The GOP refused to participate in legislating when the Democrats are in power. Donald Trump criticized the House and Senate Republicans who voted for Biden`s Infrastructure Deal. After striking out in his last few attempts to block White House documents from being turned over to the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack, today, Donald Trump got a reprieve when a federal appeals court granted a temporary injection stopping their imminent release. The Republican Gubernatorial Candidate in New Jersey still not conceded.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Either way, you can count me in at the support of a Big Bird for Senate campaign because Texas deserves a senator who people actually like. And just about everybody likes Big Bird because he is nice and vaccinated. Wait, maybe big bird can teach Ted how to be nice so people will like him too.
But for going after our beloved Muppet couple with such a mean an silly attack, Eric B for Bolling and for bully, you are tonight absolute worst. And that`s tonight`s "REIDOUT."
And to all the men and women who have worn the uniform of our country, thank you for your service and happy Veterans Day. ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES starts now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voiceover): Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No thank you. It goes to those in the House and Senate who voted for the Democrats` non- infrastructure bill.
HAYES: The Trump attack on democracy continues.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope you die. I hope everybody in your (BLEEP) family dies.
HAYES: Tonight, how the MAGA menace is taking aim at Republicans who voted for roads and bridges.
Then, he faced a nonsense context charge.
ERIC HOLDER, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: You don`t want to go there, OK.
REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R-TX): I don`t want to go there?
HAYES: Tonight, former Attorney General Eric Holder on contempt charges in the January 6 committee and how the party of Gohmert is redrawing itself back into power.
Then, seven days later, why hasn`t the Republican in New Jersey conceded his race? And how do we get to talk of burning books in a Virginia school board?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think those books -- I don`t want to even see them. Like, I think they should be thrown in a fire.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Tonight, I`m going to play for you a recording of a death threat that was recently called into a Republican member of Congress. And what precipitated that death threat is just the fact that this member of Congress voted for a bill, it was an infrastructure bill, roads, bridges, stuff like that, bipartisan bill. That`s it. That`s the whole reason for the death threat. We will listen to it in a minute. But first, let`s take a step back.
Think back to about a year and a half ago, March of 2020. The once-in-a- century pandemic had just hit. We just shut everything down schools, travel, businesses. It had never happened before. Everyone was kind of confused and dizzy and scared and the economy was cratering. Americans were losing their jobs by the millions.
And in response to this crisis, members of Congress came together. The Republican-controlled Senate and the Democratic-controlled House passed in broad bipartisan fashion a $2.2 trillion rescue package called the Cares Act. Now, at the time, everyone knew that the package was necessary for the good of the country. Everyone also knew it would almost certainly benefit Donald Trump, the incumbent president who`s up for re-election. He would be able to go on the campaign trail and say, I got you that rescue money. I signed the law. It would probably benefit the economy which is the single most important factor for an incumbent president.
I mean, Trump even wanted to put his signature on those $1200 checks that went out to millions of Americans. That was not allowed because the president is not authorized to sign U.S. treasury checks. But instead, the Treasury Department just had his name printed on the bottom left of the checks like where your grandma writes happy birthday.
Less than a month later, Congress voted to authorize an additional nearly half a trillion dollars in funding for the paycheck protection program and for COVID testing, both of which were important, and again, Democrats overwhelmingly supported these rescue packages. I mean, huge bipartisan majorities that would help Americans suffering from the COVID crisis, again, even though they knew in concrete political terms they were very likely to benefit the Republican president who they viewed not just as a political threat but an existential threat to American democracy, a guy that they had just impeached. And they sucked it up and they did the right thing.
So, now, fast forward to this year, the Biden administration`s infrastructure deal. In August, the Senate easily passed a bill with more than a dozen Republicans including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell voting for it.
Now, a lot of that was a pretty cynical move. I think a lot of those Republicans saw the vote as an opportunity to stymie the broader Biden and Democratic agenda by breaking off this one piece and hoping that no further parts would pass. But the actual content of the bill is -- it`s pretty non- controversial as this stuff goes. I mean some people even call it a glorified highway bill. It provides funding for things like roads, bridges, railways, rural high-speed internet.
In fact, it`s roughly the contours of the kind of deal that Donald Trump campaigned on but was never able to get done. I mean, you remember, infrastructure week became a running joke in the Trump administration over and over and over. It was going to be infrastructure week but never got anywhere.
In fact, in May of 2019, he walked away from a $2 trillion infrastructure deal because his fifis were hurt about the Russia investigation. So, now, we actually have a bipartisan infrastructure package, the kind of thing that Trump said he would deliver and couldn`t. And it passed in the house last week with 13 Republicans voting yes.
Again, this is under normal circumstances a relatively non-controversial bipartisan bill. And yet, the attack dogs are out for those 13 Republicans and it started even before they voted.
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REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR-GREENE (R-GA): Everyone needs to wake up right now. Call your representative, call everyone you can, vote no to this. And any Republican that votes yes to an infrastructure bill that helps Biden pass his agenda when bumbling Biden doesn`t even know what he`s doing, then that Republican is a traitor to our party, a traitor to their voters, and a traitor to our donors.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Traitor, traitor, traitor. Traitor to our donors is a very funny phrase by the way. After 13 Republicans voted for the bill, Marjory Taylor- Greene put out a list of their names calling them traitors again. "Here are the Republicans that just voted to help Biden screw America."
Now, Donald Trump is also going after them. And I got to say, as often as the case, he`s being mercifully explicit about what the problem is. He has no issue with the policy. He doesn`t point to some provision of the bill. Of course, he hasn`t read it, doesn`t know what it`s in it. It`s purely a political problem. He is mad that those Republicans helped hand Joe Biden and the Democrats a victory.
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TRUMP: I say it with a heavy heart, no thank you goes to those in the House and Senate who voted for the Democrats non-infrastructure bill, also known as the Democrat presidential re-election bill. It`s only 11 percent was infrastructure, by the way, 11 percent of that bill. Much of it is Green New Deal crap just like throwing money out the window. But you gave Biden a victory as his poll numbers were falling off a cliff.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I say with a heavy heart like he`s announcing an illness in the family. The former president made those comments at the national Republican Congressional Committee dinner in Florida on Monday night. And so, some of the Republicans he`s talking about, the 13 vote of the infrastructure bill were in the room.
One of them is this woman, Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis of New York. She`s from a swing district that covers our beloved Staten Island and part of Brooklyn. And she defeated incumbent Democrat Max Rose last year. Earlier this week, Congresswoman Malliotakis defended her vote by trying to throw the credit back to Donald Trump.
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REP. NICOLE MALLIOTAKIS (R-NY): Look, President Trump laid the groundwork for this infrastructure to pass, and he also wanted $1 trillion in spending into America`s infrastructure. And it`s important for economic growth, right? And we lose trillions when -- over the next decade if we did not put in this investment to upgrade and modernize our infrastructure.
So, you know, I`m happy and I`m appreciative to President Trump for you know being one of the first to really talk about the need for infrastructure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Nice try. Nice try. This is basically Donald Trump`s bill. Donald Trump gets a vote on that. He gets to weigh in. The congresswoman gives Donald Trump the credit for this bill, and then of course, he throws her under the bus. And a source told the New York Post that Malliotakis appeared "Visibly shaken as Trump railed against her and other Republican House members during the dinner.
And let me tell you something. Visibly shaken is not a crazy reaction because a central fact about American life right now is that when Donald Trump or his associated right-wing propagandists set their sights on you, then you immediately have a security problem. It`s just like a law of gravity. True of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and Dr. Anthony Fauci who`s been the government for decades and never had to have a security detail and members in the media.
It was true of Congressman Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, one of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump. He is retiring even though he`s young in part because of the deluge of threats he faced. He recounted an eye-opening moment this year when he and his family were greeted at the Cleveland airport by two uniformed police officers, part of extra security precautions taken after the impeachment vote.
And now, it`s true the 13 Republicans who Donald Trump called out the other night who just voted for roads, and bridges, broadband, internet, and clean water. Now, that means they are traitors in Marjory Taylor Greene`s words. And for Congressman Fred Upton of Michigan, one of the 13, a death threat.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (BLEEP) traitor, that`s what you are. You`re a (BLEEP) piece of traitor. I hope you die. I hope everybody in your family (BLEEP) dies. You (BLEEP) piece of trash (BLEEP) trash mother (BLEEP). Voted for dumbass (BLEEP) Biden. You`re stupider than he is, and he can`t even complete a (BLEEP) sentence. You dumb mother (BLEEP) traitor, piece of (BLEEP) mother (BLEEP) piece of trash. I hope you (BLEEP) die. I hope your (BLEEP) family dies. I hope everyone in your (BLEEP) staff dies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That -- that`s not that uncommon. That air of menace there, the threat of violence, I mean, it`s couched as a wish, not a threat. But you know, you know what happens if you`re on the receiving end of that. That looms over our politics in the Trump era and it exerts a kind of gravitational force. It will render and is rendering the country functionally ungovernable.
If one party views their job as passing substantive laws compromising when necessary, cutting deals, doing things that are good for the country, even if the political consequences might help your "enemy" politically as the democrats did during the COVID crisis, and then the other party sees it as a betrayal if they do anything that hands the other side victory.
And if they do so, they will face the angry mob. They will face the rage of the same people who stormed the Capitol and chanted hang Mike Pence. But that`s what we have on our hands right now.
Olivia Beaver is a Congressional Reporter for Politico. David Jolly is a former Republican Congressman from Florida and they both join me now. You know, David, this is -- this is the kind of bill that again it`s not in the substance super controversial stuff. And I think you know, Trump is being forthright and honest when he says what he doesn`t like about it is handing a victory.
But every -- the threats and the backlash are going to have a role, don`t you think, in the calculations of all these members of the Congress?
DAVID JOLLY, FORMER REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN FROM FLORIDA: Yes, Chris. Members of Congress face threats fairly routinely. But I think it`s clear we`re seeing an escalation of that. And to your very point on the infrastructure bill, you know, notwithstanding the jokes around infrastructure week of the last four years, Congress fairly routinely passes infrastructure bills about every five or six years is the way the authorization process works.
And I share that because the threats around this infrastructure bill are a reflection of the change in leadership voices within the GOP. You know, it is easy to focus in on the people that left those messages, but infrastructure votes are relatively low information votes unless they are electrified by voices of leadership within the Republican Party, the Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Madison Cawthorns, the Donald Trumps.
And I lump those three together who electrify their base and suggest that somehow this is an inflection point upon which the entire republic will survive or fall and therefore threats like this must be justified.
HAYES: Well, and Olivia, you report on both caucuses and in Congress, but I wonder about you know, there`s these calls now, Matt Gaetz and others, whipping up these calls to take committee assignments and chairmanships away -- I mean, there`s chairs, there`s members of leadership that voted for this bill -- for the -- for the infraction of voting for a piece of infrastructure legislation.
OLIVIA BEAVERS, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, POLITICO: Right. You`re definitely hearing that from the very close, you know, members who tie themselves to Trump. It`s the Marjorie Taylor Greenes, it`s the Madison Cawthorns, the Matt Gaetz s. Are they going to lose their committee assignments? The odds are most likely not. That would be outrageous and that`s the kind of the sentiment that I`ve heard from talking to people on Capitol Hill.
But the fact that you are even having people push that because you have members like Don Bacon and Brian Fitzpatrick who have these purple districts voting for their district, voting and I even -- I caught up with Don Bacon today and he was saying that he went to different -- five different, you know, constituent meetings and he heard resounding basically praise for the vote that he took.
So, he was voting for his district. And that in turn captured uh attention from Marjory Taylor Greene leading her to give his phone number out of his office and others, and that started the threats. And so, basically, Republicans are sort of eating their own right now even though they were just a few minutes ago -- well, not a few minutes ago, but a few days ago, sitting back and watching Democrats go after one another. So, the tables have really turned.
HAYES: There`s also the question, David, about what a majority -- a House majority under these conditions would look like in what it would do with functionally Trump calling the shots. I mean, in the Senate, it`s not quite that, and that`s because I think of just -- McConnell has a certain kind of institutional stature and he has relationships. There`s fewer members. They`ve been there for a longer time.
In the House, it won`t be that. A majority -- a House majority will be a Donald Trump-run House effectively, do you agree?
JOLLY: Yes. Look, the House is no longer a serious institution under Republican control. And we saw during the Obama administration. You know, in fact, I was a bit of a casualty of this within the Republican caucus. Republicans opposed Obama on immigration. They opposed Obama on health care.
And when the dozen or so of us said, OK, well, what are we going to do about that as Republicans, McCarthy, Scalise, and others shut us down and said no, no, we`re not going to talk about our agenda. We`re just going to oppose Obama. You will see that under Republican control if McCarthy becomes speaker during a Biden era.
But you will also see them play offense more on the culture wars and on the grievance politics, on the conspiracy theories, on the anti-truth campaigns related to January 6 and science and whatever it might be because this angry populist thread that it will elevate them to power is the only thing that will keep them there if they don`t have a policy agenda which they don`t.
HAYES: Olivia, you know, we played that voicemail, and David made the point. You know, members of Congress get all sorts of stuff. They get all sorts of nasty messages. And I`ve said this many times on the show that, you know, being an angry jerk to an elected representative is kind of what you`re right is as an American. It`s almost literally the definition of a free -- of a free country. You know, you can get up at a meeting, you can yell at them. Like, that`s fine. That`s, you know, democracy.
But it does strike me there`s an air of menace that hangs over all this post-January 6th that is just qualitatively different. And as someone who covers it, I wonder if you feel that way as well.
BEAVERS: I do. And Chris, just to remind you, I was there on January 6. And I think that there was this sense around Capitol Hill and the country about words matter. And that was sort of the reckoning that people were having leaving the Capitol. And you had both sides saying, we need to tone it down, we need to tone it down. You`re not really hearing that anymore.
We`re kind of reaching another point again where, you know, people can throw attacks across the aisle that that can be very dangerous things. I know that there are members on the left who have had to have security guards escorting them in and out to protect themselves because of an attack that Donald Trump lobbed against them. And now, you`re -- Liz Cheney also had security guards after her January 6 impeachment vote.
The temperature is just up right now. And the fact that this is a vote about infrastructure for someone doing it for their district and a colleague of their own party decided to send their followers from outside their district to attack them, is just part of like a new escalating cycle of these threats that we`re seeing.
HAYES: Yes, that does feel distinct and new. Olivia Beavers and David Jolly, thank you both. Don`t go anywhere, my interview with the former Attorney General United States Eric Holder on whether the DOJ will ever charge Steve Bannon with contempt. The legal battle over Donald Trump`s executive privilege claims and where he`s seen this all before, Eric Holder joins me next. Stick around.
HAYES: After striking out in his last few attempts to block White House documents from being turned over to the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack, today, Donald Trump got a reprieve when a federal appeals court granted a temporary injection stopping their imminent release. They were slated to come out on Friday. And the three- judge panel will hear arguments from both sides on November 30th. So, he was able to kick the can for 19 days.
Trump is claiming executive privilege even though he`s not the executive, he`s a former president, and executive privilege has traditionally been exercised by the sitting president. For example, back in 2011 and 2012, Republicans with the help of Fox News tried to tie a failed sting operation of the Obama administration. They whipped it up in a huge scandal you may not remember. It is known as operation Fast and Furious and they would just not stop talking about it.
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MARTHA MACCALLUM, ANCHOR, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Well, there`s new allegations of cover-up in the Fast and Furious scandal, the botched gun-trafficking program that put dangerous firearms into the hands of Mexico`s most dangerous drug cartels.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congressman Issa says newly obtained wiretaps show that senior Justice Department officials knew about and approved Fast and Furious tactics.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A big reward on the table for proof that the president or one of his aides knew about the failed gun-walking operation while it was underway.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is about whether or not Justice has the kind of people at the very top that the American people can believe in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And in the process of going after Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, the Republican-led House oversight committee began requesting lots of documents from the Department of Justice. And the department turned over more than 7000 pages related to this Fast and Furious. But when Republicans demanded another 1300 pages of documents, Holder refused to turn them over saying, they were not generated in the course of the conduct of Fast and Furious. And President Obama asserted executive privilege the first time in his presidency and Eric Holder became the first sitting cabinet member held in criminal contempt by Congress.
Well, just a few months later, the independent watchdog investigating the matter for the Justice Department released a report basically clearing Eric Holder. But that did not satisfy House Republicans. So, when they got their guy in the White House, they worked out a deal with the Trump Justice Department to turn those documents over and you know what they found, neither do I. It`s really unclear what got turned over if anything. But one thing`s for sure. We have not heard a peep out of Republicans about Fast and Furious since. Vanished, gone.
Joining me now is former Attorney General Eric Holder. He`s the chair of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee.
Mr. Holder, I want to start on this question of executive privilege and just your understanding of the law as it adheres here. And part of the reason that I think that that it`s really interesting to talk to you is obviously, you know, Congressional majorities can be -- have all sorts of different people seeking all sorts of different things like Darrell Issa, or in this case, the select committee. And there are some real important kind of principles here that are larger than party. And so, from your perspective, what do you think about the invocation of this by an ex- president?
HOLDER: Well, it`s unprecedented. You know, the notion is that an ex- president can invoke executive privilege and especially with regard to people who are not on his staff, like Bannon, is simply inconsistent with the law. The privilege has always been with the person who sits in the office. It goes, as the district court said, it goes with the office not with -- not with the person.
I think it`s really interesting that although the Trump folks now are saying that, you know, an ex-president should have the ability to make this determination. When he was president, he decided that he wanted to turn over Fast and Furious documents in spite of the fact that the former president, President Obama, had invoked the privilege.
So, you know, they`re being inconsistent with what they themselves did, what Trump himself did when he was president.
HAYES: You know, the Department of Justice obviously now has a referral on the contempt of Steve Bannon who`s basically just sort of thumbed his nose at the committee. And I know that you`re not going to offer opinions to backseat drive, Merrick Garland, the current attorney general.
But I guess I want to ask just at a sort of abstract level the process here, right? Like a referral like that comes in the Department of Justice. And it`s very important to like dot I`s and cross T`s in the -- that this be independent. What does that process look like? Like, what`s the -- what are the wheels that are going on inside that office just in a sort of broad sense?
HOLDER: Well, going to the U.S. attorney`s office in Washington D.C., career folks at the U.S. Attorney`s Office in D.C. will look at it, make determinations about whether or not there`s a basis for charges. I`m sure it`ll be reviewed at main justice. You know, prosecutors and lawyers at the main justice building will also weigh in. Ultimately, this will be a decision I suspect that`ll be made by the attorney general.
They will apply the facts. They`ll look at the law. My hope would be that people will understand that this is different. This is different. This isn`t Fast and Furious which is some kind of political dispute. This is about people who were trying to stop the transfer of power in our -- in our government, people who are attacking our democracy. This is fundamentally different than i think all the other criminal contempts that might have come out of document issues.
HAYES: Yes, it`s a great point. And also, I think one of the reasons that we started with that is that in that case you`ve got 7000 documents turned over, right? I mean, like, accommodations are made. This is -- this is also different both in terms of the substance but also the idea of like no, screw you, I`m not showing up. That`s in a different category of reaction to a congressional subpoena.
HOLDER: Yes. And I think that`s an important point. I testified nine times in connection with Fast and Furious knowing that it was a kangaroo court that I was going before. But out of respect to the institution, out of respect to Congress, I thought that I had to go. In spite of the fact that Daryl Issa, Louie Gohmert, and the other idiots on the oversight committee were doing things that were inconsistent with their oaths.
It was all political. I understood that. But I didn`t think as Attorney General that I could refuse to go. I didn`t need a subpoena. They didn`t request a subpoena. All -- if they asked me to come, I showed up. And you know, as I said, on nine occasions I did that.
HAYES: So, I want to talk about something that you spend a lot of time thinking about which is redistricting. You`ve sort of -- you run a nonprofit at the center on this. It`s something you`ve been talking about a lot. We had Marc Elias on last night and we walked through some of the stuff that`s happening.
What is your broad top line about the maps that we`re seeing come out of states, Republican and Democrat, but I think there`s specifically a few Republican maps that look really, really aggressive particularly North Carolina in terms of where this sort of battle for fair representation stands.
HOLDER: Yes. The Republicans are being unbelievably aggressive. They are trying to cement what they did in 2011 -- in 2021 through the redistricting process. If you look at what they`re trying to do in North Carolina with Trump got about 49.9 percent of the vote, they`re trying to give themselves 78 of the congressional seats in that state. They say, well, it`s a competitive district. That competitive district just happens to be where the former head of the -- of the congressional Black caucus resides.
So, they`re going to make his seat competitive, try to get 78 percent of the seats when Trump got -- just below 50 of the vote. And what you see there is consistent with what you`ve seen in Texas as well where they have reduced the number of competitive districts from 11 to 1 where because of the rise in the Hispanic population and people of color in the state -- 95 of the population growth in Texas is people of color. They have increased the number of majority-white districts in Texas.
So, what you see in Texas, in North Carolina, what they`re trying to do in Georgia, what they`re trying to do in Ohio, it is consistent. They are simply trying to pick their voters, trying to maximize their power grab with regard to congressional and importantly state legislative seats.
HAYES: So, the proposed solution for this in the national legislation, the for the people act, and then the sort of subsequent iteration slightly modified whose name is escaping me at the moment but has passed the House and was filibustered in the Senate I think two or three times, right, is national standards for independent commissions for redistricting so that you take it out of these partisans.
But I guess my question is, we`ve seen state-level independent commissions be essentially overrun by their state legislatures, right? You`ve got one in Utah that`s been overrun. You`ve got one in Ohio that`s been overrun, in Iowa. Do you think that national solution would hold against the tide of this sort of aggressive movement the Republican Party?
HOLDER: Well, certainly with regard to federal elections, it could hold. I mean, Congress has the sole responsibility to set the rules when it comes to congressional determinations, congressional redistricting. And so, I think a strong federal law mandating how the districts should be drawn is something that`s absolutely necessary.
We can`t do this on a case-by-case basis because you`re right, we`re seeing Republican legislatures, in spite of the fact that people voted for the imposition of these -- of these redistricting commissions, these were things were put on the ballot. People decided in red states in blue states that this was -- sounded like a good way to do the redistricting. The legislatures then come in and really try to undercut what the people decided.
So, I think a strong federal law would be something that could push back against what Republican legislatures have shown they are willing to do.
HAYES: All right, former Attorney General Eric Holder, it`s always a great pleasure to talk to you, sir. Thank you very much.
HOLDER: Good to see you.
HAYES: Coming up, will Republicans start standardizing Donald Trump`s election playbook and just refused to concede. What`s happening in New Jersey including some late-breaking news ahead.
HAYES: It has been over a week since New Jersey Democratic Governor Phil Murphy won reelection. I was sitting here when we made the call. Steve Kornacki came in, tell us about what was going on. Here`s the vote tally as it stands today. 91 percent of the expected vote in -- is in. Murphy is leading by a nearly three-point margin.
Three points is -- you know, it`s a close race but it`s not like razor-thin at all. That`s a win. And yet, his opponent Jack Ciattarelli still has not conceded. A lawyer for the campaign told reporters they were waiting to see if the remaining ballots would put them in the margin for recount adding, "We`re not hearing any credible accounts of fraud or malfeasance. I`m not looking to be Rudy Giuliani standing in front of a mulch pile." Pretty funny quote.
This evening, Politico is reporting Ciattarelli now plans on conceding the race tomorrow, though we`ll see. Look, he clearly lost the race. He lost it last week, eight days ago. The margin is not small. And yesterday, voting rights lawyer Marc Elias was on our show made a point about that this just crystallized it all.
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MARC ELIAS, VOTING RIGHTS LAWYER: On last Tuesday, Terry McAuliffe lost a close gubernatorial election. The margin right now 1.9 percent. He conceded the next morning. In New Jersey, the Republican candidate for governor lost by nearly three percentage points. He has still not conceded. Think about that.
All of the pressure in the Republican Party is on their candidates, never concede, never accept the results when they lose an election. And that will lead to trouble in 2022 and 2024.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It`s not a fluke. It is a new strategy. New Jersey Republican Candidate Jack Ciattarelli is not an ideologue candidate or a Trump loyalist. He was not heavily favored to win. And yet he`s tried to hold on, didn`t concede immediately, basically operationalize the strategy from the Donald Trump handbook, one we continue to see, meant to undercut generally the integrity of our elections or sow discord and ultimately undermine our democracy.
Charles Stile is a political columnist at the Record who has been covering New Jersey politics for nearly three decades and he joins me now. Charles, great to have you on. I mean, you`ve covered a lot of races in Jersey through the years. Is this abnormal to wait this long when the result is this clear?
CHARLES STILE, POLITICAL COLUMNIST, THE RECORD: Well, 1997 comes to mind. That was when Jim McGreevey lost by about 25,000 votes. And he -- it was so close that the state police sent troopers to his headquarters in New Brunswick under the assumption he`s going to be the next governor, but he conceded that night.
I think Chris Christie`s race was pretty close in 2009, but you have to remember that was a three-candidate race with the independent drawing about six percent of the vote. So, this is something of an outlier. I mean we`ve had some wacky races with Christy Whitman`s first race in 1991 where Ed Rollins, our consultant bragged to reporters in Washington the next day that they spent money to suppress the Black vote and pay off ministers. I think you probably remember that.
HAYES: I do remember that.
STILE: And then we had 1981, Tom Kane`s election was marred by -- he won that race by 1700 votes but there was -- that was marred by reports of the ballot security task force armed off-duty police officers patrolling Black precincts in Newark and terrorizing Blacks from voting.
But other than that, this -- in terms of being close, this is something a little bit of an outlier. Those are sort of their own standalone case.
HAYES: Well, Ciattarelli is an interesting figure here because it strikes me that he is not -- you know, his lawyer sort of taking pains to distance himself from Giuliani. He`s -- he was -- he did not run as a sort of big MAGA guy. Obviously, it`s a state that Trump lost badly. And yet the grassroots Republican pressure on him is fully not to concede. And it seems like here he is eight days later and he hasn`t.
STILE: Well, this is -- you know, this is kind of indicative. It`s kind of like a microcosm of the whole campaign he ran which he had to play. Let`s see with the kool-aid drinking Trump base to a degree even though he knew that he couldn`t really jump in. And he`s really, by instinct, as you said in your opening, he`s not an ideologue. He`s a businessman. He`s a pragmatist. And he`s a classic centrist New Jersey Republican. But he had to deal with that.
And I think in this statement he put out on election night saying -- well, in a video that came out and said where he basically said that if you have some -- you see some evidence of fraud or illegality, I want you to report it to a hotline. But I don`t want you to believe -- run around believing every crackpot thing you hear on the internet. We just -- we need to count the votes.
And so, he`s sent needle threading that he did. And that`s --- and that`s life as it is in the Republican Party anywhere in the country.
HAYES: That`s a perfect embodiment of precisely what those pressures are and where they`re coming from. Charles Stile, great thanks.
STILE: I`m glad to be with you.
HAYES: Thank you. Next, the Virginia school board members who think it isn`t enough to just ban books but suggest taking it one step further, threw him on the fire, after this.
HAYES: Back in March of this year, the right started to lose their minds over Dr. Seuss. The late writers estate announced it would stop publishing six books because of bigoted or stereotypical imagery that was contained in them, and the right pounced.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRET BAIER, ANCHOR, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: The cancel culture going after Dr. Seuss tonight.
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: If it could happen to Dr. Seuss, it might happen to you. Dr. Seuss went from being a beloved childhood author to worse than Hitler in just a matter of days.
PETE HEGSETH, CONTRIBUTOR, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: If you can`t publish Dr. Seuss and you can`t sell it, at what point are you not allowed to own it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do not like to cancel books. I do not like how that looks. I do not like it here nor there, I do not like it anywhere.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I do not like to cancel books. Cancel culture, Kevin McCarthy even tweeted this video of himself reading Green Eggs and Ham which is a great book and good job, Kevin, but that wasn`t even one of the discontinued books.
But Dr. Seuss and the cancer culture spiel didn`t quite stick. It did though embody a rising backlash among the Republican conservative base to this heightened scrutiny of the bigotry and racism often woven into all kinds of aspects of American cultural production, a backlash to renewed emphasis on social justice and racial equity. And so, while it cloaked itself in the language of we believe in free expression, it was never actually about that.
And so, it only took about six months from that to get to the point where we now have Republicans deciding that well, actually, books are the problem. They went from libs are trying to censure the books to you know what, we need to burn some books. And the turn against book showed up in an ad for Virginia Republican Glenn Youngkin`s gubernatorial campaign, a nearly decade-old story of a mother upset, very upset that her son was assigned Tony Morrison`s Beloved.
Mind you, she never mentioned her son was a senior in high school and that he was in advanced placement English class. And my God is it mortifying for your mom to go and say that the book gave you nightmares.
Now, the most recent iteration is playing out in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. Two parents went before the school board on Monday to raise concerns about some of the books not being assigned, not being read in class, just available through a high school`s digital library. Books like Call Me By Your Name and 33 Snowfish, about three homeless teens trying to escape sexual abuse, prostitution, and drug addiction.
The board voted to remove all books with sexually explicit material, and two board members wanted to go even further.
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RABIH ABUISMAIL, BOARD MEMBER: I`d like to make a motion to do a library audit on all the schools from k-12 --
KIRK TWIGG, BOARD MEMBER: I`d like to make a friendly amendment to that motion, if you`ll accept it, Mr. Boozmill, that uh we keep those books so that we can have them in the back so that the parents can see that we are doing something about this. Do you accept that friendly amendment?
ABUISMAIL: Here`s the thing, Mr. Twigg. Let`s have -- I think those books - - I don`t want to even see them. Like, I think they should be thrown in a fire as a Christian who`s super involved in youth ministry, right? I`m not even okay for these books staying in those libraries overnight. Like, if we can get a team to go clean the books out tonight, I`ll do it.
TWIGG: I`m sure we`ve got hundreds of people out there that would like to see those books before we burn them, but just so we can identify within our community that we are eradicating this bad stuff.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Wow. Well, points for honesty I guess, you did hear that correctly, one of the two men who sit on the school board in Spotsylvania County in Virginia. Rabih Abuismail and Kirk Twigg advocating burning books either right now or after parents have had a good chance to look through them first before they burn.
And yes, that`s one tiny school board in Virginia. But this sort of move now to audit libraries to take books out of circulation happening all over the country. Republican officials are actually out publicly campaigning on the removal of books from schools. And I have to say, again, at the very least, it is clarifying about what this was all about from the very beginning.
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REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): I understand that prices are going up. I mean gas is almost five bucks.
SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): A lot of people are scared to death as it`s ridiculous. This is unbelievable inflation, gas price is up 50 percent.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): We`ve got prices of gasoline that haven`t been this high since the last time Biden was in office. And his only answer is he can`t -- he can`t solve it quickly but he looks to OPEC.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: For decades, it has been a constant in American politics, president after president, generation after generation all dealing with the political fallout from the price of gas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IRVING LEVINE, FORMER NBC NEWS REPORTER: Senator Kennedy has said that the state of the economy will be a main factor in his decision on whether to challenge President Carter. Democratic officials say that today`s inflation figures may play into Senator Kennedy`s hand.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Those figures include gasoline up 3.7 cents a gallon on average last month, up 28.2 cents a gallon so far this year.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Politicians smelled not fumes but opportunity Republicans called for repeal of the 4.3 cents a gallon federal tax the Democratic Congress imposed in 1993.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to find some way to help the driving public.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For Democrats, a coordinated attack on high gas prices and the president`s response. It is now time to can Bush.
JOHN MCCAIN, FORMER ARIZONA SENATOR: He said that the high cost of gasoline doesn`t bother him. Yesterday, he suggested we put air in our tires to save on gas. My friends, let`s do that, but do you think that`s enough to break our dependence on Middle Eastern oil?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It`s hard to remember now but actually the gas prices were the central defining issue of the presidential race back in the summer of 2008. In fact, the McCain campaign was even giving away tire gauges labeled Obama`s energy plan as a gag. Now, of course, it all became a complete non- issue when oil prices fell through the floor because there was a once-in-a- century financial crisis.
For about 50 years, there`s been so much rhetoric and policy revolving around this extremely volatile commodity largely controlled by nefarious regimes. It really is a center of a huge amount of American politics even right now. Wouldn`t it be great if it wasn`t, if the price of gas just didn`t really matter anymore?
Well, that is the promise of the big push to electric vehicles because electric vehicles aren`t just more efficient and much better for the planet in terms of carbon emissions, as Ryan Cooper points out in a new piece for the Week, the most underrated part of the electric revolution is that it will free us from the tyranny of gas prices as a political cudgel. And Ryan Cooper, National Correspondent at The Week joins me now.
Ryan, it`s a great piece. And I have to say as someone who spends a lot of time thinking about this, it had never occurred to me in quite the way that you put it, that this -- it would fundamentally alter American politics to not have the price of gas be a central issue of concern.
RYAN COOPER, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, THE WEEK: Yes, absolutely. I mean, you -- it`s kind of weird when you -- when you think about how much people pay for things like housing and medical care and all of -- that`s -- these are much greater expenses than the price of gasoline. But when you consider the way that gasoline is purchased, it is a very obviously comparable price where people go to the pump and they know they`re paying for the same thing, and they can easily remember what they`re doing and they`re doing it regularly. You could see how the gyrations of that price can really have a tremendous political effect.
And once we move towards electric vehicles which at this point is as far as I can tell totally unstoppable, sooner or later what -- no matter what kind of climate policy is passed, then you know, that just won`t be a thing anymore. You won`t pay for it in that way. And so, the politics of it will be totally changed.
HAYES: Well, and the other -- the second thing here is that it`s not just - - I mean we saw -- that montage saw that this is a bipartisan issue, right? It`s a great issue for the party out of power because basically the incumbent party can`t really do anything about it, and so it`s like the perfect issue to just beat up on them about.
But generally, it`s -- the politics -- the politics produced by it are not good because the politics of it are we need cheap oil. And what we have to do to get cheap oil tends to be pretty terrible too. So, it`s not just that it`s like volatile, it actually kind of pushes policymakers in the direction of bad policy.
COOPER: Yes. I mean, I don`t think it`s fair to say that like Bush invaded Iraq simply to get the oil, but you know, you can`t look at America`s, you know, half century of imperialism in the Middle East and say that has nothing to do with oil. Obviously, it does. Oil underpins you know, the alliance with Saudi Arabia.
It was the reason why the U.S. and Britain toppled the Democratic government of Mohammad Mosaddeq and Iran in 1953. And it definitely was a contributing factor to the invasion of Iraq and just the general need to sort of dominate the entire region despite the fact that, you know, it didn`t actually work out in accounting terms.
And I think that it would make for a much more healthy international environment even if we`re, you know, having some conflict with China and so forth if this sort of you know compulsive need to have you know, under $3.00 a gallon gasoline so that, you know, people with Hummers aren`t upset at the president -- you know, the people who are, you know, somehow convinced that the president has a big lever on his desk that says, you know, gas prices go up, gas prices go down. This -- you know, this would be a salutatory development uh for the, you know, human society in general, not just America.
And I -- and there`s one step further I thought after reading your piece is that this is generally a promise of renewables. You know, right now, Europe, this isn`t about -- it`s home heating and natural gas, they`re going to be begging the Russians to like -- you know, it`s the same issue there, right? Like, if your home heating bill is going up a huge amount, that takes a real bite out of people`s paychecks. And it`s like, again, it puts you in a situation to be dependent on all sorts of awful either companies or regimes when you are dependent on fossil fuels and their fluctuations this way.
COOPER: Yes, absolutely. The New York Times had a very interesting piece about this where they described the thinking and how the higher price of natural gas which is still a key energy source for Europe has really kind of taken the wind out of the sales of climate policy in many -- in many countries in Europe.
But they quoted some folks from Spain who are saying, this makes no sense. What are you talking about? The price of gas going up, so we need to deepen our dependence on gas and slow down the transition to solar and geothermal. It`s like no, no, get rid of this stuff so that we don`t have to go begging to Vladimir Putin every time the price goes up. Come on, guys.
HAYES: Ryan Cooper`s pieces in The Week, it`s great. Thank you very much. That is ALL IN for this night, Veterans Day. I hope the veterans out there are having a good, healthy, happy, and safe veterans day with people that you love. "THE RACIAL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.