Millions of people in the pro-democracy majority of this country joyously react to the news that Joe Biden had been named president-elect. President Trump's appointee in the GSA refuses to allow the Biden Transition Team to formally begin working. Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine is 90 percent effective in First analysis. Two Georgia Senate races are headed for January runoffs.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Dr . Glenda Glover, Tiffany Cross, my friends, thank you so much. That is tonight's REIDOUT. Thank you all for being here. This is such a historic moment in American history. You are allowed to savor it. You are allowed to celebrate. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have won. A defeated president pouts and Americans flooded the streets. Tonight, how the White House was one with David Plouffe and DNC Chair Tom Perez.
Then, new warnings from the fired Secretary of Defense and the DOJ pushes the false narrative of election fraud. Plus, the high stakes Georgia run-off with Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff. All this and the fierce urgency to save lives now amid news of a vaccine breakthrough when ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York. I'm Chris Hayes. This was the moment. It came on a Saturday, a very sunny, a delightful one here on the East Coast and through much of the country, roughly four years after that awful, stunning, dramatic election night that made Donald Trump our president.
Millions of people in the pro-democracy majority of this country joyously reacting to the news that Joe Biden had been named president-elect. Many of these people did everything in their power, knocking on doors, and texting friends, and volunteering, and reaching out to family members to save the country from a turn towards what could have been a real fundamental transformation of what we think of as self-governance in this country we love. This was the moment.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's over.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard screaming outside. I already knew what happened. I have to run here and celebrate with everyone, man. It's -- I have no words. I have no words.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm just happy he's gone. I want him out of the White House tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm hoping to become a part of this country. And last four years have just been like -- it's been like an assault on us. And I am just so -- like just so grateful. Thank you. Thank you, everyone.
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HAYES: Some people remark that the scenes this weekend looks like people celebrating the fall of a regime, an authoritarian one. And there was a reason. The President of the United States, let's be clear here, consistently attempted to abuse the power of his office, even to the point of being impeached or precisely this plan to lock himself into power against the wishes of the majority of Americans.
And a majority of Americans came together across all different kinds of lines of race and class and geography and they rose up and they said no. And that was not a foregone conclusion at all. The reason the stakes felt so existential, the reason they join the streets so immediate and pure is because allowing him to abuse the office, to stay in power creates a pathway to something that's not recognizably an American democracy, a country with free and fair elections where we govern of, by, and for the people.
And that's part of the reason his defeat was such a catharsis for so many Americans. Look, it's hard to beat incumbent presidents, even not wildly corrupt ones abusing their power. There have been four one term or in the last hundred years or so who failed in their effort to get reelected, Hoover, Ford, Carter, George H.W. Bush.
Ford was never even elected. It's sort of a strange case after Nixon resigned. So, you're down to three people in the past century who got elected and they got turfed out after one term. That's the club Trump is joining. It's not the only one. There has only been one other president in all of American history impeached in their one term and turfed out. Andrew Johnson who didn't even get to run for reelection, his party didn't even nominate him, And now Donald Trump.
And let's also be clear, it's not like it was close. Our perception of what happened has been colored by the trickling vote counts. But take a step back -- step back. Joe Biden is probably going to win with 306 electoral votes when all is said and done, flipping five states in the process. That's huge.
And when you talk about a mandate, it's not just that he won more electoral votes, which is what makes him the president in the constitution, or more votes overall, but that he won an outright majority of Americans in the highest turnout election in 100 years. That's where things right now stand.
Biden has more than 50 percent of the vote. He's up by more than four million votes in a very divided country with probably more to come. That is a decisive win. American politics, I don't have to tell you, are still extremely polarized. Of course, the most polarized they've been probably ever or certainly the last hundred 50 years or so.
And there are more than 71 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump. Tens of millions of them distressed in mourning or perhaps as polling would indicate, like the president simply in denial and think it's all a lie. Most people in this country don't change their minds much. The country is what it is. We're all, you know, looking at the five or six people in the middle who move back and forth. The five or six people on the sides who didn't vote and now voting with candidates fighting over these slivers and margins the electorate every single election.
And you know, maybe with the exception of the new deal coalition, we also just don't have long-lasting, durable dominance for one political party over time. And yet, when all of a sudden done, think of this, in seven of the last eight elections, more Americans have voted for the Democrats. That's never happened in any party's run in this republic history.
The Republican has only won the popular vote once, an incumbent wartime president going all the way back to 1992. In fact, no one in this country born after 1986 has ever voted in an election in which the Republicans won the popular vote. Think about that. And Joe Biden just defeated an incumbent with the support of more than 50 percent of the electorate. That's remarkable.
We should be very clear that even with Biden's win, the country is right now, as I speak to you, poised for one of the darkest winters of our lifetime, perhaps the darkest. We crossed 10 million U.S. COVID cases today. The outbreak is spiking everywhere. It's out of control. The repudiated president who botched the pandemic response is still there for two more months.
Right now, he's attempting to pull down the temple of American democracy on all of our heads, undermine legitimacy election, aided and abetted by Republican elected officials and rank and file staffers and lawyers, people who just go to their offices every day and are sitting at their computers doing their utmost to destroy the American democracy, even as the virus runs rampant in the country and in the President's inner circle.
So, it's still a dark time. We still have a long way to go. For the 75 million Americans who came out to save a government of, by, and for the people emerged victorious, we still have a real shot America, OK. Nothing is given or guaranteed, but we've got a shot. And think of how much darker would be if we didn't.
Joining me now, the man who wrote the book on beating Donald Trump, David Plouffe, campaign manager of the 2008 presidential campaign, and author of A Citizen's Guide To Beating Donald Trump.
And, you know, David, we spoke last week as this was coming in. And I think the temporality of it all, the slow trickle the people trying to do the math in their head of what the percentage in this county was, obscured what we're seeing now. Like, characterize this in the context of presidential elections that happen in this country, you've worked on two of them, what are we seeing in the results?
DAVID PLOUFFE, FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER, OBAMA 2008 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: Well, Chris, let's just go back over the last 60 years quickly, 1960 closer, 1968 closer, 1976 closer. Certainly, 2000 closer, 2004 closer, 2012 Obama's Electoral College margin will be larger, but Biden is going to win a bigger popular vote. So, all of this giving a middle finger to democracy that's happening by Donald Trump and his enablers in the Senate. It's not like we're in one state that's 1,000 votes, OK.
Biden's margins in Pennsylvania and Michigan and Wisconsin are three times what Donald Trump won in 2016. Remember, he called it a landslide. Hillary Clinton waited until the next morning, took a cede, and she was criticized for that. So, all of these histrionics here, which is all they are, this is all about his ego and to raise money. It's a big grift.
Half the money he's raising doesn't go to pay off lawyers, it goes to pay down his debt. I'm sure he went to bank a bunch of money to pay for rallies when he gets ushered out of the Oval Office on January 20. But this was not a closed presidential election historically.
HAYES: Yes. I mean, I think about that 2012 election. Part of what is happening here is just the way the Electoral College skews our view of things. So, that was a narrower election. But Barack Obama's margins in the states he needed were wider. I think only one was below one percent. We knew that night and it was like all that done.
You look back, he won by a smaller margin over Mitt Romney than Joe Biden is going to win over Donald Trump. And that's as the incumbent president with all the kind of advantages that confers. PLOUFFE: Right. So, you know, the vote is not in yet. I mean, Biden could end up winning the national popular vote by over five percentage point, OK, which will be closer to the '08 landslide that Obama had than our win in 2012.
HAYES: Great point.
PLOUFFE: But what you see over that 12 year period that, you know, our margins in battleground states were closer toward a popular vote margin. So, again, you show that amazing graphic of seven of the last eight presidential races, seven of them blue, only Bush in '04 red, and that's going to be a challenge for the Democratic Party going forward.
But the question is, is Georgia the new Virginia? Is Arizona going to be the new Colorado?
PLOUFFE: And if that can be something going forward in '24 and '28, not to mention ultimately, Texas, I think that strengthens our hand. And so, you'll see at some point, if those states become reliably blue, the Republicans will be converts to changing to the popular vote.
HAYES: Yes. I mean, honestly, I think it's just really important for the country whoever benefits to change the popular vote. One reason -- one reason even is as we're watching this incredibly irresponsible, dangerous, dangerous message from the White House, and his enablers, and Mitch McConnell about the fraud and all this stuff that is, you know, engineered to subvert legitimacy and all those things, is that in a popular vote, there wouldn't be -- there's five million votes.
There's nothing to like -- there's no margins to contend, there's no lawsuits to do. Like, it actually appreciably makes the system ricketier and more prone to these kind of mistakes and easier to attack when it's on these foundations than if it were just that one number, like every election that you've ever worked on a president and that I've ever covered. I mean, that's the thing that's so weird about it. Every election --
PLOUFFE: It's bizarre.
HAYES: Every election you do in politics, but this one, you just look at the numbers, and that's it.
PLOUFFE: It's disconnected from reality. So, they're like -- the Republicans right now, most of them, are like a football team that lost by three touchdowns. And they're complaining about one pass interference call that actually wasn't pass interference, OK. It's just outrageous. But listen, what's happening right now, and again, Joe Biden is going to be our president. He's going to take the oath of office. Donald Trump is going to, you know, go back to Mar-a-Lago and lick his wounds. But this is, I think, other than the south, succeeding back in 1860s, this is the biggest threat from within to American democracy.
Make no mistake, as unsuccessful as it will be, as outrageous as it is, as silly as it is, it is -- we've never seen basically other than four Republican senators, an entire Republican Party refused to abide by the voters' wishes particularly in an election, we can't say it enough, that was not that close. And I think you're right. It was distorted by the way the vote came in. There's no question about that. But that's no excuse.
HAYES: Yes. David Plouffe who really knows this stuff backwards and forwards and has internalized the Math to 270 even though it's crazy and bad, thank you so much for making some time.
PLOUFFE: Of course, Chris. Joining me now following this historic election, Tom Perez, chair of the Democratic National Committee. Tom, I know you've been working very hard over these years. And there's -- you know, there's all sorts of things you can point to in this election, a complicated picture in certain parts of the country. Your overall takeaway from what happened and where we are now?
TOM PEREZ, CHAIRMAN, DNC: Well, it's impossible to answer where we are now without talking about where we were four years ago, Chris. Four years ago, we had 15 governors, now we have 24. Four years ago, we were in a really, really deep ditch. We didn't have the presidency, we didn't have the Senate, we didn't have the House, we'd lost hundreds of seats in statehouses.
We were in a ditch, we needed to rebuild our infrastructure and rebuild trust, and that's exactly what we did. We now have 24 governors as we head into 2021. We have the House of Representatives with what I think is the most influential and impactful speaker in American history. We have flipped hundreds of seats in state legislatures from red to blue. I think it's eight or 10 chambers that have flipped from red to blue over the course of the last four years.
State attorneys general, we know how important those are in the world of Trump, and we're now in the 20s instead of the teens in terms of attorneys general, same thing with secretaries of state moving forward. And so in the lead up to this, all of this work I'm so proud of because the "we" in this sentence is not just the DNC, it's the entire ecosystem.
If you knocked down a door or sent a postcard or made a call or send a text or sent some money, whether it was $1.00 or $100,000, you're part of this movement. And Joe Biden is the man and person for the moment and Kamala Harris has made history. So, I am really proud.
But I also know that we have more work to do because we've defeated Trump, make no mistake about that, but we still have a lot of work to do, Chris, with defeating Trumpism. And I can't think of a better leader to handle that task than Joe Biden, a real healer.
HAYES: You know, one of the most distressing and revealing moments today -- and today has been a distressing day in certain ways because of the behavior of the Republican Party -- is that the two Republican Senate candidates in Georgia, one is an active -- both of them are senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, called for the Republican Secretary of State of Georgia to resign basically because Democrats got too many votes in Georgia.
I mean, honestly, they gesture towards some irregularities, but they don't name any. And really what it is like, dude, you're supposed to rig this for us. You failed. You should resign. It's a really wild thing to say.
PEREZ: Well, Chris, you'll have to forgive me for laughing on this one. I am so touched by the Republicans' concern in Georgia about voter suppression. Brian Kemp wrote the book on voter suppression. Why do I know that? Because I sued him when I headed up the Civil Rights Division.
You know why we have the situation where Joe Biden is poised to win Georgia? Here's why. We had 67 percent turnout in Georgia. We had a 20 percent increase in young people. We have a fusion coalition of people, White people, African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans coming together rural, suburban, urban, Stacey Abrams, and so many folks who led the effort.
If you want the governor and -- or let me tell the senators, if you want to really talk about voter suppression, go back to the 2018 election in Georgia.
PEREZ: You get a sock in your mouth back then. What happened now is very simple. Joe Biden won fair and square. And 10,000 votes is not a -- it's not a huge margin, but I'll tell you, it is -- you can have another recount, and it's not going to change the amount. Recounts change the amounts by maybe 100, 200, 300. You look at the history of recounts.
Joe Biden won Georgia because we expanded the electorate under the leadership of Stacey Abrams. This victory for Joe Biden last Tuesday and this victory -- the victory is over the last four years. Everybody played a role. And what I'm most proud of, Chris, is we came together like never before as a party, every presidential candidate. We return power to the people. We changed our super delegates' rules.
Did I get in a little trouble for that with some? Yes. I do it again in a heartbeat because returning power to the people to the grassroots was what it was all about. And that is one thing that I'm really proud of is that the voters decided and the voters decided in Georgia. We got more work to do there. And I'm confident that we can continue that work with that fusion coalition that has been built.
If you told me four years ago that you're going to rebuild that Mid-Atlantic wall and add Arizona and Georgia to that and make more progress in Texas and elsewhere, I'd say wow. And that's what we've done.
HAYES: You know, it's funny you mentioned Texas. I mean, one of the things the Electoral College obscures is that, if I'm not mistaken, Wisconsin shifted towards the Democrats by about 1.4 percentage points, North Carolina by about 2.5 percentage points, and Texas by three-plus. But of course, everyone is like, Texas, they screwed it up again. It removed three points in the direction of Democrats.
But the Electoral College, because it creates the all or nothing break where if you're 10,000 votes up or behind to win, you get all the electoral votes, it obscures a lot of that movement.
PEREZ: Chris, let me be very clear. When we were looking at the map in 2017, the two states that jumped off the page as states that were going to be opportunity states in 2020 were Georgia and Arizona. And that's one reason why everybody including, but not limited to the DNC, invested so early there.
We also knew that Texas was trending in the right direction. And let me remind all the viewers. Barack Obama in 2012 lost Texas by double digits. Hillary Clinton cut that margin into the high single digits. We've now cut the margin further. I think it's five percent at the moment. Folks, take this to the bank. Texas in '24 is a real battleground state. And in '22, we are going to continue climbing up the mountain.
What I'm most proud of, Chris, we'd become a 50 state party. When we don't make it to the mountain top one year, whether it's this year in Texas, we keep climbing the mountain. We keep investing. They're long term, not short term.
HAYES: Yes. There are different ways to lose in politics. Some are generative, and some are not. And I think if you look at that, you know, 2018 gubernatorial race in Georgia, that's a good example of a generative loss as we survey the landscape here. Tom Perez, thank you so much.
Still to Come, how one Trump appointee is holding up the transfer of powers. The Department of Justice decides to play along with the President's cries of election fraud dangerously. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on that and more next.
HAYES: As President-elect Biden prepares to take over governing in just 72 days, President Trump and most of the Republican Party are attempting to baselessly and dangerously attack the legitimacy of the election. Now, one thing it says it did on Saturday across all the news organizations, including this one, has no legal force in beginning a presidential transition.
What does government that actually has the job of facilitating a transition from one administration to the other, it's called the General Services Administration, GSA. They actually run the federal buildings. They're sort of a fascinating outfit. They've got all sorts of logistical tasks.
And despite being one of the more obscure agencies, it's very important, especially right now, after a candidate is elected when there's an apparent winner, the head of the GSA signs the official paperwork saying, yep, this person won, this is happening, and then that gives a green light to all sorts of machinery to start moving, groundwork for formal transfer of power.
Now, the person in charge of that office is a Trump appointee named Emily Murphy. She is refusing to sign that paperwork telling NBC News today through a spokes pier who the winner is yet. This is going to have very real implications for what happens. Here to talk about that, a high-profile firing just today, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York who sits on the Armed Services Committee.
I want to get to the sudden termination of Mark Esper in a moment, but I want to start on this fairly obscure but significant decision by the head of GSA. My understanding is that the White House sent someone from the White House Counsel's Office over the GSA 10 days ago to be the general counsel there. And the GSA is the one that gives the green light to like, start up the transition and let the money go, and set up e-mail addresses and clearances and all that. What does it mean if that can't happen?
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY): Every day matters during a transition. It is absolutely critical that we put the politics aside and that we allow the proper transition of our government. That's what our democracy is founded on, the peaceful transition of government. And for this person to continue to play politics when this election has been decided is really outrageous and harmful.
We're in the middle of a COVID epidemic. Vice President Biden, President-Elect Biden needs to be able to move forward to talk to HHS, to talk to people to get this epidemic under control.
HAYES: Yes. Just so folks know, I just think it's important for sort of -- Benishek is the individual I was talking about. He is the GSA in the office of White House Counsel's Special Assistant of the president. He's now over there. That's his name, Trent Benishek. He is the person, who along with the head of the GSA, is sort of appears to be involved in blocking this.
There's also today some disturbing news out at the Department of Defense. Mark Esper, fired. He was fired on Twitter. And a new Secretary of Defense was named as acting even though the law seems to just be very clear that's not who the Acting Secretary of Defense is. What do you make of this?
GILLIBRAND: Again, this is one of the reasons why President Trump lost the election. He continues to skew chaos throughout government. It's all about him. And he has to have retribution for those who don't fall in line and don't do these talks.
Look, Mark wasn't qualified in the first place. He's been harmful as Secretary of Defense. But, again, this just -- this is more of Trump's inability to govern.
HAYES: In terms of Esper, he gave some -- he's given some interviews, or at least there's been quotes from him about, you know, him worried about essentially trying to politicize the use of the armed forces in the case of a contested election, and the invocation of the Insurrection Act, to use American soldiers.
Now, this is someone saying this -- you know, I was really concerned that continued talk about Insurrection Act was going to take us in a direction, take us into a really dark direction. That's not like a random show on Twitter or cable news hosts like yours truly. Like, that's the guy that ran the Pentagon saying that on his way out.
GILLIBRAND: And it's a fair statement. And I'm grateful that he stood up there. He did not have a history of standing up to President Trump, however. He continued to enforce the transgender ban. He continued to really make it harmful for women in the military. So, again, if he wants to say he was the man who stood up, he can, but I don't know that everyone would agree.
HAYES: What is your sense of what your Republican colleagues are doing the Senate now? Mitch McConnell today, basically, I think giving a green light to the president to continue this sort of assault on legitimacy of the process. William Barr meeting with him, and then not -- then not given a readout. And then we get an AP story that Barr has sent a memo to U.S. attorneys that they could investigate, you know, substantial allegations of fraud.
It's a little unclear if this is him throwing a bone to the president or a real kind of like, go get them to the most, you know, feckless, Trumpy, and corrupt U.S. attorneys. What do you think your colleagues are doing? Are they playing with fire?
GILLIBRAND: I think it's past time for them to stand up and do the right thing. It is absurd that they continue to play this charade that the election has been decided. And I think it's harmful. And I'm tired of our Republican colleagues and Mitch McConnell, in particular, not standing up to the President and not doing what's right for our democracy and for our country. They continually put their party first, not their nation.
HAYES: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of the state of New York, great to have you. Thank you very much.
HAYES: All right, do not go anywhere. We've got some huge news that a potential Coronavirus vaccine today. Hallelujah. We have Dr. Ashish Jha here to tell us what to make of it after this.
HAYES: We got good news and bad news on COVID. Tonight, the good news, you may have heard, is that today Pfizer announced early results show its vaccine is more than 90 percent effective, which would be just an unbelievable game changer.
Here's the bad news. We had 119,000 new cases today on a Monday, as you can see on the pink graph showing the third wave now full on effect, dwarfing the other two. Most worryingly, hospitalizations, that's the blue graph, that's when we tend to focus on because it doesn't depend on testing, that's about to set new records. The peak we ever got in the first two waves, that April bad one in the northeast and that mid-summer one in the Sunbelt was about 60,000 people nationally hospitalized, we're at 59,000. We're going to shoot through that.
The situation in the state of Utah, just to pick one state, is so bad that Governor Gary Herbert yesterday had to use the state's Emergency Alert System to declare a state of emergency.
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GOV. GARY HERBERT (R-UT): Our hospitals are full. This threatens patients who rely on hospital care from everything from COVID-19 to emergencies like heart attacks, strokes, surgeries and trauma. We must work together to keep infections low until a vaccine is available.
Therefore tonight, I'm declaring a new state of emergency to address hospital overcrowding and to protect Intensive Care Unit capacity.
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HAYES: Now, the tantalizing possibility of vaccine this close gives even more moral urgency to us saving every life we can to get us over the bridge to that vaccine. Dr. Ashish Jha has been completely immersed in learning more about the Novel Coronavirus since the pandemic started. He's the Dean of Brown University School of Public Health, one the most informed people I know about this pandemic. We've been checking in probably multiple times a week for nine months now. It's good to have you, Dr. Jha.
OK, let's start with the Pfizer announcement. How happy should I be from a scale of one to 10?
ASHISH JHA, DEAN, BROWN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Like a nine and a half. Look, this is really good news. I was expecting that we would have two or three vaccines authorized this year. And what I was saying was, if we're lucky, it's going to be 60, or 70 percent effective. 90 percent is terrific, much better than I was expecting. And it actually makes me more optimistic about the other vaccines that are on track. My guess is many of them are going to turn out to be much more effective than we were thinking as well, and that is good news.
The one piece of bad news is the vaccine is not going to be available for a little while, so we have got to keep people protected until the vaccine becomes more widely available.
HAYES: I want to -- I want to talk about that in a second, but just one more question. So, I was reading that. It's a trial of 30,000 folks in the Pfizer trial. And this is a readout of data from the first 94. And I just like, should I be worried about that? We just -- I just spent a week looking at vote totals from different counties that are very different than the -- they're not representatives. I was like, oh, God, is this a -- this is a very anti-COVID county that they're counting. But should I be cautiously optimistic?
JHA: Yes, definitely cautiously optimistic. Look, we've got to see the full data. Right now all we have is a press release. It's 94 events, 94 cases across all the patients that they're tracking. But I have no reason to believe that this is somehow an unrepresentative sample, that is, to use your example, some rural county or some deeply urban county.
HAYES: OK. So, let's talk about -- and I don't know if this is settled into people, but I think it's important to say this. In a world in which there was going to be no vaccine and we're just sort of managing the virus forever, there's a certain point at which, you know, you just try to keep the hospitals from melting down, but the virus is going to spread, and that's kind of is what it is.
In a world in which there's a vaccine, every person you lose is someone you could have saved between now and when the vaccine becomes available. And right now we're staring down the barrel of 150,000 deaths. Like what do we do?
JHA: Yes. So this is the most frustrating part because the reason for the delay, the reason -- you know, the people would say, well, let the virus running, let everybody get infected. There are two reasons for delaying infections. One is we're getting better, right? Treatments are getting better. we're getting better. So, if you get infected now, you're going to do better than if you got infected six months ago.
And the second, of course, is the vaccine, which is now increasingly sort of months away, three to six months away, for a large proportion of people. This is not the time to let your foot off the brake. We've got to save every life we can and we got to get to that time period.
HAYES: OK, but what do -- I mean, yes, I agree. But I can't --- I've been obsessing over COVID numbers since late February. I can't -- this is the worst they've ever been. I cannot find a silver lining. I can't find anything in there. It's out of control all over the country right now and something has to change.
JHA: Yes. So, first, Chris, I think we should talk about why we're here. We're here in this situation because the White House over the last two months has made a deliberate decision to let the virus run free.
HAYES: Yes. That has been the Scott Atlas approach and I think that's where we find ourselves. Look, at this point, the White House is going to become increasingly less relevant, and the Biden team yet -- can't get really put in national policies. So, the only two games in town are Congress and governors.
Congress has got to get money to governors, and governors have to start taking more leadership. I think they can but it's not going to be easy and it's sure as not as good of a plan as having a national approach.
HAYES: You know, the other thing is, I mean, the moral urgency here that I feel is about saving people. And there's already too many that have died who shouldn't have, and there's more in front of us, people alive right now. But there's also the sort of financial, economic part of this. Like, there's businesses that are hanging on that we should keep them afloat for -- like, if this thing is over the rainbow, if it's on the horizon, we just got to get our act together to keep everybody solvent and alive until we get over the horizon.
JHA: Yes, absolutely. And this is something you and I have talked about before. Like, think about restaurants and bars. They should all be closed right now, certainly for indoor dining, but we should be helping them get through this time period. Three to six months, that's what we're talking about, eight or nine at the very most for most of them to be able to reopen again. But this is not crazy. We can do this.
But it needs a Congress that's functional that's going to pass money to support workers and businesses, and pass money to support states so they can fight the virus.
HAYES: If I'm not mistaken, I think the Senate did one bit of business today which was to confirm a Trump judge. That's what they do there. That's what they do. Dr. Ashish Jha, thank you for sharing your expertise with us. I appreciate it.
JHA: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Ahead, control of the Senate is still up for grabs. It all hinges on a pair of runoff races now underway in Georgia. And Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff is the center of that fight. He joins me coming up. Plus, we need to talk about four seasons total landscaping, a wild ride and I'll explain after this.
HAYES: We all knew what Donald Trump and his cronies would do if they lost. They would claim the election was actually stolen. They've been saying this for months. And of course, that's exactly what they are doing. But the way they've been doing it is even more perfectly in line with their M.O. than anything you could have conceived or dreamed of.
This is the defiant photo tweeted yesterday by the Trump Campaign Communications Director showing headquarters plastered with old copies of an old Washington Times front page declaring President Gore as quote a reminder the media doesn't select the president. They probably should have known this was a fake by the different fonts in that headline, or the sidebar story about George W. Bush avenging his father, or and this is really my favorite, the photo of Al Gore being sworn in on the day after the election. It doesn't really work that way.
And of course, there was this incident on Saturday morning, you may have heard about it, the election have not yet been called when the President tweeted, "Lawyers press conference at Four Seasons Philadelphia 11:00 a.m." A few minutes later, he followed that up with a clarification. "Four Seasons Landscaping."
Two minutes after that, he deleted the first tweet and started over. "Big press conference today in Philadelphia at Four Seasons Total Landscaping." Oh that Four Seasons. Of course, he means Four Seasons total landscaping located just down the block from Fantasy Island Adult Books and Video Store and across the street from the Delaware Valley Cremation Center in far north Philly.
Now, there is of course a mystery that hangs over all this, which is how the press conference came to be held at Four Seasons Total Landscaping in the first place. One could imagine a situation where the President or one of his advisors barked at an aide to book the Four Seasons only to have that person called the wrong Four Seasons in Philadelphia.
The New York Times reports, the mistake was not actually in the booking but in a garbled game of telephone on the other end. Rudy Giuliani and Trump campaign advisor Corey Lewandowski told the President on Saturday morning their intended location for the news conference and he misunderstood assuming it was an upscale hotel according to multiple people familiar with the matter.
So, reporters from all over the world showed up at the Four Seasons Total Landscaping right off route 95 for a press conference with the President's legal team. As they set up in the parking lot, the major news network called Pennsylvania and the presidency for Joe Biden. Some of the journalists started to leave. The race was over just when the President's Personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani showed up.
He recited a few unsubstantiated claims about dead people voting in Philadelphia in front of a garbage door covered in Trump posters. You couldn't -- you almost couldn't tell he was at the Four Seasons Total Landscaping except for the big yellow reel of hose off to the side.
I mean, at one level all this stuff is hilarious. But at another there's a reason the President's casinos went bankrupt and he's overseen one of the worst Coronavirus responses in the industrialized world. This is -- these are the people -- this is the crew that's been running our country for four years. No fricking wonder we are where we are.
HAYES: Right now, Joe Biden is leading by more than 11,000 votes in the state of Georgia, not a sentence I thought I would be saying right now after election night. NBC News is still characterizing the state as too close to call but suffices to say Republicans in Georgia are kind of shell shocked right now especially as both Senate races they are now headed towards a January 5th runoff election with the entire political world watching, the Senate control could hang the balance.
Today, the two Republican incumbents in those races are directing their rage towards the Republican secretary of state. Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler don't specify what their fellow Republican in Georgia did wrong but are calling for him to resign. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger's response was "this is not going to happen."
One of the Democrats preparing to be on the ballot in that election is Jon Ossoff, and he joins me now. It's good to have you. Congratulations on making it to a runoff in a very contested race. What's your reaction to your opponent David Perdue and the other Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler telling the Republican secretary of state he has to resign apparently because he let too many Democrats vote at the state of Georgia. Like I'm not clear what the crime he committed was.
JON OSSOFF (D-GA), SENATE CANDIDATE: Hi, Chris. Good evening and thank you for having me. And yes, it's bizarre, total disarray. David Perdue needs to be gearing up for a runoff that he enters badly damaged, needs to be preparing for upcoming debates that I've challenged him to.
And this just demonstrates the total lack of competence, coherence, and momentum among GOP politicians in Georgia right now. They are shell shocked as you put it. They felt entitled to a cakewalk, and instead, they're getting the fights of their lives. They're not liking it and they're taking out their rage on one another.
HAYES: Georgia is such a fascinating state and as a place and also in its history and its politics right now. You know, it's swung about five points from 2016 to 2020. That's a -- that is a huge amount, I mean, more than any other competitive swing state. What happened?
OSSOFF: It's a few different factors all at once. So, first of all, the state's been becoming younger and more diverse consistently over the last decade and at an accelerating rate. At the same time, there's been unprecedented investment in Democratic infrastructure, in voter registration, in voter protection and safeguarding valid access. A lot of this work is led by Stacey Abrams.
We had the historic 2017 special election that I ran in Georgia six. We had Stacy's historic gubernatorial run in '18, Lucy McBath's inspiring victory in the six in 2018, Carolyn Bourdeaux running amazing races in Georgia seven. And this is an important point, Chris, that each of these battles, won or lost, when well thought has been worth what we've built in the process.
And then all of that has occurred as this political realignment in the Trump era has unfolded. And then this year, the sheer incompetence, the catastrophic consequences of GOP incompetence pushed us over the top.
HAYES: It's funny you referenced that Georgia six special. Someone -- I saw someone joking the other day about like, of course, this will come down to the two most pivotal figures of the Trump era, Donald Trump and Jon Ossoff because you're -- you know, we learn who you were in that first race. And that first race was a first opportunity for people in a country that Donald Trump was the president of to sort of respond about how they felt about him. And so much money was poured in that district. And I guess what you learn from that race? What you learn from this one? Like, what's changed? What's that arc look like for you?
OSSOFF: Well, the most inspiring thing about that campaign was how ordinary people banded together in this spontaneous way. I mean, more than 13,000 volunteers be trained and organized in that campaign. Nearly half a million small dollar donors who kicked in average contributions of about $21.00 to help us build that organization and infrastructure necessary to get out the vote in the northern suburbs of Atlanta.
And as I said, Chris, you know, look, political change takes time. And some of these races will be lost, some of these races will be won along the way, but it's what you build in the long run that makes the difference. And now we find ourselves in Georgia with duel Senate runoffs for Senate control after all this work over the last decade, and we are poised to win with all of this momentum and the GOP in Georgia and collapse.
HAYES: All right, so this is going to be the first -- these are going to be the first federal elections of the, you know, post-Donald Trump as president era. He'll still be present in January 5th, but you know, he will be on his way out. What's your -- what's the message here to Georgia voters. Like, what -- how much is this about Senate control? How much is it about very specifically what's going on in Georgia? Like, what's your -- what's your pitch to a Georgia voter who's now going to come back again after -- to pay attention to this election one more time?
OSSOFF: As the dust settles from this presidential, we've got to recognize that we're still in the midst of a profound national crisis, a public health emergency that's taking nearly 1,000 lives a day, an economic crisis that has working families and small businesses on the brink of insolvency or foreclosure or eviction. There is a lot of pain and a lot of suffering right now across the United States.
And if the Biden administration is unable to mount any effective response to this pandemic, and to invest in economic recovery because of Mitch McConnell's partisan obstructionism, more people are going to die and more people are going to lose their livelihoods. This is about the human consequences of elections. The national interest and Georgia's interests are aligned.
And we know that Mitch McConnell will be invested in the Biden administration's failure, even if it hurts people, because he's solely concerned with enhancing and protecting his own power, even at the expense of the nation. That's why we have to win these races.
HAYES: Do you favor a rescue package along the lines, something like the Heroes Act or something like that in the U.S. Senate? Is that something you would vote for and push for where you'd be elected and were in the Senate in January 20th and the new President takes over?
OSSOFF: I think the most important thing, Chris, is that there be speed and that the relief be direct. So, I'm in favor of additional stimulus checks direct to working families. I'm in favor of dramatically expanding emergency support for small businesses. I'm in favor of expanding resources available to the public health response, to the CDC, which happens to be based here in Georgia, to the U.S. public health service, to our hospital systems.
And then we're going to need to talk about a historic infrastructure package which will include investments in clean energy, transit and transportation, rural broadband, health clinics, all of which will be necessary to lay the foundations for sustained economic growth and sustainability.
HAYES: Final question for you is about fundraising and national money. You know, that first Georgia Six race got a ton of national attention. It raised a ton of money. We saw unprecedented money raised in this cycle. I think there's a case to be made that that marginal returns really decline after a certain point and may even start to backfire. Do you think that?
OSSOFF: Well, I think you sort of get this arms race dynamic. I mean, I heard today that my opponent was talking about trying to raise something like $500 million and outside GOP money to save his seat. Mitch McConnell already spent more money attacking me than any other Democratic challenger in the country.
And like I said earlier, David Perdue was favored to win this easily just eight months ago. He's now been held under 50percent. So, look, this is going to be a very expensive race. He's trying to raise something like half a billion dollars against me. We've got to mount the most aggressive and effective turnout and mobilization in Geo TV effort in Georgia history.
And I humbly asked folks at home who understand how important it is to win these two Senate runoffs. Visit Elect Jon -- ElectJon.com. Chip in to support our turnout efforts.
HAYES: All right, Georgia Democratic Senate Candidate Jon Ossoff, thank you so much for making time tonight.
OSSOFF: Anytime. It's my pleasure, Chris.
HAYES: That is ALL IN on this Monday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now with Ali Velshi in for Rachel. Good evening, Ali.
ALI VELSHI, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Chris. Good to see you. Have a great rest of your evening.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.END
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