the third spot and Donald Trump a delegate to take at the convention.
Today, Wasserman notes Trump supporters` apparent diversion to foreign- sounding names ended up potentially costing him three of the state`s 69 delegates. So, if Trump comes up short of the number of delegates he needs by, say, two or three he may have foreign-name-averse supporters to thank for it.
MADDOW: All right. We have an update on the violence that broke out at a Trump rally last Wednesday when an apparent Trump supporter violently smashed a protester in the face when being escorted out of the Trump rally.
The Cumberland County, North Carolina sheriff said he has disciplined five deputies following a professional standards investigation, with three deputies demoted in rank for their actions following that assault. Because while the protester after being attack ended up on the floor surrounded by sheriff`s deputies, the alleged assailant just walked away and he was not arrested until the following day. He even took time after the rally to give an interview saying he liked, quote, "clocking the hell out of that big mouth."
As for Trump, himself, last night, he took the stage for a standard election night event, a press conference in front of a row of American flags in the Donald J. Trump grand ballroom in Trump`s Mar-A-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
And despite billing the event as a press conference, Trump didn`t actually take any question from the press. Not a single one. What Trump did do, unlike in past campaign events, is position his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in a very prominent spot just to his side behind him in full view of the cameras, even offering Lewandowski a personal shout-out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Corey, good job, Corey. Good job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Trump`s decision to publicly thank Lewandowski last night was striking since Lewandowski is literally the subject of criminal complaint filed last week by now former Breitbart conservative reporter Michelle Fields who alleged that Lewandowski grabbed her tightly by the arm and yanked her down when she tried to ask Trump a question, leaving bruises on her arm.
The incident was followed by a report in "Politico" about, quote, "Lewandowski`s quick temper and heavy-handed leadership," which included claims that at a previous job, Lewandowski called a female subordinate a "C" word, and more recently had made sexually suggestive and at times vulgar comments to and about female journalists who have covered Trump`s presidential bid, something Lewandowski denies.
Following a pattern with the Trump, one of the reporters who wrote that piece, Ben Schreckinger was denied entry into Trump`s press conference last night. On a radio show today, Lewandowski denied blacklisting reporters, saying he has, quote, "a great relationship with these people."
Now, Trump has often lambasted the media as scum, and lying, disgusting people, among other harsh attacks. Last night was no different. Keep an eye on how Lewandowski, who is to the left of Trump, reacts as Trump unleashes his latest assault on members of the fourth estate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Lies, deceit, viciousness, disgusting reporters, horrible people. Sure, some are nice. Some are nice. Some really disgusting people back there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: He seemed to enjoy that, didn`t he?
Joining me now, Olivia Nuzzi, political director at "The Daily Beast", and Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalist.
Olivia, you covered this campaign. Lewandowski in a radio interview basically saying the idea we back list is preposterous, of course, we don`t do that. Why don`t you say that?
OLIVIA NUZZI, THE DAILY BEAST: I would like to know why I have not been granted press credentials to Donald Trump`s events since November. I`m one of the reporters who has not been permitted to enter those events, his rallies with the press. I have to go in with the public, which is fine. It`s a little bit of an inconvenience.
But the idea they`re not blacklisting the media, that they`re not retaliating against people who have covered him critically and I think accurately is just totally ridiculous.
HAYES: Trip Gabriel, a "New York Times" reporter, back in Iowa had written a piece about the ground operation, critical of the ground operation there and he found himself essentially blacklisted at an event as well.
Joel, you wrote a post for "The Columbia Journalism Review" about concerns about Trump. You know, let me play devil`s advocate. Every campaign tries to essentially intimidate and cajole and seduce reporters in some combination. Why is Trump any different?
JOEL SIMON, COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALIST: Well, the difference is that Trump, himself, is a media outlet. He has such a huge following on social media, 6.8 million followers on Twitter, that he can control his message in a way that`s unprecedented. He doesn`t need the press in the same way. And so, he can treat journalists with disdain, with contempt, he can call them names, have them manhandled at his events, and he still gets precisely the coverage he wants.
HAYES: What do you think about when you think about what the press should do in response to that?
SIMON: I mean, the problem is that Trump has sort of gamed the system. The fundamental difference here is the power between the media and the candidate has shifted. That is why Trump is behaving the way he does and this is part of a global dynamic. Everywhere in the world, committee to protect journalists, we`re primarily a frontline organization, we`re concerned when journalists working in conflict zones and repressive societies.
But everywhere in the world, those in power are treating the press in this way, in this aggressive way because they don`t need journalists in the way they once did.
HAYES: You know, Olivia, it strikes me the press right now is doing exactly what the Republican establishment did, which is a collective action problem, right? People want to book Donald Trump because he rates well. He`s also the story right now on the Republican side. From a news value perspective, there`s no question about that.
And so, everyone`s competing with each other. And if "The Daily Beast" gets kicked out of the thing, well, that`s one less thing to deal with. And this precisely the way the Republican establishment tried to deal with him until they came up to find that this collective action problem needed a collective solution, it was too late.
NUZZI: Exactly. I think, you know, the thing is it`s not just the power dynamic has shifted with Donald Trump. I also think it doesn`t matter how we cover him, it`s not as if the networks or print journalists are saying, oh, Donald Trump is so great and this coverage is terrific for him.
The coverage has been critical since he announced his campaign nine months ago. But the difference here is his supporters just don`t care. Nothing is getting through to them. Nothing is making them change their mind about him.
So, it`s not that he`s his own media outlet, which is undeniably true. Every candidate in their own way is with their own Twitter account and with social media in general. But it`s also that nothing can take Donald Trump down so far. No story has been able to shift the narrative here. No story has been able to make his supporters reconsider.
And that`s very different. Normally what happens is a candidate gets critical press then they suffer in the polls.
NUZZI: Their support goes to someone else.
We see this happen with Carly Fiorina, with Ben Carson, or last cycle with every other candidate that surged whether it was Michele Bachmann or Herman Cain.
But we`re not seeing it this time because Trump is so different, and I think really it`s that Trump has been a public figure for so long, he`s a celebrity for so long, a tabloid fixture. There`s nothing people don`t already know about him.
And so, there`s no new information the media can introduce for the most part that is going to make anyone see him in a new light. He`s sort of like Hillary Clinton in that way. People are set in stone about how they feel about him.
HAYES: When people talk about him as a sort of authoritarian, an inclination. He said, one of the things we do when we win we`re going to open up those libel laws, when "The New York Times" writes a hit piece, a total disgrace, when "The Washington Post" which for other reasons writes a hit piece, we can sue them, win money, instead of no chance of winning because they`re totally protected.
SIMON: Yes, this is -- this is his fantasy. And I do think it appeals to a lot of his followers. They, like him, have a certain contempt for the press.
HAYES: Everyone does.
SIMON: Well, you know, everyone does.
HAYES: Often, it`s hard to blame them.
SIMON: Unless you live in a repressive society, and then that`s when you need the press. That`s what people are forgetting here.
HAYES: I would remiss if I didn`t show this graph from "The New York Times" about the earned media as it`s called that he has gotten in his campaign which is just astounding. It`s much larger than all the other candidates combined.
And to Olivia`s point, I think there`s important thing, as people talk about that, people I encounter day-to-day, who think this is a cause for his rise. Keep in mind that Donald Trump is 29 points under water in national favorability studies right now. No one running for president at this point has never been a nominee this low.
So, it`s not that it`s not impacting the way people think about him, it`s not just impacting the 40 percent of the Republican electorate that keeps voting for him.
Olivia Nuzzi and Joel Simon, thanks for being with me. I appreciate it.
SIMON: Thank you.
NUZZI: Thank you.
HAYES: All right. Ahead, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, the big wins last night for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and what that means for the race.
And there were two massive upsets in last night`s results, thanks in part to the Black Lives Matter movement. That story is next.
HAYES: Last night`s primaries didn`t come from the national presidential contest but at the local level. Two incumbent prosecutors were not only challenged in Democratic primary contests, they were ultimately denied another term by voters.
Now, it is incredibly rare for an incumbent prosecutor to face such a challenge. Election data shows that about 95 percent of incumbent prosecutors win re-election and 85 percent run unopposed in general elections.
The two incumbents who lost last night were each associated with highly controversial cases.
In Cuyahoga County, Ohio, which includes the city of Cleveland, Timothy McGinnty, the county prosecutor, did not seek criminal charges against the police officers involved in the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. McGinnty lost last night to Democratic primary challenger Michael O`Malley.
And in Illinois, Cook County states attorney Anita Alvarez also lost her bid for re-election.
Alvarez was under fire after waiting 400 days before charging the police officer who shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in Chicago with first-degree murder. She finally announced the charges just hours before this video of the shooting was finally released to the public after a court order.
Alvarez faced a Democratic primary challenge from a woman who used to work for her in the state`s attorney`s office. Kim Fox, her challenger, who is now the odds-on favorite to be the next state`s attorney for Cook County has a pretty incredible personal story. She drew up in the notorious Cabrini Green (ph) public housing development, survived sexual abuse and endured homelessness and last night she defeated Alvarez by a whopping 30 points telling supporters her victory was about turning the page.
I was in Chicago yesterday. And I got a chance to speak with Ms. Fox ahead of her primary win.
HAYES: I think it`s fair to say that you grew up in and come from a community that`s quite heavily policed in Chicago. You grew up in public housing. You, yourself, have been a victim of crime, yourself. You have experience as a prosecutor in the same office.
You said you want to get rid of the tough on crime boogeyman, which is crazy talk for a prosecutor. I mean, no prosecutor talks that way.
KIM FOX, PROSECUTOR: Yeah. I mean...
HAYES: What are you doing?
FOX: Historically, prosecutors talk in this, like, counting on the table, I`m going to lock up people for as long as I possibly can and really try to scare people to vote for you. What we`ve seen, the data has born out that those policies have a disproportionate impact on poor communities, largely poor communities of color. And it`s destabilizing. And what we`ve done, we have not really dealt with the issues of crime and violence, we`ve dealt with people with low level offenses. And when they come out of our criminal justice system, they`re going back to the exact same neighborhoods that are lacking in resources, employment, mental health, public health and that is where the issues of crimes rise.
HAYES: But wait a second, people can point to the crime statistics both Chicago and nationally and say, no, crime has come down. In fact, violent crime has fallen to 30, 40-year lows in certain places. In Chicago, it`s higher than other places per capita, but still much lower than it was in 1992 or 1998 or 2004. I mean, maybe it`s working and you`re going to screw it up?
FOX: It`s not working.
If you go to neighborhoods on the west side, south sides of Chicago and you look at those -- the decimation of some of those neighborhoods in terms of investment, (inaudible) the unemployment rate, and then you find that even though crime is lower, the concentrations, the pockets of crime are in those areas. And those are the same areas where we`ve sent people to prison not for violent crimes, but for nonviolent offenses.
We`ve done a really good job as a country for incarcerating people for low level drug offenses. We have not done a really stellar job at dealing with the issues that are the root causes of violence in those communities.
HAYES: Kim Fox now faces a Republican challenger in November. You can watch my full interview with her on our website, AllinwithChris.com.
Next the most hated man in American politics and his hometown mayor. I`ll talk to New York City mayor Bill de Blasio. Stick around.
HAYES: Hillary Clinton ran the table last night as she picked up wins in Ohio, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, and Missouri. And with those victories Clinton took a step closer to securing the Democratic nomination, but despite being at a serious disadvantage with Clinton significantly adding to her delegate lead last night, Bernie Sanders vows to continue his political revolution all way to the Democratic national convention this summer in Philadelphia, saying, quote, "with more than half the delegates yet to be chosen," which is true "and the calendar that favors us in the weeks and months to come, we remain confident our campaign is on the path to win the nomination."
But whatever the outcome of the nominee, one thing is clear, the center of gravity of the National Democratic Party has moved significantly to the left not only since Bill Clinton was president but in some ways since President Obama took office just eight years ago.
One prominent Democratic politician who sees that as welcome news, I`d imagine, New York mayor Bill de Blasio. And joining me now is New York City mayor and Hillary Clinton supporter Bill de Blasio.
Mayor, it`s always a pleasure to have you stop by.
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, (D) NEW YORK CITY: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: So your wife said something that caught my eye about conversations with your kids about this primary.
And it has been striking to me literally the biggest democratic divide of any demographic divide, Democrat or Republican, race, anything, is the generational divide. Under 30, Sanders is winning 71-29; 60 or over, Clinton, it`s the inverse. What do you make of that?
DE BLASIO: I think young people have experienced life during and after the great recession and, you know, having been born to parents who are the Great Depression generation, I can see an interesting resonance when I talk to my kids Kiara and Dante. They are exceedingly concerned about money. They`re scared to death of college debt. They do not think opportunity is easy to come by.
There`s a sobriety and a sharpness to a lot of members of this generation, because they were born into overt economic unfairness. Well, different reality than the Great Depression, but the result is the same. A really sharp progressive impulse and a dissatisfaction with the status quo that is visceral.
I do think, to your previous point, the Democratic Party is moving to the left. I think the country is moving to the left. I think the next generation is already there. And I am very happy about those realities.
The Democratic Party of the DLC days, Democratic Leadership Council days, unfortunately was part of the problem and that impulse had to be weeded out of the party and it`s happening now and a lot of that is coming from the next generation.
HAYES: That is a better answer than they`re naive idealists which is the answer I hear a lot, right -- I mean, people say, well, sure generationally you think these things and then you get knocked around by life.
DE BLASIO: I think they`re very sober and realistic. I really do.
HAYES: In some ways the opposite, right?
DE BLASIO: Yeah, no, I actually think it`s based on lived experience. And by the way, do you know a lot of people who would say -- do you know a lot of folks in their 40s, 50s, 60s who would say the next generation is going to have to better than me? That was a key concept of the American dream.
I know, I know for a fact that the numbers say the next generation will have it worse than we had it and will face much deeper challenges and much more economic unfairness and much more stratification of wealth. Well, they`re reacting very logically and they`re saying this doesn`t work. We`re not going to continue this.
HAYES: There was a moment in the debate when Clinton and Sanders were asked if Donald Trump is a racist and they both gave answers that basically said, yes, but did not say the words, Donald Trump is a racist. You tweeted this. "I didn`t realize this was a question. Behaves like a racist, speaks like a racist, of course, real Donald Trump is a racist."
Should they have just said that?
DE BLASIO: It`s, look, I get why people hesitate to make such a sharp accusation.
HAYES: Yeah. It`s like that word has this sort of status where you -- it`s like who are you to say this, right?
DE BLASIO: There`s that reality and, look, I understand it`s something you should say when you`re sure. Well, I`m sure because I saw what he said about Mexicans. I saw when he said about Muslims, about the Ku Klux Klan.
When presented with the question whether he`d accept support from the Ku Klux Klan, white supremacist groups, David Duke, he hesitated. Now, if anything has been invalidated in American history it`s the Ku Klux Klan. If you have to hesitate on that question, you qualify right there for being a racist.
But it`s on top of that, I said the way he`s using his racial appeal is extraordinarily cynical. We talk a lot lately about dog whistles and coded language. He`s gone way past that to overt language. And I think, therefore, we have to use overt language and call him the racist he is.
HAYES: What do you -- look, I grew up in New York City, I grew up in the Bronx in the `80s. And it was basically every day it was like Donald Trump was on the cover of the tabloid. I`d got wait for the bus, catch the bus to school. Donald Trump, Leona Helmsley, you know, Reverend Al Sharpton. What do you make of this watching this person who came up through this city, like had this always been there, the ad he took out about the Central Park jogger saying we need to bring back the death penalty. His father`s accusations of racial discrimination in his developments, or is this shocking to you, something new?
DE BLASIO: When you go back to the Central Park 5 who were later exonerated, you`re right, you could see the germ of this, you could see the origins because there, too, he was making a racial appeal, maybe more coded, but still a racial appeal.
But I would say in the years since, we got see him as a reality TV star and sort of self-promoter and not necessarily dangerous and not scheming in this way, well, what`s happened in the last few months, maybe it was latent, you could call it whatever you want but it`s perfectly plain now. I called it protofascism. I`m very comfortable with that, because...
HAYES: I noticed.
DE BLASIO: You look at the combination: xenophobia, racism, encouraging violence among his supporters, militarism. He didn`t get a lot of attention the other day when he said let`s go into the Middle East, clean out ISIS, we`ll be back really quickly, you know, that was his framing. We`ve heard that from militarist leaders for generations, the boys will be home by Christmas.
So all the component parts are there. When I see that, I know my history well enough to say I take that very, very seriously. The good news is I don`t think the majority of American voters believe in those ideas are going to find them acceptable. The voting pool he`s dealt with so far is not just Republican, with some independents and crossover voters thrown in. It happens to be very conservative often militant Republican.
Well, where this is going is to a whole lot of open-minded people.
DE BLASIO: And I think Hillary Clinton fares a lot better when we get to that playing field.
HAYES: We are probably going to see that. Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City. Always a pleasure to have you.
DE BLASIO: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Thank you very much.
DE BLASIO: My pleasure.
HAYES: We will be right back. Stay with us.
HAYES: What the Republicans are trying to do right now with the president`s announcement of the nominee for the Supreme Court is unprecedented.
Earlier today I talked to a Democratic senator who told me that off the record, between the lines, he`s seeing some wiggle room. I`ll bring you that interview next.
HAYES: Today President Obama called the bluff of Senate Republicans who have refused to consider any Supreme Court nominee by nominating someone that many of those Republicans have previously admitted is eminently qualified to serve on the Supreme Court. That is, of course, 63-year-old Merrick Garland chief judge of the highly respected and influential U.S. court of appeals, the District of Columbia circuit, not necessarily the nominee liberal activists might hope for or hoped for. Nor is he the person who might make the most sympathetic or energizing symbol in an election year. Rather, President Obama seems to think Garland is the person that has the best shot of actually getting confirmed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Over my seven years as president, in all my conversations with senators from both parties, in which I asked their views on qualified Supreme Court nominees, this includes the previous two seats that I had to fill. The one name that has come up repeatedly from Republicans and Democrats, alike, is Merrick Garland.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES; Garland worked as a federal prosecutor during George H.W. Bush`s administration, held a top post in the Justice Department overseeing the Oklahoma City bombing investigation during Bill Clinton`s presidency.
And in his current position, he also happens to be a top feeder of law clerks to the Supreme Court, meaning his clerks are getting jobs at the Supreme Court at a very high rate, a sort of informal, but very telling measure of how highly regarded he is.
And there are already cracks in the stance of Senate Republicans. There`s even been the suggestion by Senator Orrin Hatch and other Senate Republicans they might consider Garland`s nomination during the lame duck session if Republicans lose the presidential election.
After all, Senator Hatch heaped this praise on Garland during his 1997 confirmation to the D.C. Court of Appeals.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ORRIN HATCH, (R) UTAH: Based solely on his qualifications, I support the nomination of Mr. Garland and I encourage my colleagues to do the same.
To my knowledge, no one, absolutely no one, disputes the following: Merrick Garland is highly qualified to sit on the D.C. Circuit. His intelligence and his scholarship cannot be questioned.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Nearly 20 years later Judge Garland makes a pretty compelling nominee for the Supreme Court.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MERRICK GARLAND, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: Fidelity to the constitution and the law has been the cornerstone of my professional life. And it is the hallmark of the kind of judge I have tried to be for the past 18 years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Just ahead, Senator Dick Durbin of the senate judiciary committee.
HAYES: Joining me now, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, assistant Democratic leader, and a member of the judiciary committee.
Well, Senator, I guess here`s what I really want to know from you. If the cameras were off, just talking you and me, you had to bet money, what are the odds this is going to happen?
SEN. DICK DURBIN, (D) ILLINOIS: I think the odds are 50/50. And understand we`re starting from a position where Senator McConnell announced there would be no hearing, there will be no vote and he wouldn`t even meet with the man. And yet even today about six Republican senators have volunteered that they`d be willing to meet with him.
I think they`re realizing this position that they`re being saddled with by Senator McConnell is hard to explain back home. They`re not being fair and they`re certainly not living up to the historic precedent of the Senate which has never, never refused a hearing to a presidential nominee.
HAYES: Here`s my question. What is the plan to maintain the pressure? Because it seems to me that right now, the day the president announces the pressure is probably at its most intense. It is at most front of mind for voters and for the news as well. If they wait this period out, a month, two months, how do you keep them honest?
DURBIN: Well, I can tell you that two-thirds of the American people think Senate Republicans are being unfair, that they aren`t doing their job, they aren`t living up to their constitutional responsibility. They`re going to hear that at home. And I don`t think a lot of them want to live with that. Many of them believe we should go through a hearing. They`re saying it quietly, but now I believe they`re going to have a chance to step up and at least say I`ll meet with the man. That`s fair thing to do.
HAYES; Are they saying -- you say they`re saying that quietly. Do you mean, are they saying that to you? Are you having conversations with your Republican colleagues?
DURBIN: I`m talking to some of my Republican colleagues. But I will also tell you that we`re kind of reading between the lines. When Senator Grassley says well, we called together the Republicans on judiciary committee, some of them were reluctant to sign our letter say that weren`t going to neat with these people. It tells me that a lot of them are having second thoughts.
HAYES: I want you to address some complaints that I`ve seen emanate from progressives in response to this. I saw a number of reactions today of disappointment, people feeling that Judge Garland, who is acclaimed and respected and obviously has tremendous experience, is a judge whose both judicial philosophy, particularly on criminal defense, is perhaps not as in line with what liberals would like to see and who also is at the older end of the scale in which presidents tend to make these nominations. Is this essentially a compromise before the negotiations start?
DURBIN: No. I think what the president set out to do is to look through the potential nominees and find the person, the most solid candidate he could find, so it became difficult, if not impossible, for Republicans to argue he wasn`t qualified or ready for the job. In Merrick Garland, he found that person.
Now those who are hoping that we`re going to have a person very liberal or very this or very that, you know, that isn`t the way this works. You know, the president is going to propound to the Republican majority in the senate a nominee which he believes will serve this country well and has been praised by Republicans in the past. In fact, a majority of Republicans voted for him the last time he was on the floor of the senate.
So he is a solid nominee with solid legal credentials.
HAYES: You know, one of the sentiments I`ve seen expressed, and you`re starting to see this be gamed out on both sides. I think there are some liberals who say fine, bring it on, double down, you guys are about to nominate Donald Trump. We`re going to win the White House and the senate, then we`ll nominate some 25-year-old that you hate and put that person on the bench.
DURBIN: Lindsey Graham said that in the senate judiciary committee.
HAYES: I know.
DURBIN: He said first to my Republican friends, we`ve just set a precedent. If this happens to us, we can`t complain.
And secondly, I wish they`d go ahead and let the president send somebody. It`s going to be a more moderate person than someone sent by Hillary Clinton.
HAYES: So, here`s what I find fascinating. You can see them now attempting to sort of have it both ways which is I`ve seen some people, including if I`m not mistaken, Chuck Grassley open the door to the possibility of a lame duck confirmation, which is to say we`re going to delay until election day, but if we lose that bet and you guys win, then very quickly we`ll confirm this nominee so that we forestall the possibility of a new Democratic president nominating someone else.
What`s your reaction to that?
DURBIN: I can tell you I think my Senate Republican colleagues are too clever by half. First, they want to wait for a new president then they want to wait for a lame duck. The more they talk, the deeper they get into it.
The American people, two out of three, believe this nominee from the president deserves a hearing and a vote -- two out of three, including about a majority of the Republicans feel that way.
So let`s face facts here. The Senate Republicans are floundering at this point. Senator McConnell put them on a strategy which is impossible to defend. Many of them have to go back home and explain it and it`s becoming more and more difficult.
HAYES: All right. Senator Dick Durbin, thanks for taking the time to come on the show. Appreciate it.
DURBIN: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: And that is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END