'Up w/Chris Hayes' for Saturday, October 13th, 2012
Read the transcript to the Saturday show
UP WITH CHRIS HAYES
October 13, 2012
Guests: Amy Davidson, Michael Moynihan, Richard Kim, Goldie Taylor, Richard Kim, Goldie Taylor, Michael Hastings, Amy Davidson, Daniel Serwer
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good morning from New York. I`m Chris
Police are looking for someone they say fired a shot into the Obama
campaign field office in Denver yesterday. No one was hurt, but people
were inside the office at the time.
And police in Libya say a car bomb placed underneath a patrol car
exploded during a failed assassination attempt on a police colonel in
Benghazi this morning. We`ll be talking more about Libya later on the
Right now, I am joined by Richard Kim, my colleague at TheNation.com
where he is executive editor, Goldie Taylor, contributor to our sister
website, TheGrio.com, Amy Davidson, senior editor at "The New Yorker,"
author of the close read blog at TheNewYorker.com which I should just say
has been absolutely essential reading for the last few months throughout
You should definitely check it out. The close read at The New
Yorker.com. Michael Moynihan cultural news editor at "Newsweek" and "The
Daily Beast." Fantastic to have you all here.
Thursday`s debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman
Paul Ryan was a pretty substantive contest between two men who were well-
briefed and pretty much on their game. Conventional wisdom going in was
twofold. Biden needed to calm panicky Democrats in the wake of President
Obama`s flat performance last week and Romney`s subsequent polling bounce.
He needed to set the stage for his boss to regain his footing during
his second debate with Mitt Romney this Tuesday. I think Biden
accomplished that mission. And I think what made the difference was that
Biden was aggressive, uninhibited by preoccupation with preserving his own
image and adept at leveraging his experience and stature.
And probably the single best exchange of the night, Biden wasted no
time for calling out Ryan for his apparent hypocrisy when it comes to
REP. PAUL RYAN, (R) VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look at just the $90
billion in stimulus. The vice president was in charge of overseeing this.
$90 billion in green pork to campaign contributors and special interest
JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m not allowed to
show letters, but go on our website. He sent me two letters saying, by the
way, can you send me some stimulus money for companies here in the state of
Wisconsin. We sent millions of dollars. You know what --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You did ask for stimulus money.
BIDEN: Sure, he did.
RYAN: On two occasions, we advocated for constituents who were
applying for grants. That`s what we do. We do that for all constituents.
BIDEN: I love that. I love that. This is such a bad program, and he
writes me a letter saying the reason we need this stimulus, it will create
growth and jobs.
HAYES: My favorite part of that clip is that -- is the Biden
embellishing saying he sent me the letter. He didn`t actually write the
letter to Joe Biden, but it`s such a gilding the lily moment. It`s like,
you imagine Paul Ryan like taking out his iPhone and like texting and like,
Joe, any way you could hook a brother up with some green contracts?
All right. Later, Joe Biden made an argument for Democratic policy on
social insurance based not on numbers or actuarial projections but on the
record and reputation of the two parties.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: Choice in competition. We would rather have 50 million future
seniors determine how their Medicare is delivered to them instead of 15
bureaucrats deciding what, if, where, when they get it.
BIDEN: Who do you believe, the A.M.A., me, a guy who`s fought his
whole life for this or somebody who would actually put in motion a plan
that knowingly cut out of $6,400 a year more to the cost of Medicare. Now,
they got a new plan. Trust me, it`s not going to cost you anymore. Folks,
follow your instincts on this one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I love that moment, because one of the things I`ve found -- I
mean, if you imagined the mirror image of this, if you imagine the
Democrats running a national campaign for president in which they were
going around saying, we are going to cut taxes for the rich the most.
Listen to us. We`re going to cut taxes for the rich the most. And you
would say, that`s not what you believe in.
It`s not what your record has been. Why should we -- and so, what`s
been amazing is to watch this battle happen over Medicare. And Joe Biden
just reduced it to, I think, what is the essence, which of these two
parties do you really think is going to stand behind Medicare in its
I mean, whatever Paul Ryan says about we`re going to protect you or
it`s not going to be that bad, just look at the record and the vision and
the ideological commitments. I don`t think this is disingenuous. I think
the different parties and different coalitions have different views on this
and I thought that Biden moment where he said, just trust your instincts on
who will protect Medicare was a really powerful one.
AMY DAVIDSON, NEWYORKER.COM: That`s why Biden won, because he -- you
were saying about shoring up Democrats. He reminded them also not only
that they could win, but why they were Democrats and what they were
fighting for and that it`s possible to make a strong argument for it.
HAYES: For the Democratic position?
MICHAEL MOYNIHAN, THEDAILYBEAST.COM: I think the emotional argument
there is actually quite clever, because, I mean, the most soporophic moment
of this debate was when Paul Ryan sort of receded into numbers. I mean,
this was -- he`s a bit wonky and he`s the clever one in the party that sort
of (INAUDIBLE) ideas.
And that is actually much more effective, because you know, I was with
people who were nerdy about this stuff during the debate and everyone was
sort of looking around. It`s like good God, Ryan. Looking at the counter
and saying, who do you trust? You trust these guys? Do you trust us? I
think that was much more effective.
RICHARD KIM, THENATION.COM: And that was a particularly good moment,
I thought, for Biden, because the question that preceded all that was so
tinged from the right wing. I mean, the question that Martha Raddatz asked
was, we all know Social Security and Medicaid are going broke, what are you
going to do about it?
They, in fact, are not going broke. Social Security cannot ever go
broke, because it`s transfer of payments from one generation to the other.
So, for Biden to remind people that this is how these social programs work
and this is why we have them, I thought, really turned a question that had
a right wing angle around in his favor.
GOLDIE TAYLOR, THEGRIO.COM: I think something much larger happened,
you know, that night. If you take the position that the Republican Party
has placed its bet on Paul Ryan, that it has heralded him as its
intellectual leader of the party that it is -- that is the person who is
going to carry the banner, you know, into the next generation for this
party, we learned that night that that house is a house of cards and Joe
Biden blew it down.
MOYNIHAN: I didn`t think he was that bad, though. I mean, look, on
balance, I mean -- and I say this independent of whether I agree with him
or not. I think that, you know, the two, very two distinct styles of
MOYNIHAN: -- one is blowing air horns and shooting guns.
MOYNIHAN: I am going to not look at you. I`m going to be very
MOYNIHAN: And I think that his command of the numbers -- now we can
get to the fact of whether these numbers are right or not, but I think that
he handled himself well. I didn`t think that he kind of folded under the
pressure of Joe Biden. Do you agree?
DAVIDSON: I don`t think he was very good on the numbers. He was very
vague on the numbers, and he -- I mean, a couple of times, she`s asking
him, tell me how this math works, and he`s just like, we`re going to figure
it out later.
I think he -- the way he exceeded expectations is, you know, he knew
when the Afghan fighting season was and he sort of recited a couple of
things that people thought were his weaknesses, but in what people thought
were his strengths, really articulating a vision for the future of social
programs and the budget and how that was all going to work, I thought he
was surprisingly weak.
MOYNIHAN: I would say quickly that is in the way of the weakness of
Paul Ryan in that debate was that there was somebody that was doing so much
MOYNIHAN: You know? It was a weird --
HAYES: -- particularly when Martha Raddatz, I think, and then we`ll
get in a foreign policy a bit, when she would ask follow up question, it
was that moment in class when you`ve like read the cliff notes.
KIM: It was revealing that he was actually weak on the numbers.
Something he`s known for being this sort of golden wonkoid (ph) Washington,
because he`s not actually running on the Ryan blueprint.
HAYES: That`s part of it.
KIM: He`s running on the Romney plan --
KIM: So, the numbers he knows about Medicare privatization, about
Social Security, all of that, he can`t go out there and campaign on those.
HAYES: And that was one of the really interesting setups, and this
gets to -- I kind of want to make a contrarian point about specifics,
because we`ve been saying, you know, on MSNBC, in the center left (ph)
about specifics, and the specifics don`t add up.
But I actually think the more important thing -- specifics are less
important than what is the constituency of the two political coalitions and
what are their commitments, because -- and we all remember Barack Obama ran
an entire primary campaign against the individual mandate. He was not --
that was the signature policy difference between him and Hillary Clinton.
They must have had 40 debates in which all they talked about the
individual mandate. And then he got in and he chose the individual
mandate, because that`s what the world of center left wonkery had basically
established as the framework for health care.
So, for me, the reason that Biden moment when he looks in the camera
and says trust is that, the specifics are going to matter much less than
who is empowered in these respective coalitions when it comes time to
actually govern. Who`s empowered in the House Republican caucus who`s
going to be calling the shots?
Who`s empowered in terms of Mitch McConnell whether he`s a minority
leader or majority leader in the Senate? And who`s empowered in the world
of essentially conservative wonkery on policy? And this -- it really is a
matter of which political coalition you trust more than what numbers are
DAVIDSON: Well, Ryan was speaking to a constituency that doesn`t
really exist. The people who are never going to grow old, never going to
be vulnerable, he`s -- it`s what Mitt Romney was saying. If you`re over
55, don`t listen.
HAYES: Stop listening, yes.
DAVIDSON: And Ryan was saying, for the old people who we`ve already
made a contract with, that old contract is in place, but we`ve got a new
one for people who are never going to need anything, are never -- are never
going to be vulnerable in the way that people who are already old are. But
those people are --
HAYES: They`re not a different kind of person, they`re just in a
different stage in the life cycle.
DAVIDSON: Yes. And those people know it, too.
MOYNIHAN: I mean, there`s a consistent problem with Republicans
addressing issues of spending, because there are two things that they do
have to address. Both of those it`s entitlements, Medicare and Medicaid,
and defense spending. And what do we get on either of those?
And sorry to be sort of libertarian on this issue, but they`re never
addressed. And you get this squishy, vague things, because they don`t want
to talk about things that will annoy people, but they --
HAYES: They`ve made this totally corrupt ideol -- corrupt from the
standpoint of their own ideology, corrupt generational bargain in which
they say welfare state for the older voters who skew Republican and we need
to win and privatization for everyone else. And there`s just no
TAYLOR: They`re also making the bet that these two people don`t know
HAYES: That`s right. That`s a great -- that`s a great one.
TAYLOR: That grandma who is 75, you know, is not in tune in the news
or doesn`t care about what`s happening to her grandchildren who are 25 or
HAYES: My grandmother never cared.
HAYES: That might be very specific to my family.
TAYLOR: -- someone like me is intensely worried about my Social
Security dependent mom and whether or not she`s going to have to go out and
bargain for, you know, her Medicare benefits or if I am going to have to
get on the phone on her behalf and have -- or me pay the difference or that
she does not have the difference available.
HAYES: This is such an important point -- this is such an important
point, because the idea that you can -- it`s so cynical to me. It really
bothers me, I have to say. I mean, it bothers me in the same way that
Scott Walker`s very cynical policy in Wisconsin of we`re going to exempt
the firefighters unions and the police unions from this because they
support Republicans, and we can just sort of divide and conquer.
This kind of corrupt, don`t worry, don`t -- stop listening if you`re
over 55. Who cares for the people at over 55? Their kids. It`s not like
they`re like uninvolved. So, if your 75-year-old mother is going to have
to shop around for health insurance, guess who`s going to be doing it,
voters of America who are 40 years old? You are going to be doing it.
DAVIDSON: It`s transactional. It`s also saying that the reason we
have a commitment to the older people isn`t because these policies have
been a triumph --
HAYES: Just because we`ve promised.
DAVIDSON: Because we promised, and we`ve made a contract. We`ll keep
that, but then we`re going to make a new one.
KIM: But who is actually -- this is going to your point, Chris. Who
is actually the constituency for privatizing Medicare? Who is actually
calling to privatize Social Security? It`s not vast segments of the
It`s the libertarian wing of the Republican Party as well as private
equity, hedge fund managers, the financial clause, who stand to make
billions, trillions if that is accomplished. So, that`s who, I think, you
should talk (ph) to.
HAYES: And Social Security entered the debate for the first time. It
was one of the few issues, abortion, Social Security that we hadn`t seen
addressed in the first debate. Social Security entered the debate, and it
was a fascinating moment because it was a moment when Paul Ryan 2.0 had to
argue with Paul Ryan 1.0. and sort of reconcile the two, and I want to take
a look at that right when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTHA RADDATZ, DEBATE MODERATOR: You are one of the few lawmakers to
stand with President Bush when he was seeking to partially privatize Social
RYAN: For younger people, what we said then and what I`ve always
agreed is let younger Americans have a voluntary choice of making their
money work faster for them within the Social Security system.
BIDEN: We will not, we will not privatize it. If we had listened to
Romney -- Governor Romney and the congressman during the Bush years,
imagine where all those seniors would be now if their money had been in the
market. Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad.
HAYES: Straightforward. Sort of -- the Social Security moment to me
was fascinating precisely because Romney was able to pull off something in
his debate that Ryan couldn`t quite do because Romney could -- Romney had
pandered to the right of the party.
He`d done it largely rhetorically even though he had not been a really
hard right governor of Massachusetts, because he was constrained by
Democratic legislature, and so, he could just forget everything he said on
the stump for a while, but Paul Ryan, his whole career has been being a
creature of the world of conservative think tanks and the conservative wing
of the Republican Party.
And so, he had this record, right? He was the one who -- he crafted a
Social Security privatization plan that was to the right of the plan
proposed by George w. Bush, and he couldn`t just run away from it and say,
no, no, I don`t believe in that anymore. So, he ended up having to sort of
defend these things, and I think that got him into a lot more trouble than
Romney got into.
MOYNIHAN: Yes. I mean, I think that`s right. The idea that, you
know, sort of privatization or private accounts is an incredibly radical
thing. I mean, you can argue against this. I mean, Sweden where I lived
for many years has private accounts. It doesn`t have to be. It doesn`t
have to be this boondoggle that benefits private equity.
But no, he didn`t -- I mean, look, we`ve had arguing the specifics of
his plan. He didn`t make the case in any sense.
MOYNIHAN: I mean, there was kind of a stuttering looking around dazed
HAYES: Partly because he couldn`t, right? I mean, that`s exactly the
problem is that he couldn`t forthrightly make the case because that`s not
the ticket`s position.
MOYNIHAN: Look, I know. I mean, it`s not that he`s incapable of it.
I mean, he was certainly capable of doing it. And, you know, it wasn`t
that this wasn`t part of his debate prep with Ted Olson or something. He
just didn`t want to get into that for a variety of political reasons which
KIM: There`s still the misconception there, and I think the moderator
and to an extent Biden played into it. Social Security is almost like a
private account. Like a 401 k that you`ve put money into it, and
government manages. That`s actually not what Social Security is. Social
Security is you paying for the older generations` retirement.
And when you get older, the younger generation will pay for your
retirement. It`s the epitome of the social contract across generations.
Now, there is a problem because there are going to be more older people
than they are younger people in productivity issues (ph). It`s not like,
you know, the financial worries are irrelevant.
HAYES: But you know what I found very interesting in this debate in
this -- in the broad context of the campaign when we talk about social
insurance which has been probably the central theme, I would say, in a
weird way even though there`s, you know -- joblessness is rampant and we
have this -- is that people have different conceptions of those two
programs as essentially there`s an account somewhere with my name on it
because you get the statement from the Social Security administration.
And because, when you get your paycheck, it said this is how much you
put in Social Security, this is how much you put into Medicare, and other
government programs that`s just government, right?
People feel they have an ownership of those social insurance programs,
and it actually means that people who are ideologically disposed to not
like redistribution love those programs, because they say, and you see
interviews with Republicans all the time around, you know, keep the
government hands off my Medicare, that`s my -- I have paid into that thing.
And then, I`m going to get it back, right? I`ve paid into the system,
I`m getting it back. And it actually made me think like maybe we should
just line item everything else, right? Like, maybe you should just like
have the spot on your payrolls like this is the roads, and this is the like
-- this is the cushion if you ever lose your job and need food stamps,
right, that you`re paying into these accounts all the time.
TAYLOR: And I do. I think that`s really the crux of it. Keep your
hands off of my stuff.
TAYLOR: And so, when you hear them call the president a socialist,
what it really means is, don`t give my hard earned money to those other
people. And when you look at things like Social Security, when you look at
things like Medicare, even Medicaid, you know, other entitlement programs,
whether -- you know, other social infrastructure, you know, roads, schools
is a big piece of this thing.
You are taking my hard earned money and you`re giving it to those
other people who aren`t working as hard as me. And Republicans have built
their entire ideology on this, you know, over what looks like generations
now, and it just isn`t going to work out for them.
HAYES: Well, but I think that`s because the power of Social Security
and Medicare is precisely the power of people not viewing it in that way.
DAVIDSON: Well, it`s also why Ryan had a harder time than Romney did.
Romney, every contradiction he could sort of go back to saying the states
are laboratories, we were experimenting in Massachusetts. This work for
Massachusetts, I`m not saying that I`m going to do it to anybody else.
Ryan has spent his whole career in Congress. He spent his whole
career writing letters about getting stimulus money, you know, on one side,
and on the other, talking about federal programs and what he wants to do
HAYES: The --
MOYNIHAN: I would say just to that point, I mean, you don`t find a
lot of passion for Paul Ryan amongst libertarians. It`s very interesting
thing, too, because right when you come out of the gate, you have Ayn Rand
tag. This is some sort of objectivist nightmare, and he`s going to be (ph)
on the vice presidential ticket.
You look at actual libertarians, they point out the same things that
Joe Biden is pointing out. They also point out bailout stuff that, you
HAYES: He voted for TARP. He voted for the auto rescue plan.
MOYNIHAN: Both of them. And you know, Ayn Rand would be very
disappointed. (INAUDIBLE) Social Security, too.
HAYES: Well, yes, that`s right.
MOYNIHAN: -- which was revealed recently.
HAYES: Not only that. He also, you know -- we dug up a clip of him
making the case for stimulus under Bush in terms that were directly kind of
counter cyclical Keynesian terms. He also -- I mean, I keep hammering on
this, but it is important, and this comes from Michael Grunwald and his
book about the recovery act.
He voted along with (INAUDIBLE) for a $700 billion stimulus. So, when
you say the -- when you attack the recovery act as he now does and as
Republicans do as a preposterous notion, as a ridiculous out of left field
idea that you would borrow money from China for this country sequel policy,
the difference between the Republicans and the Democrats on this was a $130
They voted for a $700 billion stimulus. What passed was $830 billion.
They weren`t that far apart. The other big issue that we had not seen in
the debates that came up, choice abortion, right after this.
HAYES: There was a lot of activity on Twitter during the debate as it
went through about women`s issues and choice. It`s weird to call it
women`s issues. It is primarily women`s issues, but it`s an issue for
everyone, over choice and contraception and birth control and access to
because it has been a big issue in the campaign, and it didn`t get any
treatment at all in the first debate.
And as we got through the first hour of the second debate, I saw this
tie building on Twitter. This is crazy, we need to talk about this.
Martha Raddatz did end up asking a question about abortion. I think a lot
of people felt and I share that feeling that it was bizarrely phrased.
Basically, it was about asking each of the candidates who are both
Catholics how your personal faith affects your view on abortion. This was
Paul Ryan`s response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: You want to ask, basically, why I`m pro life. It`s not simply
because of my catholic faith. That`s a factor, of course. But it`s also
because of reason and science. You know, I think about 10 1/2 years ago,
my wife Janna and I went to mercy hospital in Janesville where I was born
for our seven-week ultrasound for our first born child. And we saw that
Our little baby was in the shape of a bean, and to this day, we have
nick named our first born child, Liza, Bean. I understand this is a
difficult issue. And I respect people who don`t agree with me on this, but
the policy of a Romney administration will be to oppose abortion with the
exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Paul Ryan once said the exceptions for life of a mother was a
loophole you could drive a mack structures. So, again, another place where
he is different than the ticket. Joe Biden answered after Ryan, and this
was his response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: With regard to abortion, I accept my church`s position on
abortion as A, what we call de fide doctrine. Life begins at conception.
That`s the church`s judgment. I accept it in my personal life. But I
refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians, and Muslims, and Jews. I
just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the
I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that women,
they can`t control their body. It`s a decision between them and their
doctor, in my view, and the Supreme Court, I`m not going to interfere with
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Why did I find this exchange so unsatisfying? There`s
something about it. Is it just because this is the most trod territory in
all of American politics? And if you give people five minutes, you get
essentially everything that you expect and have heard before?
DAVIDSON: You know, I think it`s because there weren`t more follow
ups. I actually did not have a problem with this question and the way it
was framed. It is the way a lot of people think about it. I did feel that
it came so late in the debate, and it just got compressed.
I think they were running out of time. And Biden was -- although he
was disciplined in a way, this is probably the one section in which he
didn`t laugh at all or --
HAYES: I think that was a good thing, right?
DAVIDSON: That was a good thing.
MOYNIHAN: What a hilarious question.
DAVIDSON: But he wasn`t quite as disciplined about saying very
quickly, I`m a catholic but then getting to the not imposing and getting
through exactly what Ryan and Romney are proposing and what they`re
He did eventually get to it, but the other thing that`s strange about
the abortion exchange and that does make it unsatisfying is the idea that
only having, you know, having restrictions for rape, incest, and life of
the mother is somehow moderate, you know, because - just because it`s --
you know, Ryan is more extreme than Romney on it, but that`s pretty extreme
KIM: And that`s what -- you know, I think Biden did a very good job
defending, you know, the sort of principle of not imposing the government
on women`s bodies. But he didn`t really tie Ryan or Romney to the extreme
right of the GOP which has passed all these, you know, ultrasound bills and
restrictions on abortion that de facto make it impossible to get it in many
TAYLOR: I think there were like 1,100 pieces of legislation that went
through statehouses around this country, you know, that sought to restrict
and severely limit women`s access to reproductive health care.
I think that the bigger issue for me in not having any of these social
issues is whether they were women`s reproductive rights, you know,
education, and other things mentioned in the first debate and then even as
an ad on the second debate is that people made the -- I call it the excuse
that, well, this is about jobs as if social issues are not also economic
issues, especially reproductive choice that when women have -- history
shows that when women have control over their reproductive choice, it also
lends to their control over their economic destiny.
And that`s really, I think, what this is about. For a party that
portends to say that we want smaller and less government, you know, they
certainly want to put an awful lot of resources (ph) between me and my
HAYES: There`s also this mismatch that I also find frustrating, which
is Marsha Blackburn is the congresswoman from Tennessee was on MSNBC
coverage after the debate. And she responded to Chris Matthews` question
about abortion by basically saying, I know you guys want to talk about
this. Let`s talk about jobs.
And the other day on Twitter, I was talking about abortion and a lot
of conservatives said, why are you liberals always talking about abortion.
Conservatives in the Republican Party really don`t want to talk about this.
In fact, Ryan had this big sigh and this kind of gathering himself
moment after he was asked the question, and yet, what they are doing at the
statehouse level or even the house, it`s not like they`ve stopped battling.
They want to legislate on it. They just don`t want to talk about it.
It seems to me that`s unfair. I mean, if you believe in this, go out
there and make the case. Make the case, you know, the state parties are
doing a ton of restriction on abortion. There`s 38 bills that Ryan`s co-
sponsored restricting abortion.
The first bill they came out with, remember, the House Republicans won
on the Tea Party deficit and the first thing they did was try to defund
Planned Parenthood basically in the first week that they can be (ph) in the
KIM: And Ryan said something incredibly important. They`re also
somewhat in code to soften down. He said, you know, we don`t want
unelected judges making these decisions. That means overturning Roe V.
Wade. They want to get rid of Roe V. Wade.
KIM: That is what they want.
HAYES: No. And I want to actually play a clip of the one moment the
Supreme Court came out, because I thought that was fascinating. And
Michael, I want to hear from you on this right after this break.
HAYES: We`re talking about abortion entering the debate for the first
time in the first two debates. We`ve seen about an hour into the debate on
Thursday night with Martha Raddatz and each of the -- Ryan and Biden both
gave responses essentially outlining pro-life and pro-choice positions.
And then, there was a discussion of Roe V. Wade and the court. And I
thought this was very important, because it`s remarkable to me. We`ve
talked about this. We did a whole Supreme Court preview. The fifth vote
upholding Roe V. Wade, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a 79-year-old cancer
And, that seems pretty (INAUDIBLE) to what the jurisprudence on twist
is going to be. Here`s the exchange between Ryan and Biden on that topic.
RYAN: We don`t think that unelected judges should make this decision
that people through their elected representatives and reaching a consensus
in society through the democratic process should make this determination.
BIDEN: The court, the next president will get one or two Supreme
Court nominees. That`s how close Roe V. Wade is. Just ask yourself, with
Robert Bork being the chief advisor of the court for Mr. Romney, who do you
think he`s likely to appoint? Do you think he`s likely to appoint someone
like Scalia or someone else on the court, far right, that would outlaw
planned -- excuse me, outlaw abortion?
I suspect that would happen. I guarantee you that will not happen.
We pick two people. We pick people who are open-minded. They`ve been good
justices. So, keep an eye on the --
RYAN: Was there a litmus test on them?
BIDEN: There was no litmus test. We picked people who had an open
mind, did not come (ph) with an agenda.
HAYES: This whole litmus thing got me crazy. They just got saying
this should be in the Democratic process, OK? If you believe it should be
in the Democratic process, then the Democratic process is a process that
produces a president who then chooses the nominee. It`s much more
transparently Democratic if there is essentially a litmus (ph) test, so
that people know what they`re voting for.
Instead, we`ve shrouded it behind this norm of open-mindedness and no
litmus test which is anti-democratic, right? If you actually believe the
issue should be settled more dramatically, then we should know and we know
what the two parties` positions are.
MOYNIHAN: Of course, it`s a litmus test.
HAYES: Of course, there`s a -- at my point.
MOYNIHAN: I mean, there was a litmus test for Bork who had views that
people thought were a bit bonkers. Watching that, I just noticed
something. Joe Biden is telling the Supreme Court that two of you might --
MOYNIHAN: -- might not make it. The judges are like god (ph), is it
going to be --
MOYNIHAN: Who`s next? It`s terrifying.
DAVIDSON: The other thing he`s doing is the exact same thing he did
on Social Security which is basically saying, who do you trust on this?
It`s also goes back to also the -- his offering of the 47 percent and
Ryan`s really unsatisfying answer on that. It`s like, do you see people
this way or do you not see people this way? And he managed to do that in a
few points, especially.
HAYES: And I thought him saying it that clearly, it kind of violated
some of the political norms about how we talk about the court. You know,
when you saw Ryan saw an opportunity to pounce, are you saying there`s a
litmus test? Because, for some reason, we`ve all decided that a litmus
test is something that we can`t have.
It`s like this bizarre fiction. Everyone who`s operating in the world
understands there`s one party that`s pro-life, there`s one party that`s
pro-choice, and they`re going to appoint justices --
MOYNIHAN: There are two things. It`s a litmus test and politicizing.
MOYNIHAN: Of course, we are. That`s what the whole election is
about. It`s politicizing.
KIM: And you know, the Republicans are, I think, in a very difficult
position when it comes to the Supreme Court, publicly, politically. You
know, their right flank holds up people like Scalia as absolute heroes.
HAYES: Scott Brown --
KIM: -- like the big evil guy, now, right? And that was the moment
in the Brown-Warren debate when he mentioned Alito as his hero. And you
can see Warren just like immediately cackle with glee at the opening. But
that`s sort of the fissure they have to gulf, you know, talking to their
right wing constituency and also appealing to independents and moderates.
MOYNIHAN: And I think that this is -- when you were talking before
the break about specificity, I mean, look, it`s an obvious point. It`s one
that needs to be reiterated with Romney is that this vacillating position
on abortion, whether it`s from Massachusetts to Iowa the other day, well,
it`s not going to be sort of a theme that we`re going to carry very much
Wink, wink (ph), and then back to this debate with Paul Ryan. It`s
like -- the reason that one wants to talk about this, because they haven`t
formulated a coherent answer on this.
KIM: He`s tried to outsource it to every other agency except his. He
said, well, this is not a decision I would make, it`s the decision that the
court would make. Who is appointed by? There`s no legislation I know of
that would overturn --
HAYES: There would be no litmus test.
DAVIDSON: The loss in the section was, you know, really asking them
what about a woman in this situation. Imagine, you know, a woman who`s
gone through this. Todd Akin, the whole idea of a rape victim who is
pregnant or even just a woman whose life was hard.
TAYLOR: The part about this is that Paul Ryan was supposed to fix
this question for Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney over the course of his
political career pro-choice, you know, few -- some exceptions, legal and
rare, and down to this very draconian place where he wants to overturn Roe
V. Wade. You know, but I`m not going to push any legislation on my agenda.
Paul Ryan was supposed to add to this ticket a level of conservative
bona fides, you know, to make certain that evangelicals trusted Mitt Romney
on this question. He didn`t fix it. He`s made it worse, and I think that
you`re going to find, and I don`t know what the polls are saying about
I think you`re going to find that voting against Barack Obama yes is
an enthusiasm pusher for some on the right, but this question will keep
some of them --
HAYES: I think he fixed it on the right. I think the problem is the
position that Paul Ryan has is not a popular position broadly in the
country. And the position -- the official position of the Republican
Party, let us remember, in the platform, it`s advocacy of an amendment to
the constitution that would grant personhood 14th amendment rights to a
fetus, to a fertilized egg.
I mean, that`s an extreme position which is, which is -- that`s the
official position of the Republican Party.
All right. Politics can be bitter and nasty. Why that`s a good
thing? Coming up next.
HAYES: My story of the week. The beauty of process. ABC`s Martha
Raddatz did I thought on the whole a pretty good job moderating Thursday
night`s vice presidential debate, particularly, when asking questions on
her area of expertise, foreign policy. Talk about that in just a second.
But her final question of the night about the negativity and sortedness of
electoral politics really bothered me. Here`s what she asked.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: I recently spoke to a highly decorated soldier who said that
this presidential campaign has left him dismayed. He told me, quote, "The
ads are so negative and they are all tearing down each other rather than
building up the country. What would you say to that American hero about
this campaign? And at the end of the day, are you ever embarrassed by the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That soldier, of course, isn`t alone. Lots of Americans feel
the same way. I`ve heard the same thing from random voters I`ve
interviewed in every election I`ve covered. And it`s a recurrent theme
among the political press paid to cover politics to bemoan the nastiness
and negativity and thrust and parry (ph) of electoral politics.
But it`s an impulse we should collectively resist, because it contains
the kernel of an insidious view of the value of democracy and even
diplomacy and bureaucracy in the manifold ways that we, as human beings,
channel and resolve conflict in a non-violent passion. The same distaste
for the plotting, clunky, at times, flat out ugliness of process in
Raddatz` question was on display in Paul Ryan`s repeated attacks on the
administration`s U.N. based diplomacy on Iran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: When Barack Obama was elected, they had enough material (ph),
nuclear material to make one bomb. Now, they have enough for five, the
racing toward a nuclear weapon. We`ve had four different sanctions that
(INAUDIBLE) Iran, three from the Bush administration, one here, and the
only reason we got it is because Russia watered it down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It is true the U.N. can be maddeningly dysfunctional. It`s
the constitution of the security council. It`s an accident of history and
that Russia`s objections to any and all U.S. proposals can seem to
Americans truculent and spiteful. But what exactly is the alternative?
The answer is violence, war, death, and bloodshed, which brings us to
the announcement yesterday from the Nobel Prize Committee of a somewhat
unconventional choice for this year`s recipient of the Nobel Peace Price,
the European Union. The announcement occasioned a whole lot of snark state
Karen Tumulty of "The Washington Post" tweeted, "Not a good sign if
the E.U. asks that its Nobel Prize be paid in some currency other than the
Euro." Jeffrey Goldberg of "The Atlanta" tweeted, "Next year, the Nobel
committee should consider awarding the peace prize to puppies. Slate Dave
Weigel tweeted, "You know who else has gone several days without committing
genocide? This guy right here, Nobel me."
The team over at "Fox and Friends" also mocked the committee`s
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Nobel committee praised the E.U. for six
decades of efforts to promote peace and democracy in Europe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really? Fantastic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Better opinion than the Cy Young.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The E.U. can only hope there`s a cash award with
it. They could use some underwriting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It`s true. Europe isn`t in the best of shape right now. The
limitations of its governing structure are causing institutional
dysfunction, widespread misery, and threatening to terminate the entire
project. Greece submerged in the misery of austerity is seeing flashes
(ph) gain traction, administering brutally violent beatings to political
enemies, and a fashion horrifyingly reminiscent of (INAUDIBLE).
But to mock the E.U. is to lose sight of what a tremendous
accomplishment it has been. On a small patch of earth that was site of
some of the most horrifying, war, violence, brutality, sadism, and genocide
in the history of human life on the planet. In a span of six years, at
least 40 million people perished on Europe`s soil, and the E.U. was
constructed as a means of bringing piece and stability to a continent that
had more or less known only war.
The European Union doesn`t have a whole lot of defenders at this
moment in its history, but mockery of the E.U. rests on the same impulse we
see in the laments of the nastiness of a presidential campaign and the
huffing and puffing and inadequacy of Iran diplomacy. In each case, the
process may be messy, and ugly, and tortuous, but it`s almost always better
than the alternative.
Conflict is part of the human condition. There are limited resources.
There are different interests, and cultures, and tribes, and value systems
with different conceptions of the good, vastly different priorities and
first principles. Democracy is a system we`ve come up with to resolve
those inevitable conflicts, but there is no such thing as a placid
equilibrium in which those conflicts, somehow, disappear or are only
articulated in the gentlest of fashions.
That is the point. Conflict is the underlying constant of human
society. The question is what we do with it. It`s only a slight
exaggeration to say that we either have people killing each other in the
streets like dogs or we got people running attack ads against each other.
Bureaucracy, parliamentary procedure, extended multilateral talks, the
back and forth of campaign ads are largely gloriless enterprises. In the
grand sweep of history, they are beautiful, sublime achievements. They
represent nearly unthinkable progress and points the way towards a future
of full human flourishing. How the debate over democracy, bureaucracy and
U.N. played out at Thursday`s debate right after this.
HAYES: Joining us at the table now is Michael Hastings, author of
"the operators: The Wild And Terrifying Inside Story of America`s War in
Afghanistan," a "BuzzFeed" correspondent and contributing editor to
Thanks for having me.
HAYES: All right. I want to talk about -- we`re going to talk --
you`ve been doing some really great reporting on Libya. We`re going to
talk about that in a bit. But first I want to talk about foreign policy
debate. It`s the first time that we got to see foreign policy debated and
the first debate between the president and Mitt Romney was only domestic
And I thought it was really strange and illuminating, the foreign
policy debate, because to me, there were two main take aways. One was the
critique leveled by Paul Ryan of the foreign policy of the Obama
administration was essentially stylistic.
That the foreign policy rhetoric is insufficiently tough, that there
isn`t this performance of American toughness that is insufficient to Paul
Ryan and here`s a little montage of how that sounded.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: We wouldn`t refer to Bashar Assad as a reformer. We`re not
projecting weakness abroad. We should not have called Bashar Assad a
reformer. It makes us more weak. It projects weakness. This invites
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The Bashar Assad, a reformer, is like that was this only line
on Syria policy. We said this one line. So, that`s the critique largely
was rhetorical. Now, when you talk of the three hot spots in the world
right now in the Middle East, particularly, not necessarily in the entire
world, which is Iran, the war in Afghanistan and Syria, there wasn`t as far
as I can tell any policy disagreement they were leveling. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: These are the most crippling sanctions in the history of
RYAN: Thank heavens we had these sanctions in place.
BIDEN: What more would they do other than put American boots to the
RYAN: Nobody is proposing to send troops to Syria.
BIDEN: We are leaving in 2014, period.
RYAN: We agree with the administration on their 2014 transition.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Michael, what did you make of this?
MICHAEL HASTINGS, BUZZFEED.COM: When I saw Paul Ryan talked about
Afghanistan, it was like watching Bambi on ice.
HASTINGS: it`s like he had a Boy Scout camp trip there once and saw
the mountains and thought he was an expert. Look, but very specifically,
this is -- Ryan got really tripped up on Afghanistan. As he said -- he
said, look, we support the administration`s position of a 2014 drawdown,
and then, a few minutes later, he said, oh, but we`re opposed to deadlines,
right? So, right there --
HAYES: Those two things you cannot say both, right?
HASTINGS: Right. And then he sort of -- then he tried to level the
criticism that, oh, we should -- that Biden and the White House should
listen to the military commanders more, buy that also means that you`re
going to try to expand the war and add more troops which isn`t a popular
population. So, we had the kind of back away from that as well
HAYES: And this is one of the dodges that they used in their
Afghanistan policy which, I think, has been totally incoherent and
irresponsible, I have to say. I mean, I disagree with Barack Obama`s
Afghanistan policy when he campaigned for president. I disagreed. And,
you know, I`m no expert on this.
I`m just saying with my own opening where I`m coming from. I
disagreed on the surge of adding more troops. I think we should bring home
the troops faster than 2014. You know, that`s where I stand, but the
critique of it from the Romney campaign, they had hidden behind this
procedural question of essentially the general should make the decision -
HAYES: Which is just a dodge way of leveling a critique and also not
advocating the thing you really apparently want which is to stay longer.
HASTINGS: To stay longer. Exactly. And I think when Romney and Ryan
have talked about Afghanistan, they`ve gotten themselves in trouble because
they cannot say they want to stay longer. And then the other response,
listen to the generals, but what if you -- what if you disagree with the
Are they really going to listen to the generals if the generals want
to stay for another ten years? And I think that`s unclear.
KIM: You know, the other thing going back to the sort of stylistic
element of that question in the debate, I think it`s because we didn`t
actually have a foreign policy debate. We had a debate about U.S. military
policy and there`s military intervention in three (ph) country, right?
HAYES: That`s a good point.
KIM: We didn`t actually --
HAYES: Interviewed and not interviewed.
KIM: Climate change, Mexico, Latin America --
KIM: Brazil, China, India, any of those things.
HAYES: I want to hear more from you on foreign policy right after we
take a quick break.
HAYES: Good morning from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Here with my colleague, Richard Kim, from TheNation.com, Goldie Taylor
from our sister Web site TheGrio.com, Michael Hastings from "BuzzFeed" and
Michael Moynihan from "Newsweek" and "The Daily Beast."
We were discussing Thursday night`s vice presidential debate between
Paul Ryan and Joe Biden, specifically the foreign policies sections of it,
which I thought was very illumination.
There was a lot of atmospherics. There`s a lot of stylistic critique
offered by Paul Ryan, but very little substantive critique as far as I can
tell, when you bore down and you`ve gotten to the follow up questions.
You made a point about essentially Paul Ryan endorsing the Afghanistan
MICHAEL HASTINGS, BUZZFEED.COM: Yes. Paul Ryan said that President
Obama`s Afghanistan surge was a huge success, right? Now, that`s probably
for two reasons. A, you have a candidate going on saying, oh, you know,
the center piece foreign policy initiative of your opponent was a huge
success. B, it was a huge success.
So, on both grounds, he was off base.
HAYES: And this to me strikes at something very deep about the
politics of foreign policy, which is that the nation is war weary. And one
thing I think is -- positive sounds weird to say -- but one thing I think
is progress in a certain way is that we`ve become much less enthusiastic
about the possibility of military intervention being a solution to foreign
And you saw Ryan have to constantly say, no, we don`t want war. No
one wants war. That was the sort of --
HAYES: So that I think is progress in terms of how the American
public opinion posture is. Yes, at the same time, the Republican Party has
a huge political opening to be essentially more of an anti-war party
because I think a lot of their base is there. I mean, the American public
wants us out of Afghanistan and yet they continue to be completely captured
by the neoconservative kind of brain trust within the party that won`t let
them take that position.
MICHAEL MOYNIHAN, THEDAILYBEAST.COM: I think this is a bit of a split
on a sort of real list neocon stuff. And there was a piece in the
"Washington Post" the other day about the Romney camp taking advice from
both sides. You can see this in the confused nature of the foreign policy.
But on the debate, again, the vagueness of it, saying, well, you agree
in 2014, we do too, but and then there is that sort of -- it`s very, very
difficult for the Romney campaign who desperately wants me to say we are
not like this other guy who you don`t like much, but we are.
HAYES: Right. That`s right. Exactly.
MOYNIHAN: On the Afghanistan time line, same thing. Look, there is
the issue of how many troops remain after 2014, 15,000, 10,000, what their
abilities and what their duties will be. Iran, for instance, it`s like --
well, I mean, there`s -- we -- Joe Biden and Barack Obama have said that we
will not allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon. They disagreed on where this
is and where the intelligence is on this.
Look, you know, if you want -- if you want Paul Ryan to be specific
about it, what will you do? Will you go to war? That`s Biden hectoring
I think there`s an opportunity for the left of the Democratic Party to
say the same thing to Joe Biden. When we say we will not allow it either,
what will you do?
HAYES: That`s right.
MOYNIHAN: There`s so many parallels.
HAYES: I agree. I mean, in some ways, I thought the foreign policy
discussion, what`s interesting to me is that I think the Republican Party
rhetorically at least to foreign policy has moved to the left a little bit.
They`re less so explicitly militaristic.
I mean, they`re still quite -- they still want to beat up Democrats
for being soft, but they`re slightly chasing rhetorically. I don`t think
substantively, rhetorically chasing.
And the Democratic Party has moved to the right. They`re more
hawkish. So, they basically converged on this middle space.
GOLDIE TAYLOR, THEGRIO.COM: I do think it is ironic and surprising to
me. I`m a former Marine. It is surprising to me to see at this time in
our history that it is Democrats who seem to be stronger on foreign policy.
It is Democrats who seem to be owning, you know, the war question when we
talk about these things.
It`s also very ironic to me when you really look at if you want to
call it an Obama doctrine, that it really is a doubling down on the Bush
years, that this policy is really no different. In fact, he has gone
further in terms of doing things like, you know, nearly or reducing the
significance of al Qaeda around the globe. You know, that you can say
that, you know, although Bush talked hard, you know, this president worked
it out and so these talking points became walking points. I think that is
the sort of main difference.
So, it`s really difficult to make a substantive disagreement with this
guy. What you`re really --
HAYES: Not from the left. The point is it`s hard from the right.
TAYLOR: It`s hard from the right.
RICHARD KIM, THENATION.COM: The Biden-Ryan debate was sort of
ridiculous. It was like who can be more macho on it.
But the Obama administration has been incredibly aggressive against
Iran. These are the toughest sanctions. The Stuxnet worm, I mean, they
have waged actual --
HAYES: Cyber warfare.
KIM: -- cyber warfare on Iran.
HAYES: And let me also note just to register this, we`re going to
talk about this, we`re going to do a preview of the foreign policy debate
here at this table. You know, I just want to put in people`s mind, it`s a
really open question how morally justifiable the sanction regime in Iran
is. We should talk about if the sanctions constrain more, who are they
hurting? They`re going to hurt average Iranian citizens who we say and we
should be in solidarity with.
The question both from a moral perspective, how much pain can we
squeeze out of the Iranian people for a government that we all acknowledge
they haven`t really chosen, and whether that`s going to be effective.
Those are big open questions not being asked right now.
MOYNIHAN: That`s a very big point. That`s a level of nuance you
won`t get debated unfortunately. The thing that when we`re talking about
the sanctions, and while I agree with the sanctions. The sanctions are
crippling, it`s fantastic.
The first thing I`m thinking of is 1998, the famous Madeleine Albright
interview on "60 Minutes" and the complaints of what the sanctions did to
the Iraqi people. You know, if you are framing the debate as if -- you
know, after 9/11, it was Nicholas Kristof who wrote a piece in "The New
York Times." And he said, you know, if you want to find a very pro-
American country in the region, go to Iran. That might surprise you.
HAYES: It`s very true.
MOYNIHAN: It`s very true, I think.
And if this is having that effect on the Iranian people, that`s a
question the people need to discuss.
HAYES: As a strategic question, not just a moral question.
HASTINGS: I think there is a substantive distinction on Iran but it`s
not one they can say publicly. Here`s what it is. Talking to Obama
administration officials, they do not want to go to war with Iran.
HAYES: Right, right.
HASTINGS: What John Bolton says in private, John Bolton who`s one of
Romney`s top advisors, they want another war with Iran.
HAYES: OK, this is important. This is really important, that the
different -- the actual differences are being obscured by the rhetoric.
You`re saying -- now there`s a moment that I thought was very interesting
in which Raddatz got Ryan to admit daylight between him and the Israelis
which I think is very interesting, because it`s a golden rule in American
policy for reasons that I think are not quite justifiable that one cannot
have any daylight between American policy and Israeli policy on these
issues. They`re talking about the time line for an acquisition of a weapon
on the part of Iran.
Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTHA RADDATZ, DEBATE MODERATOR: You both saw Benjamin Netanyahu
hold up that picture of a bomb with a red line and talking about the red
line being in spring. So can you solve this? If the Romney/Ryan ticket is
elected, can you solve this in two months before spring and avoid nuclear -
REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: We can debate a
time line. We can debate the time line, whether it`s that short a time or
longer. I agree that it`s probably longer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was an interesting moment. I didn`t get a lot of pickup.
Basically he`s saying that Netanyahu is wrong, that Netanyahu is
exaggerating the threat of the time line. And there was this bizarre back
and forth, right, about who is closer to Bibi Netanyahu.
HASTINGS: Friends of 39 years.
HAYES: Yes, Joe Biden is like, you know, are you kidding? The guy
and I sit in the sauna together, you know what I mean? I`ve held his hand
while he puked. What are you talking about, Bibi Netanyahu. We`re as
close as it is.
KIM: What Ryan is doing there and this is a shift actually in the
Romney/Ryan campaign. They`ve started to use the word capability for the
MOYNIHAN: Which is very important.
KIM: And that`s a very ambiguous standard. They`re not saying have
nuclear weapons, they`re saying the capability to produce nuclear weapons.
HAYES: Everyone should be clear on this, because again, this is one
of the things where there is a policy difference that`s being obscured by
the rhetoric. The debate right now, the debate largely between the Obama
administration and Netanyahu`s folks as far as I can understand as I follow
this is the question of the red line a weapon or is the red line a
capability? The capability is before actually having a weapon and much
more hazily defined? Is that more or less the --
HASTINGS: That`s my understanding. There`s a broader sense of
whether would an Obama administration support Israel if they want to go in
versus a Romney administration? Who would be more supportive?
That is a real debate and a real question people are asking. I think
if there is one to attack, Obama would go along with it in the end, anyway.
But that`s just my --
HAYES: The intractability of Syria was another issue that was on the
table. I think the reason that is so -- I thought that was an interesting
exchange because, again, they want to critique what the administration is
doing in Syria. They want to say you`re standing by while people are being
killed and they are essentially doing that. I mean, there`s been some
Basically the world is watching people be slaughtered and that also, I
think, again, I`m not a foreign policy expert, my understanding is that`s
probably the best policy as well. I mean, there`s diplomatic things we can
do. I think it`s incredibly difficult to come out and say that because it
is so horrifying what Assad is doing, but -- and that`s why that was such a
bizarre and sort of tortured exchange.
And that`s why Paul Ryan kept saying you called him a reformer as if
that was the entirety of the critique of the Syria policy.
HASTINGS: It was a bipartisan consensus that Assad was sort of coming
KIM: "Vogue" magazine.
MOYNIHAN: What poll are they on politically?
HAYES: What do you think of the Syrian exchange?
MOYNIHAN: The Syrian exchange was interesting because you basically
have Paul Ryan saying to the administration that, you know, we would like
to provide weapons to the rebels. Who these rebels are, we don`t know.
Joe Biden can`t respond to this in one particular way. There`s a lot
of reports kind of trickling out that this might already be happening.
HAYES: Right. Right.
MOYNIHAN: And Joe Biden can`t exactly say, you know, that`s what --
HAYES: Right, right.
MOYNIHAN: You know, in a kind of stage whisper.
But, you know, the policy, it is very, very difficult to see this sort
of bloodshed, to watch this "Frontline" documentary. What that
underscored, which I think is a very important point, is something after
9/11 when people were talking about occupying countries as if it was
Germany and Japan in 1945, is that you watch this "Frontline" documentary
and you see the complexities not only of Syria, but of Libya, et cetera.
Not only do we not know who these fighters are, but we understand and
everyone acknowledges this, it`s about how big this is, that Salafis are
coming in and they`re fighting with sort of more democratic reformers. So,
is there somebody that has a booth with AK-47s on it?
So, well, tell me about your ideology. But if you don`t meet the
test, you don`t get this guy.
HAYES: Right, right.
MOYNIHAN: That doesn`t happen. That`s going to be hugely
HAYES: And I think one of the other things we`re seeing in Syria
right now which again is incredibly messy and complicated, there`s been
great reporting on it, is the fact that the power vacuum and the transition
across the Middle East, particularly in Syria, does create opportunity for
jihadist and Salifists to gain power and tend to organize, and that brings
us to the other hot spot where this has happened and where it`s happened
with devastating consequences for Americans serving abroad, which is Libya.
We`re going to talk about that.
Richard Kim, my colleague at TheNation.com -- thanks for joining us.
KIM: Thank you.
HAYES: Always great to have you.
The evolving story of what happened in Libya, coming up next.
HAYES: Mitt Romney yesterday ratcheted up his attacks on the Obama
administration`s changing accounts about the attack that killed four
Americans in Benghazi, Libya. The new attacks come after a week in which
House Republicans came back early from vacation to hold a hearing on the
attack in Libya.
And then Martha Raddatz kicked off Thursday`s debate asking Vice
President Biden about the attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RADDATZ: Wasn`t this a massive intelligence failure, Vice President
JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What it was, it
was a tragedy, Martha. Chris Stevens was one of our best. We lost three
other brave Americans.
I can make absolutely two commitments to you and all the other
American people. One, we will find and bring to justice the men who did
this. And, secondly, we will get to the bottom of it. Whatever --
wherever the facts lead us, wherever they lead us we will make clear to the
American public because whatever mistakes are made will not be made again.
RYAN: This Benghazi issue would be a tragedy in and of itself. But
unfortunately it`s indicative of a broader problem. And that is what we`re
watching on our TV screens is the unraveling of the Obama foreign policy,
which is making it more chaotic and us less safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It`s been over a month since the attack in Benghazi and the
details of what happened there are still trickling out day by day.
Let`s start from the beginning, because it can be a little confusing.
On September 11th a group of Egyptians gathered outside the U.S. embassy in
Cairo. They scaled down the embassy walls and tore down the U.S. flag.
That protest was in response to a 14-minute YouTube trailer for a film now
infamous known called "Innocence of Muslims".
Hours later, it was reported that the U.S. consulate in Benghazi had
also been attacked. On September 12th, the next day, the State Department
confirmed that Chris Stevens, U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three others
had been killed.
President Obama condemned the attacks saying no acts of terror will
ever shake the resolve of this great nation. Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton addressed the attack in Benghazi and the protests in Cairo
explicitly linking the two together both as reactions to the video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: Some have sought to justify
this vicious behavior along with the protest that took place at our embassy
in Cairo yesterday as a response to inflammatory material posted on the
Internet. But let me be clear, there is no justification for this. None.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: On September 14th, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney
attributed all of the unrest throughout the region to the YouTube video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The unrest we`ve seen around
the region has been in reaction to a video that Muslims -- many Muslims
find offensive, and while the violence is reprehensible and unjustified, it
is not a reaction to the 9/11 anniversary that we know of or to a U.S.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Five days after the attack in Libya that happened on September
16th, Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, went on five
Sunday talk shows, not this one, and reaffirmed this position.
SUSAN RICE, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Our current
assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was, in fact, initially a
spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo,
almost a copy cat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo,
which were prompted, of course, by the video.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Three days later on September 19th, a number of administration
officials began to describe the attack on Benghazi as a terrorist attack.
By September 27th, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said it became clear the
attack was planned.
And on Tuesday of this week, the State Department explicitly
contradicted the story told by the administration, saying there had been no
protests outside the consulate in Benghazi on the day of the attack.
The attack continues to be a political issue because it is now clear
that just about everyone the story that we heard, the American people, in
wake of the attack was simply not accurate.
Amy Davidson is senior editor of "The New Yorker" is back with us at
the table now.
Good to have you back.
So, there are two issues here. I want to kind of set -- there are
three issues. I want to kind of separate them out. There is I think a
completely preposterous demagogic attack by the Romney/Ryan campaign was
due to inviting weakness in some way. In fact, you know, attempts on U.S.
embassies spiked during the Reagan administration. It doesn`t seem to
correlate in any way.
So, I want to put that to the side because I don`t think that`s a
serious charge. I do think -- here`s the U.S. attacks on diplomatic
targets we see actually during Bush one, a huge spike. They`re relative to
history quite low under President Obama.
So let`s just put aside the kind of real crass use of this as a cajole
to go after him. There are two substantive issues. Let`s talk about this
one, which is just basically this factual error, right?
We were told, we all read the reports and the government was saying
this was in response to the video and now, it`s just clear that it wasn`t
in response to the video. In fact, it was a pretty well premeditated plan.
I`ve read some reports, that say 100 men overran the embassy with guns. I
mean, this was a militarized attack.
The question is, why the gap? Why did the people who should have
known not know?
HASTINGS: Well --
HAYES: You`ve been reporting on this.
HASTINGS: Within six hours from the attack, a CIA team went to
Benghazi and basically knew it was a terrorist attack and had an indication
it was planned. That information was put-back to the U.S. government,
So, the U.S. government as a whole entity knew --
HAYES: That`s big. Known in the U.S. government is very big.
HASTINGS: Right. But if I`m the White House, I want to talk to
whoever came off the plane from Benghazi about what happened there. So you
have that issue.
So the idea of this was the video. There was a protest. That was a
shaky story immediately.
Within 24 hours, we knew that that probably wasn`t the case, at least
anyone who was sort of reading the reports and listening to it and just
sort of common sense, right? When was there a 10:00 p.m. protest in the
Arab world on a Tuesday? That -- it doesn`t happen.
So, you have -- that`s part of the issue. And I think you can look at
what the White House did as malicious. They wanted to put this story out
to kick the can down the road to get through the election.
Or what I think is more likely, and sort of wishful thinking, cherry
picking of information that happens to suit their strategic needs.
AMY DAVIDSON, NEWYORKER.COM: I just have to say that in the beginning
the argument wasn`t that it just was in response to the video, but from the
Romney side, that it was in response to a statement from the Cairo embassy
being slightly apologetic about, as they saw it, you know, not --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Banging the drum.
DAVIDSON: So the whole idea, the whole argument at the time was this
attack happened because we apologized.
DAVIDSON: Because we -- not just because these people saw a video,
but because we responded to the video in a certain way. So I wonder a
little bit what`s happened to that.
HAYES: That`s been thrown overboard.
MOYNIHAN: That`s been taken for good reasons too. The Romney
administration -- the Romney campaign is not being debriefed or shouldn`t
have access to people debriefing them on this. If you look at this time
line, Michael`s been doing some amazing stuff on this, as has been my
colleague and friend Eli Lake, really killing the story.
He`s out there at the very beginning showing that, you know, within as
Michael says, within a day, then we have people debriefing the State
Department in person coming back from Libya. And they`re still going out
there after this and saying that it`s because of the video. This time line
here is not good for them.
HAYES: Hold on one second. I want to hear more about that from you,
Goldie. I want to weigh on this. I want to talk about this sort of
And then this really broad -- this really important question which is
the deep thing here is that there are tradeoffs between security for
diplomatic staff and their ability to do effective diplomacy. And when we
kind of boil this down to its essence as a policy choice, that`s where I
think we end up. We`re going to talk to someone who served in the foreign
service and has some views on this, right after we take this break.
HAYES: Goldie, you will something you wanted to say about the Libya
TAYLOR: You know, I think all of us missed this, the Romney
campaign`s narrative started much earlier than Cairo and that cable that
they wanted to put out. It started earlier in the day when Romney was
giving his speech -- his address on 9/11 before a group of veterans when he
was, you know, running the rabbit on this administration being weaker on
foreign policy questions that we are projecting.
So he was just taking that narrative and stringing it through the
night and through the next day and, thus, politicizing the deaths of four
HAYES: Yes, but the politicizing, I agree that that statement was
ridiculous. And Reince Priebus tweet that night about the president --
that was -- that actually I thought was a resignable offense saying that
the president sympathized with the people --
MOYNIHAN: In fact, there are a lot of people that are nominally on
Romney and Ryan`s side that condemned this stuff.
HAYES: Yes. But I want to separate -- there`s now there`s this
broader sort of politicization. I mean, we should know what the heck
happened in Libya. We should know about why there was this gap.
When you want to talk about politics, what`s striking to me is the
absence of the State Department from all of this. I mean, this is what`s
bizarre. This is State Department facility. It`s a State Department
From my reporting in the State Department, Stevens and Hillary were
actually fairly close, right? There was a personal line between Chris
Stevens. He was seen as an incredibly important member of the Foreign
Service. He had a distinguished career.
This was -- obviously, the Libya intervention was a huge signature of
the Obama foreign policy. As soon as this starts happening, it`s the White
House, it`s Jay Carney up at the podium, and it`s Susan Rice out on the
Sunday shows who are doing all the defense of it and State is essentially
nowhere to be found.
And then Susan Rice basically after it`s clear what she was saying on
the Sunday shows wasn`t true has to issue this statement. "In my September
16 Sunday show appearances, I was asked to provide the administration`s
latest understanding of what happened in Benghazi. In answering, I relied
solely and squarely on the information the intelligence community provided
to me and other senior U.S. officials, including through the daily
intelligence briefings that present the latest report and analysis to
Now, I`m inclined to believe her just because it seems like a bizarre
strategy that sent her out there to lie.
Here`s Secretary of State Hillary Clinton finally talking yesterday at
a press conference. This is really the first time she`s come out.
HASTINGS: After two weeks of staying in the bunker.
HAYES: And rebuffing some requests from Michael Hastings.
This is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talking about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: I do know this, there is nobody in the administration
motivated by anything other than trying to understand what happened. To
this day, we do not have a complete picture. We do not have all the
answers. No one in this administration has ever claimed otherwise. Every
one of us has made clear that we are providing the best information we have
at that time, and that information continues to be updated. Obviously we
know more as time goes by and we will know even more than we did hours and
days after the attack. So that`s what an investigative process is designed
to do, to try to sort through all of the information, some of it
contradictory and conflicting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And let me say this. I mean, I think there is -- I read a
former CIA analyst wrote a piece in "The Atlantic," who said, look,
intelligence really is messy. And attack like this completely -- I mean,
this was a horrific attack.
When you read the background briefing from the State Department about,
you know, you think about Chris Stevens safe from dying of smoke
inhalation. It must have been incredibly upsetting.
But that also -- it must have incredibly chaotic in the aftermath. I
mean, the facility was overwhelmed. It was burned to the ground. It
doesn`t seem implausible to believe that there was a tremendous amount of
HASTINGS: So, we couldn`t get there for three weeks to investigate.
I mean, the FBI team, we got run out of town in Benghazi and we could not
get our investigators back in until weeks later.
HAYES: Right. But wouldn`t that explain -- I mean, I guess my point
is that argument being made here is that this was just, you know,
intelligence is messy and intelligence filters up through the mast vast
apparatuses of the American intelligence system.
TAYLOR: It isn`t at all implausible to me that you would have a
planned attack on this installation and at the same time, you know, prior -
- you`ve got some demonstrations happening in another country. It is not
at all implausible to me that --
HAYES: Intelligence conflates the two.
TAYLOR: These two things conflict.
HAYES: Amy, Eli Lake has done some reporting, suggesting there was a
signal intelligence intercept in which the people who planned the attack
mentioned the demonstrations.
MOYNIHAN: On this point, this is a very important point.
MOYNIHAN: And a very good thing that Eli reported is that, you know,
it is implausible in some sense. And there is that intercept, which is 24
hours later and very, very important thing that should be shot up the chain
pretty fast, it`s not a matter of what people are saying on this. It`s a
matter of who are making these calls.
MOYNIHAN: And the two people are known al Qaeda or affiliates, minor
league people of al Qaeda. And that is the important point. It`s not
saying -- if they`re saying in this call, this is sort of what we know now,
is that, you know, maybe we should use the cover of the Egyptian embassy
business to launch our attack now.
The Egyptian embassy business is not the important point here.
MOYNIHAN: It`s the two people that are having the conversation and
what they`re plan to do.
HAYES: There`s a lot of fear right now among diplomatic circles.
You`re starting to see a report about what this means for how they`re going
to do their job in the future and the pendulum of security.
We`re going to talk with a former diplomat right after this break.
HAYES: I want to bring in Daniel Serwer of the School of Advanced
International Studies at John Hopkins University, a scholar at the Middle
East Institute. He served at the State Department under Bill Clinton, as
envoy for the Bosnian federation. He also writes at the blog
Daniel, you wrote about this. There was a really good piece of
reporting from Josh Hersh at the "Huffington Post" talking to diplomats who
were talking about their fear that in the wake of this, what we`re going to
see is increased security, increased barricading of American embassies and
that those -- the increased security comes at the cost of doing effective
How have you experienced that as a diplomat yourself? How do you
experience that tradeoff on the ground?
DANIEL SERWER, PEACEFARE.NET: Well, especially in Iraq, we see very
clearly that the American diplomats are incarcerated and warehoused in an
embassy. They`re not out talking to the population. They`re not meeting
people as frequently as they should. They`re not giving speeches, cutting
ribbons -- doing all of the things that need to be done if you`re to
develop a rapport not only with the host government, but with the host
And that`s what diplomacy is all about is that comprehensive
understanding of a society. And, frankly, Libya`s a fairly friendly
environment. This will surprise people. I`ve been there twice in the last
year or so, and I have to stop Libyans from hugging me on the street when I
say I`m an American.
HAYES: Right. Chris Stevens was very well-known for being incredibly
present around Tripoli and Benghazi, for going for morning runs, for going
to parties and breakfasts and doing all of the things that you just talked
SERWER: He was doing all the right things and there`s no way to
reduce risks to somebody who`s doing the right things to zero.
HAYES: That -- yes.
SERWER: You can manage the risk. You cannot completely zero out the
And this is extremely important for people to understand. This is a
great tragedy as Vice President Biden said, but its a tragedy that will
happen every once in a while because you can`t have zero risk.
HASTINGS: I just think there`s obviously there`s no perfect security.
But there`s a difference between perfect security and getting run out of
town in Benghazi and having a consulate overrun and four Americans killed.
But I agree, I`m not disagreeing with --
HAYES: One of the things that got a little lost in the hearing about
the security requests and there was apparently requests for more security,
those security requests weren`t even for Benghazi, they were for Tripoli.
It`s also unclear as a counter factual matters, we can`t know this, whether
the security that was requested would have been sufficient to stop what
looks like now 100 men with guns overrunning and burning the embassy.
DAVIDSON: I do wonder though, the idea of the Libyans, they love us.
OK. It raises the question of how well we really know what the Libyans
think, how well we know even at this point what`s been going on in Libya.
In the debate, Paul Ryan said, you know, why wasn`t there a Marine
detachment in Benghazi already? That`s a whole other question. Are they
arguing that we should be sending in troops?
One reason we didn`t is that the Obama administration had sort of
presented this as a done job and one that you didn`t need to even invoke
the War Powers Act for which you would have had to do with troops in some
HAYES: Daniel, I`m curious --
SERWER: The idea of Marine guards is completely out of the question.
Marine guards are trained and equipped to protect the information inside an
embassy or consulate.
HAYES: Yes. Part of the security detail.
SERWER: They are not equipped for personal protection. That`s
HAYES: Daniel, I want you to reconcile what Amy just said, which I
think is really important. Reconcile the favorable treatment you`ve gotten
in Libya with the presence of these militias and what that says, right
after we take this quick break.
HAYES: Daniel Serwer who served in the State Department under
President Bill Clinton. You`ve been to Libya twice and talked about the
I have friends who have gone to Libya and who were there actually
during the revolution who say the same thing. My question is: how do we
reconcile that with the fact that there seems to be a very well-organized
armed jihadists who have pulled off the attack?
SERWER: Well, you can have 99 percent of the population with you and
the 1 percent of the population that isn`t can kill your ambassador.
HAYES: Yes, exactly.
SERWER: Chris Stevens met that morning with a Libyan professor whom I
have met with on the day of the elections in July, and he gave me quite a
detailed account of the radical forces that existed in the Benghazi region.
I`m sure he had that same conversation with Chris Stevens that morning.
People were aware of this radical presence. It mounted a much bigger
attack than people expected, but I think you have to understand that the
militias, which are often referred to as the problem, are also part of the
solution. The guys guarding the embassy, unfortunately, without guns
because we didn`t trust them yet enough to have guns were militia forces
from the February 17th Brigade, which is what protected the elections in
Benghazi as well.
So this is a very complicated, confusing situation.
SERWER: It`s not surprising that failure comes in a situation like
this, but putting out people behind very high walls with lots of personal
security details which they themselves have to be protected is not a
formula for effective diplomacy.
HAYES: And this point about the Libyans who were guarding the
embassy, a number of Libyans died in this attack as well, we don`t talk
about that because they`re not American lives. I think there`s 10 Libyans
who died. And these are Libyans who are part of the militia that have been
essentially assigned the role in the loco parentis, right? In the role of
the state essentially as the local guarantor of the security because people
should keep in mind the first line of defense for security anywhere, any
consulate and embassy is the host country, right?
I mean, we have people that will -- you know, we have cops outside
embassies here in the United States. And so, since there wasn`t really a
properly constituted Libyan government, the role was given to the militia
which were also overrun.
HASTINGS: Right. I mean, look. Big picture there`s a cost in these
interventions and the cost is always high and it`s always unpredictable.
And you don`t know when it`s going to rear its ugly head.
In terms of if one is responsible for protecting people within a
facility, I`ve been in that position having been in bureaus, in charge of
bureaus. And we had one incident in Baghdad where there was a sticky bomb
outside the bureau. We raised the red alarm -- the kind of red flags about
it and then three weeks later the entire base and infrastructure was blown
I mean, that was a situation in Libya where you had these sorts of
different incidents. The State Department should have responded despite
budgetary things, when your guys in the field are saying we`re under
threat, you got to respond.
DAVIDSON: And that might be the Obama administration`s main mistake
in Libya, it was presented as a simple story, when it was a complicated
HASTINGS: That`s the White House -- the president and vice president
shouldn`t be being briefed on specific dates --
HAYES: Exactly. When Joe Biden said we, in the debate the other
night, which Mitt Romney is attacking for, it was we meaning the president
which of course that request does not get to the president and vice
president of the United States.
Daniel Serwer, professor at the Johns Hopkins University -- thank you
so much for joining us and sharing your insight.
SERWER: You`re welcome.
HAYES: So, what do we know now that we didn`t know last week? My
answer is after this.
HAYES: Just a moment, what we know now what we didn`t know last week.
But, first, a quick update on something one of our guests mentioned last
We were discussing the Independent Foreclosure Review, a program
launched by federal regulators to compensate the victims of predatory
lending practices. That suggested by the name the program is supposed to
be insulated from the influence of the banks that engaged in those
practices, particularly with respect to mortgage servicing. But a report
by "ProPublica" this week suggests that whether and how much to compensate
victims are based in large part on work done by the banks did themselves.
As one current employee told "ProPublica", final decisions made by the
independent foreclosure review are, quote, "only a matter of double
checking the bank`s work". We`ve got links to the "ProPublica" report on
our Tumblr, Upwithchris.tumblr.com.
So, what do we know now that we didn`t know last week?
We now know that Mitt Romney doesn`t know what he`s talking about with
respect to the deadly consequences of being uninsured. Trapped as he wants
between seemingly contradictory positions on health care, Romney reiterated
his past endorsement of the current status quo of American healthcare in
which the uninsured frequently end up in emergency rooms, telling the
"Columbus Dispatch", quote, "We don`t have a setting across this country
where if you don`t have insurance, we just say to you, tough luck, you`re
going to have to die when you have a heart attack. No. You go to the
hospital, get treated, you get treatment and it`s paid for. We don`t have
people that become ill who die in their apartment because they don`t have
We know back as governor of Massachusetts, this was precisely the kind
of high cost and haphazard care that Romneycare was designed to avoid and
we also know it just flat isn`t true that no one in America dies from being
uninsured. In fact, a 2009 study from Harvard found that nearly 45,000
deaths each year are tied to the lack of insurance.
We know the Romney the Romney plan, as far as we can tell, would
ultimately leave an estimated 72 million Americans without insurance. We
know that if Romney is elected, the Affordable Care Act will almost
certainly not survive. We know there are lives on the line in this
We now know in full grisly detail the extent of Lance Armstrong`s
doping operation during the years he won a record seven Tours de France and
became a national icon from his recovery from cancer. A new report from
the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency documents testimony of 11 former teammates who
discuss Armstrong`s extensive involvement in doping and covering up the
doping. The report shows payments of over $1 million to an Italian doctor
accused of giving Armstrong access to performance-enhancing drugs.
Armstrong continues to deny the allegations. But we know that cycling
isn`t alone in having a culture absolutely infested with cheating. Track
and field is facing similar problems, as is Major League Baseball.
In my book "Twilight of the Elites," I wrote extensively about the
steroids in baseball and in reporting that chapter, I was struck by how
easily a culture of intense competition with huge rewards for success and
punishment for failure can cause corner-cutting and cheating and deceit.
We know the lesson of this is even more urgent, as competition is presented
as a model for all institutions to follow.
And speaking of morally compromised undertakings, we now know that
Mitt Romney was intimately involved in developing a lucrative strategy to
sell cigarettes in post Soviet Russia in the 1990s. Thanks to some good
reporting from the folks at "Huffington Post," we now know that as CEO of
the Bain and Company consulting firm, Romney oversaw Bain`s lucrative with
cigarette British American Tobacco, helping them insert their products into
the newly privatizing markets in the former USSR.
We know there`s nothing illegal about the concept of aiding a tobacco
company in selling its product, but as so much of other parts of Romney`s
business record, just because something was within the bounds of the law
doesn`t mean doing it was right or having done it is anyway praiseworthy or
makes one qualified to be president. Coming up with clever ways to sell
toxic deadly cigarettes as possible might make you a good capitalist but I
don`t think it makes you a good person.
I want to find out what my guest now know that they didn`t when the
week began, let`s begin with you Amy Davidson of "The New York."
DAVIDSON: I know that Joe Biden has nothing on Julia Gillard, the
prime minister of Australia. I don`t know if you`ve all seen the video of
her just lashing out in the Australian parliament. But what I also know is
that that was a strangely effective, that there did need to be a
conversation in Australia about misogyny and sexism.
HAYES: Yes, explain the context.
DAVIDSON: A member of her party got caught sending lewd texts to
somebody who worked for him. He had previously been with the other party.
He was sort of a swing vote in the coalition. Her -- the opposition leader
Tony Abbott sort of got up and was very outraged about this and said he`s
got to be fired right away. He had been a friend of Tony Abbott before.
She got up and said I won`t be lectured by Tony Abbott. If he wants
to know what misogyny looks like in Australia, he needs to look in the
mirror. He had said in parliament, I believe, that she needed to make an
honest woman of herself, she`s not married.
People in his party had called her barren. And she really -- she did
not hold back at all.
HAYES: It was an amazing disposition.
DAVIDSON: I also think -- you know, it wasn`t just that Australia has
a political culture, one of the things that are said. And she really
brought it unto the table there and it worked.
HAYES: We will post it on our Tumblr.
TAYLOR: I now know now that I`m going to be a grandmother.
HAYES: Congratulations. That`s wonderful.
TAYLOR: I also know that this plate has a Twitter feed and I`m
completely happy about that and it`s smart.
But I also know according to the "National Journal," in a report from
Steven Shepard that we have got to do a lot more looking at the methodology
and modeling behind polling according to a new CDC (ph) study. That you
know that polls are -- the integrity of the polls are based on the
integrity of the poll. And who has an opportunity, everyone should be a
part of that.
Well, this country, we are growing. I don`t have a landline. I don`t
know how many here have a landline. But if you don`t have a landline,
automated dialing to cell phones is illegal, so two out of five don`t have
the ability to even be polled.
HAYES: This is a great tease for tomorrow. We`re going to talk about
the history of polling. We have Nate Silver here to talk about polling and
what polling can and can`t tell us, which I think is the really important
HASTINGS: I`m going to bring it back to Benghazi.
To me, one of the most disturbing revelations was on Anderson Cooper
show when Anderson was interviewing one of the mothers of the victims, Sean
Smith, and she said that after promising, after the White House and after
the state promised her all this information about what happened to her son,
they did not even bother to basically return her phone calls.
I think that`s disgraceful. I think it`s unfortunate. I think it`s a
testament to how in these situations the bureaucracies try to CYA as much
as they possibly can, even at the expense of other human beings.
I mean, all they have to do is -- it`s better to sit down, take the
HASTINGS: Tell the family what`s happening, even if they leak.
You`ve got to do it.
HAYES: Michael Moynihan?
MOYNIHAN: What I now know that I always suspected, how is that? Is
MOYNIHAN: I just want to say that this is not a pivot off of
something that you said earlier, I had this before, is that I now know that
the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, speaking of unelected people, are five
unelected, nonsense Norwegian people, that gave a nonsense prize to not a
nonsense entity, but an undeserving entity that has not kept peace for 50
years. That was something that was done by NATO and helped along by the
U.S. and British military incidentally.
HAYES: You know, it`s funny, I was defending the E.U. as an entity
yesterday. And I was basically -- it was -- conservatives were saying it
was ridiculous. People to my left were saying it`s ridiculous. There is
no constituency for E.U. It`s like boring bureaucratic edifice that no one
MOYNIHAN: My objection quickly to the prize is that it`s not actually
for them. It`s a forward-looking thing, them saying, will you please save
HAYES: Make sure we don`t see Golden Dawn take over Greece.
HAYES: My thanks to Amy Davidson from "The New Yorker", Goldie Taylor
of TheGrio.com. Everyone digging into our pastry plate. "BuzzFeed`s"
Michael Hastings is now eating. Michael Moynihan from "Newsweek" and "The
HASTINGS: My boss told me to do it.
HAYES: Thanks for getting up. You got it. Scratch it out of your
Thank you for joining us today for UP. Join us tomorrow Sunday
morning at 8:00 when I`ll have the founder of Staples Tom Stemberg and Nate
Silver, mastermind of the "New York Times`" "FiveThirtyEight" blog on
Coming up next is "MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY." On today`s "MHP," once
again, it is this week in voter suppression. Incendiary billboards
spreading throughout Ohio, mostly in minority communities and a display of
over voter intimidation. Who`s behind it and what is being done? That`s
"MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY", coming up next.
We will see you right here tomorrow at 8:00. Thanks for getting UP.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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