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All In With Chris Hayes, Transcript 5/11/2016

Guests: Michael Burgess, Barbara Boxer, Bernie Sanders, Harry Enten, Jess McIntosh, Charlie Pierce, Joel Burns

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: May 11, 2016 Guest: Michael Burgess, Barbara Boxer, Bernie Sanders, Harry Enten, Jess McIntosh, Charlie Pierce, Joel Burns


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

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will be so presidential.

HAYES: On the eve of the Ryan summit, Donald Trump claims a, quote, "mandate from the people."

PAUL MANAFORT, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: This is the ultimate reality show.

HAYES: Tonight, the reality show rolls on. The last GOP nominee says Trump may be disqualified, and the current white nationalist and former Trump delegate is speaking out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s up to me for the white group to push our agenda more than any other agenda.

HAYES: Then, my interview with Bernie Sanders on whether he`s the better bet to beat Trump.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Every national poll, Bernie Sanders defeats Donald Trump by big numbers.

HAYES: And the world`s foremost Trump Twitter troll strikes again.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Really? That`s the best you could come up with?

HAYES: How Elizabeth Warren is beating Trump at his own game.

WARREN: Come on. I thought Donald Trump said he was a guy who was good with words.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


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

And throughout the campaign, the desire for Trump to be other than he is, the conviction that there`s a respectable politician deep down just waiting to come out has been so strong, it actually counts as news to say this. Donald Trump is not going to change. For months now, he`s been insisting that once he locked up the Republican nomination he would shift to a more civil tone in keeping for the office in which he`s running.


TRUMP: At the right time, I will be so presidential you will be so bored, you will say, can he -- can he have a little bit more energy? But I know when to be presidential.


HAYES: That was the message from Trump`s campaign to the GOP establishment. Strategist Paul Manafort telling RNC members in a close door meeting, Trump`s behavior was all an act aimed as pleasing primary voters.


MANAFORT: He`s sitting in a room and he`s talking business and politics, it`s a different persona. When he is out on the stage and he`s talking about the kinds of things he`s talking about on the stump, he`s projecting an image. That`s what`s important from our standpoint, for to you understand that he gets it and that the part he`s been playing is evolving that you`ve been expecting but he wasn`t ready for because he had to, first, feed the first stage. The negatives will come down, the image is going to change.


HAYES: For Republican elites concerned about Trump`s coarse rhetoric, his tendency to slander entire groups of people from immigrants to Muslims, the idea he eventually change his ways give them rational to jump on board.

But in the week since becoming the GOP`s presumptive nominee, Trump has made it official, nominee or not, Trump will be Trump. Slinging insults on Twitter, making political threats to the Republican speaker of the house and continuing a series of very personal, very ugly attacks on his likely Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Trump explained his behavior in an interview with "The New York Times", telling the paper he has a mandate to be provocative. "You win the pennant and now you`re in the World Series. You`re going to change? People like the way what I`m doing."

As you can imagine, Trump was heartened by a new online poll out today from "Reuters", showing him neck in neck with Clinton nationally, closing what had been a nearly 13-point gap no more than a week ago.

Even as Trump tries to unify the Republican Party behind him, meeting tomorrow in a high stakes meeting with Speaker Ryan and leadership on the Hill, he`s signaling his intentions to do things his way, especially with regards to the nominating convention in Cleveland.

Last month, Trump told "The Washington Post", quote, "It`s important to put some showbiz into a convention, otherwise people are going to fall sleep."

According to "The New York Times", Trump may enlist organizations like IMG, a glitzy event and talent management company to help with the production.

In an interview last night with my colleague Chris Matthews, Trump`s top strategist Paul Manafort described their approach to the convention.


MANAFORT: Donald Trump understands media. He`s a television star and he`s connected with America. We`re going to put a program together. It`s not put together.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HARDBALL ANCHOR: A reality show of some kind?

MANAFORT: Well, this is the ultimate reality show. It`s the presidency of the United States.


HAYES: While Trump is now working with the RNC to overhaul his campaign, turning it into a more traditional campaign for the election, the makeover only goes so far. He told "The Associated Press" he only plans to spend limited money on data operations to identify and track potential voters and to model various turnout scenarios. The kind of sophisticated system that helped Barack Obama sealed the deal in 2008 and 2012, the envy of Republican campaigns up and down the ticket.

Instead, Trump intends to rely on his own showmanship and the row, volatile energy, occasionally violent, of his supporters, telling "The A.P." my best investment is my rallies. The people go home, they tell their friends, they loved it, it`s been good.

Joining me now, Congressman Michael Burgess, Republican of Texas, who endorsed Ted Cruz but now says he plans to support the Republican nominee.

And, Congressman, let me start with this. We have been asking members of your party where they fit on a one to five scale from Never Trump to we`re into Trump, where are on you on that one to five scale?

REP. MICHAEL BURGESS (R), TEXAS: Five-point-eight.

HAYES: Oh, you`re all in with Trump?

BURGESS: Yes. I will tell you a week ago tonight I think was the Indiana primary and it was jarring. There`s no question about it. Certainly, the polls leading into Indiana looked like it might be a rough night for Senator Cruz, but my understanding at that time was that he was planning to keep going and he had planned for the convention, but what are Senator Cruz`s strength, discipline, staying on message and being rigidly organized and I thought that was where they were headed.

So, I was surprised, along with a lot of other people, but he withdrew the night of the primary. I recognized very quickly after that that we have a big job as far as organizing all of those people who are in a different place than Donald Trump. We need to see if we can get right with that pretty quickly and --

HAYES: What do you mean? Explain that phrase? Meaning you need to get those people to support Donald Trump?

BURGESS: Absolutely.

HAYES: Let me ask you this --

BURGESS: We have a big task here. The Supreme Court has come front and center with the death of Justice Scalia, but look at the population of federal agencies of the last eight years. We go through another four or worse eight years of that, and it`s going to be very difficult to bring down the size of the government when you have that many Democratic appointees in the federal agency. They will run the country. There will no longer Congress` country.

HAYES: Yes, the government did grow quite significantly during the last Republican administration, I should note.

Which of Donald Trump`s policies do you like best? What are the policies you`re really looking forward to in terms of him being president?

BURGESS: Well, I`ve heard him talk about that he wants to make some significant changes to health care.

HAYES: Which ones specifically?

BURGESS: I am all in on that.

Well, I haven`t talked to him directly. If there were one piece of advice that I could give him on day one as soon as he gets his hand off the bible before the celebratory lunch with the Senate, I would do an executive order got get rid of the individual mandate. The president, of course, was famous for executive orders. So, get a lot of precedent there.

I can cite chapter and verse in Obamacare where individual mandate has come into being and nothing has been more pernicious for the free market in medicine than the individual mandate.


HAYES: Just to be clear, I want to be clear about this that`s a policy that you like that you would suggest to him.

I`m asking you policies he has run on that he is proposing that you like, that you say, "I`m glad he`s proposing that policy and that`s part of the reason I`m going to support him"?

BURGESS: Three things that jump to mind and I ask myself, why haven`t we fixed the border? Why is the V.A. still the mess that it is? And why is the IRS is so dysfunctional? And the answer is because it`s never been a priority to anyone in the White House, even through Republican administrations.

Donald Trump says he`ll make that a priority. I believe him.

HAYES: So, you like his prioritization of issues more than sort of specifically his plan to fix the V.A. or IRS, which have been not published at all.

BURGESS: And I think he will follow through. He said he will take care of our vets. I believe he`ll follow through on that.

Look, many, many years ago, I read the book called "The Art of the Deal" and I dust it off from time to time and relook at it. And he says one of his big strengths is overcoming obstacles. I think that`s -- we`ve all seen that up close and personal. And the other strength is motivating good people. So, I look forward to that as well.

HAYES: That reminds of a very similar argument made by George W. Bush as he was getting to the presidency. I want to respond --

BURGESS: Whom I liked by the way.

HAYES: Yes, no. I`m sure you did.

William Johnson who is a delegate on the slate for California who has been withdrawn, he said he`s not going to be a delegate talking about his support for Donald Trump. Take a listen.


WILLIAM JOHNSON, WHITE SUPREMACIST: I believe that we need to be aware of this precipitous decline in the white race and I think it`s good for people to be proud of your heritage, whatever heritage it might be, but particularly for white people because the whites now are so afraid to be proud of their heritage because they`re called bad names if they are.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: What is it about Donald Trump that you like?

JOHNSON: Mr. Trump is the real deal. He does not govern -- he will not govern by public opinion poll. He says what`s on his mind.


HAYES: Do you agree with that, Congressman?

BURGESS: Look, what I do know is that Donald Trump won more popular votes than any other Republican presidential nominee since George Bush and maybe even before with last night`s results. So, it has been a significant visualization of support for Donald Trump. Look, he did it the old fashioned way. He won those votes one by one.

I supported a different guy. Trump won.

HAYES: My question to you is how do you feel about you entering into a political coalition which you support the same candidate as Mr. Johnson?

BURGESS: I know nothing of this individual. I`ve never heard that name before until you brought it up tonight. That`s not important to me. What`s important to me is we win and I think Donald Trump has that instinct to be successful and to tell you the truth, that`s one of the things that Republicans have lacked.

HAYES: Congressman Michael Burgess, with victory on his mind, thank you very much for joining me. Appreciate it.

BURGESS: Thank you.

HAYES: I`m joined now by Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat from California, who is, of course, supporting Hillary Clinton.

You`re colleagues, a bunch of your colleagues in the Senate are going to meet with Donald Trump tomorrow, some reporting just coming in from NBC News about what that meeting is going to look like. My sense is they`re all just going to get in line, but am I wrong? You know them better than I do.

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: I have no idea, Chris. You`re asking me about something that I know nothing about. I don`t know who is in the room. If it`s Mitch McConnell, he has said I think he`s on board.

HAYES: Yes, he`ll be one of them, yes.

BOXER: And it`s probably true that if this they go into that room, knowing what this man has said, knowing that this man has attacked so many people in our nation, different ethnic groups, women, you know, I`ve even said if everyone who he insulted votes against him Hillary Clinton will win in a landslide.

But I think if you walk in that room, the chances are you`re quite open to endorsing him.

HAYES: Here is my question. You`ve been a Democratic politician for a while. You`ve seen a number of opponents, Republican presidential nominees and Democratic nominees come and go. You`ve run against opponents yourself.

There`s two ways of thinking about Donald Trump. One is it`s another person in the Republican Party and the other is he has some difference in kind. He represents something fundamentally different than previous Republican nominees, some kind of break with some norms that we used to have.

Which of those do you think are true?

BOXER: Well, again, he`s running as a Republican and many Republicans are alarmed that this man would have his finger on the nuclear button.

Yesterday, I was on "Meet the Press" and the question was, isn`t he flexible?

Listen. If he decides to go after some country and pushes the nuclear button and all of a sudden as the bombs are going over he says, "Whoops, I made a mistake, this is a frightening prospect."

So I think all you have to look at are some of the Republicans who are refusing to support him, some of whom have called Hillary Clinton. This is a man who I understand the national security apparatus is afraid to brief because he`s so difficult.

He talks so much. He has loose lips which they say sinks ships. You know, this is a different situation for us.

I don`t think I`ve ever seen a candidate like this. I`ve run against so many Republicans. I`ve run about 11 or 12 times. I can`t even remember now.

And I`ve never seen anyone like this who insults people, who hurts people, who -- you know, is just out of the mainstream. He`s in a class by himself in that sense.

HAYES: Right now, the national polling shows that if the election were held today, men would give Donald Trump the vote by 11 points or so, Hillary Clinton`s winning by 19 points among women. You have been in the Senate and seen the caucus of women grow considerably over time, although still a vast minority of sitting senators. What do you make of that gender gap and do you think it`s going to get worse before November.

BOXER: You mean better in terms of women?

HAYES: No, I mean a bigger spread. Do you anticipate men flocking to Donald Trump and women flocking to Hillary Clinton?

BOXER: I see your point.

You know, at the end of the day, I don`t think it`s going to be that way and let me tell you why. When you look at women`s issues and he`s talked about the women`s card, what is the women`s card?

What we who fight for policies that are good for women also fight for policies that are good for men. We fight for families. We want to make sure that the minimum wage is increased, yes, two-thirds on the minimum wage are women.

HAYES: Right.

BOXER: We want equal pay for equal work, but that helps women who are partners with their husbands, with their families.

So, you know, to me at the end of the day, I think people will step back and they`ll say we want what`s right for our families. We`ve been so divided by Donald Trump and I think that these polls are a little strange now because remember, Hillary Clinton is still in a race.

HAYES: That`s right.

BOXER: This race is hard and I think -- I mean I know she`s going to be the nominee but taking a poll at this point isn`t exactly reflective of what I think will happen when we unify our party and we work hard to defeat Donald Trump which is absolutely dangerous in so many ways.

Just look at the economy. Just think about this, he wants to help those at the very top, the billionaires. I mean, we already know that doesn`t work. He wants to deport 11 million people and the experts have told us that that will depress the GDP by 2 percent.

So, he`s dangerous to this country. He said he wants to put on a Supreme Court justice who will overturn Roe v. Wade. That means will be treated as criminals, and so will doctors.

So, I think, at the end of the day, every man I know has a mom. Most of them love their moms. Many have wives that they love, and daughters that they love. At the end of the day, I think we will come together for sanity. I think Hillary Clinton is mainstream in that sense, and she is progressive. And I think she will bring us together while he continues to attack different groups and divide us.

HAYES: Senator Barbara Boxer, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Still to come, the one opponent that seems to be getting under Donald Trump`s skin 140 characters at a time. Elizabeth Warren`s ongoing attack, ahead.

But, first, what do you do when you`re losing the popular vote but are polling the best against presumptive Republican nominee? I`ll ask Bernie Sanders just that right after this break. That interview is in two, count them, two minutes.


HAYES: Fresh off his victory in West Virginia, his second primary victory in less than two weeks, Bernie Sanders continued to look forward on the primary calendar speaking to a crowd in Montana this afternoon. The senator from Vermont dismissed the idea that Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee is a foregone conclusion.


SANDERS: If you turn on the media and you turn on the TV, they kind of tell you that the campaign is over, that Secretary Clinton has won. Well, apparently the people of Indiana and West Virginia didn`t get the message!



HAYES: Joining me now from Billings, Montana, Senator Bernie Sanders, Democratic candidate for president.

And, Senator, you won West Virginia by a pretty good margin. You`re headed into Kentucky, both big parts of coal country.

Hillary Clinton got a lot of flack for saying that her plan, her climate plan, would put a lot of coal companies and coal miners out of business. Is it the case that your plan would put more coal miners and coal companies out of business since you propose what is arguably a more aggressive climate plan?

SANDERS: Well, Chris -- well, first of all, we want to thank the people have West Virginia for the resounding victory that we got there last night and thank the people of Indiana the week before for that victory.

I happen to be a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment. I have talked to scientists all over the world.

There is no debate. Climate change is real. It`s caused by human activity and is causing massive problems in our country and around the world.

In my view, we have is a moral responsibility to make sure we leave this planet in a way that is healthy and habitable to our children and future generations. I don`t think that is debatable.

But while we do that, why we aggressively transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to sustainable energy and energy, we understand that there are a lot of people who are going to be hurt in that transformation. I have introduced the boldest and most comprehensive climate change legislation in the history of the U.S. Senate, included in that legislation is $41 billion to help those communities that are hit by that transformation.

So, yes, I do know that people in the fossil fuel industry will be hurt, but I also know through no fault of their own they should not lose their livelihood. They should not lose their health care, and our legislation protects them.

But the end of the day, we have a global environmental crisis and we have got to transform our energy system.

HAYES: There`s a piece that "Politico" has published about a memo circulating in your campaign for a plan for what the Sanders campaign would become were you not to be able to attain the nomination. Obviously, there`s at least a month left, June 7th the last big basket of delegates.

This memo talks about essentially it says --

SANDERS: I`m laughing Chris. I`m glad "Politico" got it. I haven`t seen it yet so there`s not much I can comment on.

Right now, our focus is winning the next eight states and collecting the kinds of delegates that we need. We understand that this is an uphill fight so don`t misunderstand me. I know it`s a steep climb, but we have the possibility of winning a majority more delegates, pledged delegates than Secretary Clinton if we do very well in the remaining eight states. That`s what we are working hard to do.

HAYES: I want to read the title of that memo and you say you haven`t seen it, "After winning on June 7th Bernie Sanders should suspend his campaign and launch an independent organization to defeat Donald Trump."

Which brings me to my next question, "Reuters" poll out today that shows a head to head matchup very tight between Hillary Clinton and Trump. You`ve been talking a lot about your superior polling in head to head matchups. There are people who argue that part of that is the result of the fact that the Republican race is wrapped up and that supported is consolidated, and the Democratic race has not wrapped up and that, in fact, your enduring existence in the race is producing lower numbers for Hillary Clinton.

What do you say to those folks?

SANDERS: Well, for a start, we have almost consistently almost always polled a lot better against Donald Trump than has Hillary Clinton. The last two days, I think it was the poll that came out today, if my memory is correct, had us 15 points ahead of Trump. I think Secretary Clinton was five or six points ahead. Same thing in state after state after state.

Look, the issue here is that when you run for president of the United States, you have got to convince the people as to why they should vote for you. The reason that we are winning in virtually every state, voters 45 years of age or younger, the future of America and the future of the Democratic Party is that the agenda that we have -- which demands that the wealthiest people in this country and largest corporations start paying their fair share of taxes, that we make public colleges and universities tuition-free, that we join the rest of the industrialized world and guaranteed health care and paid family and medical leave to our people, that we rebuild the crumbling infrastructure and create 13 million jobs -- that`s an agenda that in fact is resonating with people all over this country.

And we are going to continue to fight for that agenda in the remaining eight states.

HAYES: Joe Biden said he is confident that Hillary Clinton will be the nominee. Do you have response to that?

SANDERS: Yes, I love Joe. Joe is a good friend and it may well be that Hillary Clinton may be the Democratic nominee, but we are going to fight for every vote and every delegate that we get and we`re going do a couple of things. Not only if we do really well and again I know it`s an uphill fight but we`ve been fighting an uphill fight from the day I got in this campaign.

But if we do really well like we did in West Virginia last night, especially in states like California, Oregon and New Jersey, the remaining big delegate states, we have a chance to go into the convention with more pledged, i.e., real delegates, delegates voted by the people, than Hillary Clinton.

Second of all, we are going to make the case to those states where we have won landslide victories in Minnesota, in the state of Washington, in New Hampshire that the super delegates in those states should listen to the people.

Yesterday, last night in West Virginia, Hillary Clinton got less than 36 percent of the votes. We won there by 15 percentage points, and yet six out of the seven super delegates are supposedly going to be voting for Hillary Clinton. Does that make any sense? I think not.

The third point, of course, that we`re going to make which I believe from the bottom of my heart is that in a matchup with Donald Trump Bernie Sanders in fact in our campaign and our energy is a much more effective way, is a stronger approach to beating Donald Trump than Hillary Clinton and her campaign. We can generate enthusiasm and bring out a large voter turnout. When you have a large voter turnout, Democrats and progressives win. Small voter turnout, Republicans win.

HAYES: All right. Senator Sanders from Billings, Montana -- thanks so much for joining me. I appreciate it.

SANDERS: Thank you.

HAYES: Coming up, we`re going to look closer at that Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump head-to-head polling we just asked the senator about. That`s coming up. Don`t go anywhere.


HAYES: Senator Elizabeth Warren has emerged in the last week as Trump troll extraordinaire, going tweet for tweet with the Donald and beating him at his own game. "There`s more enthusiasm for real Donald Trump on leaders of KKK than leaders of the political party he now controls", Warren tweeted last Tuesday. It`s a part of the series of attacks.

Trump naturally responded with a tweet storm of his own, giving Warren a derogatory nickname and referencing a brief conservative obsession with her family`s ethnic origins from her Senate run. "Goofy Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton`s flunky has a career that is totally based on a lie." Trump wrote, "She`s not Native American."

Warren shot back, quote, "If you think recycling Scott Brown`s hate-filled attacks on my family is going to shut me up, Trump, think again, buddy." She added a very Trumpian, "weak", although no explanation point.

The burns get better from there. More highlights from the Warren versus Trump Twitter war and a dive into why she may be the best antagonist Democrats have to take down The Donald.

Stay with us.



SANDERS: We have almost consistently almost always polled a lot better against Donald Trump than has Hillary Clinton, same thing in state after state after state.


HAYES: As we head into the home stretch of this race, essential argument in the Sanders campaign is that he is more likely to defeat Donald Trump.

In a slew of national polls over the past month. Clinton beats Trump by 3 to 13 points, but in those same polls, Sanders does even better, beating Trump by 10 to 16 points, outperforming Clinton in each. There`s a similar dynamic in general election matchups focusing on individual battle ground states.

Now, counterpoint might be that Sanders is a candidate who has basically not had negative ads run against him at all. Clinton has had ads saying she is more prepared, or that he is a single issue candidate, but none of the don`t trust Bernie Sanders negative ads you would expect in an actually general.

That kind of thing would typically drive down his polling numbers.

So, the question for Democrats is what actually do these polls really mean?

Joining me now, Harry Enten, senior political writer, analyst for 538.

What do they mean? What does general election, hypothetical matchup general election polling six months out mean.

HARRY ENTEN, I mean, general election polls at this point generally don`t tell us too much of what`s going to happen. I mean, Michael Dukakis was leading at this point over George H.W. Bush in 1988.

But I think you make a good point, Bernie Sanders really hasn`t been attacked. And if you look at the underlying polls say once they ask how about a socialist candidate, Gallup asked that last year, 50 percent of the American public said we don`t really want that.

And of course, Bernie Sanders for better or worse I think most people would describe him as a socialist or at least the attack ads certainly would.

HAYES: Right. he describes himself as one.

So, I mean, although they would counter, look, the guy has now been in the public view for nine months or ten months or however long the campaign is and his favorable numbers have not come down. It`s not like he hasn`t been covered. People know that Bernie Sanders is out there running for president.

ENTEN: Sure, but I think most people aren`t paying attention to the campaign. You know, they are paying attention to maybe the crazy stuff that`s going on, but they don`t necessarily know Bernie Sanders` issues positions.

But the fact is it is a hypothetical. It`s a theoretical. We`re never going to find out whether or not he`s going to be able to do well in the fall.

HAYES: One thing that is a claim that they have made that he just made in the interview with me is about turnout, right, that basically the more turnout the better for Democrats in a general, which is true, but the Sanders campaign has underperformed the benchmark of say 2008 Barack Obama so far in terms of what turnout has been in this primary for Democrats.

ENTEN: Right, exactly. Turnout is down from 2008 and in fact last night in Nebraska we had a Democratic primary, which -- there were no delegates at stake, but the caucus a few months ago, Bernie Sanders rolled the primary, there was higher turnout. In fact, Hillary Clinton won that primary with higher turnout.

So I`m not necessarily sure if you get higher turnout it does mean that Bernie Sanders does better. In fact, the evidence suggests he may actually do worse.

HAYES: So, if the hypothetical between the two of them is sort of an unfalsifiable entity, what do you make of the head-to-head polling between Trump and Clinton, particularly. Because I think there`s people who have two minds. Well, this is very far out. There`s other people who think, god, her -- maybe this shows that there`s some real weakness there as a candidate.

ENTEN: I mean, both of them have weaknesses. You look at those favorable ratings or unfavorable ratings. They`re historically low.

Clinton would be the least liked candidate ever except for the fact that Donald Trump is running this year and he`s the least liked candidate ever.

HAYES: And 10 points less liked than she is, right.

ENTEN: Right. Exactly. So, I mean, I view those polls. I say, you know, we look at them for what they are, but we still have a long way to go.

HAYES: Are you of the belief that fundamentally the basic structural fundamentals of this campaign will actually end up resembling 2008, 2012 in terms of where the popular vote ends up and where the states are contested. It will look like in the band range of possibilities we would expect.

ENTEN: Sure. I mean, there could be a new swing state or two, who really knows. Virginia and Colorado ended up being swing states in 2008. And they weren`t in 2004. We don`t have Barack Obama, the incumbent, running again. But I think the general idea of this being a relatively close race with Obama`s approval rating hovering around 50 percent that looks probable.

HAYES: Yeah, the generally close race I think is a thing that people have to keep in mind. You -- whatever the prediction is, my prediction is that it`s generally a close race.

Harry Enten, thank you.

ENTEN: Thank you.

HAYES: Up next, when suggesting a fellow congressman wrap a plastic bag around their head is just the start to your day, odds are it`s going to be a strange day at the office. You`re going to want to hear the rest of it right after this break.


HAYES: Now, there are a couple of things we know about Florida congressman Alan Grayson. We know he can be unpredictable. And we know he relishes going nuclear with his rhetoric. Take, for example, earlier today when Congressman Dana Rohrbacher suggested the notion of carbon dioxide warming the planet was simply a theory.

Here`s how Grayson responded...


REP. ALAN GRAYSON, (D) FLORIDA: Regarding my friend from California and what he just said, if he thinks that carbon dioxide doesn`t cause any human health problems, I invite to put a plastic bag over his head, tie it tightly around his neck and see what happens next.


HAYES: Now, that disturbing suggestion was just the congressman`s morning. This afternoon, he was up against a guy who knows a thing or two about turning the rhetorical dial to 11: Senator Harry Reid.

Now, we don`t have videotape of that interaction, but we have a statement courtesy of Reid`s office, and I`m quoting here, "Senator Reid was honored to be invited by the congressional progressive caucus to discuss issues on which he and they could work together. Alan Grayson decided to be disruptive to the embarrassment of his fellow colleagues. Senator Reid took the opportunity to express his low opinion of Grayson to his face and remind him that the reason Senator Reid has said that Grayson is under ethics investigation and appears to be running a Cayman`s Island hedge fund from his congressional office in order to line his own pockets is because these things are true as established by 74 pages worth of evidence from the congressional ethics committee." Mike drop.

The incredible details about exactly what went down in that clearly crazy meeting coming up in 60 Seconds.


HAYES: All right, so Harry Reid and Alan Grayson do not like each other. Earlier this year, the Senate minority leader called on the Democratic congressman who is running for the Senate in Florida to drop out of the race. Grayson, well, apparently he wasn`t happy with that and today he used a congressional progressive caucus meeting to let Reid know how he feels.

According to reports when it was Grayson`s turn to speak to the senator, he asked Reid if the Navada senator knows who he is. After Reid answered in the affirmative Grayson went on the attack saying, quote, say my name, senator. Say my name to Reid.

Grayson reportedly then started angrily waiving a printout of Reid`s searing February quote that called on Grayson to drop out of the primary race.

In that statement, Reid also called the allegations of ethics violations against Grayson, which he denies, deeply troubling, disgraceful to the Democratic Party saying it seems like he has no moral compass.

Grayson reportedly then confronted Reed about that quote saying why did you say that, insisting Reid`s statement was false. Reid calmly faced his inquisitor, quote, I want you to lose. It`s true.

Other members then reportedly shut down the back and forth. After the meeting, Congressman Alan Grayson seemed unfazed by the furor, releasing a statement that read in part, calling out the establishment is never easy, and it`s not always polite. Senator Reid ought to learn that I want you to lose is no excuse for a gross smear.


HAYES: Well, the nation`s attention has been captured by the most significant civil rights battle over transgender rights in history playing out in North Carolina, and as the state and federal government suing each other over access to public restrooms, a somewhat smaller but no less significant fight is now playing out in a Texas school district.

This week, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick called for the resignation of the superintendent of the Fort Worth Independent School District Kent Scribner simply because Scribner approved a school policy that allows children to use the bathroom of, quote, the gender identity that each student consistently and uniformly asserts.

Last night parents, teachers and other Fort Worth residents gathered at a school board hearing to debate the policy.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These first in 200 years bathroom policies, which were adopted under the radar without any parent, without any public input and without our elected board`s approval have not only placed our city in a very negative national light, but have created a major distraction during testing week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I conducted a scientific poll of voters and parents in Fort Worth ISD just last night. Over 300 random people were polled and the results come as no surprise, 82 percent are against this policy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not a matter up for public vote because we don`t vote about discrimination and we don`t vote about the safety of children at our schools.


HAYES: Joining me now, Joel Burns, former Fort Worth councilman who has called Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick a bully with questionable motives.

Mr. Burns, why did the lieutenant governor get involved in the policy of the independent school district of Dallas/Fort Worth.

JOEL BURNS, FRM. FORT WORTH COUNCILMAN: Well, this is more than just a jurisdictional lane violation, this is the governor actively acting on a Tea Party type campaign effort. Dan Patrick showed up here not to help or to listen or to learn anything, he showed up here in a political stunt. It was really a drive-by shooting for lack of a better description.

He popped in, made his press conference, got a bunch of attention and then he left. But he did so on an issue that had been decided in 2011. The policy that they`re talking about was adopted in 2011. I was there when it was adopted, people were actively involved in the process, parents were involved. This was two superintendents ago.

The administrators of the high schools in middle schools have asked the ISD to come forward with guidance on how to actively put forth this policy and to act on it. And so the school district came up with guidelines to do so.

But this isn`t a change in policy, the policy has been in place for five years now .

HAYES: Wait a second. You`re saying that this policy was created in 2011. It has been in existence for five years. This issue begins to take on some very high political salience and cultural resonance around the country and in the midst of that the lieutenant governor, who has nothing to do with the Independent School District of Fort Worth, decides to come to Fort Worth to rail against this policy? is that the chain of events

BURNS: That`s exactly the chain of events. And this isn`t a situation where in our state our students are failing, our schools are overcrowded, they`ve reduced $5 billion in education funding just while Dan patrick has been our lieutenant governor, our foster system is under court order. There are all kinds of problems that are happening for kids and with kids in the state of Texas, and yet Dan Patrick has chosen to bring his attention to this issue.

This is a Tea Party scheme. This is an effort that -- you may think you may live in another state and feel sorry for the folks in North Carolina and Texas that we`re having to deal with people like this, but if you have Tea Party elected officials in your state, you can bet that in the coming two election cycles you`re going to see more and more of this shenanigans.

HAYES: So, let me ask you this, was there organic parental resistance to this policy? Or were there incidents that resulted in complaints that organically created a backlash?

BURNS: All this came from the fact that the principals and the teachers wanted some sort of guidelines on how to administer the policy that is now five years old. Those guidelines have been worked on by the legal staff at the Fort Worth ISD for the last three or four months. They came forward with policies with the guidelines for the policy and published those in the last couple of weeks and it`s been an opportunity for Dan Patrick who I will point out unseated the kind of conventional establishment Republican lieutenant governor and very much supported by the Tea Party. It`s an opportunity for him to take up the cause of really kind of false outrage and to create basically a false crisis out of nothing.

HAYES: All right, Joel Burns, thanks so much for joining us.

BURNS: Thank you.

HAYES: Up next, why Elizabeth Warren is turning out to be the best opponent to Donald Trump thus far. More on that just after the break.


HAYES: So, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is engaged in an ongoing and if I can say very entertaining Twitter war with Donald Trump in which Warren`s posture can be summed up with this tweet, "here`s the thing, you can beat a bully not by tucking tail and running but by holding your ground."

Trump has tweeting a series of attacks against Warren, at one point deeming her against all evidence, one of the least effective senators in the entire U.S. Senate. In another anti-Warren tweet, Trump claimed to be, quote, driving her nuts, prompting Warren to respond, we get it, Trump. When a woman stands up to you, you`re going to call her a basket case, hormonal, ugly."

Well, Donald Trump simply would not stand for that. Goofy Elizabeth Warren is now using the woman`s card like her friend Crooked Hillary," he tweeted, squeezing two derogatory nicknames into a single sentence.

In an interview released today Warren was asked about the nickname Trump has given her, Goofy Elizabeth Warren, she responded by referencing one of Trump`s most hilarious posts.


TRUMP: I went to an ivy league school. I`m very highly educated. I know words. I have the best words.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: During that exchange, he also called you goofy. What went through your mind when he said that at first?

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: Really? That`s the best you could come up with? Come on. I thought Donald Trump said he was a guy who was good with words.


HAYES: Joining me now is Charlie Pierce, writer-at-large for Esquire, and Jess McIntosh, spokesperson for Emily`s List, a PAC which works to support pro-choice women candidates and has endorsed Hillary Clinton.

Charlie, let me start with you. What is -- you know Elizabeth Warren pretty well, you`ve covered her quite a bit. What is she up to?

CHARLIE PIERCE, ESQUIRE: She`s being, you know, the -- that wonderful combination of brass knuckle and school marm that`s gotten her as far as she has.

Seriously, this is -- this is the way she looses the zinger with that kind of modest Oklahoma aw shucks smile and the next thing you know you`re bleeding from 9,000 cuts.

And I think that, you know, right now she`s Hillary Clinton`s best surrogate.

She -- you know, Hillary -- Secretary Clinton hasn`t unleashed the full panoply of surrogates yet. I mean, the president hasn`t really weighed in that much. And I think the other thing that Senator Warren has done, it`s very interesting, is she`s played this campaign very shrewdly. She hasn`t endorsed anybody. She`s just been a Democratic.

HAYES: Right.

What Charlie said about being the best surrogate, I keep thinking about the way that Trump`s kind of bullying act worked in the Republican primary. It worked really well.


HAYES: It worked against men.


HAYES: And so I can`t help but think that a big part of what will be interesting about this campaign among many other things is that how that gender dynamic works. And Elizabeth Warren being probably the second most famous Democratic woman in America I think has something to do with it.

MCINTOSH: And if you looked during a Republican primary when he stumble it was when he took on Carly Fiorina over his face and she came back and just landed one on him and it was perfect.

Megyn Kelly was not a good look for him. We saw him do this over and over again. There`s another dynamic there in the Republican primary, whenever he had a bad debate night, whenever he had a bad news cycle, for whatever reason, he would get out of it by launching a Twitter fuselage against one of the his Republican opponents.

So today, he says he`s just not going to release his tax returns. Like, the first presidential candidate in decades, since 1976, to not do that and a guy who, you know there`s stuff in his tax returns when Hillary Clinton has 33 years out there just not going to do it. He gets in a Twitter fight, only he picks it with Elizabeth Warren, it picks it with a woman and a Democrat, and it`s not working out for him.

HAYES: Well, that`s what I think is sort of what makes her ideal to play this role is that she, unlike the people that were going back and forth with Trump in the primary, there`s nothing he can do to her. Like, she`s going to be probably the senator from Massachusetts, as long as she wants to be. She`s very popular there. It`s a very blue state. She has got an incredibly high national profile, probably one of the highest in all the U.S. Senate. So, she can do this and he can`t -- there`s nothing he can actually -- there`s no punches he can land on her.

PIERCE: I don`t know if that was directed at me or not.

HAYES: It`s you, Charlies, sure.

PIERCE: But I mean, the other thing about it is Senator Warren really has fun doing this. She enjoys doing this. In a lot of ways she`s much the same as Joe Biden. She really likes to get in there and mix it up.

HAYES: Right.

PIERCE: She thinks it`s a good time. And as far as Donald Trump`s concerned, she`s already proven herself to be tougher than either Chris Christie or Marco Rubio.

MCINTOSH: She`s good at it. I mean, this really isn`t fair. Elizabeth Warren should pick on someone her own size.

HAYES: Well, here is Warren being asked -- obviously the role of the person leading the attack on the other candidate tends to be a key role for a VP nominee. Here she is talking about that possibility. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Hillary Clinton came to you and said I need you to be my runningmate in order to take on Donald Trump, would you say yes to that?

WARREN: Right now I just want to be clear, I love my job. I`m here in the United States Senate doing exactly what the people of Massachusetts sent me here to do. I`m in the thick of the fights to try to level the playing field, to try to unrig this system and that`s what really matters to me.


HAYES: That`s not a no Charlie Pierce.

PIERCE: No, it`s not a no, but I sure hope it was because I think she can much do more for the causes she believes in the senate than being vice president.

So, I want to tell the rest of the country, we`ve got ours, you go find your own. Just leave our senator alone.

HAYES: Well, you know, she has an important role right now in the Senate Democratic Caucus. In terms, of the role she plays in this campaign, the point you made about him sort of launching these fuselages as a distraction I never know how much is grand strategy and how much it`s just total lack of self-control, but it`s also clear to me that she is under his skin and this is a window into -- if there`s one thing he has not been it`s disciplined. And there`s a question for Democrats about how they exploit that lack of discipline.


HAYES: As the campaign goes forward.


I think he has -- And I think he seems to know that this is a weakness. He tried to this America needs a less predictable when obviously that`s not true and I don`t think anybody, Tea Party or otherwise, would think, yeah what America needs is more -- we need a loose cannon with the nuclear codes. That`s what we need. No one believes that.

So, clearly he sees it`s a weakness. So, I think obviously women get under his skin, strong women goading get under his skin, especially women who fight back and under his skin, and that`s what`s happening with Elizabeth Warren right now. And it`s kind of fun to watch.

HAYES: There`s going to be a lot more where that came from. Charlie Pierce, Jess McIntosh, thanks for being with me tonight.

All right, you can read all the tweets in the Trump-Warren Twitter war on our All In with Chris Hayes Facebook page. We laid them out in order. Trust me, it`s an entertaining read.

That is All In for this evening.