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All In With Chris Hayes, Transcript 3/18/2016

Guests: Norm Ornstein, Sabrina Siddiqui, Tim Carney, Tad Devine, Douglas Brinkley, Charlie Pierce, Ruth Conniff

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: March 18, 2016 Guest: Norm Ornstein, Sabrina Siddiqui, Tim Carney, Tad Devine, Douglas Brinkley, Charlie Pierce, Ruth Conniff


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

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you want someone to grab a beer with, I may not be that guy --

HAYES: The most hated man in Washington is starting to see some love.

CRUZ: I`m very much appreciated Governor Romney`s kind tweet today. We`re seeing Republicans coming together.

HAYES: Plus, what would a contested convention look like?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve got a pretty good count. All of a sudden, we`ve got another candidate for president, so you got to go back around the horn again.

HAYES: We`ll show you what happened last time.

Then, Jane Sanders --


HAYES: -- meets Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My wife is a tough lady and she doesn`t take ambushes easy.

HAYES: And there`s something really fishy about this KKK grand dragon claiming he`s backing the Democrats.

When ALL IN starts right now.


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

It has come to this -- the Republican establishment is now embracing a man that it possibly hates more than any other -- certainly more than any other member of the party -- Ted Cruz, in an effort to prevent Donald Trump`s hostile takeover of the GOP.

2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney who was campaigning in Ohio with John Kasich just four days ago announcing this afternoon that in the Utah nominating caucuses on Tuesday, he will vote for Cruz. Quote, "The only path that remains to nominate a Republican rather than Mr. Trump is to have an open convention. At this stage, the only way we can reach an open convention is for Senator Cruz to be successful in as many of the remaining nominating elections as possible."

Romney added a vote for Governor Kasich in future contests makes it extremely likely that Trumpism would prevail.

Campaigning in Utah this afternoon, Kasich played down Romney`s announcement.


GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, Mitt`s fine. This is his view. You know, he is entitled to it.

Frankly, I don`t think anybody will have enough delegates to get to the convention. You know, I`m the only one who can beat Hillary Clinton. I mean, that`s what the polls show.

So, maybe they ought to knock it off and get behind me? I mean, this is -- it`s OK. It`s fine. We`ll just move beyond it and we`re going to keep doing our thing.


HAYES: Trump took to Twitter to respond to Romney`s decision. He professed to welcome the news, quote, "Failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the man who choked and let us all down, is now endorsing a lying Ted Cruz. This is good for me," exclamation point.

As for Cruz, he trumpeted Romney`s move during a visit to the Arizona border.


CRUZ: As Mitt Romney observed today f you want to beat Donald Trump, Cruz is the only campaign that can do it. That`s why he is voting for me in Utah and Governor Romney explicitly observed that a vote for John Kasich only helps Donald Trump.


HAYES: Despite the fact that as these headlines make clear, most everyone in Washington really just can`t stand Ted Cruz, the establishment is holding its nose and coming around. Yesterday, Senator Lindsey Graham vowed, quote, help Ted any way I can despite having once joked if you killed Ted Cruz on the Senate floor and held the trial in the Senate, no one would convict you.

"Politico" reports that Marco Rubio who just weeks ago referred to Cruz as a liar is now close to endorsing his former rival.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Hopefully, there`s time to still, you know, prevent a Trump nomination, which I think would fracture the party and be damaging to the conservative movement.


HAYES: Trump currently has 685 delegates, leaving him 552 short of locking up the nomination before the convention. Republicans have reason to believe they can keep him below the magic number of 1,237, particularly if they can unify behind a single Trump alternative.

That`s because Republican voters have not consolidated behind the front- runner as the primaries unfolded the way they have in the past. This chart shows the share of the GOP primary vote by state Romney for 2012. That`s on top.

You see, it`s verse Trump in this cycle. You see the Romney line tilts up. He gains steam more and more people supporting him as time goes on. The Trump line is nearly flat. Even as Trump keeps winning, his percentage of the vote is holding steady at an average around 35 percent.

And even in the states that just voted in Tuesday, huge numbers of Republicans say if Trump and Hillary Clinton are the nominees, they`ll seriously consider third party candidate -- 45 percent in Ohio, 43 percent in Illinois and Missouri.

You don`t just see this in the numbers it`s right there in the twisting and turns you`ll see if Republicans are asked if they`ll vote for Trump.


REPORTER: You`re a Republican.


REPORTER: If Donald Trump is the nominee, the Republican nominee, are you going to vote for him?

BUSH: Susan, I`m not going to answer. Don`t ask that.

TV ANCHOR: Can you support him?

KARL ROVE, BUSH ADVISOR: Well, look, I`ve never voted for a Democrat for president. I don`t intend to start now, but like a lot of people, I`m watching to see what`s going to happen by the time we get to this convention.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not saying I would vote for Hillary Clinton by any chance, I`m saying I don`t know what I would do if Trump became the nominee.


HAYES: All right. Joining me now, American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Norm Ornstein, co-author of "It`s Even Worse Than It Was", about the new politics of extremism in the Republican Party".

So, Norm, this has been something you`ve been chronicling, you`ve been shouting from the rooftops that the Republican Party is veering in a direction that`s unsustainable in the history of American politics, your reaction to watching today the party attempt to coalesce behind Ted Cruz to stave off Donald Trump.

NORM ORNSTEIN, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: You know, you have to look with bafflement and wonderment at a party that is careened completely off the tracks with a self-inflicted wound, Chris. You`re absolutely right about Ted Cruz. In more than 45 years of watching the Senate, I`ve seen a lot of senators who drive their colleagues to distraction. Never anything like Cruz.

And the idea that Cruz would end up as the candidate of the establishment, which itself would fracture the party, shows how much they`re floundering because they`ve created a situation and they can`t get out of it.

HAYES: There is an argument being proposed by many conservatives that this phenomenon is essentially exogenous to the Republican Party, has been thrust upon them and is a product of media coverage plus celebrity plus this sort of unique phenomenon of Donald Trump and the brokenness of the way that we follow politics.

What`s -- do you think that`s true?

ORNSTEIN: You have forgotten, of course, it`s all the fall of Barack Obama as well.

HAYES: That`s the other argument, yes.

ORNSTEIN: None of it is true. There are a lot of things that brought about a Donald Trump. And certainly the way the immigration issue has been a flash point for a lot of unease and concerns of working class white voters out there, displaced in the economy and feeling as if they`re losing their place in the society, that`s a part of it.

But I really do believe that the leadership of the Republican Party, the strategy that it`s pursued over a 20-year period but especially since Obama became president, trashing government itself, delegitimizing not just the president but the entire process leads to the two candidates that we have that are the dominant ones now. People who have stepped as far away from politics as we have known it with the Republican Party, within the Republican Party, and as its approach the Democrats over the last number of years.

And as Tom and I wrote in the first edition of the book and the new one coming out as well, a party that`s contempt chews you of science, of facts that relies more heavily now on these outside tribal media that promote apocalyptic vision with the extra gold is getting in some ways what it deserves.

HAYES: Finally, you`ve watched this party operate. Can they pull it off? Can they actually unite and block him from getting the nomination?

ORNSTEIN: I don`t see how they can make that happen without causing an even deeper fissure or fracture in what`s going on. I don`t see any way that Donald Trump ends up with fewer than 1,000 to 1,100 delegates, and probably more than that.

To take the nomination away from somebody in that circumstance, never happened before, is going to lead to, I think -- as Trump said -- riots but also division in the party that is going to take a long time to heal.

I have to say, Chris, you could look at it with some schadenfreude, but we`re going to suffer as a consequence.

HAYES: All right. Norm Ornstein, thanks for your time tonight.

Joining me now Sabrina Siddiqui, political reporter of "The Guardian", Tim Carney, senior political columnist of "The Washington Examiner".

And, Sabrina, let me start with you. You spent a year covering Marco Rubio. He bowed out this week officially. I think the consolidation around Cruz is basically a final stage in this sort of grief process of the Republican Party that not only Rubio is gone but Rubio-ism is dead.

SABRINA SIDDIQUI, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE GUARDIAN: Absolutely. I think that a lot of the party was waiting to see what would happen in Florida. It was Marco Rubio`s last stand. And as you mentioned in your opening there, you look at Lindsey Graham of all people who has now come around and supported Ted Cruz. Well, he had earlier said that choosing between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz is the difference being shot and poisoned.

So you really know what the contempt is toward Ted Cruz by his colleagues in the Senate. He called Mitch McConnell, of course, a liar on the Senate floor. He certainly has no real friends there other than maybe Mike Lee of Utah.

But at this point, they do believe he is the only way they could stop Donald Trump from outright securing the number of delegates and I think more importantly what they see in Ted Cruz is less of a damaged -- less damage being potentially done to the party`s brand both in November and in the long term because Donald Trump, of course, at this point has offended virtually every possible minority, he`s offended women, he`s offended Muslims, and I think they`re looking how can they salvage the image of the Republican Party.

HAYES: Tim, you and I had a discussion 2013 in the midst of the fight of immigration reform bill that Rubio, of course, was one of the chief architects of and it was notable that he had kind of joined with Democrats to pass this bill, pass the Senate. You and I talked about the consequences of this.

We talked particularly about this thesis that the best path forward for the Republican Party or one path forward might be trying to get missing white voters back into the party.


HAYES: And that this trajectory of Rubio and Rubio-ism that`s now officially dead was not going to go anywhere and we speculate a little bit about what we might see. Take a look at this clip.


CARNEY: Working class voters who are black and who are Hispanic, they have a home in the Democratic Party just because naturally that`s the way the parties line up. Working class voters who are white, they don`t have a home in the Democratic Party if they`re not liberals and they look at Romney and didn`t have a vote there.

So, the way to go after the working class voters, I think, is of free market populism, saying Obamanomics like a lot of Bushnomics was enriching the well-connected. Government is growing and government growth is enriching the well-connected.

HAYES: So, this is interesting. This is a third path out of the wilderness would be a class war populism. There`s a Ross Perot example which translates.


HAYES: And the thing I think you and I agree on is breaking free of the kind of donor class of the GOP to get there is going to be very difficult.


HAYES: OK. So there`s a lot there that I think is actually quite on the money there. What stage are we at now in this -- how does that compare to your analysis back then?

CARNEY: I think that what happened is I saw that populism had the energy in the Republican Party. We saw that as early as the Tea Party. Well, the Tea Party was largely a populist phenomenon, a populist coming into the Republican Party. I thought maybe that populism could be channeled into a libertarianism of free market or conservatism.

Donald Trump has shown that the way to harness populism is through his demagoguery, you know, immigration, protectionism, the racism, all of that stuff. So, I think I was right that populism was going to be the next wave of the Republican Party and maybe it was wishful thinking I thought that populism could be harnessed into free market stuff.

I do think it was possible and now maybe that ship has sailed.

HAYES: Well, that`s the question for you. What do you make of this last stand, right? I mean, here is Romney, Alex Burns noting that Romney matters for a narrow and important reason, cracking 50 percent of the Utah means a big blow to John Kasich. Do you approve of this sort of final stand? Do you think it`s going to work?

CARNEY: Well, so going to work, nothing is going to work right now for the Republican Party. I mean, this is being poisoned or being murdered. Do you want to do something that`s going to look somewhere from a little bit like a coup to a lot like a coup by keeping Trump off the ballot or do you want to have Trump on the ballot? Neither of those are good.

And the fact is that a lot of working class voters who Trump has brought in will not stick around the Republican Party for a Ted Cruz or for anybody else.

HAYES: Right.

CARNEY: And so, that`s part of the problem.

And then on the other hand, a lot of the conservatives, you know, like the party of Cruz and Rubio are not going to stick around for a Trump. So, I think it`s trying to beat Trump is worthy. I`m not engaged in the balancing act between, is it worse to have Trump or is it worse to have a coup of Trump?

HAYES: Sabrina, there`s a lot of talk to donors offering his support to Cruz. Do you anticipate he will also come out and sort of be the next shoe to drop in this kind of unified front to mix metaphors?

SIDDIQUI: Well, yesterday when he spoke to reporters on Capitol Hill, he was reluctant to offer an endorsement. He said he was offering his opinion that Ted Cruz is the only conservative left in the race, but certainly he is signaling what he believes about the remainder of the field and I think there`s a lot of pressure on him because there`s a lot of pressure to coalesce around alternative to Donald Trump and I think that he might face some criticism if he were reluctant to put his support behind Ted Cruz it might come off as bitter.

But, of course, they also had a very nasty fight during the course of the primary.

HAYES: Extremely.

SIDDIQUI: Marco Rubio called Ted Cruz a liar repeatedly. So, I think it would be -- again it goes back to the idea that this is where we are now where they have no other choice but to hold their nose and support Ted Cruz.

HAYES: And everyone has statements now that they can`t walk back that -- Romney`s statement on Facebook today about Donald Trump are the kind of words that you can`t pull back in and say now I`m supporting them.

People have sort of broken that it will be hard to put back together.

Sabrina Siddiqui, Tim Carney, thank you both. That was fun.

CARNEY: Thank you.

SIDDIQUI: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Coming up, Tent City showdown. Bernie Sanders says notorious Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio ambushed his wife.

Then, we`ll show you what happened the last time, Republicans faced an open convention.

And later, there are signs that either Trump or Cruz atop the GOP ticket could be very bad news for Republicans in Congress. Is that congressional majority threatened?

That and more, ahead.


HAYES: One day after Ted Cruz released a list of his foreign policy advisers which included luminaries like Islamophobe Frank Gaffney comes word of a new adviser on Team Cruz, this time on economics.

Former Texas Senator Phil Gramm just joined the campaign, a man Ted Cruz once called his role model, a man who`s also famous for spearheading financial deregulation, for getting rid of the Glass-Stiegel that separated commercial and investment banks, and crucially, for pushing through a provision that ensured virtually no regulation of the complex financial instruments known as derivatives including credit swaps -- which is why in 2008, "Time" magazine named Phil Gramm as one of the 25 people to blame for the financial crisis.

Now, he`s going to serve Ted Cruz as a senior adviser on economic issues. What could possibly go wrong?



ARPAIO: I have had four presidential candidates visit me in the tents, four. And they all lost. I tried to get Hillary down here but she`s too smart. She won`t come to the tents. I would even give her a free pair of pink underwear.


HAYES: Joe Arpaio, the notorious birther and scandal-plagued sheriff of Arizona`s Maricopa County is known for many things, most recently the anti- immigrant sheriff has made his way into the one Donald Trump most ardent supporters. In that role, he`s gone after Hillary Clinton.

And more recently, Arpaio, who faced legal sanctions for the Justice Department for discrimination crossed paths with Jane Sanders, wife of Bernie Sanders. She went to visit Maricopa County so called Tent City, an outdoor detention center.


ARPAIO: Jane, welcome to Tent City.


ARPAIO: When you talk about politics, let me say one thing before we go any further.


ARPAIO: You have a right, I`m a big Trump guy. I endorsed him.

SANDERS: That`s fine.

ARPAIO: And I stick by him.

SANDERS: Uh-huh.

ARPAIO: And -- but this is America. We all have a right --

SANDERS: Then I should tell you, I`m a big Sanders supporter. I endorsed him and I`m sticking by him. So, we`ll agree to disagree on that and maybe some other things.


HAYES: Now, if you`re looking for the best negative endorsement you could find in Arizona days before the Democratic primary, Joe Arpaio is about as good as it gets and Bernie Sanders didn`t hold back, speaking earlier today about his wife`s visit to the jail.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: While she was there to talk to some of the families who are impacted, she was met by the sheriff who kind of ambushed her. As I said before, it is easy for bullies like Sheriff Arpaio to pick on people who have no power. If I`m elected president, the president of the United States does have the power. Watch out, Joe.



HAYES: Sanders has spend much of the week in the west campaigning in Arizona, Utah and Idaho, all must-win states for him on Tuesday if he has a chance of catching up to Hillary Clinton`s sizable delegate lead.

Joining me now, Tad Devine, senior advisor to Bernie Sanders presidential campaign.

And, Tad, you guys made the argument that basically the race is at half- time, that the structure of the primary has been such that states that are more advantageous to Hillary Clinton have come first. How well do you have to do -- expect to do on Tuesday?

TAD DEVINE, SENIOR BERNIE SANDERS CAMPAIGN: Well, you know, we have to do very well not just on Tuesday but for the rest of the process, Chris. I mean, we`ve got three important events on Tuesday. Bernie has been in all three straits, gone from the Canadian to the Mexican border today campaigning through the West.

You know, we`re going to try to win those states next Tuesday. I think Hillary has some advantages in Arizona. Lot of early vote, lot of older votes, groups she`s done well with. We`re closing hard. One of the things we saw in all these states, and last Tuesday like in states that we came close to winning, like Missouri and Illinois.

Bernie closes strong. Hillary`s leads, even when they`re 20 or 30 points, I don`t think she has any lead that`s safe right now.

HAYES: Throughout this campaign, you guys focused on pledged delegates, not super delegate. There`s two reasons, Hillary Clinton has hundreds more super delegates that vowed to support her than you do, but more first principle democratic belief that the votes and the voters, the Democratic Party should subside as opposed to the party elders who represent the superdelegates, which is why I thought this exchange between Bernie Sanders and Rachel Maddow last night was interesting. Take a look.


SANDERS: Well, you know, I don`t want to speculate about the future and I think there are other factors involved. I think it is probably the case that the candidate who has the most pledged delegates is going to be the candidate. But there are other factors.

And the other factors will be the strength of each of us in taking on the Republican candidate. What I think is most important to all of the delegates, including the super delegates, is that we have a candidate who will win and not allow Donald Trump to end up in the White House.


HAYES: Now, that was -- the question there was should the person with most pledged delegates get the nomination. Senator Sanders refused to just say yes. I mean, that was surprising to me.

DEVINE: Well, Chris, listen, I think -- I agree with everything Bernie just said. I mean, listen, it`s very important who wins the most votes, who wins the most delegates. That`s a big part of the process. We are going to work hard to win the most pledged delegates between now and the time that voting ends in mid-June.

But I think Democratic Party as a whole is going to take a hard look at both of our candidates when this process is over. I think they`re going to say, who will be the strongest Democrat to represent us in November, who can stop Trump or even Cruz? I think that will factor in.

So, we`re trying to win the most delegate -- most pledged delegates. I think we have a real shot to. I know the Clinton people say that`s not reasonable or that we can`t do it. We believe we can. We`re going to have to win a lot of states. We have to win a lot of delegates. If we do by the time we finish, we think we can be there.

HAYES: OK. On Monday, AIPAC, the sort of self build pro-Israel lobby is having their annual conference in Washington, D.C. There are five candidates remaining in the race. Four will be speaking. One that won`t be is Senator Sanders.

He released this statement today, "I would very much have enjoyed speaking at the AIPAC conference. Obviously, issues impacting Israel and the Middle East are the utmost importance to me, to our country and to the world. Unfortunately, I`m going to be traveling throughout the West and the campaign schedule prevents me from attending."

There are people who will interpret any excuse of scheduling in a campaign to basically be B.S. Why shouldn`t they in this case?

DEVINE: Well, because, you know, listen when I said we have a lot of delegates to make up and we have to win states and delegates to do it, I meant it. You know, a day to fly back to the East Coast, a day to fly back to West Coast, we would miss a day or two and a half of campaigning.

We have big events, you know, not just next Tuesday in the three states that are up. Washington state the following, that`s a very important contest for us. Bernie is going to go and travel there. There`s an event in Wyoming after Wisconsin.

HAYES: Let me stop you there. I want to press you on this, because there`s two camps of people. There are camps of people who aligned with the politics of AIPAC, particularly on Israel, extremely supportive of the Israeli government, Israeli claims and handling of the occupied territories.

There are other liberals who support Bernie Sanders who are very critical of that, each of whom are interpreting this as essentially a rebuke of AIPAC`s politics. Are you telling them not to interpret it that way?

DEVINE: Yes, I am. Listen, if AIPAC wants to hold this meeting in Salt Lake City, I promise we`ll show up for it, OK? You know, it`s a logistical issue. Bernie is actually going to send his remarks that he would have given at AIPAC to them. And hopefully, they`ll distribute to people.

So, no, this isn`t a signal of anything other than the fact that we`re very serious about winning states next week and the weeks thereafter to try to win the nomination.

HAYES: All right. Tad Devine, great things. Appreciate it.

DEVINE: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: And coming up this Monday, the day before the states vote, I will get a chance to talk with the candidate himself. Senator Bernie Sanders will join me on the eve of his next big election challenge. That`s right here 8:00 p.m. Eastern Monday. You do not want to miss it.

All right. Coming up, the 1976 Republican convention hadn`t been talked about much, this much, since 1976. Why that is, ahead.


HAYES: What appears to be the final key suspect in the Paris terror attacks on November 13th has been captured alive and it`s stunning to consider four months today ago, we were in Paris. I was in the St. Denis neighborhood of Paris the very day of a massive raid in which some of the suspected ISIS perpetrators were killed.

One night later, a massive manhunt was underway in Brussels for 26-year-old Salah Abdeslam (ph), a Belgian-born French citizen who lives in the Brussels suburb of Molambique (ph). The man who authorities believe had driven a car carrying one team of assailants the night of the attacks and who had somehow managed to slip back across the border into Belgium.

One would have thought that four months later a suspect as high profile as this one would be nowhere near Molambique (ph).

But today in Brussels police apprehended Abdeslam, the most wanted terror suspect in Europe, the tenth person suspected of direct involvement in those November 13th Paris attacks and the only one still alive.

He was shot in the leg during his encounter with police according to authorities and in this video from Belgian television VTN, the suspect is being dragged to a police vehicle.

All told, three people were arrested during today`s raid. A fourth person was killed. The other suspects presumed to have been aiding Abdeslam in evading police.

Today`s arrests were the product of a joint operation by Belgium and France in the ongoing month`s long search for the suspect that included dozens of raids and nearly weekly leads.

In today`s raid, four police officers were wounded, but not seriously.

The lingering question, why did Abdeslam go back to his home neighborhood? Answered perhaps by the obvious, probably the only place he had a network of support.


HAYES: Over the past several presidential campaign cycles there`s been a growing frustration from the press core about party conventions. They no longer make any news. The conventions are essentially a four-day infomercial for the party, because in recent history, the party`s presidential nominee has been decided long before the convention actually starts. So what we end up seeing is just stage craft and scripted theatrics.

Well, this summer in Cleveland we may get the news-making convention we`ve all been longing for. If no Republican candidate gets the 1,237 delegates needed for the nomination, we may see an all-out battle on the convention floor for the first time in decades.

The last time there was a battle for pledged delegates like that was in 1976; neither President Gerald Ford, the establishment favorite, and the incumbent president nor fomer California Governor Ronald Reagan, whose insurgent campaign made him he choie of party conservatives had a majority of delegates headed into the Republican convention in Kansas City.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four days from now the Republican delegates will gather in this hall, but as of today, none of the counts of delegates made by news organizations give President Ford enough delegates for a first ballot victory.

He is close in all the counts, ahead of Reagan in all the counts, but he hasn`t yet locked it up with.


HAYES: In days leading up to the vote, there was an all-out battle being waged for delegates.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vermont, 18 for Ford; Virginia 13 for Ford.

UNIDENITIFIED MALE: James Baker, the president`s delegate hunter said his new delegate total shows the president has five more votes than are needed for a first ballot nomination.

UNIDENITIFIED MALE: West Virginia 20 for Ford, 8 for Reagan.


HAYES: Gerald Ford had the power of the presidency behind him at that point. As the New York Times points out, with the help of James Baker was able to entice uncommitted delegates with dinners and invitations to watch fireworks and other perks.

Meanwhile, in a play for the more conservative wing of the party, Ronald Reagan tried to get Ford to say who he would name as his running mate, an effort that failed.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Reagan people lost the fight to force Ford to name his running mate by a wider margin than had been expected. This is where Reagan had hoped to pick up strength, not lose it.

The debate ran nearly two hours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There has been too much secrecy. Why shouldn`t the delegates of this convention or any convention know beforehand who the vice presidential candidate will be before they decide on the top of the ticket.

DORANN GUNDERSON, 1976 DELEGATE: The arguments for this last minute amendment smack of desperation and certainly political opportunitism.


HAYES; At the enter is of all this wheeling and dealing was the Mississippi delegation, which was pursued heavy by both candidates.


UNIDENITIFIED MALE: The pressure from Ford operatives to get the Mississippi delegation to commit itself today upset Mississippi chairman Clarke Reed who is a Ford supporter, but wanted to hold off a vote until tomorrow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But why? What`s the value of it? I mean, what kind of pressure is on you?



HAYES: At one point, Mississippi`s delegates supporting Reagan took over a CBS news trailer and were unwittingly being observed by the teenage children of CBS News journalists.


UNIDENITIFIED MALE: So for the last ten or 15 minutes they`ve been in there talking. Now, we have a couple of operatives inside. Bill Muir`s (ph) son, they don`t know that, and Roger Mudd`s (ph) son.

Matthew Mudd, Young Muir (ph), what happened in there?

UNIDENITIFIED MALE: They were decided whether or not to break unit rules.

UNIDENITIFIED MALE: And what did they finally decide?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they tried to take a vote of the people that were in there, but not everyone was in there. So they couldn`t decide -- I think there was 22 or 23, some of them I think are still on the floor.

UNIDENITIIED MALE: There`s 21 people in there and they said they couldn`t vote unless they had the entire delegation.


HAYES; I`m of course training Ryan and David for Cleveland.

In the in the end, the Mississippi delegates went to Ford and he became the party`s nominee.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 20 votes for Gerald R. Ford.

UNIDENTIFID MALE: That did it. Gerald Ford was over the top and he saw it all in his hotel suite with some of the people who worked with him since New Hampshire. He said it had been a long, hard struggle.

Then, he took the trip he has long promised uncommitted delegates he would make, over to Ronald Reagan`s hotel to get Reagan`s advice on choosing a running mate. The advice was not very important to the president, but this picture was. The president hopes it will convince Reagan supporters to work for him.


HAYES: Joining me now is presidential historian Douglas Brinkley. He`s author of "Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of American," which is out now. And Charlie Pierce, writer at large for Esquire magazine.

Welcome to both of you.

Doug, let me start with you.I mean, it`s remarkable -- there`s so many things happening here that echo today, one of them is essentially the establishment versus the nonestablishment forces.

In this case, in the person of the sitting president of the United States fighting by his -- by every hook and crook to get nomination of his own party.

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Absolutely Great footage, by the way.

Look, I later interviewed Gerald Ford about it in his home in Rancho Mirage, and he was livid. This is decades later at Ronald Reagan because he was the sitting president and as you recall, Ford would become best friends with Jimmy Carter who beat him.

Ford didn`t mind losing to Carter in the sense that Democrats versus Republican. But Republican on Republican, the fact that Reagan sabotaged him when he was the sitting president, he never forgave Reagan.

Reagan later tried to patch up by bringing him an Indian peace pipe and said giving you a peace pipe. Let`s not have bad -- animosity. But they never could heal that rip, because Ford felt bruised by what Reagan did.

HAYES: Charlie, there`s a few lessons here for Cleveland. And here is the most important -- the winner of the nomination is not necessarily the winner of the party`s future, which I think is an important thing to remember as we watch this fight play out.

The person who gets the nomination doesn`t necessarily emerge the victor in terms of trajectory of the Republican Party because clearly the Republican Party was Reagan`s party after this. It wasn`t Ford`s.

CHARLIE PIERCE, ESQUIRE: Yeah. The coalition, for lack of a better word, that solidified and won the presidency for Ronald Reagan in 1980 you can see forming at this convention.

Jessie Helms was a very prominent power broker at this convention. The attack on fwas from the right on foreign policy, on detente with the Soviet Union, on the Helsinki Accords and even for the fall of Saigon, which happened technically on his watch. And Helms got a lot of foreign -- really hard line foreign policy into the platform.

It was the first Republican platform that advocating a human life amendment, which showed the way that party was swinging on social issues. And Reagan`s strength was all in the south and the west and that`s where the Republican Party moved.

HAYES: There`s also the degree to which there`s -- Clinton had this line about how Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line and there`s this Will Rogers I belong to an unorganized party, the Democrat. But actually those roles have flipped in the modern time.

I mean, the Democratic Party is a more orderly party in many ways than the Republican Party, but you see here -- and if you go back to `64, and Goldwater. This kind of sense of permanent revolution and insurgency is actually central to the image of modern conservatism. This isn`t new what we`re seeing now in certain ways.

BRINKLEY: absolutely.

And incidentally, the last president to actually win a broken convention. I mean, he got the brokered convention and won was FDR in `32, he beat Al Smith out offering John Nance Gardener the speaker of the house of Texas, the VP thing.

So Gardener thought -- did a devil`s deal with FDR thinking we could go over Al Smith and they did and Gardener dutifully sat two terms with FDR and he thought, well, then I`m set up for 1940 and FDR ran an unprecedented third term.

And I think Democratic Party discipline has been there since FDR. The Republicans go willy nilly. I mean, you`re looking at the fact that conservatism movement constantly having an insurgence against their establishment that only maybe `72 with Jimmy Carter, maybe a little -- I mean, `76 with Carter, maybe a little bit with McGovern in `72 while you had an insurgency.

HAYES: And Charlie, speaking of `64, which is of course the convention that nominated Barry Goldwater, I mean, that`s also to me the best sort of historical marker for what we might see in Cleveland insofar as you have a takeover essentially of the party by a certain wing of it and the other wing rejects it.

Here is Nelson Rockefeller on the floor in `64 basically ripping the face off the guy who is going to be the nominee. Take a listen.


GOV. NELSON ROCKEFELLER, (R) NEW YORK: There is no place in this Republican Party for those who would infiltrate its ranks, distort its aims and convert it into a cloak of apparent respectability for a dangerous extremism.


HAYES: You can hear him being booed and he doesn`t name Goldwater, but everyone understood, Charlie, what he was talking about.

PIERCE: Well, it was a wild convention.

I have talked to people who -- I mean, if Donald Trump does, as he`s flirted with his whole campaign, turns his crowd on the media, this is the precedent because I understand, and certainly Doug would know this better than I, that David Brinkley told his son not to wear NBC credentials because the anti-press feeling in `64 was so wild and so ginned up by the Goldwater people.

And so, yeah, this is a more closely run precedent, I think, than even `76 is.

BRINKLEY: What also happened in `64 with CBS is Barry Goldwater flew to Germany to show that he had foreign policy chops and Walter Cronkite went on CBS and said he went to a place where the Nazis used to be, connecting Goldwater to the Nazis. And it`s one of the few times CBS had to do a massive apology to Goldwater in `64.

But that`s how much the press was scared of Barry Goldwater, the liberal CBS, NBC and all. They were frightened about the idea of Goldwater, hence that famous commercial of the Lyndon Johnson`s work of the mushroom cloud and...

HAYES: And the Goldwater precedent I think is also useful to think of here in terms of what it meant for the party going forward, which is that Goldwaterism did define the next 50 years of the Republican Party absolutely and the huge historic defeat he had at the ballot box in November which is also a possibility who the heck knows if Trump is nominated.

Douglas Brinkley, Charlie Pierce, thank you, gentlemen.


HAYES: How Donald Trump could do what everyone thought was impossible, put the House of Representatives in play for Democrats. Is that possible? We`ll get to it ahead.


HAYES: We have spent a fair amount of time documenting the record of white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other on the far right bigoted fringes who have expressed their support for Donald Trump.

Well, now it appears that some white supremacists may have gotten hip to the damage that their open support does to Trump`s campaign.

Enter Will Kwig (ph), very crafty Ku Klux Klan grand dragon of California who can be seen here after a violent clash between the KKK and Black Lives Matter activists.

Early this year -- this week, Kwig (ph) went on the record supporting Hillary Clinton for president, telling Britain`s Telegraph newspaper, quote, "she is telling everybody one thing, but she has a hidden agenda. Once she is in the presidency, she is going to come out and her true colors are going to show."

Headlines screaming grand dragon endorses Hillary Clinton immediately followed, which of course may have been the point.

Grand Dragon Kwig`s (ph) endorsement of Clinton comes with an apparent change of heart, because back in September, as Gawker pointed out, he appears to have tweeted, quote, "Donald Trump, you, sir,are the only hope we have of getting white America back. We will all be voting for you, church of invisible empire."

Mr. Kwig (ph), we see you, dude.


HAYES: New analysis just released today of the election map in November shows it may already be too late for the Republican Party to avoid a major political realignment this fall. The Cook Political Report, one of the nation`s most respected election forecasters gets way down in the weeds of all 435 House races the ones that almost no one else is paying close attention to yet.

And it just revised its projections for ten of those races with all of the changes favoring Democrats.

That`s due to the possibility of either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz holding the top spot on the Republican ticket.

Politico reports today that endangered House Republicans facing tough re- election races are planning to adopt a simple strategy if Trump is the nominee: disregard the racket in the presidential race and keep it local.

But it`s a safe bet that Democrats will do all they can to make those lawmakers answer for their party`s standard barer. No one expected the House to be in play this year with districts as gerrymandered as they are and Republicans holding a huge, a historic majority.

But now there`s an outside chance control could possibly be up for grabs if things break the right way.

Now in the senate, Democrats were already positioned to do relatively well this fall, defending just 10 seats compared to 24 on the Republican side.

The New York Times reported back in February that majority leader Mitch McConnell has begun preparing senators for the prospect of a Trump nomination, assuring that if threatened to harm them in the general election, they could run negative ads about Trump.

Several of those Republicans senators up for re-election are from states won by Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. And some of them, like Mark Kirk of the president`s home state of Illinois are now breaking not just with the presidential candidates but with their own senate leadership on a plan to block the president`s Supreme Court nomination.


SEN. MARK KIRK, (R) ILLINOIS: We should go through the process the constitution has already laid out. The president has already laid out a nominee who is from Chicagoland, and for me, I`m open to see him, to talk to him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe you should, in fact, advise and consent on the nominee. And if you should vote it down, you vote it down. Then it`s back to the president.

KIRK: Right. It`s just man up and cast a vote.


HAYES: Ill speak with someone who is in a state, not Illinois but another state, where this could matter the most next.


HAYES: Joining me now from Madison, Wisconsin, Ruth Conniff, editor-in- chief of the Progressive magazine.

And Ruth, I wanted to talk to you, because you are in Wisconsin and you know Wisconsin politics and Wisconsin strikes me as the perfect sort of testing ground for this theory, right?

I mean, it is a state that reliably goes to Democrats in presidential elections, but in off years has elected Scott Walker, has elected Ron Johnson who kicked out Russ Feingold. There`s a rematch of that senate race this year. How do you see this falling into shape with either Trump or Cruz at the top the ticket?

RUTH CONNIFF, PROGRESSIVE MAGAZINE: Well, it`s a really interesting question, Chris, Because I don`t think anybody really knows the answer to it.

I mean, it is possible that the Democrats are right that they`re going to sweep down ballot races because people hate Trump and that the Republicans are right to be worried about that, but it`s also possible that here in the industrial Midwest there are a lot of populists of the type who support Trump and of the type who really if Hillary Clinton is the nominee are not going to be enthused about her.

So, it`s an interesting environment. It`s very unstable. You know, in the Ron Johnson/Russ Feingold race, I think what`s fascinating there is Ron Johnson is a poster child for the Tea Party, and he is an Ayn Rand acolyte. You know, he has these very right wing politics. He`s run against the Washington establishment. He`s trying to paint Russ Feingold as part of the Washingtno establishment.

But Russ Feingold was a maverick and he appealed to a lot of Republicans, a lot of libertarians. He parted ways with Clinton administration on things like spying. He is really a guy who runs a more populist campaign, very big on fair trade, for example. And so I think that`s the question.

And this year, how is the Democratic Party going to kind of run against Trump if Trump is the nominee and how is that going to look? And there are a lot of voters who are not reliable voters who are going to determine the outcome of that.

HAYES: And part of what we`ve seen, right, is the nationalization of elections. I mean, this has been a trend. I mean, I think Feingold lost in 2010 because that race was so a, effectively nationalized by the Republican Party and, b, they were able to motivate their base, right.

I mean, the folks who showed up in 2008 to vote in Barack Obama and Democratic majorities in both houses some percentage of them didn`t show up in 2010. And all the people who voted against Barack Obama did show up in 2010, and Russ Feingold was sort of the victim of that.

If you get a mobilization, an anti-Trump mobilization on that scale, you can see benefits for Democrats down ticket.

CONNIFF: Yes, that`s true.

But then you also have to have people motivated to come out and vote.

HAYES: You sound worried about that in Wisconsin.

CONNIFF: Well, that`s what Walker did. He motivated the hard right people to come out and vote, really the anti-choice people in droves. And as you pointed out, you know, we`re a blue state usually in a presidential year, but it just depends on who is really motivated to come out.

And I think, you know what you`ve seen -- when Trump says I can take states like Michigan that have never been Republican, he is saying something that`s significant. I mean, there`s this economic populist message that`s really resonating this year, this anti-establishment, anti-elitist message.

And on the left, Bernie Sanders has been the candidate with that message and has churned up a ton of enthusiasm, won Michigan in a surprise way, was stalled after that across the Midwest, so is not looking as likely to be able to make it all the way to the nomination, but where does that really leave things?

HAYES: But here is my question...

CONNIFF: You have to understand that that`s an important factor this year.

HAYES: I think it is.

But then I also think -- I was just reading a piece in the New Republic that made this point right, that Hillary Clinton has got more votes than anyone. That in some ways so much focus has been on Trump and Bernie Sanders I think for obvious reasons, for Trump particularly, but, you know, there`s a sizable -- there are a lot of votes that she has gotten. She has gotten more votes than any other candidate. And the Obama coalition is an intact thing that one can imagine being preserved in the fall if the right things fall into place.

CONNIFF: If a voter ID doesn`t suppress voter turnout too badly, and (inaudible) really politically active who can`t even cast a vote, that`s huge, voter suppressant is huge.

HAYES: That`s a very good point.

CONNIFF: And enthusiasm from people who don`t always vote.

HAYES: Right.

CONNIFF: And I don`t know that the Obama enthusiasm is transferable to Hillary and I don`t know that the Sanders enthusiasm is transferable to Hillary.

And what I do know is that the really economic populist year and Trump has this message, which as you have pointed out so well is an old line right wing populist message, which absolutely combines attacking the wrong people -- attacking immigrants and people of color with this economic populist message that`s really appealing.

And some white working class voters just sort of dismiss the racist part, and others of them resonate to it.

So, I think we would be foolish to say he is never going ot win.

HAYES: That I totally agree with.

CONNIFF: ...Republicans have made along.

HAYES: I totally agree with that. But I also think people should not underestimate to the degree to which he will be a motivator for large segments of a coalition that may not be enthused otherwise.

Ruth Conniff, thank you very much.

All right, that is All In for this evening.