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All In With Chris Hayes, Transcript 3/21/2016

Guests: Bernie Sanders, Betsy Woodruff, Howard Dean, Victoria Defrancesco Soto, Bernie Sanders

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: March 21, 2016 Guest: Bernie Sanders, Betsy Woodruff, Howard Dean, Victoria Defrancesco Soto, Bernie Sanders


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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This political movement has gotten to the point where you may get to death inside of a rally.

HAYES: More weekend violence as Donald Trump tries to charm Washington Republicans.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If people want to be smart, they should embrace this movement.

HAYES: Tonight, the Republican front-runner goes to D.C.

Plus, President Obama makes history in Cuba.

And Senator Bernie Sanders goes ALL IN.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump is an embarrassment even to the Republican Party.

HAYES: Hear Sanders surprising answer about Trump protesters, his response to Democrats calling for him to get out of race, and what he thinks of how the media is covering him.

SANDERS: Campaigns and elections are not a game. They`re not a game.

HAYES: And ALL IN starts right now.


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

And I hope you`re sitting down because this has been absolutely crazy day of news, with President Obama on the first presidential visit to Cuba in nearly 90 years. Donald Trump descending on Washington to try to woo the panicked GOP establishment, four out of the five candidates speaking to the powerful Israel lobbying group known as AIPAC, and the one candidate who skipped that event, Bernie Sanders, sitting down with me for a wide-ranging 20-minute interview you definitely do not want to miss.

All of that ahead, but first to Trump, who after spending the last eight months speaking off the cuff, violating every taboo and offending seemingly anyone and everyone found the one group he wouldn`t risk ad libbing in front of. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, aka, AIPAC, which he spoke to using a teleprompter with a prepared remarks were perhaps the first time as a presidential candidate, in which despite rumblings of protests and walkouts gave Trump fairly enthusiastic reception. One we`ll discuss later in the show.

Shortly before his speech to AIPAC, at a press conference without his teleprompter, Trump defended the man seen here violently assaulting a protester at a Trump campaign rally in Arizona over the weekend.


TRUMP: He was given a certain finger and a hand. He was talked to horribly and he was also looking at somebody that came up with somebody dressed as a member of the Ku Klux Klan. And he happened to be African- American, the person who was a supporter. It was a shame what happened.

But you know what, he saw a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and you people don`t write that.


HAYES: To be clear, the man who was attacked was not, in fact, dressed as a member of the Ku Klux Klan, though there was another protester nearby in a KKK hood.

Now, the victim of this beating here told NBC News he was scared he would be killed at the rally and he blamed Trump for inciting violence.


BRYAN SANDERS, ATTACKED AT TRUMP RALLY: This political movement has gotten to the point where you may get beat to death inside of a rally. What`s going to happen when this man is president? How is he going to shut down dissent when he`s in charge?


HAYES: Trump`s defense of the attacker comes on the heels of his defense of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, currently the subject of a criminal complaint from conservative reporter Michelle Fields, who said Lewandowski grabbed her and yanked her down when she tried to ask Trump a question, leaving bruises in her arm.

At that same Arizona rally where the protester was beaten, Lewandowski, and another Trump staffer were seen getting physical with a protester. And despite video evidence to the contrary, Trump in his campaign claimed that Lewandowski was not involved.

The only candidate not wooing AIPAC in Washington today was Bernie Sanders who said he was too busy campaigning out west where he`s been met with massive crowds, including an estimated 14,000 in Utah on Friday, ahead of another big rally in Idaho this morning. Sanders, who is trailing Hillary Clinton by 300 pledged delegates, managed to make time for an in-depth interview with me.


HAYES: All right. Senator Sanders, let me start with this. It was another example of some real upsetting violence at a Trump rally. A Trump supporter beating up a protester. He was arrested. This comes in the wake of a lot of protests, the roadblock.

There are some commentators who were saying, as responsible is Donald Trump is for what is happening at his rallies, that the protest efforts now at those rallies, the disruptions are essentially playing into his hand. What do you think of that?

SANDERS: Well, look, I think, you know, that Trump has been incredibly divisive. I think he`s insulted almost every group in America. I think his policies are outrageous, but in America, people have a right to hold rallies.

So, I think my own feeling is it`s absolutely appropriate for thousands of people to protest at a Trump rally, but I am not a great fan of disrupting rallies. So, people want to be outside. They want to talk about attacks on Mexicans. His outrageous attacks on Muslims and African-Americans, that is absolutely appropriate.

But I think in some ways you`re right. I think it plays into Trump`s hands. It`s counterproductive. Protests yes, disruptions, no.

HAYES: That is not the answer I would have expected from you.

SANDERS: Why not? I don`t believe -- you know, people have a right to give a speech. People have a right to protest. I`m not great fan of disrupting people`s speeches.

HAYES: There was an article, I believe it was in "Politico", about Democratic senators talking about you and Hillary Clinton and your campaigns, and basically I think urging you to enter a phase of your campaign not to stop campaigning, but essentially to target Donald Trump as opposed to Hillary Clinton because they believe or claim that you don`t have a clear path to nomination and you were damaging or potentially damaging Hillary Clinton.

I wanted to get your response to that.

SANDERS: Well, let me -- let me respond in a couple of ways. We do have a path to victory. You know, Secretary Clinton has done very, very well in the Deep South and in states that have had elections there.

We`re now out of the Deep South. We`re heading West. We think we have an excellent chance to win in Washington state, in the state of California, in Oregon. We think we`ll do well this week in Utah. We think we`re going to do well in Arizona, we`re right now here in Boise, Idaho. We have 6,000 people next door. We had 14,000 people out a few days ago in Salt Lake City.

Most importantly to me, Chris, in almost all the exit polls, we are winning the people 45 or 50 and younger. The future of the Democratic Party is with us. People are tired of establishment politics and establishment economics.

People want to United States to join the rest of the industrialized world with a national health program, Medicare for all. People believe fervently that in the year 2016, we should make public colleges and universities tuition free. We got to impose tax on Wall Street speculation.

These are the ideas that are generating enthusiasm. So, of course, I`m taking on Donald Trump. I`m very proud in almost every national poll, we are running much stronger against Trump than Clinton is. Last NBC poll I think had us 18 points up. Clinton was 13 points up.

If you can believe it in the state of Utah, which is not elected, voted for a Democrat in 50 years, we were beating Trump by 11 points. Hillary Clinton by two points. One of the points many people are saying all over this country is Bernie Sanders is, in fact, the strongest candidate against Donald Trump.

HAYES: You gave an interview to Rachel Maddow the other night when she talked with you about Merrick Garland, has been nominated by the president to fill Scalia seat on the Supreme Court. And you said you would, if you were elected, it was a lame duck session, you would ask for him to withdraw and name your own Supreme Court justice. And you`ve talked about Citizens United as a kind of litmus test for you.


HAYES: I wonder your views about Heller which is the opinion in 2007 by the Supreme Court, 2008, finding that basically the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms. Do you think that was properly decided? Would you look for a justice who would overturn it?

SANDERS: Chris, Chris, Chris -- Chris, I`m not going to go through every Supreme Court decision. But this is what I will tell you. I don`t go around coming up with litmus tests every other day. I`m obviously pro- choice, 100 percent voting record for women`s rights, for the environment and so forth and so on, and to hold a lot of criteria out there.

But I worry, very much, about the future of American democracy. The degree to which we are going to have a vibrant democracy if Citizens United continues to stand. So, this, to me, is a very fundamental issue underlying the whole nature of American society.

And I will not appoint or nominate anybody to the Supreme Court who is not loud and clear, making it very public that not only will they vote to overturn this disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court but they will push it to come up as soon as possible, to be heard by the Supreme Court.

HAYES: One of the things Citizens United gave rise to, right, of course, are super PACs. And I`m really curious. Have you -- I will say that I have actually genuinely been surprised by what a disaster they have been in a strict tactical sense in this campaign. I mean, literally hundreds of millions of dollars lit on fire, $145 million to get Jeb Bush, four delegates.

Are you surprised how seemingly ineffectual that kind of big money has been thus far?

SANDERS: I think that`s a wrong characterization of the situation.

Look, the political world is changing rapidly. What the establishment has learned, what the Democratic accomplishment, the Republican establishment, the media establishment is the world is not quite what they thought it was.

With the middle class disappearing, with people working longer hours for low wages, people working for the future of their children, what you are seeing a lot of discontent at the grass roots level all over this country. And that`s what`s going on right now.

Trump is tapping that anger in a very destructive way, scapegoating Mexicans and Muslim.

What we are doing is trying to bring people together to create an economy that works for all of us, not just Wall Street. But to underestimate the long term impact of Citizens United, of the Koch brothers, of Sheldon Adelson, would be a very, very serious mistake.

That is one of the worst decisions in the history of Supreme Court decisions. It`s got to be overturned.

HAYES: This connects to something else about your career in politics that I wanted to ask you. You`re nothing, if not consistent. You`ve been remarkably consistent on a whole set of principles since you really entered public life, particularly since you entered Congress.

I think that consistency is a large part of your appeal. People don`t think you`re making up this position about banks or, you know, money in politics just because you think it will work. You really believe it.

Are there things that you`ve changed your mind on about politics since you got into Congress or even since you started campaign? Are there things that you had a conversion or thought to yourself, you know, I was wrong about that, in your time as a politician?

SANDERS: Well -- well, let me say this, you know, to be honest with you, I almost, what I fervently wish is we had more time. Right now, I`m speaking to you and I can hear in the background a crowd of 5,000 or 6,000 people in Boise, Idaho. We have 14,000 people out in Salt Lake City.

What I think I underestimated is the degree we can, in fact, bring people together around a strong economic message. People will disagree. I am pro-choice. I am pro-gay marriage. I have -- you know, feel fervently about climate change.

But I think there`s even more opportunity than I had previously believed to bring people together around basic economic issues ending this disastrous these trade policies that have cost us millions of jobs, raising the minimum wage to 15 an hour. I do believe that a majority of American people want health care.

If I had to do it over again, I would have put more emphasis on bringing working class people together to fight for a government that works for all of us, not just wealthy campaign contributors.

HAYES: That`s not saying -- so when you said more time, I thought you were talking about you and I or before you -- you`re saying the runway for the Bernie Sanders plane, that you wish it was longer. That you think you found something here that if it was longer, you would be in a better position to take advantage of?

SANDERS: Look, I think, two things, number one, the Democrats need a 50- state strategy. I think with intelligent planning, cultivating good leadership in the South and there is some right there bringing blacks and whites together, Democrats can make huge advances in the South.

I think in other parts of this country, whether it`s Kansas or Utah or Idaho, I think it`s insane for the Democrats to abdicate those states in that entire region. And I think if elected president and becoming leader of the Democratic Party, we`re going to put resources in there.

And I think we can bring people together. You say you may disagree with me on gay marriage, OK? But you do need to see your kid go to college. You need to have a decent minimum wage. I think we can bring a lot of people together on those issues.


HAYES: Much more on my interview with Bernie Sanders to come, including the presidential candidate making news with some sharp records about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Plus, Donald Trump`s day trying to charm the D.C. establishment that ended with him threatening the very people he was trying to win over.

And the ALL IN viewers guide to tomorrow`s primaries.

Those stories and more, ahead.


HAYES: Much more of my conversation with Bernie Sanders, including some pointed words for Hillary Clinton and Benjamin Netanyahu. Plus, his critique of how the media has covered his campaign.

Also, Senator Sanders reveals for the first time how his own religious heritage impacts the way he thinks about politics.


HAYES: You were the first Jewish individual to get this far, to come this close to the presidency in American history. How much does that shape how you think about your role, should you become president, particularly with respect to Israel, a place where you did live at a certain point?


HAYES: That answer, ahead.


HAYES: Today, as the Never Trump movement is marshalling whatever political capital, energy, and money it has left to keep Donald Trump away from the Republican nomination, Trump himself touched down in Washington, D.C., the heart of the establishment, to make his pitch to possibly skeptical party leaders and Beltway power brokers.

His day in the nation`s capital ended just moments ago with major policy speech to AIPAC, where his statement that he is literally single leading experiment of the Iran nuclear deal elicited laughter from the audience.


TRUMP: I`ve studied this issue in great detail. I would say greater by far than anybody else. Believe me. Oh, believe me.


HAYES: Trump`s jaunt in D.C. ended with efforts of courting the who`s who of D.C. foreign policy, it also began that way, with a sit down with "The Washington Post" editorial page to detail his sparse and more than slightly incoherent foreign policy. You`ve got to read the transcript of that, by the way, in its entirety.

Next, Trump headed to a meeting with Republican lawmakers and GOP operatives with the Jones Day law firm. The gathering attended by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Senator Jim DeMint, the president of the influential conservative Heritage Foundation, along with two dozen sitting senators and half a dozen congressmen.


REP. SCOTT DESJARLAIS (R), TENNESSEE: I mean, he`s clearly the front- runner. In my district in Tennessee, he won almost 50 percent of the vote. I think he has the clearest path to the nomination. It only makes sense to unify the party and get people behind him.


HAYES: The real estate mogul then took his campaign to his new Trump branded Washington, D.C. hotel where he announced, among other things, that the Heritage Foundation is working to compile a list of Supreme Court nominees.

The press conference took place against the backdrop of reporting over the weekend of last ditch efforts to stop Trump. The piece noting that if they fail, quote, "leading conservatives are prepared to field an independent candidate in the general election."

Asked about party leaders, specifically House Speaker Paul Ryan`s criticism of them, Trump offered a series of lightly veiled threats to the very establishment he was in nation`s capitol to court.


TRUMP: Now, they can play games. They can play cute. I can only take him at face value.

I understand duplicity. I understand a lot of things, but he called me last week. He could not have been nicer. I spoke with Mitch McConnell, he could not have been nicer.

If people want to be smart, they should embrace this movement. They better be careful and should be careful with third party stuff, "If Trump gets it, we`re going to start a third party." Well, a third party means the Democrats are going to win, almost certainly.


HAYES: Joining me now is Betsy Woodruff, politics reporter of "The Daily Beast".

Betsy, I`m starting to see that you`re starting to see the first inklings and signs of people who are just going to have, I think, just end up supporting Trump, right? Parts of the conservative movement.

The Heritage Foundation was really interesting to me. Jim DeMint is at this meeting.

Heritage, this is their statement of helping him think through Supreme Court nominees. "Heritage has long advocated for judicial nominees with high integrity that will follow the rule of law and uphold the Constitution as written. We will consistently provide that guidance ands other policy recommendations to officeholders and campaigns as part of our ongoing work to promote conservative solutions."

What are the tea leaves to be read there?

BETSY WOODRUFF, THE DAILY BEAST: The tea leaves to be read I think are that Heritage has made peace with the fact that Trump is likely going to be the Republican nominee. The sort of mass delusion that`s existed in D.C. for about eight months regarding Trump`s strength as a candidate seems finally to be dissipating and a lot of these establishment figures are making peace with the fact he`s not going anywhere.

What`s interesting to me is that many of the most die hard never Trump folks aren`t establishment figures. They aren`t in sort of Reince Priebus world. In fact, a meeting last week that was much hyped of some never Trump folks was dominated by a group`s biggest contribution was helping Rick Santorum get his 2016 bid off the ground.

These aren`t Reince Priebus types. These are movement conservatives who are probably doing the most or at least putting in the most effort thus far to stop Trump.

HAYES: Yes, that`s a really key point. We think of the establishment, so much of those politics are so transactional, right? These people think they can get close to power, they`re going to.

This is George Will talking about this. He coins the phrase the Vichy Republicans. Take a listen.


CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: The party, it`s a big, big tent can expand to include Donald Trump at least through November, or is this stretching it too far?

GEORGE WILL, CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST: It cannot expand that far and remain a conservative party, which means if he`s the nominee, there will be no conservative running in the race and the Vichy Republicans who are coming to terms with the takeover of their party ought to understand that.


HAYES: Vichy Republicans.

WOODRUFF: The question of class traitorship is central to this.

Sarah Palin had a lengthy, protracted Facebook post, I think it was either today or yesterday where she just ranted about the fact that supporters of Donald Trump are worried they are getting blacklisted. A former Trump aide mentioned a bit about this idea of keeping track of the names of conservative movement.

HAYES: A former Cruz aide, yes.

WOODRUFF: Former Cruz aide, exactly, yes, I misspoke. Keeping track of the names of movement conservative figures who decided to get on board with Trump and legitimize him.

But the reality is that, look, he`s had significant success getting some of these Tea Party standard bearers. Some of these movement conservative standard bearers, some of the keepers in the past, some of the people who are the most diehard about making sure the people they supported are really conservative. He`s had enormous success getting those folks on board with him. A lot of the purists they just flip for Trump and I think that`s why George Will is so uncomfortable with all of this, very understandable.

HAYES: That`s right. Sheldon Adelson, one of the biggest Republican megadonors. His newspaper has been offering pretty positive coverage of Donald Trump. It looks like some wooing there.

So, I think the category that George Will calls Vichy Republicans will be quite a large category before all is said and done.

Betsy Woodruff, thanks for joining me.

WOODRUFF: Sure thing.

Coming up, this incredible video of President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro. Look at that dangling wrist there. What that dangling wrist means, next.

Plus, more of my exclusive interview with Senator Bernie Sanders where I got to ask him a question I`ve only wanted to ask. His revealing answer, ahead.

Stay with us.


HAYES: All right. Two of the most heated, polarizing foreign policy issues with the perhaps the most passionate domestic constituencies, Cuba and Israel, were both somehow front and center today. The world wash day of historic first unfold as Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president since Calvin Coolidge to visit Cuba.

Mr. Obama is in the midst of a three-day visit, a trip complete with pomp and circumstance, which included a Cuban band playing "The Star Spangled Banner".

President Obama met with Cuban President Raul Castro, their third face-to- face encounter since diplomatic ties with Cuba reestablished.

Earlier, President Obama and Mr. Castro held a joint news conference, and at President Obama`s urging, a rare occurrence in Cuba, questions were taken from the press.

The president said he is confident the trade embargo with Cuba will end, while Mr. Castro grabbed attention for his response to reporters question about country`s political prisoners.


RAUL CASTRO, CUBAN PRESIDENT (through translator): What political prisoners? Give me a name or names or when after this meeting is over you can give me a list of political prisoners. And if we have the political prisoners they will be released before tonight`s end.


HAYES: We should note, of course, that Cuba does still hold political prisoners, according at least to a 2015 report from Human Rights Watch.

The news conference culminating in some awkward optics perfectly embodying the needle president has been threading on Cuba, in trying at once to end the failed embargo policy, without at the same time appearing to endorse the Castro regime.

President Castro at the end of the press conference seizing his arms in hopes apparently of a kind of triumphant culminating photo op. President Obama allowed his arm to go limp.

Meanwhile, back in this country, the woman hoping to succeed President Obama addressed the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC in a speech that drew some implicit, but rather sharp contrasts to the sitting presidnet, offering to extend an invitation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House, a line that earned Clinton a standing ovation.

Both the former Secretary of State and President Obama officially opposed Israeli settlement building in occupied Palestinian land, but Mrs. Clinton`s language in addressing the issue was, well, let`s just say far from stern. As the Huffington Post note, she mentioned settlement activity only once in passing near the end of her speech after multiple condemnations of Palestinian acts of terror.

Clinton also had harsh words for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which aims to isolate Israel internationally, and linked that movement with anti-Semitism.

Meanwhile, Clinton used her speech to paint Donald Trump as someone who would threaten U.S.-Israel relations if he wins the White House.


CLINTON: We need steady hands, not a president who says he`s neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday and who knows what on Wednesday because everything is negotiable.

Well, my friends, Israel`s security is non-negotiable.


HAYES: There`s only one candidate still in the race who did not speak at AIPAC today. It`s the only Jewish candidate in the race, Bernie Sanders. And I got chance to sit down and talk with him about how he sees America`s relationship with Israel. He used some sharp language to describe Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


SANDERS: This is a right wing politician, a guy who kind of crashed the United States congress to give his speech there, ignoring President Obama, not even consulting with him, using it for political purposes back home.


HAYES: The rest of my conversation with Bernie Sanders, ahead.


HAYES: More now in my conversation with Senator Bernie Sanders on a day of massive political headlines Israel and Cuba. I asked the presidential hopeful about both those topics and pressed him on how his worldview differs from his Democratic rivals.


SANDERS: She is obviously much more hawkish than I am. I think she has apologized for her vote against the war in Iraq. But I don`t think that that was a mistake on her part, that is the type of aggressiveness and hawkishness that is what she is part of.

I think the role that she played in Libya in the overthrow of Qadhafi without fully understanding the long-term implications of regime change there, and the vacuum it created for ISIS to come in is also a mistake. The fact that she would go in with a debate, debate with me and talk about the praise that she received from Henry Kissinger, Henry Kissinger, one of the most destructive secretaries of state in American history, she was proud to get his praise. I mean, that tells you where she is coming from.

We have a very different outlook.

HAYES: You just characterized her views. But I`m curious, you say she`s more hawkish. Characterize your own views. Do you think of yourself as dovish, do you think of yourself as a internationalist? How would you characterize your own views in contrast to her?

SANDERS: In 12 seconds or less, look it`s not -- I voted against the war in Iraq. I voted against the first Gulf war. I think war is the last option of a great military power like us. I think we need to focus on building coalitions.

Yes, ISIS must be destroyed, but it should be destroyed by a coalition of Muslim nations on the ground with the support of the United States and the other major powers in the air and in training the troops there.

I think also, when you talk about what goes on in the Middle East, look, I absolutely -- I spent many months on a kibbutz in Israel. So, I know something about Israel. Israel has got to be defended, has a right to exist. But you cannot ignore the needs of the Palestinian people.

Yes, I am more than aware of what Iran is doing in supporting terrorism. But I am also aware that the government of Saudi Arabia is no great model of Jeffersonian democracy, that money from Saudi Arabia has gone in to terrorist extremists, that also that when you look at the Middle East, we have to play with a much more level -- even-handed approach than I think we have had.

So, it is not just, you know, long term, I think we want to make sure that we do everything that we can to stop the support of terrorism from Iran. But long-term, and I think the agreement of the Obama administration reached in stopping the development of a nuclear weapon in Iran is a step forward. I want to see that continued.

I want to see pressure being put on Saudi Arabia not only to stop funding terrorists, but instead of being in Yemen to play a more active role again ISIS . In other words, what we have got to do, we are all aware of the centuries old division between Shiites and Sunnis. But you know what, they`re going to have to sit at the table.

We can play a role in trying to resolve some of the differences so they work with us against ISIS and terrorism in general.

HAYES: You use the phrase even-handed in terms of our sort of navigating the difficulty geopolitics in the Middle East. Hillary Clinton today when she was speaking to AIPAC mocked Donald Trump, seemed to mock Donald Trump, who talked about being neutral between Israel and Palestinian negotiations in achieving some kind of two-state solution and peace deal.

Who`s right about that? Should the U.S. be neutral or not?

SANDERS: No, it`s not a question of being neutral and it`s not a question of Donald Trump.

I mean, you know, Donald Trump is an embarrassment even to the Republican Party. What I mean is that when you look at somebody like a Netanyahu, to simply not understand that this is a right wing politician, a guy who kind of crashed the United States congress to give his speech there, ignoring President Obama, not even consulting with him, using it for political purposes back home, a guy who has supported the growth of settlements, I think the overreaction and the destruction of Gaza went too, too far. Israel should not be bombing schools or homes, just terrible damage there.

So, point being, Israel has an absolute right to exist, not only to exist, but to exist in way that they`re not under threat of terrorism. And I support that 100 percent.

But you have also got to reach out to the Palestinian people and to the Arab communities, that is the only hope, I think, for lasting peace in the Mideast.

Is this going to be easy? Of course it`s not. Wonderful people have tried for decades without success. But we keep doing it. We just cannot be 100 percent supportive of people like Netanyahu and ignore the rest of the region.

HAYES: Clinton also -- and then I`m going to move to Cuba. But Clinton also today talked about the boycott, divest, sanction movement, which is an international movement. Some of the people who advocate those tactics believe that Israel should be a binational state. They don`t believe in Zionism. Some are Zionists, but they want to see Israel support a two- state solution more strenuously, move away from the settlements. She linked to it racism, to anti-Semitism basically. She said -- she connected BDS to anti-Semiticism. Do you think that`s a fair linkage?

SANDERS: I think there is some of that, absolutely. Look, Israel has done some bad things. So has every other country on Earth. I think if people want to attack Israel for their policies, I think that is fair game but not to appreciate that there is some level of anti-Semitism around the world involved in that I think would be a mistake.

HAYES: You are the first Jewish individual to get this far, to come this close to the presidency in American history. How much does that shape how you think about your role should you become president with respect to Israel, a place where you did live at a certain point?

SANDERS: My role if elected president -- I`ve got to look at foreign policy and look at the United States approach to every country on Earth. Clearly the Middle East has been a cauldron. It has been so volatile, so horrible in so many years that it`s an area you have got to pay attention to. But you have got to pay attention to China. You have got to pay attention to Latin America.

I would say that being Jewish, what has been most significant in my life is understanding what a Hitler, what horrible politics can mean to people. And I think that`s been one of the motivating factors in my life in fighting against racism and bigotry of all kinds, because when it gets out of hands as we have seen and we are -- it obviously it has unbelievable repercussions.

HAYES: Today the president is in Cuba and it`s a remarkable thing for a lot of people to witness given the decades of American policy there. It`s something you have oppose. You opposed the embargo for a long time.

Do you have a message today if there are Cuban dissidents, some of whom were protesting today, some of whom were arrested during protests. To those folks or to people in Miami who feel like even if they didn`t support the embargo also feel negatively about the Castro regime?

SANDERS: Well, you know, there`s a lot to feel negatively about. But I think in terms of the nature of the continuation of the Cold War, which has gone on so long between Cuba and the United States, I applaud the president for aggressively trying to end it. And I hope we will not only full diplomatic relations but that the trade embargo will end. I think that will be good for the people of Cuba. And I think it`s a little bit absurd that here in the United States we can get on plane, we can go to china, we can go to Saudi Arabia, we can go anyplace we want, countries that are not democratic, but for some reason we can`t go to Cuba, businesses in America can`t do business in Cuba. I think that that is stupid.

So, I hope very much and applaud the president for his efforts in that direction and hope that in the not too distant future -- and if I have anything to say about it as president, we will work aggressively to develop normal relations in every respect with the people of Cuba.

HAYES: Final question here, senator. You`ve been very critical of the media`s role in this campaign. And some of those critiques I find pretty compelling, I have to say. Is there a question that you wished you got asked more that you don`t get asked?

SANDERS: Look, it`s not just a question. For the media, 90 percent of the coverage is process is soap opera is polls, is raising money. Go to the rallies that I have and listen to the people coming up to me. Yesterday, a woman comes up to me with tears her eyes, Bernie I am working 60 hours a week. I`m not making any money. I don`t have time to spend with my daughter.

Listen to the kids who leave school 50,000 or 60,000 a year in debt. Talk to the people who have no health insurance and what that means to their life.

I`m running for president of the United States because we have a disappearing middle class, we got 47 million people living in poverty. The amount of time that the media pays to those issues is minimal.

And I think that is my critique, Chris, that the media has got to look at the pain in America today and then look at how the candidates are responding to that pain. Campaigns and elections are not a game. They`re not a game. They`re about trying to change America. We`re the wealthiest country in the history of the world. We should not be having Flint, Michigans or African-American communities all over this country where schools are failing.

Those are the issues we got to pay attention to and not look at this as some kind of silly game. And that is the critique that bothers me. That`s what bothers me about media coverage.

HAYES: All right, Senator Bernie Sanders, candidate for president of the Democratic Party, senator from Vermont. Thanks for all your time. Really appreciate it.

SANDERS: Thank you, Chris.


HAYES: All right. As Utah prepares to caucus tomorrow, the stop Trump campaign is in full force with some pretty provocative ads, targeting Mormons, including one of Donald Trump`s wife posing nude. Most on that ahead.


HAYES: So, it turns out, there is a single factor that has proven to be the strongest predictor of anti-Trump voting behavior among Republican primary goers. We`re going to tell you what it is and why it might be so crucial tomorrow ahead.


HAYES: Though just a few states hold primaries or caucuses tomorrow, there`s some very high stakes drama in those contests. Donald Trump is favored to take Arizona on the Republican side, both former and governor Jan Brewer and the infamous Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio have endorsed Trump. And it`s a winner take all primary.

So, if Trump wins even if it`s just a plurality of the vote, he gets to keep all those delegates. But here`s where things get interesting on the GOP side, Senator Ted Cruz is heavily favored to win in Utah. And it`s majority take all state, meaning if Cruz can manage to win over 50 percent of the vote instead of a mere plurality, he`s awarded all that state`s delegates.

This is a key point for anyone hoping for a victory for a small victory for the stop Trump forces, because projections that people are running right now in various models and simulations, tend to put Trump hovering right around perhaps possibly under the 1,237 he needs if he continues as he`s been. And that means just a few delegates shy could keep him from an outright win.

A Cruz majority win in Utah is the kind of outcome that could lend credence to the idea that Trump can be forced to go to Cleveland without the nomination secured.

Now, part of the reason Cruz has a shot in an outright win in Utah is that it looks like Mormonism is the most effective anti-Trump inoculation among the GOP base. Check this out, from this graph, tweeted by Nate Collin (ph) in the New York Times, the greater the percentage of Mormons in a given country, the less support there is for Donald Trump.

An anti-Trump Super PAC calling itself Make America Awesome, has even put out Facebook ads targeted to Mormons, including this one featuring Mitt Romney, and another one that is, well, disparaging of Trump`s wife Milania.

Coming up, could Donald Trump`s trouble rallying Mormons to his side keep him from winning the Republican nomination? And we`ll preview what the Democrats have in store tomorrow, next.


HAYES: Joining me now MSNBC contributor, Victoria Defrancesco Soto, Fellow at Center for Politics and Governance at the LBJ School of Public Affairs in Texas; and MSNBC political analyst Howard Dean, former chair of the DNC and former governor of Vermont.

Now, Victoria, let me start with you, Arizona, tomorrow, immigration is sort of figured more prominently I think in that state`s politics than perhaps any other state in the union. You see Jan Brewer and Joe Arpaio, the sort of anti-immigration maximalists endorsing Trump. You wrote today about how the immigration legacy has led to Trump. How do you see that issue playing out on both sides tomorrow?

VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO SOTO , CENTER FOR POLITICANS AND GOVERNANCE: Well, I think, Chris, there was a lot of shock and awe when Donald Trump came out with his candidacy and was speaking about immigrants being rapists and drug dealers. But the truth of the matter that this isn`t old. This is the type of rhetoric that we have been seeing for over decade starting really in Arizona, because of the problems they were having being a border state. And then in 2010 it culminated with the SB-1070 law.

But then the it quieted down when the Supreme Court struck down most of SB- 1070. It`s come back up. But I think the question is for both parties, Chris, Republicans and Democrats is we`re not going to see this immigration rhetoric go away until we have comprehensive immigration reform. It will wax and wane, but until it`s taken off of the table with a comprehensive reform from congress, not just band aids of executive orders, we`ll keep seeing more of t the same.

HAYES: Howard, this is my favorite nugget about the efforts to blunt Trump, and this is from the Washington piece. That they keep trying to attack him for the fact that he`s insufficiently harsh on health care. That he has supported universal health care in the past. He had this exchange about not letting people die in the streets.

In one poll conducted within the last week, potential Trump voters were asked if they would bail on him if convinced he would fail to repeal the ACA. Less than a third of them said they would.

It`s remarkable how absent the ACA, frankly, is from this primary and how much Trump -- how much it`s benefitting Trump that it is.

HOWARD DEAN, FRM. GOVERNOR OF VERMONT: Look, Donald Trump has got the right formula. He`s got the wrong personality and the wrong rhetoric.

But he is basically saying to those disaffected Democrats, known as the Reagan Democrats, many of whom voted for a Republican for the last three decades, look, we`re not going to cut your social programs. We`re not going to renounce the traditional Democratic safety net, but we are going to use a lot of hate rhetoric, basically on people who make you uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, this debate benefits Democrats greatly. Because the Hispanic population is critical to winning the presidency, and you can`t win the presidency if you`re a Republican and you get less than 35 or 40 percent of the vote.

Donald Trump has driven that number down among Hispanics to almost under 20 percent. So, I don`t think either side should benefit from this debate. But as it turns out, since we are the party that`s the -- that looks like rest of America,, Hispanics have been driven into our lap by this rhetoric, which is not -- and Donald Trump is not the first to use this kind of rhetoric on the Republican side.

HAYES: You know, there`s a new Times poll out today, Victoria, about opinion of own party, which I thought was pretty interesting and I will say a lot about what happens tomorrow, particularly in Arizona where I think Hillary Clinton is currently the favorite.

The favorable opinion of the own party, GOP 51 percent, Dems 82 percent. In terms of the different trajectories these campaigns have taken with Trump remaining the frontrunner and Sanders sort of falling behind Hillary Clinton, it seems to me like that number has a lot to do with what`s going on in both those dynamics and what we`ll see out of, say, Arizona tomorrow.

SOTO: Yeah, absolutely. And drawing off what the governor said, it does come back to that growing Latino electorate. Arizona has one of the fastest growing Latino populations, a very young Latino population. So, Hillary Clinton -- and having established a very strong connection with the Latino community for decades has been able to harness that and helping her in this primary, and I think going into the general election.

And you know, not just in Arizona, but across the country, and even in Utah we`re going to see immigration being a primary issue because our country is changing. And the country of tomorrow is one that`s going to be based on immigration whether folks like it or not.

HAYES: Howard, I think this stat about Mormonism in Utah is so fascinating. You`ve seen Mitt Romney come out against him. You really, there`s -- he has very, very favorables, Donald Trump, among Mormons. It`s sort of a fascinating window into what the nature of Trump`s appeal is and what are the kinds of things that can stop him.

DEAN: Well, one of the things about Mormons and evangelicals is I think they are really put off by the language that he uses, including the language that would have undone any other candidate many, many months ago.

The Mormons I know care about that stuff. There are Democratic Mormons. They don`t like that kind of crude language either.

I think it`s going to be fascinating tomorrow. I do see -- I do believe that Hillary Clinton is actually going to pick up delegates. Bernie may well win Utah and Idaho, and together that won`t be enough to make up for the amount of delegates that Hillary will win in a very one-sided win in Arizona.

HAYES: That`s the big question. Because it`s all proportional, of course, in the Democratic side. If she does in fact win, which polling projects, although we saw Michigan, who comes up plus or minus tomorrow between Idaho, Utah and Arizona.

Victoria Defrancesco Soto, Howard Dean, thanks for being on the show tonight.

DEAN: Thank you.

HAYES: And that is All In for this evening.