The Buffalo gunman was inspired by the same racist ideology that is pushed by right-wing politicians and media. The shooter killed 10 people and wounded three others at the Tops Friendly Markets store in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo. Tomorrow is a massive primary election day in Pennsylvania where voters face candidates on the Republican side who are still trying to overthrow the election. Leading Democratic Senate primary candidate and current Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman revealed he suffered a stroke due to an irregular heartbeat over the weekend.
MATTHEW DOWD, POLITICAL PUNDIT AND CONSULTANT: For anybody running anywhere.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Yes, you would think they would just say, this Republican Party is way too extreme y`all. They`re not -- they don`t have - - what solutions do they have to any of our problems. They`re just way, way, way too extreme. But we will leave that to them and see if they figure it out.
Matthew Dowd, thank you, my friend. I appreciate you. ALL IN WITH --
DOWD: Thanks, Joy.
REID: Thank you. ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES starts now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voiceover): Tonight on ALL IN. A supermarket in upstate New York joins a synagogue in Pittsburgh and a church in South Carolina in the long continuum of White supremacist violence in America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re not just hurting, we`re angry. We`re mad. This shouldn`t have happened.
HAYES: Tonight, Jelani Cobb and Heather McGee on the search for answers in Buffalo. And now the same racism behind this attack now dominates the American right. And Nick Confessore on how the rights biggest mouthpiece drives that racist agenda.
And just hours from polls opening and Pennsylvania, will pictures of a Republican candidate marching next to Proud Boys on January 6 help or hurt her. And the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor joins me live when ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. We start this week in mourning and in shock after the brutal and sadistic murders of 10 people in a Buffalo supermarket over the weekend. They were victims of a single shooter and has gotten a poisonous vision of America. The racist ideas espoused in the shooters white nationalist manifesto that the wrong kind of people, non-white people, non-Christian people are coming into this country to replace so-called White Judeo Christian values.
Now, this vile racist conspiracy theory is as old as time. And the oldest fight in this country is the fight about who the we in we the people are. Who counts as a real American? And on one side, there is a vision of America as a pluralistic society across lines of language, race, and culture, and religion, all of us bound together by collective self- determination in the American creed. And on the opposite side is the idea of America as a white man`s Republic.
And we fought this fight in words, in politics, and on the battlefield over and over throughout our country`s history. I have to say that 10 or 20 years ago, and this is anecdotal observation, I don`t know if it`s right, but it felt like there was some kind of enduring consensus even among politicians who pushed destructive racist policies like mass incarceration.
There was a consensus to at least pay lip service to that former idea, right, that that`s the guiding ethos, we are in fact, a pluralistic, multiracial, multi-ethnic society. And to be clear, the impact of those destructive policies wasn`t in any way diminish by the softened rhetoric that people pushing it. But it was nevertheless, a kind of agreement rhetorically.
Worth noting, for instance, that a president like George HW Bush, a Republican who won the White House on the back of that racist Willie Horton ad, fear-mongering about a dangerous Black man still felt as though it was necessary to denounce the former KKK leader David Duke when he was vying to become the next Republican governor of Louisiana, back in 1991.
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GEORGE HW BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`ve encouraged anything to help David Duke go away. His message of bigotry and his racism is bad. It`s bad for this country. It transcends politics. And it`s so thinly veiled is to be really deeply ugly.
And to the degree I have anything to say about the machinery of the Republican Party, I will say that it is fairly used to negate the influence of somebody who brings this kind of racial and bigotry -- race prejudice and bigotry to the political scene.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: But even that sort of professed respectability, right, this distance from that worldview started disappear a few years ago. It was June 16, 2015 that Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign. And he launched it by accusing Mexican immigrants, the nation of Mexico in a sort of conspiratorial fashion of sending criminals and rapists, right?
And Trump`s message was clear. Immigrants are destroying our way of life. We need to build a wall to keep them out. It was actually just one day later -- I had forgotten this, but it was one day later on June 17 that a white supremacist brought a gun to Mother Emanuel church in Charleston, South Carolina and murdered nine Black churchgoers after they invited him in to pray.
He later said the massacre was on behalf of his fellow white Americans. And to be clear, those two events are not directly related, but they are both examples of this line of thought that is now indisputably ascendant. The racist point of view that inspired the shootings in Buffalo and in Charleston also inspired a gunman to murder 11 and wound three more to synagogue in Pennsylvania in 2018, and another to kill nearly two dozen people and injured nearly two dozen more at a Texas Walmart less than a year later.
It`s the same ideology, frankly, explicitly stated behind the marauders who took to the streets of Charlottesville in the campus of the University of Virginia back in 2017 chanting infamously, Jews will not replace us. And the message was heard loud and clear when Donald Trump defended them as "very fine people," even as one of them murdered a woman during the protest.
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DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I do think there`s blame -- yes, I think there`s blame on both sides. You had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group -- excuse me. Excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of to them a very, very important statue.
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HAYES: That`s important there that like very fine slicing a reality, right? Well, there`s the really bad ones, but the ones who just wanted to protest to take down the Robert E. Lee`s statue. Now, in the post-Trump world, the ubiquity of this racist messaging, this vision of the country belonging to some set of Republican -- of Americans, white Americans, right, is only growing on the right.
And you can hear it on any given night on Fox News, especially for Tucker Carlson, who has dedicated segment after segment of this show, to the dangers of immigration, the idea that they want to take your country away from you, that they are going to make it dirtier here.
And it`s become practically gospel among the dangerous far-right pro-caucus in Congress. Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida has pushed the line, as have Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona who pushed for so-called America first caucus, which as Punchbowl news reports, was linked to a document that argued American culture is "strengthened by a common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions."
Now, Greene and Gosar tried to distance themselves from the document, but they also both appeared at a white nationalist conference organized by a right-wing extremist who has publicly cast doubt on the Holocaust. The event`s website even contains a bold header on its main page reading, "Our country is being destroyed. We`re trying to save it."
Now, many Republicans will say that the views of the party`s fringe do not represent them as a whole. But that does not explain why Elise Stefanik, a member of party leadership, the third most powerful Republican in the House ascending to that role with the backing of Donald Trump ran an ad last year winning "radical Democrats are planning their most aggressive move yet, a permanent election insurrection. Their plan to grant amnesty to 11 million illegal immigrants will overthrow our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington."
That had resurrected over the weekend in light of Saturday`s horrific shooting. And while Stefanik herself issued the usual condolences, today, her spokesperson issued a statement in which she again raised the specter of outside forces overtaking American democracy, saying Congresswoman "opposes mass amnesty for illegal immigrants and Joe Biden`s wide open border."
The border isn`t wide open. She opposes giving illegal immigrants the right to vote which New York Democrat support and have made legal in New York City. OK, fine, there`s debate about immigration policy. That`s perfectly fine. That`s not what`s going on in that ad. This view fundamentally is everywhere in the Republican Party among the fringe and the establishment alike.
And again, honestly, it`s the view that animated the January 6 insurrection, the racist idea that fake Americans, the wrong Americans, not real Americans, those Americans, the usurpers, the invaders, the replacers have taken what`s rightfully ours. It used to be a view that at least publicly was relegated to fringe message boards and right-wing talk radio, not quite something a member of the establishment in good standing could just stand up and espouse publicly. But it is now increasingly the dominant view.
And inevitably, violence flows from that. When people`s hearts are so twisted by racism and hatred and paranoid obsession their country is being stolen, taken away, what do I do? They begin to justify violence, murder, radicalized terrorists is the only solution. And again, to be clear, I don`t think anyone has just mentioned is intentionally inciting violence or mass murder. That`s not really the point.
Because even if the violence doesn`t happen, even if this weekend had not borne witness to mass murder in a grocery store the shooter traveled to because the Black people there, even if that not had not happened, it is still the case that this vile zero-sum view of American life so popular right now ascended in one of our two major party coalition`s is completely poisonous and incompatible, the division of a country that we all share together.
Jelani Cobb has covered the connections between mass shootings and white supremacy extensively as a staff writer for The New Yorker. He is also the newly appointed Dean of the Columbia University School of Journalism. And he joins me now. It`s great to have you here.
JELANI COBB, DEAN, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM: Thank you.
HAYES: You and I, I think we were on the streets of Charleston together.
COBB: That`s right.
HAYES: I was talking to you in Charleston. And I have read your writing on this. This is what you wrote. This is after El Paso in 2019. I just want to read this. "The allege El Paso shooter screed bears resemblance to Trump`s rhetoric, particularly in the martial description of undocumented people as an invasion. If the immediate convert conversation in the aftermath of El Paso has tended towards the excessively weapons of war in civilian life, the word invasion becomes even more telling. We are not the killer seem to be telling us living in peacetime. An the AK 47 is a tool created to address enemy invasions."
The sense of existential peril is once again at the core here.
COBB: It is. It`s astounding on multiple levels. You know, for one, we`ve just seen this kind of right-wing attack on the 1619 Project. But if there`s anything that can be taken from that, it`s the fact that Black people have been in this country since 1696, since before it was actually a country. And so, the idea that somehow, you know, African Americans a party to replacing anyone is ironic.
Now, we`re going to be realistic about this. The population of this country is about between one and two percent Native American. They were 100 percent of the population of North America at the time of contact. If it`s anyone that hasn`t language about replacement, it is in fact what white Europeans did to the indigenous population of these lands. That`s the great replacement that we have to grapple with in the history of this country.
And in a final kind of point of this is that the rhetoric is being used to gin people up just to the cusp of these kinds of actions, but not even plausible deniability. Now, it`s implausible deniability, just a fig leaf that people present, knowing full well there`s no way we can say at this point that we don`t know that there is a relationship between this kind of inflammatory, incendiary rhetoric and the actions that we`re seeing manifest again and again, again, again.
HAYES: Yes, I wonder to like your read on this sort of rhetorical trajectory, because I always want to check myself as I am now 43 years old, and I`ve been covering politics for 20 years, and always has a tendency of like, in my day, you know. And obviously, there`s, you know, tremendous amounts of intensity racialized, you know, scapegoating that happened, you know, the crack baby stuff, right?
HAYES: It does though feel to me like there has been some set of taboos that were erected, where it was like our consensus view of the American project, at least in what we espouse is that it is a creedal nation, multi ethnic and pluralistic, that even that feels directly under assault by one of the two major parties and it`s -- and it`s rhetorical forces in a way it didn`t before. And I wonder if you feel that way, too.
COBB: I do. But I also think going back to Derrick Bell, you know, who has been castigated. He was the legal scholar whose thinking is behind critical race theory. He always argued that that kind of consensus was a product of the Cold War. That the United States was simply embarrassed in the world stage to have these kinds of knuckle-dragging racists using rhetoric that could then be turned against the United States and foreign relations.
And absent any kind of credible concern about international opinion, there`s really no reason that you can`t indulge the kind of, you know, horrific, terrible inflammatory language that was a staple of American life in the 1950s and before.
HAYES: We also have, you know, increasingly, I think, just this sort of sense of you`re always one skip throw away from these sort of extremely fringe figures in mainstream politics. Wendy Rogers who`s a actual state senator in Arizona, and I think notoriously probably the most sort of extremist, right-wing fringe elected official in America, I think it would be fair to say. You know, she immediately posted on Gab, calling it a false flag, essentially insinuating that fed boys summer has started in Buffalo.
There`s always this -- you saw this on January 6. There`s also this very strange reaction of when the violence or event comes that flows from your ideology that it must be staged.
COBB: Right. Yes, there`s that too. You know, and then it leads down the path of even more increasingly untenable arguments. I mean, we saw that in Sandy Hook, we`ve seen that in multiple other instances where, you know, it does verges on the point of absolute lunacy. But that hasn`t stopped anything.
You know, we have seen the rhetoric around January 6 go from outrage. I mean, if we just -- look at Kevin McCarthy. You know, the privately voiced concern versus the public, you know, defense nearly or at least downplaying of the gravity of what was happening. And the problem that I think that this gets to is the fundamental lack of concern about self-preservation.
And I don`t mean this in the sort of like white racial paranoia sense. I mean, in the sense of democracy. Democracy at its strongest is still a fragile system. And if you erode support for this by even saying that your opponents are illegitimate, what you do is erode support in the system that makes it possible to have a peaceful civil society at all.
And as I say -- often say that these are extremely dangerous points and that the racism -- if you don`t care about Black people, if you don`t care about anti-Semitism, if you don`t care about Latinos, fine. But just understand that the biggest war in this country, 720,000 people died over the question of who belongs.
If you don`t care about anyone else, recognize that the volatility of this language can come back and negatively impact your life too.
HAYES: That`s really important point. Jelani Cobb, it`s wonderful to have you here. Congratulations on new good gig. I wish we were talking about something less awful. But it`s great to see you in person.
COBB: Thank you.
HAYES: Up next --
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SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Fox News and their hosts need to actually stop spreading dangerous ideas like replacement theory on their shows.
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HAYES: Their most popular host on cable, the racist vile he pedals to his viewers --
HAYES: If you do not consume a lot of conservative media, it can be easy to underestimate just how much it is pumping a particular dark conspiracy interviewers minds hour after hour, day in day out. One of those prominent conservative hosts with one of the largest platforms is pushing the racist idea that white people are under threat of extinction and of course it is all a Democratic plot.
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TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS: The Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters from the third world.
In political terms, this policy is called the great replacement, the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from faraway countries. It is the secret to the entire immigration debate. Demographic change is the key to the Democratic Party`s political ambitions. They`re trying to change the population of the United States. And they hate it when you say that because it`s true.
That the country is being stolen from American citizens as we watch no words.
You`re being replaced, and there`s nothing you could do about it. So, shut up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Fox News host Tucker Carlson has been talking about this against so- called great replacement theory for a long time. It is the same at its root extreme ideology that motivated the gunman in Buffalo, New York who murdered 10 people at a grocery store this weekend.
But just to be clear, and I`ve seen people talk about great replacement, this is not -- there`s not some like new theory here. It`s just the same garbage that people have been spewing for literally hundreds of years, just plain, dirty racism. There`s nothing like particularly complicated or sophisticated about it theoretically.
As reporter Nick Confessore wrote recently in the New York Times in part of a one of a three-part series about Tucker Carlson titled American Nationalist, Carlson "has constructed what may be the most racist show in the history of cable news.
And joining me now is Nick Confessore, a political investigative reporter in New York Times and a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine. It`s good to have you here. That line there I think is actually key to this whole thing, the more obedient voters. Because to me, like that`s actually the -- that`s the ideological tell. That it`s not -- I mean, it is frankly racist or supremacist in that, like, these are deficient. These other people, they are just worse. They`re more obedient, they`re dirtier, etcetera.
NICK CONFESSORE, POLITICAL INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Right. I mean, the themes on the show that repeat over and over again, dirtiness, disease, they`re coming for you. And the themes are very explicit in the sense that his language is very direct. The Elite hates you and wants to destroy you. Our civilization is at stake. It`s very pessimistic.
I mean, in reality, America is incredibly good at creating Americans. It`s what we do best. We`ve been doing it for 20 plus years. But in this ideology, as it`s always been, the most recent arrivals are the ones you can`t trust, you can`t be made Americans, who are dangerous will mess the whole thing up.
HAYES: One point in your reporting that I think is -- again, and it gets back to the thesis I was saying in the a blog about like, there are these battling conceptions of who a real American is and they`ve gone back and forth in the different camps, right? That, you know, you have the people that are the actual explicit storm front white nationalists to immediately recognize the rhetoric they see on Tucker show as theirs.
Inside the apocalyptic worldview Tucker Carlson Tonight, you write, white nationalist celebrate Mr. Collins message in success. Does he actually believe in white nationalism, asked our Derek Black, a former white nationalist who has disavowed the movement. It doesn`t really matter, he said, because Mr. Carlson is using the same rhetoric. Having those popular cable news hosts directly pulling from their talking points make them feel like wow, we must be right.
CONFESSORE: I mean, what`s so ironic and tragic about this is the far-right white nationalists are a small group. They`re pretty manageable, and they can be violent and deadly, but they`re marginal American life for the most part. And Carlson sells a similar set of ideas to a much bigger audience, and they delight in this for the most part.
Some are jealous of him. There`s a -- there`s kind of a weird part of this that I think he`s ripping them off but most of them celebrate that he`s doing what they cannot do. He is sanding down the parts of their message and using his skills as a presenter, which are formidable, to sell them on the basic idea to sell a broader or even the basic idea that people who are not like you are going to take away and destroy what you have.
HAYES: And that there`s also -- and this is where I think the -- you see this in some of the writing in the manifesto, but you also saw it in, in trio -- in the Tree of Life shooter, right? It`s not just a battle between these two forces. There`s this third nefarious force, often quoted as the Jews, explicitly and in the case of these shooters in the Tree of Life, right, and sometimes referred to in more polite societies as like the Soros agenda, which is that these globalists are doing this from afar. They`re the ones doing the replacement. So, it`s like both the immigrants and the non-white folks and then these folks at the top.
CONFESSORE: That`s right. In the middle right, so to speak, you`ll see versions of this where George Soros is funding the resettlement of refugees. So, he`s -- again, it`s a sanded-down version of it. It`s less explicit. And some ingredients that we saw in Buffalo where the shooter talked about how Black people are replacers and cast them as aliens in this -- who don`t belong here, that has gone away with, right? You don`t see that on Fox.
CONFESSORE: What you end up with is the faceless immigrant blob, right? The people who are coming, the invaders.
HAYES: I can`t stress enough for people that don`t watch this. And one of the things I think that is very good about your reporting, which is a very deeply reported piece and then also just you know, chapter and verse thousands of hours like, just how frankly dehumanizing the whole rhetoric particularly around immigrants is, but also about inner city areas, you know, urban violence etcetera.
It`s just this like -- it`s like -- they talk about them like animal. I mean, like, the B roll, all of it, it`s like these creatures are like a zombie invasion just like constantly showing like refuse that`s left behind at the border, these big wide shots of people walking. No one`s ever like talk to -- you know, there`s never like -- you never get like the mom is holding a kid like, why are you fleeing Honduras? Well, because my -- all of that is gone. It`s completely dehumanizing.
CONFESSORE: Right. The B roll is always people committing violence, garbage trash. Again, it`s very visual, it`s very direct. Now, if you watch Carlson show, he will say I don`t condone violence, but those people do over there. He`ll say, I`m a follower of MLK. We can`t judge people on the basis of their skin color. And then, we`ll go on to talk about how immigrants make America dirty.
He has it both ways, because as you point out in your opening, it`s impossible now to say I`m a racist and be in the mainstream. It`s not 50s- 40s
HAYES: I got to say, we`re getting there. I mean, I think.
CONFESSORE: Like, a minimum condition is you have to cast the other people as the real racist.
CONFESSORE: And that`s, of course, something Tucker does very, very well on his show.
HAYES: What are your reporting indicate about that sort of how this interacts with what the messaging of Republican politics conservative movement more broadly is? Because I do think there`s like an interplay there. I mean, you see it like in the case of JD Vance where it`s like, he was the, you know, now nominee in Ohio for that Republican seat where it`s like he needed to win that primary. To win the primary, he needed Trump`s endorsement. To get Trump`s endorsement, he went on Tucker. Tucker put them on a lot. And all those dominoes fell. Like, it`s kind of a monoculture over there.
CONFESSORE: It`s all the same thing. Let`s remember that. So, Congressman Stefanik can see in her focus groups and pollings, and the returns and digital prospecting. The same thing in that Carlson sees in his ratings. He can see that this message, pressing these buttons juices you. It gets you more money. It gets you more retweets, more likes, gets you more ratings.
They understand that if they can go downstream over the really rancid version of these ideas far enough, they can find a version that has some deniability, but has that essential power that we`re talking about here. There`s this other group, they`re coming to take my stuff. That`s a very old human desire.
CONFESSORE: It`s not a new thing. Replacement Theory and by other names is an ancient, you know, kind of emotion for for humans. But it`s the same game. They`re turning up the dial, they`re looking for engagement. It`s either money, or it`s ratings, or its likes and retweets, but it`s the same basic thing.
HAYES: Yes. I mean, I`ve long since fallen away from my Catholic upbringing, but I still am animated by the idea that you`re going to have to answer for what you do on this earth Sunday. Not everyone lives that way. Nick Confessore, thank you very much.
CONFESSORE: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: From extremists on TV, to extremists on the ballot, the major Republican candidates in Pennsylvania who were right there on January 6. Next.
HAYES: So, one of the ways to address what we are seeing before us in this country at this moment in Buffalo and beyond is at the ballot box. Now, tomorrow is a massive primary election day in Pennsylvania where voters face with candidates on the Republican side who are still trying to overthrow the election.
Kathy Barnette is the surging candidate for Senate that is so extreme even Donald Trump and Fox News are trying to take her out saying she`s not electable. And now, NBC News has verified these images of Barnette seen here in the gray hat and code marching to the Capitol on January 6.
Now, this picture shows Barnett marching next to two Proud Boys who are later charged with forcing their way through police barricades and into the Capitol. In fact, several Proud Boys including group leader were charged with conspiring to stop, delay, and hinder the certification of the Electoral College.
Barnette`s campaign denied that she participated in or supported any destruction of property, adding "she has no connection whatsoever to the Proud Boys. Now, earlier this evening, Fox News`s Bret Baier asked Barnett about those pictures next to the Proud Boys and what else happened that day.
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BRET BAIER, ANCHOR, FOX NEWS: First of all, did you go into the Capitol and how do you talk about that day?
KATHY BARNETTE (R-PA) SENATE CANDIDATE: Well, first of all, allow me to correct you. I was not with the Proud Boys. I was out there because I wanted to hear what the president had to say.
BAIER: And just to clarify, you didn`t go into the Capitol the day.
BARNETTE: I said, I sang, I prayed, I listen to my President walked and then got on the bus and came home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: OK, just -- if you`re thinking when I`m thinking, like, that`s not a denial. I sang, I pray, I listened to my president. I walked and then I get on the bus and came home. That is definitely not a denial of entering the Capitol.
Now, then there`s Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano. Now, that`s the Republican leader in the other big statewide race, the governor`s race, was also right near the Capitol on January 6. You can see him on the left in the baseball hat. But also Mastriano was not just some spectator. The January 6 committee subpoenaed Mastriano in February saying he "participated in a plan to arrange for an alternate slate of electors."
For several months last year, Mastriano push for an Arizona-style election audit. Mastriano basically did everything he could to keep Donald Trump in power. And he`s not finished. He`s now promising he will completely overhaul elections in Pennsylvania in a way that will no doubt benefit Trump, all in the name of the big lie.
And that was enough to, surprise, win him the Trump endorsement over the weekend. That likely means the one person standing in the way of Trump loyalist and coup sympathizer Doug Mastriano taking control of this massively important swing state is the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor, Josh Shapiro. And he joins me next.
HAYES: We`re just over 10 hours from polls opening in Pennsylvania tomorrow. And yesterday, the leading Democratic Senate primary candidate made a startling announcement. Current Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman revealed he suffered a stroke due to an irregular heartbeat over the weekend.
On Sunday, he released a statement saying, "The doctors tell me I didn`t suffer any cognitive damage and well on my way to a full recovery." Right now, Fetterman holds a significant lead in the polls. While the governor`s race Attorney General Josh Shapiro is running unopposed in that Democratic primary. He spent the past two years dealing with the fallout of The Big Lie of a stolen election in Pennsylvania. And he`s now poised to run against a MAGA-loving Republican candidate who even went to the January 6 insurrection, though, says he never actually went inside the Capitol.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro joins me now. Obviously, there`s -- I think there`s sort of two buckets to think about the issues here. I mean, there`s all sorts of stuff that Pennsylvanians are worried about cost of gas, the cost of living, health care, things like that. And then there`s this more broader question about the future of American democracy.
Just to focus on that, like, how do you see the stakes of this race in your state, particularly, if someone like a Mastriano were to win the nomination, and you were to face off with him in the fall.
JOSH SHAPIRO (D-PA), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: The stakes could not be higher and the contrast couldn`t be clearer. While he was marching to the Capitol on January 6, and the police told them to stop, and he kept going, I was out there in court defending the will of the people, defending people`s right to vote.
So, the contrast couldn`t be clearer, the stakes couldn`t be higher. And of course, we are in a razor-thin swing state. This is going to be a close election against a very dangerous opponent.
HAYES: I want to play for you an ad that your campaign ran about Mastriano to give people sort of sense of it, and then ask you a question about it. Take a listen.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Republican state senator Doug Mastriano. He`s the Republican who`s ahead in the polls for governor. He wants to outlaw abortion. It`s Mastriano who wrote the heartbeat bill in Pennsylvania. And he`s one of Donald Trump`s strongest supporters. He wants to end vote by mail. And he led the fight to audit the 2020 election.
If Mastriano wins, it`s a win for what Donald Trump stands for. Is that what we want in Pennsylvania?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So, this seems like a fairly clear attempts to bolster him among Republican primary voters, because you think that he would be a better opponent in the general election. I wonder if that`s playing with fire, given what we know about what exactly the stakes are that you just noted.
SHAPIRO: Well, that`s not the case at all. Look, he has been poised to be the Republican nominee for weeks. He has led in every public and private poll, oftentimes by a healthy margin, even before Donald Trump at the 11th hour jumped into this race. I think what we`re trying to do is what we`re going to continue to do after presumably he wins the nomination tomorrow, and that is show the clear differences and show people what`s at stake and show just how dangerous and out of touch he is with Pennsylvanians.
I expect that this election will be run on the issue of voting rights, will be issued -- run on the issue of reproductive rights. And those are areas where there is a clear contrast between me and him.
HAYES: Let`s talk about reproductive rights, obviously, in the wake of the leaked draft of the majority opinion by Samuel Alito on the Court to overturn Roe v Wade, state law becomes that much more relevant. What is your pledge to voters about what you would do as governor with respect to reproductive choice in the state of Pennsylvania?
SHAPIRO: Well, I`ll tell you what I told 1500 people gathered at the Doylestown courthouse this weekend and hundreds, really thousands of others that I`ve talked to across Pennsylvania since this campaign began. There will be a bill on the next governor`s desk to outlaw abortion, to ban abortion.
Every single one of my opponents would sign that bill into law. I will veto that bill. That is a clear contrast. And I think given that leaked opinion presuming that the Supreme Court ultimately issues that final opinion, what`s clear is that this question of reproductive freedom is going to come down to the states. And I`ll be a governor that stands on the side of women and protecting that choice.
I do think that there is a broader issue here that goes beyond bodily freedom. I think freedom is really at stake in this governor`s race. You know, the other side loves to cloak themselves in the blanket of freedom. They talk a good game. But they`re not about freedom. It`s not freedom when they get to dictate to the women of Pennsylvania how and when and under what terms they`re going to start a family.
It`s not freedom when they tell our children what books they can read. And it`s sure as hell isn`t freedom when they go out and say, sure, you can vote, but we get to pick the winner. That`s not freedom. And that`s what the other side is for. That`s what the senator stands for. And that`s why the stakes of this race are so high the contrast couldn`t be clearer. He is a dangerous man who would sacrifice the freedoms of everyday Pennsylvanians. I`ll stand up and defend it.
HAYES: What is view as the key -- I mean, you`ve talked about reproductive choice. You`ve talked about democracy and the sort of the fate of democracy. What do you see as the sort of like kitchen table defining issue in this race in a state that, you know, is a very, very complex and diverse state politically?
SHAPIRO: Look, I just got back from a week being away in rural communities, urban, suburban communities. And, you know, we basically talk about the same thing in each of these neighborhoods. And that is making sure we`ve got good schools for our kids, where we end our reliance on standardized testing and reclaim that time in the classroom for things like arts and humanities and history where we have vo-tech baked into every single classroom.
We talk a lot about that. I talk a lot about public safety and ensuring that everyone can walk down the streets and not worry about their personal safety. And we talk a lot about building an economy that lifts everyone up and make sure that everyone is seen from our rural communities, to our urban communities.
I think the other thing on people`s minds is they don`t want to get screwed anymore. And I`ve been an attorney general that stood up to powerful interests, whether it`s a corporation putting profits before people, or the extremists on the other side who are so dangerous that their views and their work will screw over everyday Pennsylvanians. I`m focused on trying to make their lives better and standing up the danger on the other side.
HAYES: All right, Attorney General Josh Shapiro running for Pennsylvania governor as a Democrat unopposed in that primary. We will be monitoring those votes tomorrow. Thanks for making some time with us tonight.
SHAPIRO: Good to be with you.
HAYES: Coming up, as voters head to the polls, President Biden heads to Buffalo to the meet the families of the people murdered by a right-wing racist. That`s next.
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JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No one understands more than all of you here today the pain and anguish those families in Buffalo feel. But if they were pulled into -- as if you -- when it happens, at least my experience, you feel like you`re pulling into a black hole inside your chest and everything, everything you can`t -- it`s hard.
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HAYES: Tomorrow, President Joe Biden will head to Buffalo to meet with the families the victim shot and killed by a racist gunman on Saturday. He will become just the latest U.S. Head of State to engage in this ritual of going to mourn the mass deaths of Americans in the hands of white supremacists. It will be an opportunity for President Biden to reassert the core vision of what this country should be and speak out against the -- against the opponents of that vision.
Heather McGee is a board member of the nonprofit racial justice organization, Color of Change, and author of the fantastic book The Sum Of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone And How We Can Prosper Together. And she joins me now.
Heather, you know, I thought of you when I was seeing some of the discourse around the manifesto and the discussion of the mainstreaming of the vision that is embedded in that -- in that -- in the shooters manifesto. This is the latest polling from December of last year, the National Opinion Research Center. 32 percent of Americans believe an effort is underway to replace U.S.-born Americans with immigrants for electoral gains.
And while I think that`s very, very high, because it should be a fringe view, it also points to the fact that there still remains this solid majority in this country, I think, that he`s willing to hear a message about us being bound to each other and reject the kind of zero-sum story that they`re being told so often.
HEATHER MCGEE, BOARD MEMBER, COLOR OF CHANGE: Well, that`s the hope, right? And that`s the reason why my book The Sum of Us is ultimately a helpful one. It`s why ultimately, when we understand that there`s somebody who is profiting from all of this pain, we can unite along our common shared interests.
You know, there is somebody who`s profiting from Black pain, as there has always been since the beginning of our country, right? And you`d have to ask those questions, who`s profiting, whether it`s the social media companies whose algorithm makes sure that fear and outrage drives clicks, and makes them more money? To obviously the cable news companies and the paid bullies in the corporate media like Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingram for whom this is their way to, you know, to become millionaires? To, frankly, the Republican Party, who has really mainstreamed and have this sort of white grievance as its core unifying ideology?
And ultimately, who wins when we have either a sort of mainstream version of this sort of white grievance that is held by the majority, according to the research of moderates and conservatives, the idea that black people take more from this country than we give, to the very fringe, right, the January 6, the great replacement theory.
Both of those together give a minority party more governing power than it should have in this country, this sort of uniting around white racial grievance. And who ultimately profits from that? The millionaires and billionaires who backstopped the party and whose interests are served financially by the Republican agenda.
HAYES: Yes. I was just thinking about the fact that as we enter this primary season, it`s very hard to envision -- so, you know, when you speak, speak about what the agenda is right? Like, what would the first bill in a Republican Trifecta in 2024 be, right? So, you know, let`s say Donald Trump is reelected or Ron DeSantis, they have the house, they have the Senate. OK, HR1, S1.
I mean, I think it`s probably a national ban on abortion. But when you -- when you w talk about anything having vaguely to do with economics or policy, it`s like, I can`t name a single thing. Like I literally can`t name a single -- I have no idea. I mean, a tax cut. For some, it`ll be a tax cut.
MCGEE: Right. It will be more tax cuts, more deregulation, a ban on you know, different kinds of clean energy, you know, regressive taxes being raised on the working and middle class. It would be bans on history and our children`s freedom to learn. But ultimately, you`re right, it is frustrating when we see things like gas prices and inflation driving people away from the Democratic Party, when the Republican Party has absolutely no alternative agenda about what`s something that is ultimately being caused by these, you know, major global issues.
Ultimately, when we think about what`s at stake here, I think we have to tie in the story that animates most people, right? What animates most people? They want to live in a place that`s safe. They want to feel like they belong. And that search for belonging has in many ways been, you know, the history of America, of different communities that have come here.
And what stops us from being the great city on a hill as a nation from sort of representing the great multiracial democracy that grand experiment is this very old zero sum lie. And right now, we`re seeing it being perpetuated from the highest reaches of the Republican Party, from our most-watched and profitable cable news network on the other side. And also, and we`re seeing it in these bands of books across the country and of our - - these attacks on our children`s freedom to learn.
And that`s what I think is really makes this tragedy, which is ultimately a moment to mourn, also a moment to mobilize against the forces that are profiting from this division.
HAYES: Quickly, what do you think about the critique I`ve seen, which is that, look, Democrats and liberals talk too much about demographics as destiny, right? That their version of this narrative is, well, the country is getting less white, that means we win, right? So, like -- and that and that is heard by a certain segment of population as a kind of -- almost a kind of electoral threat.
MCGEE: Well, I mean, I don`t think that is something that most elected Democrats actually say in public, as opposed to the great replacement theory stuff that you hear all the time from the right-wing, right? I don`t think that`s the way that most good politicians see how they`re going to make it to 50 plus one.
I do think that we need to create a broad, multiracial, populist coalition that is willing to fight for one another instead of against one another. It`s that cross-racial solidarity that has always led to our greatest advances in American history, and it`s should be the backbone of the Democratic story.
HAYES: Heather McGee, as always, great to hear from you. Thank you very much for making time tonight.
That is ALL IN on this Monday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNB HOST: Good evening, Chris. Thanks, my friend.