IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

All In With Chris Hayes, Transcript 10/26/2016

Guests: McKay Coppins, Jennifer Rubin, Elijah Cummings, Matt MacKowiak, April Ryan

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: October 26, 2016 Guest: McKay Coppins, Jennifer Rubin, Elijah Cummings, Matt MacKowiak, April Ryan

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Congratulations, Newt, on last night. That was an amazing interview. We don`t play games, Newt.

HAYES: No country for old men.

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: You want to go back --

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS HOST: And we did.

GINGRICH: -- to the tapes of your show recently, you are fascinated with sex.

HAYES: The GOP civil war turns bloody. Tonight as Trump and his allies lash out more evidence that an actual GOP revolution could be happening. Plus, 13 days to Election Day, why republicans are already talking about another Clinton impeachment. Why are democrats leaving the Rubio race in Florida? Why President Obama`s campaign to punish republicans isn`t really anything new.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`ve got to close the gap a little bit between the rhetoric and the reality.

HAYES: And in Maryland, a master class on how to crash a debate.

REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D), MARYLAND: If you don`t mind leaving the stage at this point, so that we can continue with this organized debate.

MARGARET FLOWERS, GREEN PARTY SENATORIAL CANDIDATE,MARYLAND: Well, I am a candidate on the ballot.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. 13 days to the election, republicans may be about to lose control of the senate. Their presidential nominee is trailing his opponent by almost 10 points in one new national poll. And while Hillary Clinton`s favorability numbers have polled about even, a big shift from six months ago when a majority of voters viewed her unfavorably. Donald Trump remains about 30 points under water, making him to this day, the least-popular major party candidate in modern history. With early voting already under way in some must win Battleground States, now would be the time for the Republican Party to try and get together to save its prospects. But as Election Day approaches and the pressure builds a civil war brewing over the past 16 months is now threatening to tear the party completely apart. The GOP crack-up was on full display during a Fox News segment last night, in which host Megan Kelly and Trump supporter Newt Gingrich discussed the sexual misconduct allegations against Donald Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: You are fascinated with sex, and you don`t care about public policy.

KELLY: Me, really?

GINGRICH: Now, that`s what I get out of watching you tonight.

KELLY: You know what, Mr. Speaker, I`m not fascinated by sex, but I am fascinated by the protection of women and understanding what we`re getting in the Oval Office. And I think the American voters would like to know --

GINGRICH: OK. And therefore, we`re going to send Bill Clinton back to the east wing, because, after all, you are worried about sexual predators. I want to hear your words, "Bill Clinton sexual predator." I dare you, say, "Bill Clinton sexual predator."

KELLY: Mr. Speaker, we`ve covered --

GINGRICH: Disbarred by the Arkansas Bar.

KELLY: Excuse me, sir.

GINGRICH: Disbarred by the Arkansas Bar.

KELLY: Excuse me. Excuse me.

GINGRICH: $850,000 penalty.

KELLY: Excuse me, sir. We on THE KELLY FILE have covered the Clinton matter as well. We`ve hosted Kathleen Willy.

GINGRICH: Fine. Try saying it.

KELLY: We`ve covered the examples of him being accused as well, but he`s not on the ticket. And the polls also show that the American public is less interested --

GINGRICH: He`ll be in the -- he`ll be in the east wing.

KELLY: -- in the deeds of Hillary Clinton`s husband than they are in the deeds of the man who asks us to make him president, Donald Trump. We`re going to have to leave it at that. And you can take your anger issues and spend some time working on them, Mr. Speaker.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: A senior Trump aid responded on Twitter with what sounded a bit like a threat. "Megyn Kelly made a total fool out of herself tonight attacking Donald Trump. Watch what happens to her after this election is over." Unless we forget, like the Trump campaign, Fox News has been riven by allegations of sexual misconduct. In this case, against former Fox chairman Roger Ailes, lately an informal Trump adviser. According to reporting by New York Magazine`s Gabe Sherman and others, Megyn Kelly`s own testimony against Ailes was a key part of the decision to oust him from the network. The man now accusing her of being fascinated with sex, of course, Newt Gingrich, famously has led the republican crusade over Bill Clinton`s sex life in the 1990s, later admitted to have been cheating on his wife, Gingrich is now on a third marriage. There are all different kinds of divisions within the Republican Party, but since the release of 2005 tape on which Trump can be heard bragging about predatory behavior towards women, it`s become an all-out gender war. Over the past week or so, several dyed in the wool conservative women have written about their deep feelings of betrayal as many of their male political allies have remained silent or dismissed evidence of predatory behavior by the republican nominee. An elected district judge in Texas, Lauren Parish, went so far as to publicly announce she`s leaving the party.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAUREN PARISH, REPUBLICAN DISTRICT JUDGE IN TEXAS: Quite frankly, I cannot associate with a party that would tolerate such antagonism and hatred. I cannot sit idly by and watch as this abhorrent disease continues to infect what was once an honorable and respectable political party of the past.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: As the Gingrich-Kelly confrontation underscored last night, Fox News`s itself a locus for the internal republican conservative strife. Of course, the host airing right after Megan Kelly, is vocal Trump promoter, Sean Hannity, whose advocacy for his candidate seems to know no bounds. Witness this tweet he sent out around midnight last night, a whole bunch of guns labeled with media outlets and other institutions all aimed at Trump`s head. Shout out to MSNBC. One of those institutions, notably, is GOP elites. In an interview with The Washington Post after the last debate, Hannity specifically name-checked House Speaker Paul Ryan, calling him, quote, "A saboteur who needs to be called out and replaced." and saying he would actively urge hard-line conservatives to challenge him for the speakership. Hannity`s not alone. New York Times reports today that forces both in the Trump campaign and on Capitol Hill are already planning to continue their battle against GOP leadership after Election Day.

A member of the House Freedom Caucus, Ohio Congressman Warren Davidson, told the Times, "You can`t ignore what millions and millions of people have expressed in this election cycle," Mr. Davidson said. Of course, millions and millions of people have also expressed virulent opposition to Donald Trump, and many of them live in Utah, a state that Mitt Romney won by almost 50 points 4 years ago. Trump is doing so poorly in Utah, virtually tied with independent candidate Evan McMullen in a new poll, he had to send his running mate there today less than two weeks before the election.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The truth of the matter is, there`s only two names on that ballot that have a chance to be President of the United States of America. And a vote for any candidate other than Donald Trump, bottom line, is a vote to make Hillary Clinton the 45th President of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: McMullin, a conservative Mormon and former congressional aide, works for the CIA, came out of nowhere to mount a real challenge in Utah. And as McKay Coppins reports today in BuzzFeed, he`s not just running a longshot for president, he`s building a brand-new political party. Joining me now, Jennifer Rubin, conservative columnist of The Washington Post who writes its "Right Turn" blog, and McKay Coppins, senior political writer for Buzzfeed. And McKay, let me start with you on the piece. I mean, it is sort of remarkable, the polling -- we don`t have a great and super reliable robust polling out of Utah. But the polling ad seems -- show the guy is -- this guy who has an impressive resume for someone that was mounting their first congressional run, right?

MCKAY COPPINS, SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER, BUZZFEED: When you and I first talked the day he announced, I remember I said something like he`s impressive for a Capitol Hill aide, which is what he was. He was the policy director for the house GOP.

HAYES: But you want -- I mean, this is the heart -- I mean, Mormons, particularly. Mormon voters were reliably republican, reliably conservative have complete rejected Donald Trump in a way that almost no constituency the Republican Party has with the same sort of fervor. And McMullin is trying to build some sort of new anti-Trump movement.

COPPINS: Yeah, it`s actually amazing. Well, so from the beginning he`s been saying that he wants to build a new conservative movement. He`s centered his campaign in Salt Lake City in the mountain west where there`s a large Mormon population. And it`s interesting, I had just came from Utah. I was out there. I went to a McMullin rally. By the way, the most Mormon seen I have ever seen, and I could say that as a Mormon.

HAYES: Right.

COPPINS: You know, young families and everything. But they -- but, you know, he sounds a lot like a traditional conservative republican, pro-life, pro-trade, except that half of his stump speech is about rejecting the strains of racism and religious bigotry that run through the conservative movement of Republican Party. And he got the loudest cheers from his crowd of like a thousand people when he talked about that stuff. And that -- I think that is really when you get down to the core of why Mormons are rejecting Trump. That`s a big part of it.

HAYES: Yeah. And Jennifer, I want to get your -- you`ve been writing particularly on this sort of -- this sort of misogyny that has been brought to the surface, I think, the reaction to Donald Trump. A party of angry, white, abusive males. That I want you to respond that Donald gets up there today at his hotel in a very surreal and bizarre event, even by the standards of Donald Trump 13 days before the election at his hotel, and one of the first thing he does is give Newt Gingrich a shout out for his Megyn Kelly interview. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Congratulations, Newt, on last night. That was an amazing interview. That was an amazing -- we don`t play games, Newt, right? We don`t play games.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: I mean, what does that say to you?

JENNIFER RUBIN, CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: I mean, this is preposterous. This is exactly why women, married women, white women, non-white women, any kind of woman you can think of, are deserting the republican nominee in droves. The republicans for a while have had a problem with single women, now that`s spread really to the entire gender. And I think what they`re demonstrating here is a sort of behavior, and indifference, and cruelty, bulliness, that is really more than a problem for one election. It`s a tone and it`s an attitude. I think that`s going to have a taint that`s going to last long after this. It`s interesting that Evan McMullin has a vice presidential running mate who`s a woman, Mindy Finn, and they often talk about this. They are talking about a new generation, much more tolerant, perhaps more on the libertarian side on issues like gay marriage. I think there is a thirst for this, because women and other people are horrified by what they see from Donald Trump.

HAYES: So, we`ve got, you know, you`ve got both -- what Jennifer is saying and McMullin, right, so there`s a sort of rejection of this, sort of, very aggressive and explicit bigotry.

COPPINS: Sure.

HAYES: Explicit misogyny, right, in a way. But there`s also this question about, like, what the heck is this party? Which in some ways is the great subtext of this. And I think in many ways, the party also hasn`t reckon with the failure of George W. Bush as President of the United States. And I think in some ways, that`s what led Trump win. He was sort of the anti- Bush in a literal sense. He was anti-Jeb Bush.

COPPINS: Sure.

HAYES: That what you build after that, what you build is the alternative to Trump is still not clear to me if the answer is just tax cuts for the top, at the top marginal rate, foreign interventions and military deployments in the Middle East, et cetera.

COPPINS: Well, this is what I think McMullin`s, you know, play is Utah is so interesting and a success there is because Utah is a weird red state. It`s very conservative but it`s also a very communitarian state, that it`s a very flat income -- you know, there`s not -- there`s not a lot of income inequality of robust middleclass. I don`t think McMullin and his team have fully thought through. You know, they are really talking about building a third party after this election, the new conservative party. I don`t think they fully thought through what that stands for, but they`re going to have to grapple with more than just Donald Trump as the foil. They`re going to have to figure outside what they stand for beyond that.

HAYES: Well -- and Jennifer -- I mean, to me, you -- what you`ve said about sort of not putting the genie back in the bottle. I`m curious what you think of this. It does seem to me that all of these deep structural fissures in the party are going to be spackled over by anti-Clinton hatred, basically. That it`s the thing that unites everyone, even the conservatives I read and follow on Twitter, the one thing that unites everyone singing off the same hymnal, is how monstrous Hillary Clinton is. And pretty soon, probably, there`s going to be an opportunity to do nothing but do that.

RUBIN: Well, today, you had Jason Chaffetz announcing with -- for unknown reasons, he`s already going to begin investigating her. For what? I don`t know. She hasn`t won the election yet, which I found amusing. That is the danger that they simply go on a witch hunt after Hillary Clinton, and they don`t really look at these issues. Listen, the problem with the party is they have two halves of the party that have been smushed together that can no longer coexist. One is a populist lower scale white, mostly male, middle class, which is virulently anti-immigrant. It has the strain of misogyny. And the other sort of traditionally main street republican or country club republican who wants smaller government who are used to having professional women in their midst, who understand that immigration and trade are good for America, and I don`t think these two halves of the party can coexist.

HAYES: Well, this is -- this is the fascinating thing, Jennifer, is that what the Republican Primary taught is that there aren`t enough of those people, because in a country of rising inequality and stagnating wages, in a country in which affluence is increasingly circumscribed geographically, that string of people don`t give you enough voters.

RUBIN: They do if you don`t have 17 candidates. He didn`t get a majority of the GOP primary electorate. And he`s probably going to do an all-time rotten job in terms of the general electorate --

COPPINS: Right. But that`s enough to win the Republican Primary. It`s not at all clear that that`s enough to win the presidency.

RUBIN: Right. I think that the party, under whoever is going to -- whatever they call it and however they do, is going to have to figure out how to put together a coalition of people who on one hand reject perhaps liberal statism, on the other hand, reject this sort of clown show that has been going on in the party now for 8 or 12 or however long. So, I think it is going to be a challenge. Do I think that there`s an alternative somewhere, a sane alternative to the Democratic liberal party? I do. How that gets defined is really going to be the challenge for the next few years.

HAYES: Yeah. And I do think -- I mean, do you -- do you agree with me that the spackle is going to be applied immediately on November --

COPPINS: Oh, sure.

HAYES: Again, nothing set in stone. We`re looking at the probabilities like everyone else, but it`s just like it was amazing to me. I mean, you felt this at the RNC in Cleveland, right?

COPPINS: Oh, yeah.

HAYES: You went into Cleveland, you thought, "Wow, these people really hate each other and the Ted Cruz booing." The one thing that got everybody excited was like the locker --

(CROSSTALK)

COPPINS: It was -- it was like the safe space.

HAYES: Yeah. It`s like --

COPPINS: Like the one place you could go.

HAYES: Like talking about the weather.

COPPINS: Yeah, exactly. Like what`s the polite conversation? Oh, Hillary Clinton should be in jail. We all agree on that.

HAYES: Right. Right.

COPPINS: I mean, look, I think republicans are going to do that after this election. I don`t know, though. I mean, beneath the surface, there`s still going to be these divides, and it`s going to have to be figured out.

HAYES: And it`s going to manifest in deep, sort of, Freudian idea here that if you repress, the neuroses become even more pathological. And I do think that the repression will lead to even more insane acting out. Jennifer Rubin and McKay Coppins, thank you both.

COPPINS: Thank you.

RUBIN: Sure.

HAYES: Coming up, house republicans signal they have no intention of stopping the continuous string of investigations into Hillary Clinton. I`ll talk with Congressman Elijah Cummins of the plan to disrupt a potential Clinton presidency, after this two-minute break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

REP. MARTHA ROBY (R), ALABAMA: Do you have a skiff in your home?

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Yes, I did.

ROBY: OK. And who else was at your home? Were you alone?

CLINTON: I was alone, yes.

ROBY: The whole night?

CLINTON: Well, yes, the whole night.

ROBY: I don`t know why that`s funny. I mean, did you have any in-person briefings? I don`t find it funny at all.

CLINTON: I`m sorry, a little note of levity at 7:15.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: That was more than seven hours into Hillary Clinton`s 11-hour testimony before the house Benghazi select committee last year. Clinton`s public testimony was supposed to be the shining moment for a congressional investigation that had already stretched on longer than the Watergate committee. Surely getting her on the record would justify the millions of taxpayer dollars spent trying to prove there was some scandal with regards to Secretary Clinton and Benghazi.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What new things did you learn today?

REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I think some of Jimmy Jordan`s questioning -- well, when you say new today, I mean, we knew some of that already. We knew about the e-mails, in terms of her testimony?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Uh hmm.

GOWDY: I don`t know that she testified that much differently today than she has the previous times she`s testified, so I`d have to go back and look at the transcript.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: But the point of this investigation didn`t ultimately seem to be about the results it produced, but rather the whiff of wrongdoing that comes with constant continuous probes. And today, we learned house republicans are already preparing for quote, "Years of investigations of Clinton if she`s elected President."

The Chair of the House Oversight Committee, Jason Chaffetz, saying, "It`s a target-rich environment. Even before we get to Day One, we`ve got two years` worth of material already lined up. She has four years of history at the State Department and it ain`t good." The President of the Conservative Organization Judicial Watch, put it more bluntly to NBC News, "I know this generation of Republican leaders is loath to exercise these tools, but impeachment is something that`s relevant," said Tom Fitton, who has criticized GOP lawmakers for failing to pre-emptively impeach Clinton.

Joining me now, Democratic Congressman from Maryland, Elijah Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee and Oversight and Government Reform. And Congressman, given your role both on the Select Benghazi Committee and Darrell Issa`s Committee of Government Reform, what do you hear having been in the trenches of these investigations when you hear Jason Chaffetz and others talk like this?

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: I hear that they want to obstruct Hillary Clinton when she becomes president, and will do anything in their power to destroy her efforts. They have been obstructionists all along with regard to President Obama for the last six years, putting every kind of roadblock that you can imagine in his way. And they like the idea of being able to say that the President of the United States is under investigation. And so, they will spend millions upon millions of dollars as we already spent in Benghazi and other investigations of taxpayer dollars on this mission of destruction and distraction.

HAYES: In fact, I believe Congressman Jim Jordan on that Select Committee, who Chairman Gowdy referenced, I think even said today that the Benghazi Committee, which is one of the longest in American history released an 800- page report that that should keep going.

CUMMINGS: Yes, several -- about two months ago, we thought we were at our last meeting which the Benghazi Select Committee and they held that one in secret in a classified setting, and we thought we were coming to the last meeting, only to be told that it might be ongoing. And at some point, the republicans need to learn that the American people, both democratic, republican, independent and others, want us to be about the business of solving their problems. They`re tired of the destruction and distraction, distracting us from the issues that we need to be addressing like education and health care and things of that nature, and being able to put a halt to these unreasonable jumps in prices of prescription drugs. And so, it`s the same old, same old. And this cannot be. We`ve got to -- we`ve got to address this, because it`s very, very sad and very, very unfortunate. Before Hillary Clinton even becomes president, they`re already saying -- using the word "impeachment" and then -- and hopefully, we`ll have a democratic congress and democratic senate, hopefully we`ll be able to get around some of this.

HAYES: Yeah, when you raise the impeachment, which is a specter that`s been raised by, you know, some of the Judicial Watch, of course a veteran of the first impeachment of Bill Clinton. Do you think there will be immediate motivation impudence for that among some of your republican colleagues in the house?

CUMMINGS: Yes, I think that you have a situation where they have -- you know, they are disappointed in Mr. Trump. And so now, you`ve got people like Cruz -- I know he`s in the senate but -- and Ryan talking about the things that they want to do to continue all of these investigations. And they know that this is an effort to basically do what leader McCarthy said was being done before with the Benghazi Select Committee, that is to destroy any chances that Hillary Clinton will have, assuming she wins, of having a second term. So, they have a lot of incentive to do this. That is, from day one -- actually before day one, began this drum beat of investigation, investigation, investigation, trying to block her from the things that the American people will want her to do. And so, it`s a shame, but I`m going to do everything in my power to try to make sure that we stay on a course to achieve the things that the American people want us to achieve. It`s not -- it`s not going to be easy, but I think we have to stay focused on those things.

HAYES: It strikes me, too, that for a party that is very fractured right now, that has a lot of internal divisions, that uniting against Hillary Clinton, pouring the energy of the party across its entire geographical and ideological spectrum into investigating Hillary Clinton, is essentially the one most unifying element for your republican colleagues right now. It has to be a very attractive option to them.

CUMMINGS: Oh, no doubt -- no doubt about it. I mean, they are so splintered, they don`t know what to do. And so, rallying around Hillary Clinton is a thing that they can do. And again, keep in mind, what it does, it distracts us from doing the things that we need to be doing, and I think they kind of like that. They like the idea that, OK, we`re going to be obstructionist, we`ll spend all this time attacking Hillary Clinton and the public won`t notice that African-Americans and Hispanics are not -- are being denied the right to vote. People are not -- young people are not able to get -- pay for college, and things of that nature. And so, I often said, we -- you know, I try not to concentrate on so much who I`m fighting against. I tell my colleagues we must concentrate on what we`re fighting for. And so, hopefully, there will be some calmer minds that will come together that is on the republican side and join with us, democrats, to try to get something done.

HAYES: All right. Congressman Elijah Cummings, thank you for your time. I appreciate it.

Coming up, a third party candidate storms the debate stage. That amazing footage, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: It is hard to be a third-party candidate in the American political system. Getting your name on the ballot with whatever requisite signatures or filing fees are required can be difficult. Getting attention for your candidacy with ads and voter outreach can be expensive. And getting a high up number in the polls to qualify for debates can be nearly impossible. As was highlighted in Maryland today, when the Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate, Dr. Margaret Flowers, who got 5 percent in the most recent Washington Post poll, didn`t meet the 15 percentage point minimum for today`s televised debate, and attempted to bypass the gatekeepers, and the following ensued.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You shouldn`t be having a closed debate. She`s a legitimate candidate and should be included. (INAUDIBLE) respect her right to be here.

FLOWERS: It`s not a full discussion if you don`t have all viewpoints included and I`m a valid candidate on the -- on the ballot. So, I hope you -- and I`d appreciate you allowing me to be here today. Thank you.

VAN HOLLEN: Thank you. If you would -- if you don`t mind leaving the stage at this point, so that we can continue with this organized debate.

FLOWERS: Well, I`m a candidate on the ballot. I have a state-wide campaign. I don`t understand why I`m not here. I add a lot to the discussion.

(CROSSTALK)

VAN HOLLEN: The rules are pretty much --

FLOWERS: That doesn`t actually happen. So, how does this serve democracy or serve the public if I`m excluded from the discussion when I`m on the ballot?

VAN HOLLEN: Ms. Flowers, you have to leave now.

FLOWERS: It`s Dr. Flowers. I`m a candidate for U.S. Senate in Maryland, and this is how you`re treating a candidate? This is how you`re treating a supporter of democracy (INAUDIBLE)

KATHY SZELIGA, DEMOCRATIC SENATORIAL CANDIDATE OF MARYLAND: Can we -- can we open this -- can we open this podium to her? I think it`d be reasonable.

FLOWERS: Are excluded from this. You need to know this (INAUDIBLE) is going on, because those of you who are not aware that the policies are being put forth without a full discussion, people don`t know what they`re choices are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Up next, we`ll look at another contentious senate race, the battle for Senator Marco Rubio`s seat in Florida, and why senate democrats have just pulled their financial support from his democratic opponent. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Why does Marco Rubio still plan to vote for Donald Trump? Why is he supporting Donald Trump? There has to be a point where you stand for something more than just party or more than just your own career.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: There was a time when Marco Rubio`s seat was a prime target in the Democratic Party`s hopes of regaining control of the U.S. Senate, especially because soon after Rubio ended his presidential bid he said he would not run for re-election to the senate leaving his seat wide open.

Within a few months, Rubio reversed himself announcing a run for re- election. And he`s been polling ahead of his Democratic challenger, Congressman Patrick Murphy, ever since, averaging a four-point lead.

While, that may sound close when you look at the eight most likely senate seats for Democrats to pick up based just on polling averages, Rubio`s seat would be eighth, which helps to explain why last Monday the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee stopped spending money on the Florida Senate race, canceling the remainder of their ad reservations, a decision not without controversy.

In fact, the Florida Sun Sentinel, which has endorsed Patrick Murphy, strongly criticized the DSCC. The move is shortsighted. If Rubio wins this by a percentage point or two and goes on to become a top presidential contender in 2020, DSCC leaders will have no one to blame but themselves.

Joining me now to talk about the (inaudible) here. NBC News and political -- MSNBC political analyst Robert Costa, national political reporter for The Washington Post.

So there`s some reporting that this has been the subject of very intense dispute behind the scenes. Chuck Schumer saying, look, this money is better spent in other ad markets that are less expensive. Others saying you have got a shot to take Rubio out, the president may be even interested in that. What`s your sense of why this has become so hotly contested?

ROBERT COSTA, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: It is hotly contested because the airwaves in Florida are expensive, and as Democrats look at the map, talking to consultants this week in Washington, Chris, they believe they can actually expand the map -- a place like Missouri with Jason Kander doing well against incumbent Roy Blunt and in other states you have a real chance for Democrats in the Midwest and the Rust Belt to come back. And they`re reluctant to pour this money into a race like Florida where Rubio seems to be doing pretty well.

HAYES: Yeah, the Missouri race is really interesting. It`s ads there are about I think a third of what they cost in those very expensive Florida media markets.

I want to play what I think is one of the best ads of the cycle. It`s for Jason Kander, a veteran and a state legislator who is challenging incumbent Roy Blunt. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JASON KANDER, DEMOCRATIC SENATE CANDIDATE: I`m Jason Kander. Senator Blunt has been attacking me on guns. Well, in the army I learned how to use and respect my rifle. In Afghanistan, I volunteered to be an extra gun in a convoy of unarmored SUVs. And in the state legislature, I supported second amendment rights.

I also believe in background checks so the terrorists can`t get their hands on one of these.

I approve this message because I`d like to see Senator Blunt do this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Kander was not someone that I think was on a lot of people`s radar screen, but he is giving Blunt a real run, as emerging as possibly the best candidate the Democrats have this cycle.

COSTA: and when you ask yourself why is he one of best candidates. It`s not just his age, he`s 35 and he`s charismatic. He`s running against Washington, and Missouri operatives in both parties say Kander has been very strategic in how he`s reaching out to Trump voters as well as Democrats in Missouri.

What he`s doing is saying I`m going to run against D.C. in general. And this is what you see a lot of Senate Democratic candidates doing. They`re not really running against Trump so much, they`re running against Washington trying to tap into that populism that sweeps across both parties.

HAYES: And the other -- and you know, what`s fascinating is you`ve got Portman, of course, in Ohio who is basically safe at this point. I mean, that`s barely being contested. He, of course, is a figurehead of the establishment. And then you have Evan Bayh trying to get back into the Senate in Indiana, looked to be the heavy favorite, but he`s on the wrong side of that kind of equation. His challenger going at him is basically as kind of pay for play revolving door guy. That was a -- Democrats thought it was a guaranteed pickup. That is going to be a very close race.

COSTA: Because when you look at Senator Bayh, he`s almost the opposite of Jason Kander. He`s a Washington veteran. He has lobbying experience, ties to D.C. consulting firms. And Rob Portman I think the model Republican not so much for his ideology, but for his organization. And he`s benefited from Governor Strickland not being as sharp on the stump as he has been in the past. And Portman is seen as someone who recognized early this was going to be a difficult year. He had to get ahead.

HAYES: You know, the Democrats need a pick up of four to tie. And if they were to win the presidency, then they`d tiebreaker in Tim Kaine the vice president. They need five to get an outright majority.

What are you hearing from Republicans about what their internal numbers show? Because often these races, particularly down ballot get polled internally a lot more and a lot more consistently than they get polled publicly?

COSTA: What they`re really looking at right now is trying to get out traditional Republican voters because if Trump is going to get swept in some of these states and he makes some unusual states competitive, that`s why when you see in this week on the trail, most of these Republican candidates are talking about the Affordable Care Act, they`re not about so much about Donald Trump.

They`re trying to find a way to survive, and to make sure if Trump loses their state by 6 to 10 points they are still in that competitive margins. They still have a shot. And they`re hoping Trump closes strong, too, even if they`re distanced from him, because they want to make sure it`s not some kind of wave.

HAYES: Yeah, they`re outperforming Trump almost by and large which is the opposite, of course, of Mitt Romney who outperformed all senate candidates except for Dean Heller in Nevada. But there`s only so much, right. I mean, the margin is going to matter a lot to those races.

COSTA: Well, I mean, there`s some fascinating races here. You look at Wisconsin. Ron Johnson has been behind for so long of Senator Feingold, but if you have the Republicans actually coming out in force in places like Waukesha County (ph), and Milwaukee suburbs.

In New Hampshire, great race up there. Maggie Hassan, the incumbent governor, really strong with Secretary Clinton. You see Democrats turning up in the polls in New Hampshire. But Ayotte, she`s been not perfect in navigating Trump, but she`s still seen as someone who is a little more toward the center.

A lot of these races could turn in the final week.

HAYES: Robert Costa, thanks for you time tonight. Appreciate it.

President Obama`s resounding I told you so to Republicans. How he foresaw the implosion of the right and even warned them it was coming still ahead.

But first, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts right after this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Thing One tonight, Donald Trump at a rally yesterday in Florida, calling out some of his favorite signs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I love the signs behind me -- blacks for Trump. I like those signs. Blacks for trump. You watch.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Trump seen here kissing a woman for Trump`s sign while holding a Blacks for Trump sign is losing badly in the polls among both groups, but it`s a big country and there are in fact plenty of women and African- Americans who do support Trump.

However, it`s worth pointing out the signs don`t always match who is holding them. This guy in the blue who is clearly a guy holding a Women for Trump sign while taunting the media, then there`s this white woman holding a Blacks for Trump sign. This lady right here also proudly clutching her Blacks for Trump sign.

This lady down in the corner proudly holding up a Blacks for Trump sign of her own.

Now, sometimes people holding the Blacks for Trump signs are in fact actually black. The most visible being this guy on the right who Trump pointed out yesterday in Florida.

There he is again at another Trump rally earlier this month. He distributes the Blacks for Trump signs and runs the website you see on that sign. Well, there`s more to his story, which we will bring you in Thing Two in just 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Those Blacks for Trump sign you often see at Donald Trump rallies, many are handed out by this guy with a big smile who goes by the name Michael the Black Man. And if you check out the website on those signs, you`ll find rambling screeds deeming Hillary Clinton, quote, mother of harlots and imagery depicting President Obama, who he calls The Beast, as the anti-Christ and a member of the Illuminati.

Miami New Times reports Michael is a former member of the murderous Yahweh Ben Yahweh Cult who was charged for allegedly conspiring in two murders, though we should say ultimately not convicted.

Also been reportedly charged with Grand Theft Auto, carrying a weapon on a plane and threatening a law enforcement officer, though never convicted.

And he made a name for himself in the Miami area in recent years as virulently anti-gay, anti-liberal preacher.

He also wrote a book claiming Obama is the beast, 666, given power by the dragon serpent Oprah.

I guess they`ll take whatever they can get.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Hillary Clinton turned 69 years old today and she celebrated by attending an Adele concert in Miami last night where Adele told the crowd she is, quote, 100 percent for Hillary Clinton adding I love her. She`s amazing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ADELE, SINGER: I`ve got to be honest with you. I`m really glad I`m not American. It`s hard work. I don`t know what to do. I mean, I do know what to do, don`t vote for him. That`s what I`m saying.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Clinton responded in a tweet, "That was quite a birthday surprise, Adele. Loved the show last night."

This morning, Hillary Clinton appeared on Power 105.1`s The Breakfast Club radio show where she offered a novel proposal to bring the country together.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: You know, I keep telling people I want to close the deficit, and one I want to close is the fun deficit. We`ve got to close the fun deficit. I`m sick of all this meanness and why don`t these people who support my opponent go out and have fun dancing. Do you think they dance? I think we need a big national dance.

UNIDENITIFIED MALE: I`m with you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: A big national dance. Well, we don`t know exactly what that would look like, we do have some idea what it might look like if Hillary Clinton led that effort.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just putting you on my Snapchat.

(MUSIC)

CLINTON: Woo, OK.

(LAUGHTER)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: What I`m not going to do is to validate some notion that the Republican crackup that`s been taking place is the consequence of actions that I`ve taken.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: It became clear that Donald Trump was actually going to be the Republican nominee for president conservatives started looking for ways to, not surprisingly, blame President Obama.

Former Louisiana governor and failed presidential candidate himself, Bobby Jindal, wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal titled President Obama created Donald Trump.

New York Times conservative columnist Ross Douthet wrote that Obama era trends in liberal politics had helped feed the Trump phenomenon.

Even Jeb Bush hinted that Obama was to blame writing in The Washington Post this summer eight years of divisive tactics of President Obama and his allies have undermined Americans` faith in politics and government to accomplish anything constructive.

But Obama isn`t buying any of that, telling Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine earlier this month that, quote, "I see a straight line from the announcement of Sarah Palin as the vice presidential nominee to what we see in Donald Trump -- the emergence of the Freedom Caucus, the Tea Party and the shift in the center of gravity for the Republican Party."

This isn`t the first time the president has tied the evolution of Trump directly to the Republican Party. In a recent piece in The Republic, Brian Boitler (ph) argues Obama warned Republicans about this for years. The content of Obama`s argument shouldn`t be surprising to anyone who has been paying attention because he`s been making it for practically his entire presidency.

Perhaps most memorably in January 2010 when the president addressed Republicans directly during their house GOP issues conference in Baltimore.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We`ve got to close the gap a little bit between the rhetoric and the reality. I`m not suggesting that we`re going to agree on everything whether it`s on health care or energy or what have you, but if the way these issues are being presented by the Republicans is that this is some wild-eyed plot to impose huge government in every aspect of our lives what happens is you guys then don`t have a lot of room to negotiate with me. You`ve given yourselves very little room to work in a bipartisan fashion because what you`ve been telling your constituents is this guy`s doing all kinds of crazy stuff that`s going to destroy America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Joining me now April Ryan, White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, and Matt MacKowiak, a Republican strategist.

And April, I mean, you`ve covered presidents. You`ve covered this president up close. I mean, the case that he has made is essentially the Republican Party`s sort of core pathology is that it is immersed in a bubble. It is beholden to constituents in gerrymandered districts, particularly in the House and conservative media and therefore can brook no compromise, can`t work with him to get anything done and there`s a straight line from that to Trump.

APRIL RYAN, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: I cannot agree more.

I`ve watched this president and I`ve watched this congress and there seems to be gridlock. Whenever someone makes a move to broker some kind of deal, be it trying not to have a government shutdown, we hear things like green eggs and ham. You know?

I mean, this president has gone golfing with John Boehner trying to broker deals. And then -- but you have to also remember, Chris, when this president first became president we heard Mitch McConnell say he`s going to do everything he can to make him a one termer.

So, this was the pervasive thought. We`ve heard people like Rush Limbaugh saying that he wanted the country to fail. I mean, he said that. This is not conjecture. This is not a myth. We have heard him say that. It`s on tape.

So the mind-set in much of the Republican Party was the fact that they wanted this man out and they weren`t going to work with him. And we see that in these waning days, i.e. was it Merrick Garland, over 200 some days this man has yet to have a hearing. And there`s the issue of constitutionality about this.

So the bottom line is whatever`s happening with this president, this historic presidency, a lot of it has to do with -- I don`t know if it`s hatred of him, hatred of race, I don`t know, but they just cannot seem to work it out.

And there within lies the problem or the phenomenon of Donald Trump rising to the top, because people are tired of the gridlock and that`s why Donald Trump, they want something totally new.

HAYES: Matt, I would guess that you disagree.

RYAN: He can`t.

MATT MACKOWIAK, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: For sure. I mean, well, it`s the job of the opposition party to oppose the party in power. So I`m not sure at what point April`s trying to make.

RYAN: But what level, but what level?

HAYES: The level of opposition -- the thing that I always come back to, right, is like what happened after George W. Bush was elected in 2000 in an extremely contested election, which he was -- he lost more votes, right. He didn`t have the vote of the majority in that, right?

Ted Kennedy worked with him on the signature centerpiece of his campaign, No Child Left Behind, education reform. Lots of Democrats voted for that bill. They sort of crafted the thing together. They didn`t just decide no, if he gets anything he wants, that will be poisonous. We should just withdraw consent.

MACKOWIAK: I think that unfairly presumes that it was a one-way negotiation, that Democrats moved in George W. Bush`s direction when, in fact, George W. Bush`s record as governor of Texas as former Democratic Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullack (ph) would have told you from those days was that he worked very well with Democrats.

And so that`s a big part of this is that I think -- look, you can make an argument Republicans have not been willing to work with President Obama, but I think it`s really been a two-way problem in a way that I think it wasn`t for George W. Bush.

Look at Medicare Part D compromise, even the tax cuts I think had some Democratic votes.

At the end of the day, though, Chris, keep in mind President Obama decided to use executive orders and to pass major legislation with only Democratic votes. He may have fell forced to do that, but I think it`s fair to say that he moved forward in a partisan way. And that`s part of why you have the division in Washington, D.C.

RYAN: Chris, I have covered three presidents now, for 20 years in January. And on the worst day for Bill Clinton and George W. Bush he did not have the problems that this president has.

George W. Bush has written more executive orders than this president, and yet they wanted to take him to court. So, yeah, there`s one thing when it comes to, you know, partisan sparring and verbal fisticuffs, but when it gets down to this kind of visceral dislike and hate, when parties are going at each other and things are not done, there`s a problem.

And someone -- a brilliant person told me this when I walked into Washington about 20 years ago, she said to me, you know what ultimate power is about? It`s about helping people. And the question is for both sides, are the people being helped right now? That`s the question for both sides. Not just for the Republicans, not just for the Democrats.

HAYES: You know, Matt, it seems to me that whatever -- there`s a sort of who started it question right, and there`s all sorts of narratives about the Affordable Care Act and should the Baucus committee work should have gone longer, and yadda, yadda, yadda. If you put that aside, to me, however we got here, right.

I mean, here`s Ted Cruz being asked about the fact that they`ve held open this seat for 300 days, unprecedented, basically saying there`s no legitimacy to confirm the president`s nominee to the Supreme Court. We`re going to need to have an election. Now being asked, well, if a Democrat wins he says, there is certainly long historical precedent for a Supreme Court with fewer justices. I would note just recently, Justice Breyer observed the vacancy is not impacting the ability of the court to do its job. That`s a debate we are going to have.

As in, OK, we`ve now said even when you win you`re not going to get a nominee.

Like, it is a one-way ratchet it seems to me from which there is no rebounding.

MACKOWIAK: Well, what I would say is that, keep in mind, you need 60 votes to move a Senate advise and consent nomination for the Supreme Court.

HAYES: Not for long.

MACKOWIAK: And so at the end of the day -- the first question will be who controls the U.S. Senate? If the Democrats control it, they`ll control the senate judiciary committee and they`ll control the floor. And so they can get a vote on their own schedule.

Now, if Republicans control it, you have to be able to stop a filibuster. And so you have to hold those votes -- look, Cruz is on the judiciary committee. He obviously has an eye towards the future. I`m not convinced at all that Merrick Garland number one won`t be approved in a lame duck if Hillary wins, but number two won`t be approved in the first hundred days if he`s renominated.

Look, we are not going to go an entire presidency with only four justices regardless of who said what. I don`t think that`s likely to happen.

HAYES: You say that now. We`re going to check back on that, because I honestly think that`ll be a huge fight and they`re going to try everything they can to not confirm a justice.

April Ryan, Matt MacKowiak, thanks for joining us.

That`s ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END