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

Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 2/18/21

Guest: Sylvester Turner, Al Franken, Michelle Goldberg, David Jolly, Lorella Praeli


Sen. Ted Cruz heads to Cancun vacation as his constituents in Texas

struggle without power and water, and people are desperate for food and

shelter. After days of blackouts, Texans are facing a water crisis. L.

Brent Bozell IV was charged with taking part in the Trump mob insurrection.

The Biden administration and Democrats unveil their sweeping immigration



JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: -- to celebrate Black history month. We can`t ignore

the pair of aces that dazzled last night at the Australian open semi-

finals. 23-year-old Naomi Osaka beat 23-time grand slam champion Serena

Williams. Not only did they serve on the court, they serve as a reminder

that Black women are not only fierce competitors but uplift and inspire

millions around the world. And if I may say, Serena is the true GOAT, the

G-O-A-T in sports. Sorry, Brady.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now with special guest Houston Mayor

Sylvester Turner.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight, on ALL IN. The disaster in

Texas grows. Millions without water, people desperate for food and shelter,

and their senator heads to the beach.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): We booked the flight. You know, I have to admit, I

started having second thoughts almost the moment I sat down on the plane.

HAYES: Tonight, the man-made suffering in Texas with Houston Mayor

Sylvester Turner and former Senator Al Franken on the fly-in Ted

controversy that`s so bad Fox News is dunking on him.

JESSE WATTERS, HOST, FOX NEWS: If there`s a weather disaster in your state,

you don`t go on a tropical vacation.

HAYES: Then, how Nikki Haley`s attempt to have it both ways on Trump is

backfiring spectacularly. Plus, the latest insurrection arrest is the heir

to a high-profile conservative family. The Biden administration goes big on

immigration reform. When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. There is

some light at the end of the tunnel for Texans tonight who have been

suffering through back-to-back winter storms, record low temperatures, and

power outages affecting both electricity and heat and even water all week.

The good news is that power has now been restored for millions of

residents. Less than 400,000 people still waiting for the lights to come

back on down from highs over four million earlier this week. The Texas

Tribune reporting today the state`s power grid was "seconds and minutes

away from a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark

for months."

Officials saying that if operators had not acted in that moment early

Monday morning to start rolling blackouts, that`s blackout they themselves

were controlling, it could have left Texas in an indeterminately long

crisis. Think about that, minutes and seconds away.

The state though remains in a precarious situation tonight. Freezing

temperatures around the state expected until Saturday. There is an ongoing

food crisis as disruptions to the supply chain resulted in shortages. We`ve

seen monstrously long lines for grocery stores in multiple cities. And

there`s a massive water crisis. Hospitals have been without water as they

take care of patients amid a pandemic. And seven million Texans are now

under a boiled water order.

The freezing temperatures have affected water pump systems and treatment

plants cause pipes to burst all that kind of cascade of problems.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pipes are bursting and leaving a huge mess. Look at that

inside many homes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just one more layer of misery for so many families

during this winter storm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here at the Riley home, you can see their ceiling came

crashing down into the master bedroom, caused lots of damage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Emergency officials now fielding hundreds of calls

related to carbon monoxide poisoning as people resort to desperate measures

to stay warm.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do not use grills indoors and do not run your car

inside your garage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With limited water, even fire departments are struggling

to battle blazes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With two young kids, the Grahams had already given up

on staying in their Rockwell home when the inside temp dipped to 40 degrees

Monday night. This was the scene waiting for them when they got back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It had burst through the ceiling and water had was

pouring everywhere in our living room. The water had spread to our front

entry, to our front den, to our kitchen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, the water, oh my God.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fueling frustration for people like Plano resident

Muhammad El-Hawary even after getting his wife toddler and infant finally

to a warm place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, how many people, how many families in the

apartment with little kids that they are suffering now because of what`s

going on because the responsible people, the people in charge didn`t make

the proper calculation for the power consumption.


HAYES: It has been an urgent all-hands-on-deck situation in much of the

state for the last three or four nights as we have been reporting night

after night with people opening their doors to strangers like Houston

furniture store owner Mattress Mack welcoming the community into shelter in

showrooms. Several Austin restaurants and bars doing the same ones they

have power operating as kind of warming centers, giving water out.

Beto O`Rourke organized more than 150 000 calls to check on senior citizens

across the state. And of course, the junior senator from Texas Ted Cruz

flew to Cancun. You maybe have heard about this by now. If you`re watching

this program, I suspect you have.

Yesterday evening, these pictures started to trickle out online showing

what appeared to be Ted Cruz and his family at the Houston airport taking

an outbound flight to Cancun, Mexico as millions of his constituents were

freezing, huddling around fire pits fueled by anything they could get their

hands on to burn.

Social media sleuths matched the mask, ring, glasses and the photos of

those worn by Cruz noted the timing coincided with the 4:44 p.m. United

flight. NBC News confirmed that Cruz`s staff even called up Houston police

officers to escort him through the airport as if they didn`t have anything

better to do.

Cruz`s wife, Heidi, reportedly sent text messages to friends saying their

house was, all caps, freezing, which I imagine it was, and invited others

to join them at the Ritz Carlton in Cancun where they had stayed many

times. Amidst the ensuing firestorm at 6:00 a.m. today, Cruz booked a new

return flight from Cancun to Houston. A source telling NBC that he was

initially booked on a flight returning on Saturday.

Late this evening, the senator gave an impromptu interview in front of some

shrubs at his home and came clean about the whole thing.


CRUZ: We left yesterday. The plan had been to stay through the weekend with

the family. That was the plan. And, you know, I have to admit, it was --

the last week`s been tough on a lot of folks. Our girls, when they got the

news that school was canceled this week, they said look, why don`t we --

why don`t we take a trip. Let`s go somewhere where it`s not so cold.

And Heidi and I -- this had been a tough week and it`s been a tough year

for kids, kids all across the state of Texas. And so, we were trying to be

good parents and said OK, we`ll do it. And so, we booked the flight. You

know, I have to admit I started having second thoughts almost -- the moment

I sat down on the plane.


HAYES: Yes, I can imagine he had some second thoughts. He`s right, it has

been hard on kids this year. At some level, you can almost understand that

from Ted Cruz`s perspective, what exactly is the big deal? I mean, Ted

Cruz`s job is basically being a guy who records a podcast. He goes on Fox

News and tweets snarky jokes. And increasingly, that`s what being a

conservative politician is. It`s a form of performative trolling. And what

is he supposed to do about frozen pipeline anyway?


BEN SHAPIRO, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: Now, I get that it`s bad optics for

Ted Cruz to take his family on vacation to Cancun right now. I know it

sounds bad. But let`s be real about this for just one second. This is one

of the stupidest aspects of our politics. What exactly -- it`s not a real-

time crisis that Ted Cruz, this senator from Texas can do anything about.

Did they expect Ted to go there with like a blow torch and start defrosting

all of the pipelines?


HAYES: Just an amazingly revealing statement from a conservative

professional talker about what conservatives think governing is. Like, yes,

what`s he supposed to do? Senators have constituent services. They have

deep networks of powerful people. They can liaison between different levels

of government. They can marshal resources. They can highlight problems to

federal officials.

There are a million things a senator can do in the middle of disaster. If

they don`t know what to do, just go door to door and check on people with a

mask. But none of that appears to interest a politician like Ted Cruz who

sees himself as basically Rush Limbaugh with the Senate office.

And it`s not just Ted Cruz. It`s bigger than him. We saw the apotheosis of

this with Donald Trump`s management of COVID where he turned the pandemic

into basically a daily television show doing none of the actual work to

make the crisis better. In fact, making it worse at every turn, getting

people killed.

But it was simply another platform for the former president. In fact, at

one point, he was actually thinking of starting a White House radio show,

but he decided he didn`t want to compete with Rush Limbaugh.

Governing is not posting. It`s not podcasting. It`s not cable news

anchoring. Believe me, both my parents worked as civil servants in city

government and I have a cable news show and they had harder jobs than I do.

What we`ve seen this week in Texas is a total failure of governance. But

it`s not just Ted Cruz. I mean the way to climb the ladder in Republican

politics as Donald Trump showed is not to be good at governing. That

doesn`t get you anywhere. It is to performatively troll the libs. And that

is exactly what Republicans in Texas have been doing for much of the last

decade since the last time a crisis like this happened.

Instead of preparing for this foreseeable catastrophe, they`ve been doing

things like regulating who can use what bathroom, attacking Planned

Parenthood, considering the death penalty for women who get abortions,

removing discrimination protection so social workers can turn away LGBTQ,

disabled clients, protecting Chick-fil-A from religious discrimination,

removing voting drop boxes, trying to make Texas a second amendment

sanctuary state, and most recently and perhaps most importantly, fighting

with sports teams over playing the national anthem.

None of that`s going to help you when the power is out and it`s freezing

and there`s no water. THEN your performative owning of the libs looks

really irrelevant and really dumb. With me now is Houston Mayor Sylvester

Turner previously served for nearly 30 years as a Texas State

Representative. He is in a command center right now monitoring situation in

his city.

And mayor, thank you for taking a little time with us tonight. I wanted to

start first with how things are in Houston. Are they getting better?

SYLVESTER TURNER, MAYOR OF HOUSTON, TEXAS: Chris, in the last 24 hours,

things have improved. Yesterday at this time, we had about 1.3 million

customers without power. Today, as I talked to you, that number is now

under 30,000 in the Houston region.

Yesterday, the water pressure was extremely low. In fact, in hospitals,

were having a hard time getting what they needed just to run their

chillers, to stay warm, and other necessities. Today, the water pressure in

the city of Houston has increased and hospitals are in much better shape,

at the same time people -- many of the people able to flush their commodes.

So, things are improving.

We`re still not where we want it to be, but yesterday, the pressure was

below what we call 20 PSI. Today, as we speak, that water pressure is right

around 30. So, things are improving, but again, we still have some

tremendous needs out there.

HAYES: Just to zero in. The water aspect of this has been one of the more

harrowing parts of it and a kind of, you know, a kind of cascade effect of

power going out in water treatment facilities. Just explain to me what that

means. Does that mean you have pressure now? You can -- you can -- people

can run water in their homes, that the firefighters have water, that

hospitals have it. Is that -- is that where things are?

TURNER: That`s correct. Hospitals now have water that can run their

chillers to keep their patients their doctors and medical staff warm in

cool weather so to speak. People are able to take showers, people able to

flush the commode. But because the water pressure dropped below the

regulatory requirement of 20 PSI, you automatically have to give boil water


So, you have over 700 jurisdictions around the state of Texas, Houston, San

Antonio, Austin, for example, and many others where there are boiled notice

requirements. And that will continue to be the case probably through the

weekend. At the earliest, that boil water notice could probably be lifted

on Sunday, but I think for the city of Houston, it will probably be Monday.

Which means, if people don`t have power, because you`re supposed to boil

your water about two minutes, but what happens if you don`t have power?

Then people are going to rely a great deal on bottled water and that`s why

starting today we started distributing water to those persons, for example,

who don`t have the means to go into a grocery store and purchase.

Tomorrow, for example, will be a mass water distribution site in the city

of Houston where we`ll probably give out tomorrow anywhere between seven to

900,000 bottles of water primarily for people for families who are already

on the margins, Chris, and they just can`t afford to go in and purchase two

and three and four cases of water. And we`ll do that tomorrow Saturday,

Sunday, until this boiled water notice has been lifted.

HAYES: That`s really -- that`s very helpful in understanding where things

are. Let me -- let me also ask what your interfaces have been with both

state and federal government. I know FEMA is on the --- on the -- on the

ground there. Have you been talking with ERCOT that run the grid with folks

from FEMA and the federal government and with Governor Abbott? What have

those interactions been like?

TURNER: Well, I`ve talked -- I`ve talked several times with the CEO, the

head of ERCOT. And look -- and what he will say to you is that the system

that we have in the state of Texas, ERCOT, our Texas grid is designed for

the summer heat. It is not necessarily designed for winter storms.

And then as it relates to this -- what happened in this -- in the last four

or five days, there was simply not enough adequate generation, supply

available to meet the demand. And with the supply that they had reserved,

so to speak, when some -- when some of the facilities came offline, then it

made things even worse.

And let me quickly speak to those who are trying to say, oh the wind

turbines froze and you shouldn`t be looking at renewables. That`s a false -

- that`s a false line being put forth because the plants that came offline

were natural gas plants, coal-fired plants, nuclear plants came offline,

you know, wind turbines froze. So, it was a combination. But when it comes

to wind and solar, that still only counts for a fraction of the energy

that`s produced in the state of Texas. The reality is -- the reality is

that the state was ill-prepared.

The other thing that I would add. When I was in the legislature, for 23 of

my 27 years, I said on the -- on the committee that oversees our electric

utility industry, back in 2011 I filed a bill saying to the public utility

commission that we need to exert greater oversight over ERCOT to prevent

blackouts, the very kind that we have are experiencing in Texas for these

last four days. That bill, Chris, was never given a hearing.

And so, for anybody who`s just trying to place the blame on ERCOT, that`s

not enough. That`s part of the story but it`s not the total story. ERCOT is

an agency of the state of Texas. It`s the leadership that overseas ERCOT.

And what happened in this week was a failure not just of ERCOT but of the

statewide leadership, state representatives, state senators who didn`t do

enough to make the necessary structural changes to prevent what took place

this week from occurring.

And as a result of that, hundreds of thousands of Texans have paid a

horrible price and there are a number of Houstonians that lived in this

city, my city, that are not alive -- not alive today to go into next week

because some of them died from carbon monoxide trying to keep themselves


HAYES: Right. I fear and suspect we will get a fuller sense of that toll in

the days to come. My final question to you is about the junior senator from

your state. Obviously, I`m sure you`ve followed this story. But you know,

people defending him saying, well, what can a U.S. senator do. And I just

want you -- as a mayor who`s trying to make all this work, your response

the idea that there`s really nothing for a senator to do.

TURNER: There`s a lot for senators to do. Number one, it`s always important

to make sure that you`re speaking to the powers that beat to make sure that

you enhance the generation. You can talk to ERCOT in the leadership. You

can talk to the governor and those to make sure that they`re doing

everything possible to make sure that we`re increasing generation so that

people are not having to die because they are not kept warm.

At the same time, as a senator, you can be touching bases directly with

FEMA and saying that people are without heat, without food, they need

water. Send those necessary supplies down to the state of Texas. He`s on

the federal level. You can be talking to FEMA. I touch basis with one of

our congresspersons, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. She`s gotten trucks

down here to help to provide water to people who need -- who need that

water right now. So, there are a number of things to do.

And then, if nothing else, as leaders, we stay on the ship. We don`t leave

the ship when the ship is in trouble and when passengers need us to be

doing everything that we can. Now, one thing that it does demonstrate, and

that is that our airports are open and ready for business.

But as leaders, as leaders, when people are hurting and they are in need,

you don`t lead from behind and you don`t leave from someplace else. You

stay right there in the bunker with them until such time as you can say all

is clear. And that`s my job. That`s the job of every elected official

regardless of your party affiliation. And this is when the people need us

the most. Not when everything is fine, not when everything is fine, but

when people don`t have electricity, when they don`t have heat, when they

don`t have food, when they are trying to wonder how we`re going to make

things -- how are we going to continue to go from day to day, from hour to

hour, they need us out in front saying look, we hear you, we see you, we

understand and we`re going to be right here with you until we all get past

this. Leaders lead. They do not follow.

HAYES: Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston, you wouldn`t be a mayor without

getting a plug-in for the tourism for the great city of Houston whose

airports are open. Thank you very much, Mayor. And wishing you all the best

and all the folks in your city the best as you come out of this.

TURNER: Thank you. Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: For more on this story, stay tuned at the top of the hours. Rachel

Maddow will actually have more on what`s happening in Texas and the federal

response with the acting FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton who`s going to be a

guest on her show.

Plus, Flying Ted is back from his short-lived Cancun vacation. He`s telling

quite a story about he wasn`t really abandoning his constituents in the

middle of an unfolding disaster. That story is next.


HAYES: Back in 2016 when asked his opinions of Ted Cruz, the former

Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner made a face and responded, and

I quote him here, "Lucifer in the flesh. I have Democrat friends and

Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone but I have never

worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life."

When he ran for president in 2016, only six sitting Republican senators

endorsed Cruz, their colleague, compared to almost 30 sitting Republican

senators who endorsed his rival Donald Trump. Ted Cruz is just genuinely

disliked by a lot of his colleagues.

And part of the reason is he loves sanctimoniously dunking on everyone

else, from telling Chris Christie to go back to the beach which is a good

one in the current context, after Christie called Cruz a hypocrite for

asking for federal hurricane assistance, to blasting the governor of

California saying, "California is now unable to perform even basic

functions of civilization like having reliable electricity" to attacking

the mayor of Austin, Texas for taking a "private jet with eight people to

Cabo and while in Cabo recorded a video telling Austinites to stay home if

you can, this is not the time to relax." All the kind of glib dunking that

would never come back to Cruz in a situation like this, of course.

I`m joined now by New York Times op-ed columnist Michelle Goldberg and

former Democratic Senator Al Franken who once wrote "I probably like Ted

Cruz more than most of my other colleagues like Ted Cruz, and I hate Ted

Cruz." It`s still a good line.

Al, I have -- I mean, just from a political perspective, like, I seriously

cannot get my head around this. I just -- I mean, at a basic human level,

but at a political level, like, have you ever seen something quite this

tone death?

AL FRANKEN, FORMER MINNESOTA SENATOR: No, I mean, from both the human and

political level. The one thing you don`t do when you have a statewide

crisis like this is go to Cancun. You don`t go on vacation. What you do --

I know you ask the mayor what can you do. What can you not do?

First of all, you find out what you can do. You work with -- you`re one of

two statewide federal officials, so you`re working -- you`re asking FERC,

you`re talking to FERC, you`re talking to FEMA. You`re talking to your

governor. You`re talking -- you`re finding out what to do and you`re

telling your staff what to do and you`re coordinating. You`re helping

whether it`s getting generators, whether it`s getting food.

Ted Cruz has big, big donors. Get one of your big donors to fly some food

in and fly some generators in.

HAYES: Right.

FRANKEN: You have municipal officials to work with, county officials.

There`s plenty to do.

HAYES: There`s also, Michelle, I think, you know, this -- what I was saying

before about this, the warping of the view of conservatives and Republicans

about what governing is and what wins you plaudits and how you get a claim

in the Republican Party where none of that stuff matters because Donald

Trump got elected. What matters is like your takes and your podcast and,

you know, going on Fox News.


progenitor of these kinds of troll politicians like Marjorie Taylor Greene

and Madison Cawthorn who very explicitly don`t go there to legislate, don`t

go there to provide any service for their constituents.

And the whole kind of Republican Party has lost sight of the idea that it`s

their job as representatives to actually represent people. I don`t think

it`s a coincidence that Ted Cruz came to the Senate after the end of

earmarks. And one reason I think it`s good that Democrats are planning to

reinstate earmarks is because they should reinstate the expectation that it

is the job of members of Congress to do things for their district, right,

not just to be trolled on the national stage.

And one more thing. I think that if it was the job of Ted Cruz to deliver

for his district, his generally odious personality would be seen as a

liability because it would stand in the way of him being able to get things

done legislatively.

HAYES: It`s a really good point. I thought of you, Al, too because you know

your trajectory was literally the opposite, right. Like, you came from the

world of media where you were known and had a platform, and then became a

U.S. Senator, and your entire approach to the job was I`m not doing that

anymore, I`m doing this thing now that is not that thing.

It was -- it was literally that in reverse as opposed to being a person

that no one had heard of getting elected as senator and being like now,

people will listen to my podcast.

FRANKEN: You know this is one -- this is one of the most satisfying things

you can do is go where people need your help. And we have floods, we have

tornadoes. We had -- one of my most valuable members of my staff was Val

Gravseth. We call her Val the Disaster Gal. And Val -- and I would learn so

much from her. And you would learn what you can do to help people. And I

don`t think ted has invested much in in doing that. Knowing him, I don`t

think he has.

HAYES: I wonder, Michelle, if you think this does hurt him politically. I

mean, again, even though sort of trolling and sort of performatively

arguing that the libs is is the key to success in the coin of the realm, I

just can`t imagine this not being hung around his neck for a very long


GOLDBERG: Well, look, I don`t think that he`s ever going to be president,

but I don`t think he ever was going to be president. So, in that sense, you

know, it`s kind of one more -- right, I don`t know -- one more mark against


Does it hurt him when he`s running for senate again in four years -- in

four years? I mean, look, obviously, this isn`t the kind of thing even

though we have a very short attention span, a very fast news cycle, I think

this is the kind of thing that sticks like Chris Christie on the beach or

like Bridgegate, right.

There are certain things that just become part of your political biography.

And this is such a perfect, you know, this is such a perfect symbol of who

Ted Cruz is as a person that people aren`t going to forget about it. And

so, you know, who knows? Beto O`Rourke who, by the way, is out there

actually doing wellness checks on seniors, so there is stuff to do, you

know, came pretty close to Ted Cruz a couple of years ago.

The demographics of Texas are going to be even different in four years. So,

you know, obviously, somebody has a shot to overturn him. It`s not going to

help him.

HAYES: I will note that I remember this very clearly. The first ad that Ted

Cruz cut in that race against Beto O`Rourke was all about how he had helped

with Harvey and he was out there looking out for Texans. So, he even -- he

understands the political upside in that sort of thing. Senator Al Franken

and Michelle Goldberg, thank you both so much. I appreciate it.

GOLDBERG: Thank you.

FRANKEN: Thank you.

HAYES: Still to come, the unbridgeable line in the Republican Party between

dealing with facts and reality and staying in the good graces of Donald

Trump. Nikki Haley`s failed attempt ahead.


HAYES: Just about every day, we get new reports about people who have been

charged with taking part in the Trump mob insurrection. Recently, it was

this gentleman L. Brent Bozell IV who goes by Zeek, alternately Zeeker, and

who was first identified in part because of the sweatshirt he was wearing

while inside the capitol.

If that name L. Brent Bozell sounds familiar, it`s because he descends from

a long line of L. Brent Bozells who have been significant figures in

American conservatism. In fact, as this tweet noted, you can tell a story

of American conservatism by tracing the L. Brent Bozells.

The great grandfather of the man charged in the insurrection L. Brent

Bozell Sr. was an Omaha newspaperman who in 1921 found an advertising

agency that still exists today. It`s responsible for the famous rich soft

Corinthian leather commercials for Chrysler, memorably advertised by

Ricardo Montalban, as well as the extremely successful and enduring slogan

Pork, The Other White Meat, among other ad campaigns.

According to the Intercept, Bozell Sr. was a prominent member of the

American Legion when the group was proclaiming its purpose was to "maintain

law and order to foster and perpetuate a 100 percent Americanism."

Now, his son L Brent Bozell Jr. was fellow conservative William F.Buckley

Jr.`s best friend at Yale. Bozell even married Buckley`s sister. That`s

Bozell on the left and Buckley on the right. Buckley is holding the book

the two wrote together defending anti-communist demagogue Joseph McCarthy.

As staunchly conservative catholic, Bozell Jr. was the more hardcore of the

two. He`s also a speechwriter for McCarthy. He ghostwrote Barry Goldwater`s

manifesto. At one point, he even left America, land of the free, to live

under the authoritarian dictatorship of Francisco Franco in Spain.

When he returned to D.C., Bozell Jr. was reportedly arrested for breaking

into an abortion clinic to disrupt its procedures where he reportedly

slugged a police officer with a five-foot wooden cross. Asked about his

defiance of law and order, he reportedly replied, if disorder is necessary

to stop this murder of babies, I`m in favor of disorder.

Then came L. Brent Bozell III who has spent decades running various

organizations dedicated to attacking any news that isn`t in line with

conservative beliefs as liberal bias. His groups including the media

research center implore people, don`t believe the fake news media. And of

course, he regularly appears to make this case in right-wing media,

including, on the day of the insurrection, when he falsely claimed the

election was stolen, but also condemned the rioters as "absolutely wrong."


L. BRENT BOZELL III, CONSERVATIVE WRITER: I am heartsick about that element

that has been so destructive and has done so much damage to a very noble

cause. But the damage they`ve done to conservatives like me is profound.


HAYES: That was just hours after his own son apparently L. Brent Bozell IV

was allegedly spotted inside the capitol. L. Brent Bozell IV is now charged

with obstructing an official proceeding, entering restricted building and

disorderly conduct for his alleged role in that January 6th insurrectionist


From the American Legion to alleged insurrection for generations. Exciting

to imagine what the future has in store for us and this august line.


HAYES: A major dividing line in conservative politics today is between

truth and lies, between democracy and insurrection. As Republican Senator

Mitt Romney of Utah said in his statement about his impeachment vote, "Now

the impeachment trial is behind us. It falls to each of us to affirm what

we all know. President Biden won the election through the legitimate vote

of the American people. The division in America will only begin to heal in

the light of this truth, a truth which must now be affirmed by each of us

in this chamber."

That line between fact and fiction is unstraddlable as former ambassador to

the U.N. Nikki Haley just found out. When after writing an op-ed in the

Wall Street Journal about how any divisions within the Republican Party are

just about the bad liberal media trying to force a wedge in there, Donald

Trump turned her down for a meeting because of criticisms she`s leveled at

him over the capital insurrection.

David Jolly is a former Republican congressman from Florida who figured out

a long time ago which side of that line he wants to be on and he joins me


I thought that Romney`s statement here was really important because I do

think it`s actually in some ways gotten a little lost because of how

shocking the violent insurrection was that a majority of Republican members

of Congress, a big majority in the House and I think seven or eight in the

Senate, voted to overturn an election, voted to give air to this lie that

the president himself, the ex-president, is still spinning yesterday and

there is no reckoning with that.


so appreciate how you`re framing this identity crisis within today`s

Republican Party because conventional wisdom seems to default to this

identity crisis must be an ideological one, right? Conservatives versus

moderates are different degrees of conservatism.

That`s not today`s identity crisis in the Republican Party. It is as Mitt

Romney suggested the defense of democratic values or not, the defense of

our democratic institutions or not, the recognition of valid elections or

not. Those are now the litmus tests.

And I think the problem for this identity crisis, but honestly, culturally,

to have one of the two major parties be viable with this platform, the

problem is the candidates we will see on the Republican side for House,

Senate, for President, whatever it might be, they have to start from the

place that Donald Trump should have been acquitted, right? They can`t

disagree with that or they`re not viable.

Well, if you back up from that, that then suggests that his culpability was

permissible as well which ultimately suggests we`re going to agree that

undermining elections must be permissible as part of the Republican dogma.

HAYES: Well, and it`s not only that. You know, it sort of clicked for me

this obvious point today for the first time which is all the work the big

lie is doing which is this. Parties jettison losers. When someone loses,

people do a whole bunch of autopsies, they do a lot of -- there`s a whole

circular firing squad. I mean, you saw this among Democrats when they lost

House seats. Oh, did we -- was our messaging wrong on this, how did we lose

the seat.

If you get people to believe you didn`t lose, you totally forced all that

process, and that has been successful. There is zero process debate

conversation among Republicans of what did we do wrong to lose after one

term which doesn`t happen that often in American history.

JOLLY: Yes. Chris, I can tell you, there is zero self-reflection in today`s

Republican Party. They don`t see an electoral crisis, right? Kevin McCarthy

would tell you, they`re on track to take back the House under the Trumpism

view of Republican politics. Maybe they can take back the Senate and they

could take back the White House.

They don`t see the electoral challenge and they don`t recognize the

identity crisis either. And like I said, I think that`s the great challenge

for the party going forward. But I don`t think we can expect them to change

because they see this message as the most competitive message they have.

It`s not rooted in ideology any longer. It`s grievance politics now

translated to the undermining of democracy.

HAYES: And they`re not -- here`s the thing. They`re not wrong. This is not

the other problem, right?

JOLLY: That`s right.

HAYES: You gerrymander enough seats in this next census, you have a spatial

-- a spatially distributed coalition that -- with the United States Senate

and the Electoral College kind of put some wind at your back, right? So,

all of that means you are -- you can remain competitive this way. You know,

you can remain within 45 to 50 if things break your way. So, they`re not

even wrong about the calculation they`re making which is the most unnerving

part of it.

JOLLY: Yes. Two very important implications to that. You`re right. They

don`t suffer an electoral viability crisis. It`s an identity crisis.

Electorally, they`re very viable, so two important implications. What does

that mean for us culturally that one of the two major parties can pervade

this message and succeed? Because ultimately the American public follows

their political leaders. That is a dangerous moment for us as a nation, as

a culture.

And secondly, the implications for Democratic strategy over the next two

years are very important. How do you wrangle with the fact that the

opposing party is viable on this platform, and that`s a challenge, right?

HAYES: Right.

JOLLY: That`s why some Democrats say go big now while you have the

opportunity because you might not have it in two years. Others suggest

they`re going to run against the identity of today`s Republican Party as a

way to put the stake in the GOP.

HAYES: Yes. There`s some great reporting in the New York Times about

Michigan where, you know, they`re just sort of all in on the Trumpiness and

they want a primary Peter Meijer who is one of the Republicans who voted to

impeach the President.

But the one thing I do think is a misreading of the politics that you saw

with Nikki Haley here, for -- in a narrow sense of Republicans that want to

be the next president or nominee, the idea you can straddle the line to me

does seem unworkable. Like, it`s either going to be Donald Trump and his

son or someone else.

JOLLY: That`s right.

HAYES: But you can`t -- there`s no way -- you can`t -- like, you can get a

Trump face tattoo if you want but that`s not -- it`s not going to give you


JOLLY: That`s right. This is Donald Trump`s party. Nikki Haley knows that.

She`s learned that. Listen, a woman who`s now blaming the media took the

opportunity to spend more than four hours with Tim Alberta of Politico over

multiple visits to get her story out there, and now doesn`t like what was

written, so she`s blaming the media for Republican problems.

This is Donald Trump`s party. That`s not going to change. I would maintain

the actions of Kinzinger and Cheney and others that we saw, even Mitt

Romney. That is not the return of a fight for the heart and soul of the

party. Those are the last gaffes of the party we used to know. This is

Donald Trump`s party going forward for as long as he chooses to play in it.

HAYES: Yes. I mean, I think he individually may not animate it, but what he

was giving people whether that finds some other vessel which I think is as

equally likely, like, that to me seems the thing that I feel quite certain

of. Although, who knows. Things change in American politics. Hopefully,

this will.

David Jolly, thank you for making time tonight.

JOLLY: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Ahead, the White House drops its first major non-COVID-related piece

of legislation. What it is and what it reveals about the lessons learned

from stalled Obama-era policies after this.


HAYES: The Biden administration announced their first big piece of non-

COVID legislation today which is an immigration bill introduced by

Democrats that offers one of the fastest pathways to citizenship of any

proposal in recent years. What`s really notable is how different the

approach is from what President Barack Obama did which was try and meet

Republicans halfway.

The administration jacked up deportations to record numbers in the first

few years and they threw a ton of money at border security in their

legislation. The result was they got a bunch of votes in the Senate, but

the Republican House just refused to even take up immigration reform.

Then Trump got elected and we got an immigration policy of unceasing

cruelty led by Stephen Miller. So, this time, Joe Biden seems to have

learned that lesson. Joining me now to talk about today`s big announcement

is someone who has the scars to show from all of her years in this very

battle, Lorella Praeli, president of Community Change Action, a group that

fights for policies for marginalized communities.

Lorella, I was -- I was remembering that I had a weekend show back in 2011,

2012. So, nine years ago, I think we had you on the program to talk about

immigration reform fight. So, I thought of no one better to sort of check

in with you about what lessons have been learned. What do you see in this

bill that reflects the last nine years of fights on this issue?


lesson, Chris, really is that movements build power that change and have

the capacity to change the politics, right? And so, this bill is without

question ground breaking in more than a few ways, right. You led with eight

year path to citizenship for the 11 million generally, a three-year path

for DREAMers, for TPS holders and farm workers. It addresses the root

causes of migration from Central America. On border, it signals a shift

away from border security framework, to really a border management


Now, the crucial, crucial paradigm shift here, I think this is the biggest

lesson learned, right, the bill doesn`t include new enforcement as a trade-

off. This is a sea change from proposals we`ve seen passed, right.

Legalization coupled with enforcement is a failed strategy and it`s morally

indefensible. And I commend President Biden and the Democrats for finally

abandoning it

HAYES: Yes. So, that point -- I mean, that has been -- I`ve covered this. I

have some -- I mean, I have personal scars to show for it because I`m not

on the front lines of this, but as a reporter, I covered McCain-Kennedy

back in 2005, right? And you know, it`s always been the same recipe,

enforcement, you know, jacking up enforcement and border security is the

trade, and then you get -- you know, try to stop future flow and then the

Republicans, you can bring them along on legalizing the 11 million.

And this is the first bill I`ve seen in my life in the 15 years I`ve been

covering it that just blows that up and says no, we`re not going to do


PRAELI: Yes, it`s a really important start and it helps us frame the

conversation, right. Chris, you have to remember that also in 2010, we

couldn`t even get all of the Democrats in the Senate on the DREAM Act,

right. So, what`s happened between then and today is really the movement.

The movement was strong then but it`s grown exponentially since then,

right? It`s the same movement but only bigger and more powerful and more

vibrant. Now, here`s the thing. It gives us the framework from which to

have the fight. We need to fight for the principles of President Biden`s

bill, but that alone is not enough, right?

A good faith attempt here is not going to cut it. You can`t win the

elections. You can`t do it because low-income people of color, because

Latinos and immigrant voters delivered it for you, and then come home

empty-handed or tell us we tried. So, this really gets us into a question

of and a conversation of strategy, right?

HAYES: Well, so what`s that? I mean, I don`t know if there are 50 votes for

this, right? I mean, like, the flip side of this is when you say OK, we`ve

gotten rid of the -- we`ve gotten rid of the old framework where we trade

these things like border security enforcement and e-verify and all this

stuff for this, we`ve gotten rid of that, but like, then are the votes


I mean, there`s a lot of people who are very conservative on immigration

both in the American population and in the Republican Party and some

probably in the Democratic Party.

PRAELI: Well, the American public is there. They`ve long been there on a

path to citizenship for the 11 million, for DREAMers, for farm workers. And

I actually think now we`re having a conversation about essential workers,

right. So, we are -- listen, our movement for justice is nonpartisan,


We are calling both on Democrats and Republicans to deliver for immigrant

communities this year. But I will be blunt. We are not holding out for

Republicans. We know that Trumpism did not disappear with Trump`s departure

from office. And every day Republicans make the choice to continue to align

with a party that has shown itself to be fundamentally opposed to the

multiracial democracy that we seek to build, right.

So, we do not have the luxury in our movement of performing gestures of

bipartisanship with actors who we know are acting in bad faith. So, what

does this all lead us to, right? We`re going to fight like hell. We`re

going to fight fast to hit 60 votes for DREAMers, for TPS holders, for

farmworkers, for essential workers. We will never stop until we win

citizenship for all 11 million.

But I want to be clear, if we do not have that by the time the next

reconciliation package is moving, right, it is now a question and a matter

of choice for Democrats. It is solely within their power to either secure a

historic win for immigrants or once again fail us. That`s really the

question here.

HAYES: Yes. Well, and I think it`s -- you know, I mean, I don`t know what

the future holds but it is striking to me that, you know, the country`s in

the midst of a bunch of crises as President Biden has said and I think is

accurate. The first obvious build is the COVID relief package, and I don`t

think there`s basically anyone in the entire broad coalition of the, you

know, center left that disagrees with that.

It is striking that this is the -- this is the number two which I think

says something about precisely the politics you spoke to before.

PRAELI: Yes. I think it`s -- listen, I think that the movement really

delivered this and I think President Biden campaigned on it. And now he has

to deliver, right? So, I think the question -- so it is an incredible

acting act, right? It shows the commitment. But you`ve got to follow

promise and aspiration and vision with concrete change in people`s lives,


Like, in 2010, Chris, right before I came on to your show when I was still

undocumented, I watched from the Senate gallery as the Dream act is called

for a vote. The Democrats had the majority in the Senate and yet they

failed to get the votes to overcome the filibuster.

We lost that vote, and with it we lost our hope for stability, for

protection from deportation, for a path to citizenship for two million

young people in this country. We cannot have a repeat of 2010. And as the

president begins to lay out his framework for this next recovery and jobs

bill, there is this procedure he can use to make sure that he comes through


HAYES: I have to -- on reconciliation. I`m sorry to cut you off. I got to

get -- hand -- pass the baton to Rachel Maddow. Lorella Praeli, thanks so

much for making time tonight. That is ALL IN on this Thursday night. "THE

RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.




Copyright 2021 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are

protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,

distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the

prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter

or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the