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Joe Biden and the choice facing Democratic voters. TRANSCRIPT: 8/1/19, All In w/ Chris Hayes.

Guests: Danielle Moodie-Mills, Pramila Jayapal, Sam Seder, David Leonhardt

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST:  We, thank God, are simply that kind of people which is why we are too good a people that keep Donald Trump as our President.  And that`s HARDBALL for now.  Thanks for being with us.  "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.



SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Mr. Vice President, there`s a saying in my community, you`re dipped into kool-aid and yet don`t even know the flavor.

HAYES:  Round two is over.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  We have a predator living in the White House.

HAYES:  Tonight, the big takeaways.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I get a little bit tired of Democrats afraid of big ideas.

HAYES:  The competing visions for Democratic leadership.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I don`t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can`t do and shouldn`t fight for.

HAYES:  And the frontrunners simple case for his nomination.

JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I promise you, if I get the nomination, I will win Michigan.

HAYES:  Then --

JULIAN CASTRO (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  I think that folks are making a mistake by not pursuing impeachment.

HAYES:  The growing number of Democrats calling for impeachment approaches critical mass.  Plus --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  This is a trade war.  America just fired another shot and you are about to pay.

HAYES:  The latest example of why the Trump economy is worse than it may look.  And new reporting on real-world implications of what the president is inciting.

MARIANNE WILLIAMSON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  This dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country.

HAYES:  When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES:  Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes.  We have now gone through two of these rounds of debates.  The first time the big moment was between Senator Kamala Harris and former Vice President Joe Biden where the front-runner struggled to respond to Kamala Harris` criticism of his past opposition to federally mandated school integration through busing.

That was the big takedown moment and it showed up in the polling.  It definitely hurt Biden standing.  You can see a bit of a dip in Biden`s polling after the first debate at the end of June.  But you can see the further away we got from the debate, the better things start to look for him.  In fact, Biden clawed back and came into last night`s debate as the front-runner again, again by a pretty wide margin.

And while most people believe Biden was better than the first time around, he did not have the sharpest performance.  He was maybe a bit steadier but not particularly forceful and lacking the command that you might expect from someone with his years in public service and the front-runner.

So the big question before Democrats as they think about who they want to nominate to face Donald Trump seems to me or one of the big ones is this.  Do you want a guy you might trust and have affection for and who is closely associated with the last great Democratic president, a guy you might think can win thanks in part to the goodwill he was built up over the course of a long career, or do you think it takes more than that?

Do you want the person who you believe is the sharpest, the best fighter, the person whose views are closest to your own whether or not that`s Joe Biden?  It`s a question Democratic voters are ultimately going to answer.

Joining me now to talk about that question much more MSNBC Political Analyst Jonathan Alter Columnist at The Daily Beast, MSNBC Political Analyst Michelle Goldberg, Columnist at the New York Times, and Danielle Moodie Mills Host of Sirius XM`s Woke AF.  What do you think, Michelle?

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Well, I think we know -- this isn`t a new observation but we were ill-served by having these two parallel debates and I appreciate that the DNC is not ruthlessly hierarchical the way the RNC was so they didn`t want to do the overcard undercard debate.

We`re with this very weird situation where you -- where it was very ideologically polarized, right.  So you had Bernie and Elizabeth Warren, and then a bunch of these sort of ringer moderates, right?  We`re standing in for Joe Biden.

And then you have the reverse the next night where you had you know, Biden, Warren, Booker, and then Bill de Blasio over there basically trying and kind of failing to channel what Bernie Sanders might say.  And so in some ways the central issue of this debate --

HAYES:  Remains unresolved.

GOLDBERG:  Right, remained -- not only on result but un-litigated.

HAYES:  Right.  Biden`s performance.

DANIELLE MOODIE-MILLS, HOST OF WOKE AF, SIRIUS XM:  I mean, it was better than it was a couple of weeks ago.  He seemed a bit more prepared but he just does not seem like the Biden that we saw during the Obama era.  He is not relaxed.  He is not -- I don`t know if it`s because Trump has labeled him sleepy Joe that the question that I keep asking and a lot of my listeners keep asking is why doesn`t he have the energy?  Why doesn`t he seem to have the vigor that a Bernie Sanders who was in the same age range seemed to have?

And I don`t know if it`s because Trump has -- Trump has planted those seeds to make us believe that he is but he`s just not showing up.

HAYES:  You know what, one thing I thought -- I want to play this clip.  There`s a certain kind of like happy warriorness that I thought few people exhibited particularly Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker in the second night which was like I`m psyched to be here, let`s do it.  Let`s have it out.  I won`t argue.  That`s what politics is partly about.  Take a look at these two clips.


DON LEMON, ANCHOR, CNN:  Your estimated net worth is more than $65 million.  That would make you subject to Senator Warren`s proposed wealth tax on the assets of the richest 75,000 homes households or so in the United States.

BOOKER:  Mr. Vice President, there`s a saying in my community, you`re dipped into kool-aid and yet don`t even know the flavor.  You need to --


HAYES:  Now, in both cases, that was a -- that was a practice line clearly from Booker, but like you just saw the smiles and you saw -- and then like to me there`s this question about -- again as you`re evaluating as a -- as a candidate, as a primary voter about like who do you want to go do this difficult thing which is to -- like some kind of energetic, like joy in an actual grueling battle that is ahead of you.

JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  So the happy warrior -- the original happy warrior was Al Smith, the Governor of New York.  And he had this wonderful kind of street quality and then FDR became --

HAYES:  Took him apart.

ALTER:  Took him apart, but he was also a happy warrior.  And you know, and that`s what`s worked when you -- when you`re enjoying yourself.  If you`re not, if you`re a downer, then it`s not going to go well for you.  Even Jimmy Carter people think of as a downer, what was he doing in 1976 when he got elected, smiling.

HAYES:  Yes.

ALTER:  You know, so this is really -- this is why Booker had a good night because he seemed to be enjoying himself last night.

MOODIE-MILLS:  And I will just say this, that one of the things that I think also set the tone for Joe Biden was his go easy on me kid to Kamala Harris.  That kind of said to me -- and again, I tweeted this, and people said, why don`t you like Casablanca?  Like why can`t you just be nostalgic and that was joyful.

And I said, won`t it seem very patronizing and condescending?  And I said, but also it seemed to me again, to signal, I`m not ready.  So please --

HAYES:  Or I don`t want to do it.  Right.

MOODIE-MILLS:  Right.  So please, please, please don`t make me look like an old fool.

HAYES:  Although -- OK, but just to take the other side of this, and this is the thing that I think a lot of people have been talking about, right, which is like there is a gap I think between the like most intensely following this and particularly like the vanguard most on social media and the most invested, and what the polling says about voters.

And I think that gap can both be ideological and that there`s a lot more moderate and self-described conservative primary voters than there are and the sort of like most active parts of the party, and also I think it can just be like in a -- in a it`s sort of attentional dispositional level.  Like Joe Biden continues to pull highly because a lot of people feel like they like Joe Biden and they have his politics more or less.

GOLDBERG:  Right.  But to me the -- that`s where the danger of his sort of -- the fact that he seems a little bit slower, the fact that he seems a little bit off his game, right, because I think a lot of the concerns -- and I believe you tweeted this earlier, but a lot of the concerns that people have about Biden, the people who follow it very closely -- I mean, there`s people like me who disagree with him ideologically, we could live with those differences if he seemed like a strong and vigorous candidate, right.

So it`s the -- it`s the fact that he doesn`t necessarily seem like he would be particularly formidable on a stage with Donald Trump that gives -- that gives me pause and that I think people pause after the last debate was Kamala Harris.  I don`t think it was that people said, oh my God, Joe Biden was opposed to busing, I change my mind.

HAYES:  No, it was not an ideological determination.

GOLDBERG:  Right.  I said, Joe Biden doesn`t look strong.

ALTER:  My wife compares it to watching a six-year-old riding a two-wheeler and just praying is he going to go in the bushes?  Is he going fall off the bike?  Like I hope he doesn`t fall off the bike.  But it might not matter.  Like --

HAYES:  That`s the other thing that I was saying.

ALTER:  I was -- I was with Biden interviewing him the day after the Sarah Palin debate in 2008.  He did not mop the floor with Sarah Palin.  She sort of held her up.  He actually did better against Paul Ryan in 2012.   But you know, Trump lost all the debates and he got elected.  So it`s not -- it`s not necessarily axiomatic that the person who`s the best debater is the best candidate.

HAYES:  I agree.

GOLDBERG:  I think that`s true, but I think that there are other -- but it`s -- to me it`s not just about the debates, it`s also about his sort of willingness to own his prior positions, it`s about his defensive, it`s about his 40 years in public life.

MOODIE-MILLS:  And it`s also about the fact that Donald Trump has positioned himself as the strong man, right.  He`s also positioned himself and his base believes that he is strong, that he`s vigorous.  He will hammer people down whether it`s name-calling or what have you.

So to think about the Biden that we`re seeing right now on the stage with Donald Trump, that gives me so much pause because I think that Donald Trump could wipe the floor with him the Biden that we`re seeing right now.  We`re 400 and some odd days out, so I hope --

HAYES:  Yes, a lot can happen.

MOODIE-MILLS:  A lot can happen.  Let me just -- I want to talk about a little bit about the sort of some of the exchanges I thought -- so the first night I thought in a weird way even though it was this kind of proxy debate, it at least had that very clarifying ideological lines which was like it was a sort of discussion about like what vision do we stand for in total.

Last night felt like this -- it`s like a angels dancing a head of a pin debate about a bunch of different marginal differences between health care plans that almost certainly probably aren`t going to get passed.  Like it does seem to me like there is a lot of minutiae policy debate about relatively small items particularly like say, decriminalizing unauthorized entry which I think is a good idea.  But like if you move an immigration --

GOLDBERG:  Right, but because it was all a proxy debate about electability, right.  So it was -- the real debate is kind of who is going to be formidable against Donald Trump, who is going to be able to you know mobilize the people who stayed home last time.  But since that debate is sort of meta, you know, debates have to be about issues, they were having these incredibly like you know, kind of heated exchanges about not super -- not huge differences in their various other plans.

ALTER:  And there are also really harmful I think for a lot of people watching because you know, Barack Obama is at 95 percent popularity.  And basically what they`re doing is they`re picking away at his signature achievement and there`s implicitly saying --

HAYES:  You`re saying on health care.

ALTER:  Yes.  And it`s not -- it`s not so good and they never even mentioned what got them elected in 2018 which was pre-existing conditions.

HAYES:  Right.

ALTER:  Like how about emphasizing what Democrats have done and what the Republicans want to take away instead of just having this narcissism of small differences.

HAYES:  Although -- well, but let me -- just to sort of take the other side of that.  I mean, I think people do have very different views on this and I think that`s particularly true about the Medicare for all people versus the non-Medicare for all people.

But I also think like one of the things is both to set up of the debate is like you debate the stuff you disagree on the stuff you agree on which ends up magnifying these issues almost inherently, right?  Because they all agree like Donald is a terrible person and a bad president, and a racist, and divisive, and is a corrupt yada, yada.  You don`t talk about that.

They all agree on protecting pre-existing conditions.  So what you get, Danielle, instead is they fight about the stuff they disagree with.

MOODIE-MILLS:  And what -- that troubled me last night.  And when Eric Holder tweeted after the debate and he said look, Barack Obama, great president.  We did a lot of good work.  Maybe focus on building off of what we did as opposed to tearing it down.  I don`t think it`s helpful.  I think that they keep playing into Republican`s hands.

I also think that the questions that were asked last night are also straight out of Republican talking points.  And instead of phrasing the conversation and making it seem that Democrats are the ones with big ideas and are so different from the Republican Party, the Republicans are trying to take away your health care, we`re up here as funny as it is, but we`re fighting for the best way provide you with health care.  Gillibrand was the one that kind of lifted that up and said, why are digging into the minutia?

HAYES:  That`s a good -- that`s a good message.

GOLDBERG:  But also the way they were structured again with having these kinds of more marginal candidates on both stages, I think encouraged that because somebody like Tulsi Gabbard can you know, take a lot of shots at these candidates and nobody`s going to do oppo research on Tulsi Gabbard really maybe until after the fact.  So it gives people this incentive to try to pick as -- you know, to try to take as many shots at the frontrunners as they can.

ALTER:  And it`s not a good -- look, I mean, you might agree that they should decriminalize, but you know, that law which dates to the 1920s is not what led to the cages.  It was Donald Trump --

HAYES:  No, no.  And that was -- right, that was --

ALTER:  And so by making it seem like it was this law, Julian Castro introduced into this debate an issue which is not winning votes for Democrats.

HAYES:  No, to me my bigger --

ALTER:  Politics is about addition, not subtraction.

HAYES:  OK.  But my bigger issue with that actually is that -- is this, right, which is a more practical concern.  So let`s say you`re elected the Democratic president.  You have a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate which itself is maybe at 15 percent chance somewhere in there, probably lower at ten percent.  If you move anything on immigration, it`s going to be comprehensive immigration reform.

ALTER:  Right.

HAYES:  Then there`s going to be some details and maybe one of the fights over that is if you decriminalize.  But that is down the list of a big comprehensive package.  So like when you`re actually talking about what would be the legislative agenda of the Democratic president, its comprehensive immigration reform.  And that`s -- again, I think it`s not a not important fight to have, it`s just that in the context of like what would you do as president, it`s way down the list of what you`re even going to get to.

ALTER:  So in the meantime, why lead with your chin?  That`s the big question that I have for a lot of Democrats.  Like just yes, optics, it`s an overused word.  But think about it a little bit.  Like what is the message this is sending in an election with stakes at this level?

You know, if it`s 1976 and it`s whether Gerald Ford is going to get you know, elected or not, fine, you can have these sorts of arguments.  But we have a man who is a menace to our democracy.  We can`t be --

HAYES:  Right.  OK, but here`s --

ALTER:  -- doing these things, arguing in ways that just hurt Democrats.

HAYES:  Arguing on the other side of that, right, because people say there`s this unpopular positions they back themselves into.  And I don`t know what the actual nominee is going to have then.  You know, I was looking at the polling on roe.  So the most recent polling on Row is it`s 77 percent opposed overturning Roe.  They want to keep Roe.

Now, people`s views on abortion are very, very gated.  It depends on the question.  But the very central question, should we have overturn Roe?  Donald Trump ran on overturning Roe.  That was a -- that`s a 33 percent proposition.  Here ran overturning Roe.  He promised he would have Roe -- anti-Roe judges, and I did not see everyone running around being like this is a wildly unpopular position.  There`s no way the guy can get elected.

GOLDBERG:  Well, just -- I mean, just in general, the debate never goes in that direction.  I don`t remember it in any of the Republican debates people saying how are you going to appeal to Democrats or how are you going to appeal to the more liberal parts of your party right?

There`s -- I mean, there`s sort of -- you don`t see any countervailing pressure to push -- to marginalize the right-wing fringes on the right, but at the same time, the coalitions are different right.

HAYES:  Yes, they are.

GOLDBERG:  So Democrats kind of can`t simply say, well, Republicans take on popular positions all the time and they`re fine and they kind of play to their base and that works for them.  It does work for them but they have a much more heterogeneous party and they`re also kind of distributed in ways that give them disproportionate power in this country.

HAYES:  I want to -- there`s a little bit of breaking news but I think it`s interesting because we think about like where are we politically at this moment.  I keep being really fascinated by Republican retirements because that to me -- there are more of them than I would anticipate.

Will Hurd, OK, Will Hurd is the lone member of Congress to survive who is in a Hillary Clinton district.  He represents the largest stretch of border in the United States.  He`s a really interesting guy, former CIA officer, African-American, represents a district go on Hillary Clinton and survived, just announced that he is going to retire.

Now that to me is a fascinating bellwether of -- and he is the third Texas Republican to announce retirement in the span of about a week and a half.

MOODIE-MILLS:  I mean, when you look -- OK, Texas.  When we see what is happening, we see what Donald Trump is doing, we see that the border is in a humanitarian crisis, and the people that actually live, his actual constituents know what`s going on and see it on a regular basis.

So how is he going to look his constituents in the face, go home during recess, and lie to them at these town halls and tell them that kids are not in cages, the areas are completely sanitary, oh the private sector isn`t making millions of dollars off of the fact that we are -- that we`re shoving kids and people into these detention centers.  Like you can`t excuse it.

Donald Trump can say whatever he wants and pop off at his mouth, but people who actually --

HAYES:  When you actually represent the border --

MOODIE-MILLS:  When you actually represent the border, what are you -- what are you doing?

ALTER:  But he also -- he knows he`s going to lose because he almost lost the last time.  You remember, Beto got in a lot of trouble --

HAYES:  Yes, for not endorsing his opponent.

ALTER:  -- for not endorsing his opponent.  Speaking of Beto, here`s a guy who can`t get arrested nationally but they had a poll recently in Texas, he`s crushes Trump, you know.  So something`s going on in Texas.  It might be more in play than Ohio.

HAYES:  I guarantee you and I`ll look at the camera and say the margin in Texas will be closer than Ohio in the next election.  Take that to the bank.  I think that -- and Texas Republicans will tell you the same thing.

But that to me -- I guess the reason that`s interesting to me is there`s a lot of discussion about like Democrats are fighting too much and they`re blowing it and they`re getting into -- and then when you look at on the ground, the people who are making the highest stakes decision about where the political ground of the country is dipping, it is very interesting to me that the Will Hurds of the world are like peace.

GOLDBERG:  Right.  But not just the Will Hurds of the world, right?  Like also -- I mean the Will Hurds but also people who are more conservative.  Yes, I mean, you kind of see people basically saying that this is a losing proposition or it`s kind of not worth having to go back and defend what Donald Trump is doing.

ALTER:  Well, because they know their colleagues have put their integrity into a -- into a blind trust and become party of enablers.

HAYES:  That point is --

ALTER:  They don`t want to be part of a party of enablers.

HAYES:  It`s --

MOODIE-MILLS:  There`s just no excuse for it.  And to their constituents, to their faces, the people that are actually seeing day in and day out, there is no excuse for what Donald Trump is doing and they know it to be true.

HAYES:  I think just to double stress what you just said which I think is such a great point, like the guy who`s got the biggest border district, who is too Donald Trump`s left on immigration has been pretty navigated in a fairly humane way is like no, I`m out, and that really says something about what the border politics of this president is.  Jonathan Alter, Michelle Goldberg, Danielle Moodie-Mills, that was great.  Thank you for being with me.

ALTER:  Thanks, Chris.

HAYES:  Next the whip count for Democrats supporting impeachment is about to reach a very important threshold.  Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal on the growing call to begin an inquiry in two minutes.


HAYES:  Within the last few hours, you had another Democrat who came out in favor of an impeachment inquiry into President Trump.  California Congressman Pete Aguilar is the 24th House Democrat to do so in the eighth day since Robert Mueller supposedly disappointing testimony.

The total number of Democrats favoring an impeachment inquiry is now up to 117, nearly half the caucus.  Other recent additions also include the vice- chair of the House Democratic caucus and four committee chairs including Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel who is close to Nancy Pelosi and not coincidentally happens to have a primary challenger.

When Pelosi was asked back in June what she will do if a majority for caucus ends up supporting an impeachment inquiry, Pelosi dismissed the question saying it`s not even close in our caucus.  We`re now in a five- week recess in which all of the members of Congress will be hearing from their constituents and if just one more Democrat comes out in favor of opening an impeachment inquiry, that will then be a majority of the House Democratic caucus supporting it.

And at least one Congressman Jared Hoffman of California thinks that "week of September 9th, that`s when I predict solid majority of the Dem caucus will publicly support impeachment inquiry a tipping point.

So when Congress comes back in September, impeachment may be a very pressing issue on Pelosi`s leadership.  Joining me now, Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of Washington.  She a member of House Judiciary Committee which said in court filings last week the committee is conducting an investigation to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment.

Are you surprised or not by the two dozen or so folks that have come forward in the wake of Robert Mueller?

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA):  Not surprised.  I really thought that this was going to happen.  I thought Mueller did what he needed to do.  I think anybody who has read the Mueller report knows it`s damning.  But what we needed to do was have Robert Mueller there to reinterpret the Mueller report from what Bill Barr lied about and said it was and make sure that we got those facts on television.

And I think when we did that, I knew I had been talking to my colleagues, and you know, I think he did exactly what he needed to do and I think Chris you`re going to see even more people coming forward.  As you know from the court filing, from the court petition we did on Friday, we are in the midst of an impeachment inquiry.

Part of that inquiry, part of that process is being able to consider real articles of impeachment that we might even have to draft ourselves if we`re going to recommend it to the full House for a vote.

And so there`s some confusion.  People think that Nancy Pelosi isn`t on board with this, but in fact, Nancy Pelosi has green-lighted this strategy.  We`re all in the same place.

HAYES:  OK, that`s interesting.  I just want to zoom in on that for a second.  So there`s a few different ways to do this, right?  The committee could take -- the House could take a vote opening an impeachment inquiry and then refer to Justice Department -- justice -- Judiciary Committee.

The Judiciary Committee could take a vote opening an inquiry just among themselves and open inquiry or you could just sort of start doing it and see where it goes.

JAYAPAL:  That`s right.

HAYES:  And then no one has to take a vote on it.  And my -- I guess my understanding is you guys are in the third thing now.

JAYAPAL:  That`s correct.  That is right.  We are in the third thing.  We see the Mueller hearing as an inflection point, a watershed, whatever you want to call it.  It was the moment when Robert Mueller said Donald Trump has not been exonerated, Donald Trump has -- there is significant evidence, ten counts in his report.  We went over five in the committee hearing of evidence of obstruction of justice.  We went through each of those.  And Robert Mueller clearly said that these are serious issues, election interference.

We didn`t deal with that one as much.  That was really the Intel committee, but that hearing was also very compelling.  And so I think we have what we need in front of us.  Now what we did in the court filing is we said we are using -- we are asserting our highest article one powers which includes consideration of articles of impeachment.  So there you go, no flare, no bang but we are in the midst of the impeachment process.

HAYES:  Another thing that I think just tipped over to Majority Caucus support in the House is the Medicare for all legislation which you`re author of, co-sponsor of, sponsor of.  You have an op-ed today responding to what you felt like were misleading things that were said in the debates about Medicare for all.  What does it mean I guess that half the caucus is now on that bill?

JAYAPAL:  Well, I think it`s just once again shows that this bill, this idea Medicare-for-all, this plan, 120-page plan in our House bill, Bernie Sanders bill in the Senate, this has tremendous support.  Remember, Chris, that we have now had for the first time in the history of the House of Representatives three hearings in the House of Representatives.

We have an unprecedented labor coalition.  The polling is actually -- you know, one of the things I take on in the article is a lot of the myths and misrepresentations that are out there.  People say oh the polling goes down, people want to keep their private insurance, people love their private insurance.  No, that`s just not true.

People don`t love their private insurance.  What they love is their doctor and their hospital.  And so once you say in the poll, if you could keep your doctor or hospital, would you support leaving the private insurance.  And then the numbers go up higher than even before.

HAYES:  OK, but that`s the -- first of all, you can`t guarantee you`re going to keep your doctor in hospital, right, because doctors change and they might -- I mean, in some ways it`s a promise no one can keep.

JAYAPAL:  No, no, no.  But that`s the whole point.  With the current private insurance plan, every time you move a plan which means you lose a job, you gain a job, whatever happens, you have a different insurance plan, you have to see whether that plan has your doctor or hospital right?

HAYES:  Yes, correct.

JAYAPAL:  With Medicare for all, that would not be the case because there is no in-network or out-of-network hospital or doctor.

HAYES:  There`s no such thing as networks.

JAYAPAL:  Right.  And so what you have is a consistency where you do keep your -- now, I suppose if your doctor retired, they decided not to practice anymore, sure.

HAYES:  Yes, that`s what all I mean.  Like your hospital might shut down.  No one can tell you with a straight face that they can predict the future about what your health care is going to be like.  That`s my only point.

JAYAPAL:  Well, but that`s -- I don`t know that that`s true.  What we`re saying is the prediction is you will have stable health insurance, guaranteed health insurance, and the doctors and hospitals that you like are no longer decided by a private insurance company, right.  You have more choice.

You don`t have a surprise billing where you suddenly go to the hospital for an emergency cancer treatment or surgery or whatever it is and then -- now literally I just heard this from a constituent yesterday, stories all the time, a $40,000 bill.  What are you supposed to do?

In my op-ed in the Washington Post, Chris, I mentioned that half a million people filed for bankruptcy in one year because of medical costs.  I mean, the most popular health insurance plan is GoFundMe.

So I think that when we talk about this vision, we have to understand that this is a healthcare crisis.  And we have to talk about the current situation before we talk about -- and what people are paying right now average of $20,000, if you have employer health $28,000 for that plan.

HAYES:  Let me just say this.  I`m just going to say this as a final -- as a final note.  I`ve covered two huge healthcare fights, two huge ones, the ACA and attempting to repeal the ACA.  And all I will say is that it`s much harder to change things than to keep things.

That is -- the one thing I have noticed in the -- this is just indubitably the politics of the thing.  It`s a harder thing to change the status quo than to keep the status quo and the people that learn that the most are the Republican Party that thought they had this in the bag with unified control of government and took two different runs at repealing the ACA which used to be unpopular and found out that actually, the status quo went out.  Congressman Pramila Jayapal --

JAYAPAL:  Yes, but here`s the -- here`s the big difference, Chris.  I mean, they didn`t have a plan that they were proposing when they were but repealing.  They had nothing to replace it with.

HAYES:  They did.  It was just bad.

JAYAPAL:  Well, it wasn`t really a plan.  I mean, they just have been stripping care away and I think you got a look at how good -- you know, how we have to have a vision so that we can provide universal health care for everyone.

HAYES:  All right, Congressman Pramila Jayapal, thank you very much.

JAYAPAL:  Thank you.

HAYES:  Coming up, new evidence that of the a soft large underbelly of the Trump campaign that Democrats so far really failing to take advantage.  It`s the economy stupid.


HAYES:  The position of the Republican Party under President Barack Obama was to dramatically cut government spending, bring down deficits and austerity, austerity, austerity.  They did all that while we were in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression.  They pushed for, frankly, more misery and more tangible harm to people`s lives and less spending.  They also attacked the fed for doing too much to help the reeling economy.  So much so that when then Texas Governor Rick Perry ran for president back in 2011, he kind of implied he wanted to beat up the then chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke because his monetary policy was too loose.  Do you remember that?


RICK PERRY, FORMER GOVERNOR OF TEXAS:  If this guy prints more money, between now and the election, I don`t know what y`all would do to him in Iowa, but we`d -- we would treat him  pretty ugly down in Texas.


HAYES:  What is that?  You would treat him pretty ugly?

Rick Perry was not alone.  That same year, then businessman Donald Trump attacked the fed`s monetary policy, quote, "the fed`s reckless monetary policies will cause problems in the years to come.  The fed has to be reined in or we will soon be Greece."

In 2016, Donald Trump railed against the next chair of the fed, Janet Yellen, for keeping interest  rates low.


TRUMP:  Well, it`s staying at zero because she is obviously political.  And she is doing what Obama wants her to do.  And I know that`s not supposed to be the way it is.  But that`s why it`s low.


HAYES:  That`s not the way it`s supposed to be the way it is, says Donald Trump, until he gets into office.

We have seen President Donald Trump publicly and repeatedly brow beat the fed, and in this case possibly successfully, into cutting interest rates when unemployment is at record lows.  We`ve got the Republicans in power, and they pump a trillion dollars into the economy through tax cuts, and just today passed a budget deal  that, quote, raises spending by hundreds of billions of dollars.

And yet it looks like there is still enough slack in the economy for this all to be collectively working. 

Here with me now to talk the state of the economy, New York Times op-ed columnist David Leonhardt.  David, so here is my theory, Democrats are not asymmetrical in the way Republicans are, right.  When Democrats have a Republican in office, like, I think they kind of want fed rate cuts and they want spending on their priorities, or social spending, and they want unemployment to be low.  They don`t see themselves in the position of imposing austerity and tight money.

DAVID LEONHARDT, THE NEW YORK TIMES:  I think that`s right.  Look, I`m sure some Democratic voters, and politicians when they hear good news under a Republican president have a  little moment of ooh, does that mean he is going to be reelected?  But you phrase it exactly right, which is Democrats want government to do good things.  And so they`re happy to have the government doing good things, even when there is a Republican president.

When there is a Democratic president, Republicans both want to keep the government from spending, they`d rather just let rich people keep their money, and they want to keep the government from acting Keynesian.  But Republicans become much more Keynesian when there is a Republican in the White House.

HAYES:  The turn about on the fed is amazing.  I mean, they were going to beat him up.  They were going to lynch him.  We were going to be Greece.  We were going to be Zimbabwe.  Steven Moore, Donald Trump, Rick Perry, you name it, all of them.  And now they`re all collectively browbeating Powell into a rate cut.

LEONHARDT:  And to be clear, the way Donald Trump is behaving is completely different from what George W. Bush did.  I mean, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush were extremely honorable about how they dealt with the fed.  And Trump`s just throwing it out the window.

You know, the problem on these economic issues is it`s obviously hypocritical.  It`s gross, but at this point, it`s hard to even be surprised about it.

HAYES:  Yeah.

So we`ve got the trade war, a new trade war announcement today.  He is going to pose a 10 percent tariff on an additional $300 billion in Chinese goods in September.  Markets tanked on that.  That comes after the rate cut that he got.

Here is my theory on this, and this is maybe imputing too much, but Donald Trump is using the trade war as a fed that is located in the White House that he can then when he solves the trade war,  when he comes out and says we`ve got a great new deal, like it`s going to make the economy go up again.

LEONHARDT:  Yeah.  I mean, I would imagine there is part of that.

I mean, his theories on trade are just wrong, as my colleague Paul Krugman has been very good at explaining.

I think part of this is just he is instinctual rather than intellectual as a politician. 

But, look, you know, this is dangerous stuff.  Trade wars, you can`t just turn them on and off. And they take months to filter through the economy.  And we don`t really know what`s going happen here, but he`s playing with fire here.

HAYES:  You know, there is this idea that like, oh, the economy is so great and the top-line economic numbers are good.  Unemployment is low.  We are starting to finally see some real wage growth, particularly at the bottom.  But it was striking to me, this polling out of Michigan, this is the Detroit Chamber of Commerce, right, so not like -- this is not some sort of like lefty group.  Only 36 percent of people say the economy is better in the past three years, a third.  About almost two-thirds say worse or unchanged.  That suggests to me that people`s lived experience of this economy does not match the top-line numbers.

LEONHARDT:  Yeah, I mean, the national numbers are a little more optimistic than that.  The Gallup numbers, last time they did it, about 50 percent of Americans say their financial situation has gotten better, 30 percent say it`s gotten worse over the last year.  So I think that the short-term economic fluctuations in most places have been positive.  Maybe they`ve been a little worse in the upper Midwest which obviously matters.

HAYES:  They have been.  Yeah.

LEONHARDT:  They have been which, matters for presidential politics.

I still think the economy on net is short-term economy is a strength.  Long-term economy, people are really frustrated by how slow growing their wages have been for years.  They`re frustrated -- most Americans have a net worth that is no longer back to its pre-crisis high.

And so I think in terms of the long-term issues the Democrats have a real opportunity here.  That`s why you see most voters favoring a wealth tax, higher minimum wage, bigger Medicare.

What I worry about, and I think you worry about it as well based on your last segment with the congresswoman, which is it is very easy for the Democrats to get on the side of public opinion on the economy here.  But they`re overreaching.  Most Americans don`t want private health insurance to be  banned.  Most Americans do not want the border to be decriminalized.  And there are so many ways that the Democrats can be on the side of public opinion here.  They really should be more careful.  About going beyond it. 

HAYES:  David Leonhardt, thanks for being here.  Appreciate it.

Still ahead, the real world implications of the president trafficking in conspiracies of the deep state in tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.


HAYES:  Thing One tonight, we have a new UN ambassador, a serious position that`s held  been held by some true heavyweights -- Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Madeleine Albright, even George H.W. Bush, to name a few.  And then Trump got elected and appointed Nikki Haley, who gave the job some real shine.


TRUMP:  I think she`s helped make it a much better position, if you want to know the truth.  I mean, she has made it a very glamorous position.  She has made it a more -- more importantly, a more important position.


HAYES:  After Haley quit, Trump wanted former Fox News anchor and State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, who on an official trip to Saudi Arabia with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to talk about the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, posted this smiley touristy photo of herself on Instagram in the capital city of Riyadh.

Now, though, the search is over.  Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted out yesterday, the Senate just confirmed POTUS`s impressive nominee for the critical role of U.S. UN ambassador.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  A native Kentuckian, Kelly Craft.  How are you?

KELLY CRAFT, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UN:  Hey, I am great.  I`m so happy that you are here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You probably, as part of your job, work and talk a lot with Justin Trudeau, the very handsome Canadian prime minister who everybody swoons over in America.

What is he like?  Is he as charming in real life as he seems on television?

CRAFT:  He is.  He is very charming.  He is very smart.  He is all about the Canadians.  He reminds me a lot of our president as far as he really looks after the working class people here.


HAYES:  UN ambassador Kelly Knight Craft is Thing Two in 60 seconds.


HAYES:  Kelly Knight Craft was confirmed as our new ambassador to the United Nations yesterday, a nominee described by the Democrats on the Senate foreign relations committee as having, quote, neither the experience nor the skill set to represent U.S. interests or challenge the world`s most seasoned diplomats on the global stage.

But it helped that she is from Kentucky, which is the home of majority leader Mitch McConnell who vouched for her early on.  Also helped that she and her husband, the billionaire coal magnet Joe Craft focused their dollars on reelecting McConnell in the 2014 cycle, donating more than $1.6 million since 2011 to Republicans.  Joe Craft even kicked in a million dollars to Trump`s inauguration. 

And so the coal baron`s wife, Kelly Knight Craft, will now represent the United States on the world stage at the UN.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Do you, yourself, believe in climate change?

CRAFT:  I believe are signs on both sides that are accurate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You believe that there is science that proves that there is -- man is not causing climate change?

CRAFT:  Well, I think that both sides have their own results from their studies, and I appreciate and I respect both sides of the science.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What happened last night at in UN when the Chinese nationalists, who were voted out, is perhaps the most important event in the history of the United Nations.

It means that Communist China, the most populous country in the world, will be able to join the UN, and the Chinese today are hinting that they will come in and soon.


HAYES:  On October 25th, 1971, the United Nations voted to admit the Communist People`s Republic of China into the UN and expel Taiwan from the body.  The extremely controversial and important vote was opposed by the Nixon administration, who wanted to keep their ally Taiwan in the United Nations and keep Communist China out. 

Well, after furious lobbying, the U.S. lost that vote, which is a huge deal, covered wall to wall on network  television.  Among the images shown were celebrations in the UN General Assembly from countries that supported China over Taiwan.  And that was apparently enough to enrage none other than Ronald Reagan, then the governor of California, who picked up the phone to give President Richard Nixon some incredibly offensive thoughts.


RONALD REAGAN, 40TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Last night after watching that thing on television, as I did.


REAGAN:  To see those people from African countries -- damn them, they`re still uncomfortable wearing shoes.

NIXON: (LAUGHING) Well, and then they -- the tail wags the dog there, doesn`t it?

REAGAN:  Yeah.

NIXON:  The tail wags the dog.


HAYES:  You can tell by the hearty belly laugh Nixon gives Reagan in response to him calling African diplomats monkeys who just learned to wear shoes, he didn`t seem shocked or disgusted by that little racist rant, no, in fact Nixon loved Reagan`s material so much he picked up the phone and repeated the sentiment to his secretary of state.


NIXON:  I, for example, just had a call from Reagan, California.  And, you know, he`s been out there and so forth.  And as you can imagine, there`s strong feeling that we just shouldn`t -- as he said, he saw these cannibals on television last night and they weren`t even wearing shoes.  And he says here the United States is going submit its fate to that, and so forth and so on.

And, you know, but that`s typical of a reaction, which is probably quite strong.


HAYES:  Yeah, just focus grouping Ronald Reagan as like what the reaction is in the country.

Reagan`s racist sentiment didn`t die on the phone with Nixon, it was repeated and spread  throughout the administration.  The only reason we know about the call between Reagan and Nixon now is just because it was just released by the National Archives, thanks to a Nixon historian who reported on this new tape for The Atlantic discovering that, quote, "when the National Archives originally  released the tape of this conversation back in 2000, the racist portion was apparently withheld apparently to protect Reagan`s privacy."

So, for almost 20 years we didn`t have this pretty important piece of information about how Ronald Reagan thought about the world.

Ronald Reagan, the sainted conservative hero, who`s largely responsible for popularizing the term and concept of the welfare queen.  We have had tapes of Nixon saying extremely racist things for years.  He was also a notorious and vile anti-Semite.

And it`s not just these two men, the racial politics of the post-Goldwater conservative movement have been pretty bad for decades before Trump ever got into the White House.  The old two-step was these kind of things, the things Reagan and Nixon said, were said behind the scenes and they used code out in public.

Donald Trump, well, he just tweets it all out.  As presidential candidate Marianne Williamson called it two nights ago, that is the dark psychic force of Trumpism.


MARIANNE WILLIAMSON, 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  This is part of the dark  underbelly of American society.  The racism, the bigotry and the entire conversation that we`re having here tonight.  If you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the  collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I`m afraid the Democrats are going to see some very dark days.


HAYES:  That line got some chuckles and some eye rolls at Tuesday night`s debate, but it`s probably as good a description of the core of Trumpism as anything.

It really is not an overstatement to say when the president stands before a crowd and incites it to chant "send her back" as he did his last rally, or when his fans get up in the faces of the media and scream the Nazi term for the lying press.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That`s what`s you are, lungenpresse


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I don`t know if I said it right, but...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You said it right.  That`s right.


HAYES:  Lungenpresse, yeah, a normal thing to say.

Or when Trump traffics in dark conspiracies of the deep state and his followers fall down the deranged and dangerous rabbit hole of the Q Anon conspiracy, when Donald Trump does that he is quite literally drawing from the well of the worst, most dangerous impulses that humans have in politics.

And I think it`s kind of important to remember that, that those are the stakes of what our politics are at this moment.  Does this darkness continue to be stoked by the most powerful man in the world or not? 

I`m joined now by Sam Seder, MSNBC contributor and host of the Majority Report podcast, co-host of the Ring of Fire radio show; and Michael Steele, MSNBC political analyst and former chair of the RNC.

You know, Sam, the president had a rally again tonight and it was insane to me to see not wrongly as a news cycle, the news cycle of will the racist president incite the mobs at his rally to chant racist things tonight as a full daily-long story that was really sort of an open question.

SAM SEDER, HOST, MAJORITY REPORT:  Yeah, well, a legitimate question.

I mean, you know, and I think my answer would probably be probably.  And if it`s not going to be tonight, it will be in a week from now or two weeks from now or three weeks from now.

I mean, it always gets back to me to those who have enabled him, really enabled him.  And, you know, I think he`s been able to tap into something, but I think it was there on the -- just below the surface. 

I mean, look, this has always been with us.  Lyndon Johnson knew this was going to be a problem 50 some odd years ago.  But I think we`re also in the late stages of like a change in the country where there are actually people, white men, frankly, who are losing social status, and I think they`re also under a significant economic pressure, and the social status is one of the few things that they actually have some control  over.

You know, they don`t have as much control over the economic stuff, because that`s a function of what our government does, and they don`t get that.  But in a daily life, you can try and maintain your social status, and keep yourself centered in a world.

HAYES:  You know, Michael, we just covered at the top that Will Hurd, one of only a few African-American members of the Republican Party in congress, is retiring.  And not just him, Mike Conaway is retiring who is in a very safe seat.  Martha Roby is in a safe seat in Alabama.  And I do wonder, I mean, it`s not fun to be in the minority, but I also wonder how much of it is like I don`t want to carry water for this guy anymore?

MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER RNC CHAIRMAN:  Oh, I think that`s a lot of it.  It becomes too much.  It becomes a burden that eats at your very dignity.  I mean, you find yourself out here standing in front of a bank of cameras trying to explain the inexplicable, trying to make excuse and to dodge and to weave and after a fashion it becomes too much, Chris, and I think particularly for someone like Will Hurd, the only African-American Republican in the United States Congress who has the largest border to Mexico in his congressional district of any member of congress, lacking the kind of support on this issue that he`s gone to the leadership.  He`s gone to the party and said we cannot stay in the space that`s being created by the president.

HAYES:  Yes.

STEELE:  It becomes too much.  And he decides I`m not doing this anymore.  And it`s unfortunate.  We`ve lost a good public servant.  And we`ve lost for the party someone who could have been the kind of standard bearer that we at least idealize and talk about. 

But, you know, he`s going to do something else now.

HAYES:  You know, when Williamson said that line, it sort of stuck in my head, right, dark psychic force, because I do think there`s a degree to which -- and this got lost I think little bit in the debates, partly because they`re talking about things they disagree with and not things they agree with -- but when there is a nominee in the Democratic Party, a huge part of the message is going to be like let`s not be there.  Let`s not be this.  Let`s pull ourselves back from this.  And I think that that is getting lost in the primary, but I think going to be central, it has to be central to the Democratic Party message.

SEDER:  I mean I think so, but I don`t know.

HAYES:  You disagree with that?

SEDER:  Well, I don`t know if I disagree with it necessarily, but I`m not sure that telling people is going to be enough.  I mean, sometimes you need to show.  Like, you know, I think the idea is that -- I happen to believe that this is not going to go away until it dies.  And I don`t think it`s going die.  I mean I don`t think this is Donald Trump`s doing.

I think Donald Trump is as much of a product of what`s happening out amongst his constituency  as -- it`s not going just one way.

HAYES:  No, it goes both ways.  I think it goes both ways.

And so I guess my point is that appealing to people and saying, hey, you don`t really like Donald Trump is not going to work.  They know what they like.

HAYES:  Right, but most people don`t like him.

SEDER:  Well, that may be the case, but they may like other things less.

HAYES:  Well, that is the fear, right?  I mean, that`s the question.  And that to me, Michael, is why it is going to be so ugly is that his own people and everyone doesn`t think there`s a lot more new Trump voters out there, right?

STEELE:  Well, yeah.

HAYES:  They view it as they`re going to try to win with 46 percent again.  And what that means is they have to drive down whoever is on the other side as much as possible.

STEELE:  Yeah.  Strap in, baby, because this is beyond a bumpy ride coming up.  This is going to reach new depths.  There are more bottoms to hit.

To Sam`s point, yeah, the president may behave himself tonight and may try to hush the crowd if they do -- probably has passed the word from the campaign, let`s not do the chant thing tonight because everyone is watching.  But he`s right, it will happen again.  It will be encouraged further on down the line.  And that, again, speaks to who we are as people when we allow that to happen.

SEDER:  And I would just say, you know, to make sure that that other thing is not less liked than Donald Trump, the Democrats have to move forward and actually show a different vision I think of what America could be rather than just say we don`t want to be that.

HAYES:  Michael Steele and Sam Seder, thank you for joining me.  That is ALL IN for this evening.  "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now with Joy Reid in for Rachel.  Good evening, Joy.