Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: April 12, 2016 Guest: Nick Confessore, Tim Carney, Bill de Blasio, Jeremy Travis, Jumaane
Williams, Betsy Woodruff
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Count me out.
HAYES: Paul Ryan steps away from the Trumpster fire.
RYAN: I believe that you should only choose from a person who is actually participated in the primary.
HAYES: Tonight, a big win for Donald Trump as he continues to cry foul.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know the system, folks, is rigged. And I`m not complaining about the states that I won. Those are OK.
HAYES: Where the stop Trump movement goes from here.
Then, new charges that the Democratic race is rigged.
BRIAN FALLON, HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN: When you talk about rigging the system, that`s what Senator Sanders is trying to do now.
HAYES: Hillary supporter and mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, joins me live to talk about Sanders versus Clinton and more.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Cautious politician time. I`ve been there.
HAYES: Plus, what exactly is John Kasich doing, and why the man who smacked a Trump protester in the face is only the second worst surrogate in the world today.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going to start yelling about some (EXPLETIVES DELETED)
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
And amid increasing protests from Donald Trump, the fix is in to stop him from winning the Republican presidential nomination, today, House Speaker Paul Ryan felt the need to declare firmly and unequivocally that he will not be the GOP`s ringer if the race goes to a contested convention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL: I do not want nor will I except the nomination for our party. Let me speak directly to the delegates on this. If no candidate has majority on the first ballot, I believe you should only choose from a person who is actually participated in the primary. Count me out.
I simply believe that if you want to be the nominee for our party, to be the president, you should actually run for it. I chose not to do this. Therefore, I should not be considered, period, end of story.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Ryan`s remarks were designed to squash growing speculation that he could once again be the Republican`s white knight, coming to the rescue as he did last fall when he accepted the speakership and head off conspiracy theories about backroom deals by party elites.
Just yesterday, a new report emerged that Ryan is due to attend a secret donor meeting in Manhattan, a report which happens to be published by "The New York Observer", a paper owned by Trump`s son-in-law.
The event turns out to be a fund-raiser for House GOP leadership unrelated to the presidential race. But it is being hosted by the billionaire Ricketts family, owners of the Chicago Cubs, and big funders of Our Principles, the anti-Trump super PAC.
While Ryan rules himself out today, note he did not say the field should be limited to three candidates still in the running.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: The rules committee, the delegates will decide what the rules are. But I will encourage those delegates to put in place a rule that says you can only nominate someone who actually ran for the job.
REPORTER: Speaker Ryan, does that mean that you think that only three candidates who remain --
RYAN: I`ll leave it up -- I`ll leave it up to the delegates at the rules committee to decide that. I just think -- honestly, I really believe if you want to be president, you should run for president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Paging Marco Rubio?
As a contested convention has grown more likely, Donald Trump and his supporters have been sounding the alarm about what ally Roger Stone calls the big deal, proposing extraordinary measures to stop him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROGER STONE: The fix is in, which is why I have urged Trump supporters come to Cleveland. We`re going to have protests, demonstrations. We will disclose the hotels and the room numbers of those delegates who are directly involved in the steal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Since Ted Cruz` clean sweep in Colorado where delegates are awarding through party conventions, instead of a caucus or primary, Donald Trump has ramping up his rhetoric about our crooked election system with the exception, of course, of the states he won.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You know the system, folk, is rigged. It`s a rigged system. Now you have to understand I`m not complaining about the states I won. Those are OK.
The RNC, the Republican National Committee, they should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this kind of crap to happen. I can tell you that. They should be ashamed of themselves.
They took the votes away from people in Colorado. People are burning up their Republican cards because they want to vote. You have to see what`s happening. It`s actually a thing of beauty if you want to know the truth, because they`re not going to take it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The thing of beauty has included death threats to Colorado state chair who says his phone number and home address were posted online.
Like Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz has been arguing that no dark horse candidate should be allowed in the mix to the convention in Cleveland, even defending a relatively obscure RNC rule that would keep John Kasich out of the running.
Unlike Trump, Cruz appears confidence this his ability to work the party`s rules. He`s enjoying twisting the knife over the Trump camp`s apparent confusion.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald needs to stop threatening the voters. He needs to stop threatening the delegates. He is not a mobster.
Donald`s whole pitch is he`s a great businessman and yet his campaign right now, it appears he can`t run a lemonade stand. If Donald were an apprentice on the show, looking at their inability to even show up and win elections, Donald would stay to himself, you`re fired.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HAYES: I`ll line up for that one.
But all this ignores, however, is the Republican Party`s rules as they`re designed actually give and have given Donald Trump a massive advantage. Trump has gotten 45 percent of all delegates awarded to date, despite winning only about 37 percent of all votes in the primaries. That was before Missouri finally certified its results today almost a month after voters went to the polls.
And while Trump beat Cruz by just 0.2 percent in the popular vote, because of the way delegates are allocated, he`ll receive 37 delegates, Cruz is 15.
Joining me now, Nick Confessore, national political reporter for "The New York Times", and Tim Carney, senior political columnist for "The Washington Examiner".
So, this headline caught my eye and I just want to talk to you, Tim, a man who likes to rail against big money interests. Billionaires fund anti- Trump delegate push. This is about Our Principles PAC, with the Ricketts, my beloved Chicago Cubs.
The idea I think here that we`re seeing coming into view is the big money failed in the voter part of the election. So, now, they are thinking we can be successful in the delegate part of the election.
TIM CARNEY, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Well, yes, and it`s going to disclose as a Cubs fan, you`re way too compromised.
HAYES: And biased to discuss.
CARNEY: Yes. So, what they`re doing, it`s a great distinction between some of big money in Republican Party and sort of the K Street wing of the Republican Party. These big donors, whether you have the Ricketts, you have Paul Singer, in a somewhat separate orbit. You have the Kochs.
That`s a different part of the lobbyist wing of the Republican Party, which is a different part of the party than the conservative wing of the Republican Party.
So, you don`t have -- K Street, the lobbyist don`t know where they want to go. They kind of like Trump, they kind of hate Cruz. They don`t really like the idea of a Trump. But the big money that`s dedicated to just the party strength, those are the people who are coming down and saying, you know what? We just can`t have Trump, even if we don`t think Cruz is the best guy, we just simply can`t have Trump.
So, they are the ones funding the Our Principles PAC just in the way they funded Rubio and Jeb. It was phenomenal. I mean it was lighting money on fire with that.
Is this going to be lighting money on fire? I don`t -- I don`t know. I don`t think so.
HAYES: Do you think it`s lighting money on fire?
NICK CONFESSORE, THE NEW YORK TIMES: For one thing, first of all, we`re talking maybe four or five families at last public count funding the super PAC. It`s not really representative of anything. I`m not sure what the pitch here is.
So, advertising didn`t work so well. It worked somewhat.
HAYES: Let me stop you right there because in your own paper, there have been a barrage of attack ads. He`s more than half the record spending on negative advertising, has been directed at Donald J. Trump now negatively. So, there`s been a lot more in the last month.
CONFESSORE: So, they`re going to organize these delegates supposedly to not back anyone in particular while Cruz is going to organize them to back him. I just -- I don`t really see how it works. It`s easy to organize around an actual candidate at a convention and to get them behind you, to organize for more of like eerie goal of like somewhere in between --
CARNEY: And Cruz going into these Colorado congressional districts and these state precincts and identifying the people and putting up a big banner and having t-shirts that say who are the people to vote for who are the Cruz ballot. That wasn`t some big money Paul Singer operation. That was a Ted Cruz campaign doing it well. And the fact is, that might be a lot more effective than any air wars that these big money guys can run.
HAYES: This idea of this sort of illegitimacy issue which again obviously they have been stoking. And now, it`s part of -- it`s become and this is only going to increase, let`s be clear. I mean, I think he`s probably going to win New York by a lot. I think he`s going to clean up in the Northeast. I still think provisions have him under that 1,237.
HAYES: That`s going to ratchet up and my sense is, there -- the question is how much appetite is there for that rhetoric among the Republican base that this is rigged?
CARNEY: Well, so, anything that doesn`t result in a Donald Trump nomination will be Donald Trump being ripped off, according to Donald Trump --
HAYES: That --
CARNEY: So, that`s the case.
HAYES: My question outside of his --
CARNEY: Yes. So, there is the possibility. A lot of people say, oh, the RNC is going to rig it against Trump. It`s possible if Trump is at 1,150, that the RNC leadership will say, can we kind of steer it towards Trump so it doesn`t look like too much of a rip off. And the rules are so malleable that you refer to the rules where you have to win a majority of delegates in eight states. Paul Ryan is saying, no, we`re going to rewrite.
The rules are so malleable that the RNC could, in fact, rig it in favor of Trump.
HAYES: Well, this is so funny, right?
So, here comes Paul Ryan to say, no, it`s not going to be me. Stop speculating. I brought in eight cameras and we cut it together in eight ads. That`s just me being me.
CONFESSORE: It sounds cynical.
HAYES: And yes, I denied a million times that I would be speaker having interest, but yes, I became speaker, but stop it.
Here he is talking to Peter Alexander about basically who he thinks the category of the applicable should be. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER ALEXANDER, NBC NEWS: Earlier today you talked about how the rules committee you would encourage them to make it so that nobody who didn`t run could be on the ballot? Does that mean we could see someone like Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, or Jeb Bush --
RYAN: I`m not going to foreclose anybody`s option. All I would say is I believe that the members of the rules committee who have yet to be selected, it`s comprise of delegates, I think they should have a rule that you have to run for president to get the nomination.
You have to be one of the candidates running for president who ran for president. I didn`t run for president. I chose not to run for president. This is why that I will not -- this is why I say I will not be the nominee for our party. We should select among the people who actually ran for the job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, the key here is there`s no such rule that says that. So, what`s key there is here he is to come say, look, I`m not going to interfere and his opening bid is, let`s open the door and make a new rule.
CONFESSORE: Get there and rewrite all the rules and make Mickey Mouse the nominee if they want to.
I do think, though, you know, he is making a pretty basic point. The only thing worse than taking some random figure head and putting them on top of the party for the fall election, or I`m sorry, the only thing worse than having a Marco Rubio or Kasich come in from behind would be someone totally outside the whole game. That would look worse I think to the grassroots to have somebody plopped on top of the whole operation.
HAYES: I disagree.
CARNEY: Even a rule that allows a Kasich or Rubio to be put in nomination is changing the rules from 2012 when they rigged it to make --
CONFESSORE: It`s rigged on purpose. It`s always been rigged. Parties are private organizations. They could --
HAYES: Yes. But this gets to the heart of it. When he`s talking about he system is rigged and I`ve been talking to Democrats about this, from super delegates, from a constitutional perspective, a American political party is just like the homeowners association or Kiwanis, or your local little league. It`s got -- they can do whatever the heck they want. They can say, like, no one over 5`6" can be --
CARNEY: Or you couldn`t have been a Hillary Clinton donor to be the nominee. You could put in that rule.
Yes. So, the existing rule would only -- the 2012 rule would only allow Cruz or Trump. That was Cruz` view. I was surprised.
I asked Cruz that in Wisconsin. I said, do you think it`s fair whoever it is? And Cruz said, no, it should be --
HAYES: They`re going to fight for that. The two of them have a joint interest in fighting on the rules committee, which is going to be the first huge rules fight, whether (INAUDIBLE).
Nick Confessore, Tim Carney, thank you.
Still to come: did Paul Ryan`s announcement help John Kasich? I`ll explain or try to, ahead.
Plus, Bernie Sanders tries to make up Hillary Clinton`s lead in New York as they both pull out their heavy hitting supporters on the trail, including Hilary Clinton supporter, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who joins me in two minutes, right after this break.
Do not go anywhere. The mayor will be very disappointed.
HAYES: Today marks the one-year anniversary since Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy to the White House. And now, one week before New York voters go to the polls, Clinton, who was, of course, twice elected to the U.S. Senate by New York, maintains a 14-point lead over Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator who was born and raised in Brooklyn.
Sanders has launched a big push to narrow that double-digit deficit and fight for New York`s 247 pledged delegates. Last night, he drew more than 11,000 people to rally in Buffalo, and he continues to make use of every profile surrogate he has, from actor and anti-fracking activist Mark Ruffalo, who lives in Upstate New York, to native New Yorkers Rosario Dawson, who introduced him this afternoon and stomped for Sanders in the South Bronx. And filmmaker Spike Lee, Brooklyn native who produced a 30- second ad for Bernie Sanders that features New Yorkers of different generations who supports.
Hillary Clinton has the backing of some of the most prominent politicians in the state like Representative Hakeem Jeffries who joined Clinton in Brooklyn on Saturday for cheesecake. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who backed Clinton almost immediately after she announced she was running. The mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, well, he appeared to take his time in endorsing Clinton, despite serving as her campaign manager for her first Senate bid 16 years ago.
And the slow march was an awkward skit over the weekend that`s gotten a lot of attention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have to say thanks for the endorsement, Bill. Took you long enough.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, snap.
MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO (D), NEW YORK CITY: Sorry, Hillary. I was running on CP time. I don`t like jokes like that.
CLINTON: Cautious politician time.
DE BLASIO: OK.
CLINTON: I`ve been there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio who in a statement today said, "Let`s be clear: In an evening of satire, the only person this was meant to mock was the mayor himself, period. Certainly, no one intended to offend anyone."
It`s good to have you here.
I`m going to stipulate. This skit is not at all the most important thing in American politics. But I do want to ask you this --
DE BLASIO: I commend you.
HAYES: Look, I cringed and a lot of people cringed. Obviously, CP time is people of color time, that we see in the piece which we run. Why not just apologize? Why not say we shouldn`t have done the joke?
DE BLASIO: It`s satire. The whole show was a satire. I was mocking myself. I`m sorry. I just think -- look, I take full responsibility. Someone else wrote the script but I approved it.
So, I think sometimes there`s place for satire in this world. That`s what this was.
HAYES: If you had to do it over again, would you do it?
DE BLASIO: I`m pretty comfortable to it. It was meant to be a joke on the way we speak. It was not meant to offend anyone. It was part of a show filled with satire making fun of elected officials, making fun of our normal political discourse . You have to put it in the context in the evening.
HAYES: I will say, for the context, this is the same event in which Rudy Giuliani famously dressed in drag and was sort of seduced by Donald Trump.
DE BLASIO: Correct.
HAYES: So, just so folks outside of New York --
DE BLASIO: It`s not typical every day moment in political life.
HAYES: All right. So, I want to ask you about money and politics. Now, there are two donors that`s been investigated by the U.S. attorney here.
DE BLASIO: Well, we understand they being investigated.
HAYES: There are reports that they`re being investigated.
DE BLASIO: Right.
HAYES: You said you are confident they didn`t get any favors. And you`ve also said you`re not going to speak more about it because it`s an ongoing investigation.
So, I wanted to ask you about this quote. "Until we get money entirely out of political system, of course, we`re going to turn to people for donations big and small. But that doesn`t change the way you make decisions."
My question for you is, it seems like the Clinton campaign and you in that quote are trying to hold two ideas, right? One is, yes, money has undue influence and we need a systemic solution to it, but in the particular case of me, money doesn`t have influence.
DE BLASIO: No, I don`t agree with that. Look, there`s something disingenuous about having a discourse about a set of rules and then wanting everyone to not have to play by those rules. I mean, this is the reality. Again, it`s a free enterprise system. I`ve often expressed my concerns about the problems of a free enterprise system. But since Buckley v. Valeo, donations have been considered free speech by the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, that was super charged and put on steroids on the Citizens United case.
These are the rules of the game which means everyone has an opportunity to go out and get those donations and use them for the campaigns to get their message out. If they don`t, in many cases they won`t get their message out.
Now, knowing that reality, you have to have your own set of standards. My standards are I`m going to do what I think is in the people`s interest no matter who gave the money. I`m always going to follow the rules, including a disclosure requirements.
One day, I`d like to see us end the practice of private donation. If I`d have my druthers, we would have a fully public finance system and a short campaign window as is true in some European country.
HAYES: But here seems to be the issue. I mean, every politician you speak to will tell you that. I mean, and I`m not saying that you`re wrong or right in your particular case. But if you go to a politician, people that I agree with ideologically, they say, look, no, I don`t vote some way because a donor asked me to.
And yet in the aggregate, right, we all have a sense it does influence, right? So, I don`t understand how row can make the case the system needs reform but in every particular case, it`s not doing anything --
DE BLASIO: I understand the logic. The problem I have is if someone has a message to get out and I`m a progressive and I`m a change agent, I think I`ve proven that. To win, I have to get a message out, to come back, I have to get a message out, requires resources. In New York, we`re very lucky to have an extremely stringent campaign finance --
HAYES: You do, yes.
DE BLASIO: It`s one of the very best in the country. Matching funds for smaller donations, real strict campaign limits, but you still need to get the resources together and get your message out.
OK. So, how do you then parse that? My best estimation of a way forward, until we have structural reform is to hold very high standards for yourself. So, yes, it becomes very subjective. And you and I both know some people done a great job of that and some people haven`t.
But in the end, it is the system we`re working. If there was free air time or any alternative way to get your message out, that would be a real interesting discussion. But there isn`t.
HAYES: You know, it`s been striking to watch in New York City -- New York play this role in the primary, right? I mean, so used to this primary system. So, front loaded usually in Iowa, and New Hampshire and South Carolina. And so, all of the stuff we`re used with like the corn dogs and snow covered barns, and now, it`s like junior`s cheesecake.
DE BLASIO: And matzo factory.
HAYES: I love all of this.
But one question I have for you is -- are there issues that are really important to people that live in big cities like New York that you feel are not getting enough attention in the presidential campaign?
DE BLASIO: Look, I think they are getting attention maybe not explicitly as an urban agenda. What would be an urban agenda? It would be greater investments by the federal government, and mass transit, and infrastructure in public education and affordable housing. That would be the simplest way to boil down an urban agenda.
What I see in that I think is foundational to that, I see it for my candidate Hillary Clinton, and I certainly, of course, see it from Bernie Sanders as well, is a call for greater taxes from the wealthy that will fund these types of federal investments. So, breaking out of this pattern, the sort of Reaganite pattern that we have lived in for 30 years of trickle down economics, and actually acknowledging that we`re going to have to tax the wealthy in a different way if we`re going to have a federal government that invests.
And the cities are more central to our economy than they have been in decades. They are the focal point of the American economy more and more in a globalized world. So, I`m thrilled that the two Democrats are talking about taxing the wealthy. Hillary Clinton is the person I can believe who can actually get it down. I think she`s the person who can actually win the general election and get this done.
I want to see more and more discussion of the specific investments. But I would say, certainly as a Hillary supporter, I would say she`s talked a lot about the kind of targeted investments that are going to be needed to help young people, for example. She`s certainly talked about infrastructure.
So, I think we`re making progress towards a greater vision of an urban agenda. Without taxing the wealthy, though, without changing the rules of the game, we can`t achieve it.
HAYES: Final question on super delegates which have been sort of a controversial. You`re not a super delegate but elected to be one, is that my understanding?
DE BLASIO: There`s a New York state convention that will choose a certain number of delegates. It`s not traditional super delegate because it`s voted on by convention.
HAYES: If Mayor Bill de Blasio had magic wand, would you get rid of super delegates?
DE BLASIO: I would say it differently. I would say right now, super delegates are legitimate because the people elected to something often very big. They have a big constituency.
I think there`s a valid question going forward. What`s the best way to encourage maximum participation? Right now, we have a system that`s hemorrhaging voters, right? This year, we`ve seen some good evidence of voters engaging.
But by and large, over the last decade or two, voter involvement has declined. We`ve got to figure out a series of reforms, and that also has issues for how we go about the party process.
HAYES: Particularly here in New York, we have three primaries this year, which is insane.
DE BLASIO: Even for those who love politics, that`s a little too much.
HAYES: Yes, insane. Thank you for making the time.
DE BLASIO: Thank you, Chris. Take care.
HAYES: Still come, in the race for the Republican nomination, John Kasich is currently fourth out of three candidates. What is John Kasich thinking? We`ll look at that ahead.
HAYES: Sometimes art imitates life. Sometimes life imitates art. And sometimes if you`re lucky, the actual veep ends up imitating a scene from the HBO show of the same name.
Watch this clip from an interview yesterday in which Joe Biden gets a little too close to endorsement for the comfort of his staff.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This country is ready for a woman. There`s no problem. We`re going to be able to elect a woman in this country.
INTERVIEWER: Would you like to see us elect a woman?
BIDEN: I would like to see a woman.
STAFF: That`s it.
BIDEN: No, no, that`s all right. I`d like to see -- no, I don`t (INAUDIBLE). I`m not getting into that.
INTERVIEWER: I`d like to ask one more question.
BIDEN: The president and I are not going to endorse because we both when we ran said, let the party decide. But, gosh, Almighty, they are both qualified. Hillary is overwhelmingly qualified to be president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Right after that, Gary runs in and trips over a coffee table.
For the record, a Biden aide later claimed the staffer that interrupted the vice president not because he had stepped in it by seeming perhaps to endorse Hillary Clinton for president, but because the interview had reached its agreed upon time limit, which coincidentally is the claim made by those fictional staffers who on "Veep" who interrupt a live interview to bail out their boss. Interesting.
Coming up, which Trump vice presidential pick probably should get interrupted during live interviews. I`ll tell you and show you why, ahead.
HAYES: There`s a great quote attributed to Woody Allen that 80 percent of life is just showing up. Case in point, presidential candidate John Kasich. The Ohio governor has fewer delegates right now than Senator Marco Rubio who suspended his campaign last month. Kasich would have to win 138 percent of the remaining delegates to get the nomination, an obvious mathematical impossibility.
He has won just one state in the 30-plus contest thus far, his home state of Ohio where he`s in his second term as governor.
And yet John Kasich is in the final three, because he hasn`t bothered to drop out. In all fairness, he keeps campaigning with vigor, even eating so much food at a deli in the Bronx last week that he appeared to get the dreaded meat sweats as we chronicled on the show.
Kasich keeps making the case that he is the one candidate that voters should turn to in a contested convention.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KASICH, 2016 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For the first time since I have been a candidate, because I don`t get into the mud and call names, people are finally starting to hear my message. And you know what`s interesting, I`m the only one that consistently beats Hillary Clinton. And I beat her decisively.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Today, Kasich gave a speech at the women`s National Republican Club in Manhattan describing the other two candidates positions as, quote, path to darkness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KASICH: We`ve heard proposals to create a religious test for immigration, to target neighborhoods for surveillance, to deport 11.5 million people. I say to you that this path to darkness is the antithesis of all that America has meant for 240 years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Kasich has also made a point of saying, as he did again today, that he is not interested in being vice president, which again prompts the question why is he still in this race?
Joining me now, Betsy Woodruff, political reporter for The Daily Beast.
Betsy, what`s your sense of the answer to that question?
BETSY WOODRUFF, THE DAILY BEAST: I think Kasich is kind of betting on everyone really, really, really hating Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, which is not an unsafe bet given their really unfortunate favorability numbers right now.
That said, you know, from following Kasich, particularly in Ohio when I tracked his one successful election night, it seems like the fact that he`s being in the race isn`t really stressing him out that much. Sort of his demeanor, his mood on the trail strikes me as markedly different than the demeanor that Jeb Bush and Rubio had and kind of the waning days of their candidacies.
I mean, Kasich knows he`s a long shot. He knows nobody is really betting hard that he is going to win. And tat this point, he`s just kind of having fun and seeing what happens and trying not to sweat meat.
So, things could with worse for him.
HAYES: Well -- and you`re right. I mean, he literally has nothing to lose. I mean, he`s in his second term as governor in Ohio. He is not running a campaign that`s super expensive. He`s clearly able to fund it. He can hang around. And I guess the bet, what you`re saying is the bet is by the time July in Cleveland comes, Cruz and Trump have so alienated such massive portions of the party that the convention decides the give it to the third place guy.
He`s kind of betting on complete self-immolation of the Republican front- runners, betting on total chaos, which thus far maybe is not -- maybe that`s kind of a safe bet to make. It`s been a crazy enough election cycle.
And he can position himself as the voice of sanity, as the moderate person, as the person standing up for everything good, true and beautiful, which he practically said in that speech today.
The fight the darkness line has been a central tenant of his campaign.
I mean, some of the hand outs that he has on the stump look like tracts, like church tracts more than they look like political mailers.
HAYES: It`s also interesting to me because he is positioning himself. I mean, his record in Ohio on certain things have been quiet extreme, particularly on abortion. He`s been probably one of the most zealously antiabortion rights governors in the whole country, certainly outside of the Bible Belt, I would say it`s fair to say.
He`s also pursued austerity politics, particularly in his first term, that could be quite brutal in terms of the cut. But he has found it in his interest to position himself as the non-path to darkness, the kind of almost sort of daytime talk show host, give me your feelings candidate in this race.
WOODRUFF: Without a doubt. And I think the abortion point is really interesting, because the reality is that it`s not something he`s actively emphasized during his campaign. Even though on paper Kasich has done more to stop women from getting abortions. He`s done more to make it incredibly difficult for a woman to get abortions than anybody else running.
I mean, trump hasn`t actually done anything actionable. Cruz can`t point to any legislation that`s passed that`s changed the way these laws work, but Kasich has.
The fact that he`s not using that as a political football, that he`s not using it to court conservative Rrepublican primary voters, who should like that he`s done that, I think indicates that he really, really wants to be the moderate guy. And I`ve heard some prominent Republican operatives who didn`t want to go on the record speculate that if Kasich were the vice presidential nominee, you`d just have a tracking device, you`d have an aankle monitor where he could only stay in Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin and his job would be to lock up the Midwest, lock up the Rust Belt, not worry about anything else and on paper it`s not the worst strategy in the world.
HAYES: I also think that Kasich recognizes that his abortion politics would be much more problematic in a general election, and his whole pitch right now is this electability argument. And I think that`s going to be what he leads with.
I mean, look, if Kasich could go into that convention where he`s the only one still, ten weeks from now or 12 weeks, whatever it is, oh my god, it`s so long, beating Hillary head-to-head or Bernie Sanders head-to-head depending on who the nominee is, you know, that`s going to be a pretty strong argument.
WOORUFF: It`s totally compelling. Of course, if you`re the only person who could can stand up in the polls, that`s a big deal.
Of course, the elephant in the room is the fact that based on the RNC rules as they are currently written, Kasich might not be able to have his name read in.
I was looking at the history of these rules. The current rule says you have to have a majority of delegates in eight states. But it actually hasn`t been since I believe before the 1960s when the threshold was low enough that Kasich would actually need it. In the 1960s, there was no rule about needing to have a majority or plurality of delegates, but since then, I mean, it would be really hard.
So, there would have to be some major rules changes for him to have a shot.
HAYES: Betsy Woodruff, thank you very much.
Coming up, what was once touted as a major success for Bill Clinton is becoming a real problem for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. We`ll debate the Clinton`s record on criminal justice just ahead.
HAYES: There was yet another physical altercation at a Trump rally yesterday, this time in Albany, where a Trump supporter was caught on video putting his hand to the face of a protesters and then slapping him.
After the incident, NBC`s Ali Vitali caught up with the Trump supporter who was not exactly apologetic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALI VITALI, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDETN: Are you a Trump supporter?
UNIDENITIFIED MALE: Hell, yeah.
VITALI: What do you like about him in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s no bull (EXPLETIVE DELETED). All (EXPLETIVE DELETED), (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you. That`s what I`m about. Hey, I`ll snatch anybody up if they`re going to yell in my face over anything. AT hom my personal rights, my personal space. They`re going to start yelling about some bull (EXPLETIVE DELETED), I`ll snatch you (EXPLETIVE DELETED) up. That`s all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Just for the record, and it`s kind of heard to hear over the (inaudible), the protester was not violating that man`s personal space, as you can see, it was the Trump supporter who approached and very literally got in face of the protester, not the other way around.
But, if you think that guy is a poor spokesman for Donald Trump, just wait until you see what one of his own surrogates has been saying about him. And I`ll show you in just 60 seconds.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HAYES: In an interview with USA Today yesterday, Donald Trump was asked about who he might select to run with him as vice president. Trump named three former presidential candidates while one current, John Kasich, Scott Walker and Marco Rubio despite having mocked all of them on the campaign trail. Walker tells reporters he laughed when he heard he was on Trump`s list, "I can`t even fathom that," he said. "It`s almost breath taking that I was listed in the first place."
Not listed were two former presidential candidates turned prominent Trump surrogates: Chris Christie and Ben Carson, though at least in Carson`s case it seems maybe Trump has a pretty good reason to leave him out.
Behold the wit and wisdom of Ben Carson, a man who, at least in theory, is currently attempting to convince people to vote for Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN CARSON, FRM. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE; Trump has horrible numbers but they vote for him.
Even if Donald Trump turns out to be such a not great president, which I don`t think is the case, I think he is going to surround himself with really good people, but if he didn`t, we`re only looking at four years.
WHOOPIE GOLDBERG, ACTRESS: Why would you align yourself with that?
CARSON: Well, you know, you have to look at the good and the bad. There`s no perfect person.
You know, it`s not really about me. If it were about me, yes, I would be outraged. I would say no way can I support this.
Does it mean that he`s perfect? No. He has some major defects, there`s no question about it.
Are there better people? Probably.
Is there another scenario that I would have preferred? Yes, but that scenario isn`t available.
UNIDENTIIFED MALE: OK, with one of the other candidates, you mean?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But when you say that there probably are better people out there, did you have someone this mind?
CARSON: I don`t think that`s a useful place to go.
HAYES: Last night Bill O`Reilly and Donald Trump had a conversation, as they are want to do about the possibility of Trump making in-roads with some of the voters among which he is polling quite poorly.
Chief among them, African-Americans, 87 percent of whom have a negative view of him, according to a recent poll.
Despite that staggering figure, Trump has said, quote, the African- Americans love me because they know I`m going to bring back jobs.
Last night, Trump continued that line of reasoning, working to convince an otherwise skeptical Bill O`Reilly that not only could he win the African- American vote, but he could actually deliver policies that could help, chiefly jobs.
Bill O`Reilly, however, wanted to make sure viewers heard his concerns with that plan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: But how are you going to get jobs for them? Many of them are ill-educated and have tattoos on their foreheads. And, you know, how are you -- and I hate to be generalized about it, but it`s true. If you look at all the the educational statistics, how are you going to give jobs to people who aren`t qualified for jobs?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now, I have no clue who Bill O`Reilly has ever met with a forehead tattoo. I`ve never met anyone of any race or ethnicity with a forehead tattoo.
But it was rare interview where Donald Trump was actually the least offensive participant. O`Reilly then went on to back up his arguments with observations made apparently on his way to baseball games.
O`REILLY: When we drive up to Yankee stadium, we go through Harlem, all right. It`s more challenging for a poor child in Harlem without parental guidance in a school than it is for some white kid out in Garden City, all right. And you say you can bring jobs back, but you know if the kid isn`t qualified to do the job and can`t do the work, I mean, you`ve got to get into the infrastructure of the African-American community.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: OK. Now, the racial politics this primary season have been fascinating and not just on the Republican side where we have seen all sorts of frankly bigotry and racialized language. But in the Democratic primary where a really brutal fight has broken out around the party`s role in creating largest prison population the world has ever seen, one that disproportionately affects black and brown people. And we will debate that, next.
Kellogg`s Frosted Mini Wheats.
HAYES: This week, Bill Clinton -- the almost Bill Clinton apology tour for his spirited defense of his and his wife`s support for a 1994 crime bill continued, after arguing Black Lives Matter activist last week, Clinton yesterday expressed some regret about his comments.
(BEIGN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, 42ND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The only thing I wish I had said is first of all, yes, there are too many people in jail. Yes, a small percentage of them are in the federal prison and Hillary was the first person in this campaign in either party to say we should reduce the prison population. But we can`t let people without education, training and guarantee that they won`t be denied the right to a job when they get out. The rest of what I said is factually true. I feel good about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Hillary Clinton yesterday also defended parts of that crime bill saying it`s important to remember the context of the time it was passed.
HILLARY CLINTON, 2016 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You have got to put this in a broader context. And there were a lot of things about the crime bill, the 100,000 police force increased, the violence against women provisions, the assault weapons band, which was part of the package, the Brady Bill, which was part of the package, and you know there was a lot that was put into place that contributed to the decline in crime that we are enjoying today.
Thank goodness because it`s keeping a lot of people alive, uninjured and communities safer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders demanded an apology from Bill Clinton over the weekend for his apparent defense of his wife`s use of the phrase super predator in 1996.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We all know what that term meant in the context it was said years ago. We know who they were talking about.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Black people.
SANDERS: That`s exactly right. That`s who it was.
And I think that the president owes the American people an apology for trying to defend what is indefensible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me Jumaane Williams. He is a Democratic member of the New York City council, and Jeremy Travis, president of the John J. College of criminal justice, former director of National Institute of Justice, which is a research arm of the USDOJ under President Clinton.
And let me start with you because you were there. What is your reaction to this debate about the status of the 1994 crime bill?
JEREMY TRAVIS, JOHN J. COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Well, just to remember what was going on in that moment with the president, he was being confronted by a protester on behalf of the Black Lives Matter movement.
And I started thinking about the importance and the power and the authenticity of that protest directed against the `94 crime act, but I think the larger voice being articulated here is that our criminal justice policies have, over decades, been a source of injustice particularly to the African-American community.
So, I think we start by recognizing the validity of the Black Lives Matter point of view.
The `94 crime act, however, is not a major contributor to mass incarceration because it came long after we`d started our build up of prisons, which started in 1972, so the `94 crime act really captures a mood in the country that had been in place for 20 years where we had through legislation intentionally increased the number of people in prison, and the `94 crime act added to that, but it is not the source of mass incarceration.
HAYES: Right. And keep in mind federal prisoners are only 10 percent of the total, and mass incarceration had really peaked -- or had gone up a lot -- it also I think in fairness they didn`t cause decline in crime as far as we can tell.
But what is key to me, councilman is this rhetoric, right, that protesters focus on the rhetoric. Because you can look at the effects of the bill, you can also look about the politics that produced it, which I think is part of the frustration and the anger.
JUMAANE WILLIAMS, NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL: Well, you know, one of my hesitations -- I haven`t endorsed yet -- not that my endorsement will make the difference, but it`s important to me -- to relook at everything and with the Clintons there is a concern in totality.
So, not just the `94 crime bill, which I think even if it didn`t cause it, if the president is talking in this manner, particular a president that was elected not to talk in this manner from a Democratic point of view then that could free up states and other people to use this rhetoric and make policies.
But also whether it`s the Welfare Act, whether it`s cutting Pell, whether it`s taking education out of the prison, we see a kind of package of where we`re doing this lock them up, tough on crime with law enforcement point of view.
And what we know -- what we really needed was other services to these communities.
HAYES: You know, it`s interesting to that, I`m just reading this James Foreman -- Yale has a book that will be coming out in a bit, and he sort of talks about this a little bit. You know, one of the things that people talked about is, well, look, it wasn`t just racist white people or southern sort of post-Jim Crow politicians arguing for this, the majority of Congressional Black Caucus voted for the crime bill You had black mayors, you had black clergy members saying we need more cops, we need more enforcement.
What do you make of that?
TRAVIS: I think that`s a totally misleading observation. Because what we had done as a country is to develop the notion that prison was the answer and then everybody bought into that answer. What we needed, I think as the council member said was a much more sophisticated understanding that we actually have now, but we had in the embryonic stage then, that we can do a lot more to respond to crime than just prison.
So, the American politics had developed a sort of monochromatic view of crime, which is more prison is the answer. And in fact when the crime bill was passed...
HAYES: And not just more prison, we should say more punishment, to get tougher. And the language is very -- it`s not technocratic, the language is very much like...
WILLIAMS: So what...
TRAVIS: ...in America.
WILLIAMS: What we supported, unfortunately, is tough on crime always meant more law enforcement and more jail as opposed to figuring out what the problem is and serving those community with resources.
And it`s unfortunate, I believe, that the president at that time, who many elected to change the conversation not only bought into it, but helped lead it.
HAYES: But let me ask you this, because the context there, too, is you had a huge amount of crime. You know, I mean, really crazy, you know, set records. You know, you`re looking at 2,300, 2,400 homicides in New York City and the city the last year had around 300. I mean, just -- you`re someone who represents folks in an area. And I imagine when crime goes up or when there`s a particularly bad crime in the area you represent, people are really freaked out about it. It`s something people talk about at community meetings. It`s something that there`s outcry. It`s front of mind for voters.
Like, what would it mean for you, as an elected represented, if you saw crime spike like that?
WILLIAMS: It`s important. I actually represent one of the areas that has had a lot of shootings in the city.
Unfortunately, what we have been trained automatic response is we need more police on the ground. We need more police. So, you hear that in the community meetings.
But they also know what it leads to. And so...
HAYES: So, do you hear that though? Do folks say...
WILLIAMS: Of course. Absolutely. But I know why they are doing that because they are trained to do that.
We have to do a different talk about what it means to be tough on crime like universal youth employment that we`re trying to get in New York City, which I think is more tough on crime than anything.
But even so, police is to deal with an acute problem. The problem is now, if that`s the only service you`re sending, then you`ll always say we need police.
What we need to do is figure out what`s gone wrong with the crime. And I have been attracted to Bernie Sanders because of the message that he`s been sending. And I think that`s why his message has been resonating so well.
HAYES: Do you think we have turned the page enough now, Professor Travis, that we are at a point where we are expanding the range of options in which we talk about this?
TRAVIS: Well, I think first we should recognize that there`s a remarkable national consensus left and right, Republican, Democrat that we have too many people in prison. We have to end the era of mass incarceration. That`s really important. We have quadrupled the rate of incarceration. Let`s bring it way down.
But I think we`ve also developed a much more sophisticated understanding of how to respond to crime in ways that aren`t the sort of responses that we developed over the last 40 years.
HAYES: And we`ll see how that plays out in the general election, which is where -- I`m very curious about. We`ll see if some of those really bad ugly politics come back.
Jumaane Williams, Jeremy Travis, this is a great conversation, gentlemen.
WILLIAMS: Thank you.
HAYES: That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END