ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
November 5, 2013
Guest: Mark Warner, Bill Burton, Tsedeye Gebreselassie, David Sirota,
Christine Todd Whitman, John Nichols, Alice Wagner
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris
And that epic music can only mean one thing, it is election night in
America. We`re following a couple of key races.
In the state of New Jersey, polls have just closed, and NBC News
projects that Governor Chris Christie will win the race for the statehouse
in his bid for re-election. Someone many political observers view as a
star on the rise, a possible contender for 2016. We`re going to have all
the details about what the internals of exit polling show about what we
expect will be Chris Christie`s victory. But, right now, we are projecting
that governor of New Jersey, will win reelection.
In Virginia, polls closed an hour ago, and that is at this moment, too
close to call. But Democrat Terry McAuliffe is leading.
And in New York City, polls close in one hour as an overwhelmingly
Democratic city decides whether it will elect it`s first Democratic mayor
in more than 20 years. Nationwide, it is Election Day with mayoral
elections in hundreds of citizens, dozens of ballot initiatives across the
country, including a big by 11 local counties in Colorado to secede and
become the 51st state.
And in Alabama, the runoff to the Republican nomination in a
congressional special election put the Tea Party birther candidate against
an establishment Republican and yet another evocative sign of intraparty
The two biggest races tonight are obviously those gubernatorial races
in Virginia and New Jersey, very different states. Yet, four years ago,
election night really did prophesize a backlash to the early year of the
Obama administration, with Tea Party Republicans helping the GOP take the
House a year later.
This off-year election, however, is probably not offering the same
kind of prophecy.
Joining me now are my MSNBC colleagues, host of "NOW", which airs
weekdays at noon Eastern, and Steve Kornacki, host of "UP", which airs
weekends at 8:00 a.m. Eastern.
All right. Your reaction to the news out of New Jersey, Steve?
STEVE KORNACKI, UP: Shocked.
HAYES: Yes, shocked --
KORNACKI: It`s going to be a late night in New Jersey because we`re
going to have to wait until Mercer County comes in.
No, I mean, this is -- the interesting thing here is to think back
four years ago to how Chris Christie got in this position in the first
place. Four years ago, that election, Chris Christie`s victory over Jon
Corzine, the Democratic incumbent, it had everything to do with Chris
Christie. It had everything to do with Jon Corzine, with the deficiencies
of the Democratic Party in New Jersey, with how terrible his governorship
had gone, and with the national climate that was just -- the position of
the Republican Party as nothing but the protest vehicle for voters who were
feeling economic anxiety.
Tonight, Chris Christie`s re-election victory has everything to do
with Chris Christie, and nothing to do with his Democratic opponent. It
has a little bit to do with the deep divisions in the Democratic Party in
New Jersey and how Chris Christie has sort of exploited those sort of
masterfully over the last four years.
But, Chris Christie, just to think about this, in winning tonight, and
I`m guessing, we`ll see what the final margin is, it`s probably going to be
somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 points, maybe a little bit bigger. Not
since 1985, before tonight had a Republican won a statewide election in New
Jersey and exceeded 50 percent of the vote, a simple majority.
Chris Christie is going to have much more in that tonight, but you
have to go all the way back to Tom Kean landslide of 1985 to find the last
one who even a simple majority. So, that`s the territory he`s in right
HAYES: You took the words right out of my mouth. I was just thinking
as you`re talking, I thought, you know, it hasn`t been since 1985 that
HAYES: Chris Christie, there was a quote from Ben LaBolt, the tweet,
the former adviser to the president who said, Democrats are going to live
to regret not going harder after Chris Christie in this election. Do you
think that`s true?
ALEX WAGNER, NOW: Well, I mean, there`s always a Republican Party
that will go hard after Chris Christie if he seeks higher office. So,
let`s not discount that.
But, I mean, to Steve`s point, Christie didn`t have any kind of a
challenger. Barbara Buono was effectively abandoned by all the Democratic
organizations that otherwise would have funded her. Christie`s numbers
were so good that Democrats didn`t think they want anybody -- they weren`t
going to put any muscle into that race.
I think -- I mean I remain unconvinced that it`s walk -- you know,
that he`s a shoe in the 2016 race. I mean, Christie has done something
masterful, which other people in this party seemed not to have clued into
yet, which is you quietly check the social boxes, the gay marriage box,
Christie is against marriage equality, the -- he`s against reproductive
choice. He`s taken --
HAYES: Yes, Chris Christie is pro-life. People should not be
confused when you`re talking about --
WAGNER: And he`s taken conservative positions on social issues, not
Cuccinelli style, but he`s checking those boxes. He`s not a fan of unions.
He`s not a fan of investment in green industry or infrastructure. Those
are classic sort of Republican stances at this point.
But he has not had to put those at the forefront of his agenda and
that is critical.
HAYES: That`s a great point. It`s a great point. That`s partly the
nature of the state of New Jersey and the electorate. It`s partly the
political wisdom, and I mean, wisdom in the sort of amoral neutral sense,
the political wisdom to distinguish between the positions you hold and the
fights you pick. Those are two very different things.
And Chris Christie, I think, has been very smart about which fights he
picks in terms of how those are going to play politically, he has by and
large picked the fights that will benefit him politically in the state of
New Jersey for instance over Sandy recovery, when he picked the huge fight
with his own party, and got to sort of have this moment where he was able
to show all the persuadable Democratic voters in New Jersey that he was not
just another John Boehner Republican.
The other big race tonight is in Virginia, we do not have a projected
winner there yet, it is to early to call, our exit polling shows Terry
Joining me now is Senator Mark Warner, Democrat from Virginia.
Senator, I remember when Governor Mark Warner of Virginia was the
Chris Christie of two Democrats amidst the out years of red state America
when there was all this --
FORMER GOV. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: I remember those years, too.
HAYES: You`re going to be the great savior because you cracked the
code. You have gotten yourself elected in a state that George W. Bush had
won, what has happened between that election night when you won and
WARNER: Well, I think what you have seen is on some level more of a
polarization of American politics, particularly on the right, and I
actually think the recipe that allowed me to stand here 12 years ago in
Virginia and win in a state that was definitely red at that point, and for
Terry McAuliffe to win tonight in Virginia and Chris Christie is winning in
New Jersey, is that people are actually tired of kind of an extremist
crowd. Candidly, in both parties, you see that a lot more in the
Republican Party right now.
Remember, Virginia was ground zero for the harm done by the stupid
government shutdown. So, you had the Tea Party candidates coming traipsing
through Virginia, I`m not sure who on the Republican side thought that was
a good idea, but I`m sure it actually helped McAuliffe.
HAYES: I was going back and looking at some of your stump speeches
when you ran for governor, and some of your campaign ads, there is one big
difference I noticed between the kind of race you ran and the race Terry
McAuliffe ran. Your race really focused on your record as a businessman,
job creation kind of nuts and bolts kitchen table issues.
Terry McAuliffe has focused on social issues quite a bit. He has gone
after Ken Cuccinelli for his record on birth control and choice and sodomy
and things like that, that is a real difference in terms of where the state
has moved and where the Republican Party, I think has moved.
WARNER: I think you`re right. I think the candidate that I ran
against was the conservative wing of the Republican Party, but not in the
extreme kind of Tea Party wing, you know, that can -- the whole ticket on
the Republican side this time was so far outside the mainstream that Terry
was actually picking up Republican endorsements that I never received.
So, this was a lot of, I think, actually saying thumbs down on this
extreme approach and for the whole country, I actually hope it drives more
candidates in both parties back over to more of a mainstream.
HAYES: We`re seeing this in the exit polling we have. Virginia, the
early numbers that we had showed Terry McAuliffe winning among women by a
whopping 16 points, 54 to 38, over Ken Cuccinelli. That`s a pretty sizable
What does it mean for Terry McAuliffe, who will if he wins tonight,
who would enter the governor`s house with a mandate that strikes me as a
rejection of Republican extremism writ large rather than a mandate for
progressive governance in the great state of Virginia, the commonwealth of
WARNER: Well, I think, again -- let`s talk first about the gender gap
for a moment. I mean, Virginians take great pride in the fact that we have
earned recently some national recognition, when I started as governor, best
state for business.
And then in the last couple of years, we`ve been basically the butt of
a lot of late-night jokes when you had vaginal ultrasounds, and personhood
bills, and all kinds of other restrictions that were so far beyond the
pale. And I think Virginians candidly in both parties got turned off of
Now, Terry`s challenge is actually going to govern on the platform he
campaigned for, which is, you know, how do you rollout the transportation
plan, how do you expand Medicaid, how do you particularly look at community
colleges for career in technical education and how do govern in a
bipartisan way. He constantly said he was going to be bipartisan. We`re
going still have a very Republican house of delegates in the state
legislature. He`s going to have to reach out to them.
HAYES: One of the things that the president of the United States has
learned is that one cannot impose bipartisanship unilaterally. It takes
two to create bipartisanship. Chris Christie has also learned that he`s
had much more willing partner.
Senator Mark Warner, from the commonwealth of Virginia, thank you.
All right, joining me now is NBC News correspondent Kelly O`Donnell,
who`s live at the Chris Christie campaign headquarters in New Jersey.
And, Kelly O`Donnell, I`m going to go out on a limb and say it`s a
fairly buoyant mood at the Chris Christie headquarters this hour.
KELLY O`DONNELL, NBC NEWS: That would be a safe statement, and I can
also tell you, there`s a real chill in the air, the ocean is just off to
our left, and off to my right, there`s one of the security, sort of pen
area that you see on, like the ball dropping down on New Year`s Eve and
hundreds and hundreds of people are waiting to go through the screening
process to get inside, where we expect Governor Christie to address the
crowd here probably in the couple of hours.
And I spent the last four days on the campaign trail with him, when he
did sort of a barnstorming bus tour, 46 stops in a week. And I really got
to see him do his retail politicking and he addressed a lot of the issues
and one of the things that he was really shooting for tonight was not only
to be re-elected, and he had been way ahead of the Democrat Barbara Buono
for a long time in polls, but to do something that Republicans really
needed him to do, and that is to get above 50 percent. We`ll see how wide
his margin is tonight.
And he said that`s so critical because it hasn`t happened in the blue
state of New Jersey to have a Republican win with more than 50 percent of
the vote since back in the `80s. And he believes that if that happens, he
can show his party that there`s a way to govern and win that might be a
path for the future.
So, he`s very careful to always be focused on running for reelection
for his job as governor, and saying he loves his job. But at the same
time, there was lots of messages to a wider audience beyond the Garden
State, the national party, voters around the country.
I just spoke to Susana Martinez, who`s the governor of New Mexico,
also a Republican who`s been out o the trail with him. And she has said
that he has been helpful in reaching out to communities that have not been
as concerned about getting in more of those voters. She definitely talked
about the outreach to Latinos and mine north voter who is might be
registered as Democrats oar independents but who like the Christie style.
So, we`ve watched that in sort of full color of Chris Christie over
the last several days, moments where he had sort of outbursts of passion,
shall we say, and then moments where he was wrapping his arms around
voters, posing for photos. This was about getting reelected for one job,
but also a launching pad for what might be his future prospects if he`s
interested in running in 2016. He`s certainly going to be a force in the
party and that voice he will have will be judged in part by how well he
does tonight -- Chris.
HAYES: NBC News correspondent Kelly O`Donnell, thank you so much.
One of the stories that`s going to come out of tonight, that you`ve
already seen being written is the contrast between Chris Christie and Ken
WAGNER: I think that`s been actually written (INAUDIBLE) weeks, too.
HAYES: Well, you know, the last time a New Jersey Republican.
You`re going to see the Ken Cuccinelli model versus the Chris Christie
model, and there`s a lot to it. I mean, the fact that it`s being raised as
the kind of defining election night story in terms of the future of
Republican, I don`t think -- it takes away for the fact that it is largely
true that Chris Christie has essentially, you know, done a politics of
attempting to pick the fight where things are most popular and Ken
Cuccinelli has not done that. He`s picked up fights that are most popular
with his base.
WAGNER: At one point, Chris, just moments ago, you said to Mark
Warner, his record on sodomy, speaking about speaking about the Virginia
race, which is crazy. We are talking about someone who has litigated the
issue of sodomy and divorce. This is not Riyadh we are talking about.
This is McLean. Insanity, right?
WAGNER: Then you have Chris Christie who obviously has taken pages
from a wider, a better playbook. But let`s not forget, and I`m sure Steve
will have lots to say about this -- Chris Christie was freak out enough
about Cory Booker that he spent millions of dollars to hold a separate
HAYES: Oh, the Cory Booker election.
WAGNER: Exactly. So he would not have to be on the same ballot as
him. That is insight. This thing has gotten completely bust up.
KORNACKI: The one thing I would say about Christie, though, is that
it`s interesting what Christie represents in the evolution of Northeast so-
called moderate Republican politics, because a generation ago, the playbook
that Republicans were supposed to follow in the Northeast, and it was the
trailblazers were Bill Weld in Massachusetts, Christie Todd Whitman in New
Jersey, Rudy Giuliani in New York, to be socially liberal and economically
And what they found out, Christie Whitman thought she could be the
vice president for Bob Dole in 1996. She was nixed because of abortions.
Rudy Giuliani thought he could run for president in 2008. He was nixed
because of abortions, because of gay rights and a number of other issues.
They went too far within the context of the Republican Party, and they
overcompensated for the cultural liberalism of their areas and they
disqualified themselves nationally.
What Chris Christie has done, is he has not disqualified himself on
any single cultural issue that the right demands a presidential candidate
going to check off.
HAYES: All right. I`m going to give you updated reports.
NBC News can now report, the governor`s race in Virginia is, we are
characterizing too close to call. We, of course, have internal models. We
use early results to project the results on the evening and those models
are now showing up that that race is too close to call between Terry
McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli for governor of Virginia.
And joining me now is Bill Burton, former deputy White House press
secretary in the Obama administration, cofounder and senior strategist to
the super PAC Priorities USA Action.
And, Bill, your reaction to the fact that we`re calling this too close
BILL BURTON, PRIORITIES USA ACTION: Well, I think folks knew that
this race was going to be on the closer side. It wasn`t going to be a big
HAYES: That`s not true. Two weeks ago, it looked like a 14 -- you
had Terry McAuliffe polling at 14 points. It has closed considerably in
the last weeks.
BURTON: You had one poll that`s kind of an outlier. But mostly, this
race has been between four, five, six, seven points maximum. But what you
saw happening here in the last couple of weeks, Terry closed strong, he had
middle class moderate, mainstream issues.
And the other side, Ken Cuccinelli was running against Obamacare.
Marco Rubio came to the state. He said this was going to be a referendum
on Obamacare. Ken Cuccinelli was making the case this is going to be a
referendum on Obamacare. But that whole message could not paper over the
fact that Ken Cuccinelli was just too extreme for mainstream voters in
When you look at the exits, 53 percent of Virginians said that Ken
Cuccinelli was too conservative for the state. That`s what people take
away from this race. And so, if you`re trying to extrapolate to 2014, I
think what you see is an electorate that may be concerned about Obamacare
but is rooting for it to succeed. So, I would be very worried if I was
national Republicans, this is not an issue that`s just a gimme, layup for
them to win elections.
HAYES: You know, Bill, it`s interesting. Our existing polling shows
that the electorate in Virginia basically is split around 50/50, in terms
of how they feel about Obamacare. In fact, Obamacare gets higher approval
ratings than the president. And when I think Republicans misunderstand is
this, they think Obamacare is an issue, voter has an opinion on Obamacare
and that drives their voting behavior. But, of course, it`s the other way
around, people are Republicans or Democrats, they`re partisans, they`re
sort of disposed to lean one way or the other. That`s the thing that`s
driving their opinion about Obamacare.
BURTON: That`s exactly right. Another thing that`s happening now,
the Republicans a ought to be worried about in 2014, is that generally when
you have voter anger against Washington, that`s all directed towards the
president. What the Republicans did with the shutdown and with the debt
fight is, they got voters really mad at them.
And so, as a result, all this electorate anger about how they`re
going, the direction of the country, is dissipated across the party. And
so, the party that`s making the stronger argument for the middle class, for
the mainstream, is the party that`s going to win.
And so, look, it`s always tough for a president in midterm elections.
But going into this one, I think the president and Democrats are very well-
positioned to do quite well.
HAYES: Bill Burton from Priorities USA, thank you very much.
My thanks also to Steve Kornacki. You can catch his show, "UP",
weekends at 8:00 Eastern. It`s a great time slot.
Alex Wagner is going to stick around and we will be right back with
HAYES: Election night, no better time to hear from you, the
electorate. After the Tea Party`s rise in 2009, it`s safe to say the
political landscape has changed. That is not still the case.
Tonight`s question, on this election night, where does the Tea Party
Tweet your answers at @allinchris, or post your answers on
Facebook.com/allinwithchris. I`ll share a couple later on the show when we
talk about this.
So, stay tuned. We`ll be right back.
HAYES: Welcome back on this election night.
And today, voters in six states voted and in some cases are still
voting on the combined in 31 ballot initiatives. What we learned last year
from watching Maine and Maryland become the first two states to pass ballot
initiatives approving of marriage equality. And Colorado and Washington
becoming the first states to pass marijuana legalization, that these state
ballot initiatives matter a tremendous amount, they also tell us a lot
about the direction of politics more broadly.
The most interesting of these measures on the ballot today come to us
from Colorado, where voters are going to be asked to approve massive tax
increases to increase funding for education. The first measure is known as
Amendment 66. It wants voters to approve a billion dollar tax increase.
What it will do is get rid of Colorado`s current flat state income tax
rate, replace that with a two-tier system.
In all level, residents making less than $75,000 will be taxed at 5
percent, while residents making more than $75,000 will be taxed at 4.9
percent. It also makes it necessary for 43 percent of all state tax
revenue to go towards education. It`s an ambitious act for a state that
has been ground zero for the politics of slash burn austerity in this
country, the idea being here that Democrats can convince voters to accept
higher taxes by fixing them to education spending.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NARRATOR: More teacher aides for $133 a year. Amendment 66 puts the
money in the classroom. Big change, small price.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: To give you an idea of some of the organizations spending
money on both sides of this referendums, there`s Colorado Commits to Kids,
which supports the amendment. And Coloradans Against Unions Using Kids as
Pawns, which as you can probably guess is against the ballot initiative and
yes, that`s a real committee that registered with the state.
The second tax measure to support education is Proposition 88, which
would place two separate taxes on both the sale and purchase of marijuana.
That money to be earmarked to help build new public schools.
Meanwhile in New Jersey, voters got a chance to raise the minimum wage
from $7.25 an hour to $8.25, voting yes will also have the minimum wage
increase every year automatically based on cost of living. Those changes
will begin next fall.
Joining me now is Tsedeye Gebreselassie, a staff attorney for National
Employment Law Project. And David Sirota, syndicated newspaper columnist
and contributor to Salon.com. He`s based in Colorado.
David, I`ll begin with you.
Colorado famously is ground zero for the taxpayers Bill of Rights that
essentially imposed what is the federal sequester, you know, hard caps on
what you could spend, at the state level. It had a terrible result in this
state. Tonight`s ballot initiative strikes me as an indicator that there`s
a corrective happening?
DAVID SIROTA, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Absolutely, I think that`s
exactly right. Colorado is a comparatively wealthy, relatively wealthy in
terms of other states, and yet, funds its education system in a way that a
not-so wealthy state would fund it. We`re oftentimes near the bottom in
terms of per pupil funding.
So, I think this ballot measure at the top line does represent an
effort to correct that funding discrepancy. Now, part of the problem is
that you`ve got built into this ballot measure language that would take a
lot of that new money, new public school money and put it in the hands of
privately administered charter schools.
HAYES: Here`s the rub.
SIROTA: Interest groups -- right, right. This is why you see
interest groups like the Walton Foundation, famously anti-union, supporting
money into this ballot measure to pass it.
So, what you really see here is at the top line, a progressive effort
to raise revenue, but underneath, the devil is potentially in the details
where some of that money goes to fund one of the ring wing`s big causes,
which is to take money out of the public school system.
HAYES: Today, there`s a ballot initiative in New Jersey on raising
the minimum wage. And we have seen a lot of success with this tactic. We
particularly saw a lot of success for this tactic in the mid-2000s,
Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, all
raising the minimum wage through state ballot initiatives.
Why are we not seeing as many states doing that in the last two years?
TSEDEYE GEBRESELASSIE, NELP: So, the context for those raises in the
mid 90s to the early was the fact that the federal minimum wage had
remained from $5.15 an hour from 1996 to 2007, and this is the perennial
problem with the federal minimum wage, because Congress had only voted
three times in the last 30 years to raise it. So, when it stays flat for
that long, you have states taking action to raise the minimum wage.
And so, in that time period, we saw nine states where voters enacted
these minimum wage increases through the ballot. So, we`re starting to see
that now because the federal minimum wage has remained at $7.29 since 2009.
HAYES: So, what happen is the federal government can`t sort of get
off it`s duff the minimum wage, the states come in to fill the gap. In
fact, I think the politics of it are fascinating because the minimum wage
is something that is just -- you poll it. Raising the minimum wage polls -
GEBRESELASSIE: It`s insanely popular.
HAYES: It`s insanely popular, it`s popular among Republicans, it`s
popular across the board. And it`s something that the country desperately
needs. It`s one of these rare Venn diagram moments where it`s good policy,
the minimum wage, and it`s popular.
And if you look at the states that you mention, a lot of those were
red and purple states and their minimum wage increases by overwhelming
margins at the ballot passed by overwhelming margins. Florida in 2004, 72
percent of the voters voted to raise an index to minimum wage --
HAYES: In a year that George W. Bush carried that state.
GEBRESELASSIE: Yes. Missouri in 2006, 76 percent of voters voted to
raise the minimum wage. Montana, 73 percent of the votes.
I mean, it is a very popular issue and it`s because, you know, workers
and voters have recognized what politicians have failed to recognize.
HAYES: David, there`s a fascinating thing happening in Colorado, 11
counties in the rural part of the state are voting tonight to possible
secede and become the 51st state. I think my question to you is, what`s up
SIROTA: Well, I mean, you know, it`s an example here in Colorado of
the extremism that we have seen on the right. You see a part of the state
that doesn`t like what`s going on, the state becoming, I wouldn`t call it a
liberal state, I would call it a moderate purple state. So what they tried
do in the upcoming gubernatorial race is trying to claim that Democrats
only represent the urban areas and Republicans represent, really better
represent, the argument goes, suburban and rural areas. It`s really very
cultural play to set themselves up to make what I think is a really ugly,
divisive, almost definitionally divisive argument in advance of trying to
take out the governor.
HAYES: Secession votes tend to be divisive.
And, also, finally, David, there`s a fascinating vote happening in
Colorado tonight about fracking. This is one of these issues that if you
look at local politics across the country, if you go to zoning meetings, if
you go to community meetings, if you were at local mayoral races,
everywhere in this country, you`re seeing people get up in the microphone
and scream about fracking. It is a huge issues at the local level.
There`s a vote that`s going to happen in Colorado.
Quickly, tell me what it is.
SIROTA: Well, there are municipalities that are trying to basically
ban fracking. And you`ve got the state under the control of Democratic
governor and a half Democratic legislature trying to use its power to
preempt those votes and try to basically -- on behalf of the industry,
force communities to accept fracking in their midst. So what you`re seeing
here is a battle over who gets to decide what kind of fossil fuel
exploration happen in people`s own communities.
HAYES: Tsedeye Gebreselassie from the National Employment Law
Project, David Sirota from Salon.com -- thank you both.
GEBRESELASSIE: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: We have a lot more election coverage ahead. There`s a big,
big political story in the news today that involves our favorite mayor of
Toronto, Robert Ford. All of that, and the moment we`ve all been waiting
(BEGIN VDIEO CLIP)
ROB FORD, TORONTO MAYOR: You asked me a question back in May. And
you can repeat that question.
REPORTER: Do you smoke crack cocaine?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s the question on the tabled and the big reveal, coming
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: If you like your health
care plan then you keep your health care plan. These folks need to stop
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It is fair to say those words are now coming back to haunt the
president as the media goes to town on Americans who are losing their
current insurance plan. Now, we have covered extensively the hysterical
horrible half truth propaganda on the right and the mainstream outlets
about people seeing their insurance cancelled.
But, even if he throw out all the misinformation and misdirection, it
is true there are some number of people who are going to lose plans that
they like. And, I am confident, a year from now everyone will be better
off. It is also an undeniable fact that right now the individual insurance
market is being pretty thoroughly disrupted and for some people that really
But the coverage of this disruption has largely been sloppy and
hyperbolic, it has been illuminating in one way as an object lesson in
something that cognitive psychologists call status quo bias. And, here is
an example of that classic study out of Harvard found that if you give
people a number of different investment options to choose from, they lean
heavily towards the option that is framed as continuing what they are
already doing, even if that is a bad choice.
This basic result has been established in experiment after experiment.
We are bias to like things the way they are and fear change. We are risk
of verse. We prefer the devil we know to the one we don`t. And, it was
precisely this fear of change that opponents of the last attempt of health
reform used so mercilessly to their advantage. Most memorably in the
infamous "Harry and Louise" ad, that insurance companies ran against the
Clinton`s health care reform proposals.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOUISE: This was covered under our old plan.
HARRY: Oh, yeah, that was a good one, wasn`t it?
ANNOUNCER: Things are changing and not all for the better. The
government may force us to pick from a few health care plans designed by
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You see how perfectly that ad speaks to the deep part of her
psychic that fears the unknown. It is set in the future after the big
change has come and those who have lived through it are filled with regret
and longing and nostalgia. They wished things had never changed, because
we all know we are going to die.
There is some very deep part of us that always wants things to just
stay as they are right now. It is embedded in ourselves and in our soul.
Things are changing and not all for the better. It was that fear of the
unknown that killed health care reform back in the 1990s, fueled by those
who made a lot, a lot of money from the status quo being preserved.
And, that is the very reason that President Obama and democrats
pushing for health care reform in 2009. So, hammered home the message,
"Don`t worry, if you have insurance, nothing is going to change for you."
They also designed the entire policy of the affordable care act around
making good on that promise.
The overwhelming majority of Americans as much as 78%, who have
employer provided coverage of Medicare or Medicaid are not seeing their
plans changed. But, no amount of policy design or blanket promises can
change the bedrock truth we are seeing now. Change, real change like the
kind the affordable care act represents is hard and unwieldy and it
requires disruption. And, some people are not going to like it.
Election night is a good time to remind ourselves of the simple basic
truth. Politicians may try to hide or hedge that truth, but we should not;
because it is elemental to what it means to be progressive to believe in
progress and change and be part of the left, probably construed. To be
pushing out past the frontiers of the status quo into the darkness of the
unknown with the belief there is something better in the future than in the
past -- that things can improve, that they must improve and that our
collective will and dedication and struggle can make it so.
As always, the defenders of the status quo will fight with everything
they have. They will have human psychology on their side. But, it doesn`t
mean we are destined to lose. In the end, we do progress, in spite of
ourselves. So, happy election day.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROB FORD, TORONTO MAYOR: You asked me a question back in May. You
can redo that question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Do you smoke crack cocaine?
MAYOR FORD: Exactly. Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine -- but, no --
do I? Am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my
drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago. I answered your
question. You asked the question properly, I answered.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So, that happened. Yes. That was Toronto Mayor Rob Ford
admitting earlier today what he has repeatedly denied for the last six
months. He has smoked crack cocaine while on office. It is just the
latest chapter in Ford`s unbelievable jaw-dropping ongoing political saga.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: There is breaking news regarding
Toronto`s embattled mayor Rob Ford. Hey, watch out for that camera.
MAYOR FORD: (EXPLICIT)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: First a quick recap, the right wing Mayor of Canada`s largest
city was best known for the rest of the world, thus far, for being an
alleged star of an alleged videotape that allegedly shows him smoking
crack, allegedly. Reporters from the Toronto Star newspaper and the
website Gawker say they were shown the video earlier this year, which
prompted Ford to publicly deny the allegations back in May.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR FORD: There has been a serious accusation from the Toronto Star
that I use crack cocaine. I do not use crack cocaine nor am I an addict of
crack cocaine. As for a video, I cannot comment on a video that I have
never seen or does not exist.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Just last week, Toronto police came forward and said not only
does Rob Ford crack tape exist, but they have possession of it. Mayor Ford
claimed he could not come out and defend themselves from the matter because
it is before the court.
Over the weekend, Ford did some soul searching, vowing to stop
getting, quote, hammered but made no reference to his use of crack cocaine.
That all change this afternoon at an impromptu city hall news conference
when Ford made his stunning admission.
Answers repeated previous denials. Ford says he was not lying, the
media just did not ask the correct questions. But, as the Toronto star
points out, in fact the question "have you ever smoked crack cocaine has
been directly posed a number of times." But, Ford is moving on, suggesting
his crack smoking tape should be public viewing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR FORD: There have been times when I have been in a drunken
stupor that is why I want to see the tape. I want everyone in the city to
see the tape.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Follow up with swift, one former Ford ally admitting, "I think
he has lost the moral authority to leave." And, hours later reporters were
again summoned to another news conference. The mayor arrived late but was
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR FORD: There is only one person to blame for this and that is
myself. I know that admitting my mistake was the right thing to do. And ,
I feel like 1,000 pounds have been lifted off my shoulders. Folks, I have
nothing left to hide.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Ford may be remorseful, but the guy`s not going anywhere,
unless he has convicted of a crime. He will not be removed from office.
He is committed to staying on board until the next election, which is a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR FORD: I was elected to do a job and that is exactly what I am
going to continue doing. And, on October 27th of 2014, I want the people
of this great city to decide whether they want Rob Ford to be their mayor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Maybe, you are right about now you are feeling a little bit
sorry for Rob Ford. People do make mistakes. Heck, I am a liberal. I
think we would all be better off being less judgmental and more
compassionate about people`s struggles with intoxicants.
But, Rob Ford has done worst things than do drugs. All we have to do
is Google the guy to find out. He has used racial slurs. He wants claim.
There should be no funding for aids prevention since only gays can catch
it. He is anti-union, anti-tax and as mayor he has privatize the garbage
pick-up. Took away the right of transit workers to strike. Cut bus
routes. Force key concessions for public sector workers. Refused to
provide needed shelter for the homeless.
He has also been pretty intolerant of people battling drug addiction.
As a local lawmaker he taught programs that would offer help for addicts
like safe injection sites complaining, "Who is going to want to live in a
community that is invaded every day and night by drug users." Perhaps the
people of Toronto will provide Rob Ford with a greater sense of charity and
forgiveness than he has shown them. We will be right back.
HAYES: We are back with continuing coverage of the breaking news
coming in around the country on this election night. A big news out of New
Jersey tonight, NBC news is projecting that governor Chris Christie of New
Jersey will be re-elected. His opponents state Senator Barbara Buono, a
democrat will not be succeed in her effort to dislodge Chris Christie from
the governorship of the state of New Jersey.
It also creates a pathway for Chris Christie`s continued political
star to rise in Virginia. The gubernatorial race there is to close the
call. Democrat Terry McAuliffe against Ken Cuccinelli, the current
attorney general of the state of Virginia. Polls had shown Terry McAuliffe
with the lead in the ball figure part of about 6 or 7 points today.
And, one more projection we can make is that the lieutenant governor
race in Virginia will go to Democrat Ralph Northam. Northam is victorious
over his opponent E.W. Jackson, a minister who is nominated by a nominating
convention in Virginia much to the chagrin and regret of the Republican
Party. E.W. Jackson holding a variety of views, I think are fairly
characterized in outside the mainstream including yoga.
Joining me now, former republican governor of New Jersey, Christine
Todd Whitman. I did not make that comment in the book. Coach of the
republican leadership counsel. She is also author of a new book "It`s My
Party Too: The Battle for the Heart of the GOP and the Future of America."
John Nichols, my colleague at "The Nation," where he is Washington
correspondent; co-author of "Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election
Complex is Destroying America." And, Alice Wagner is back with us. She is
a host of her own show here in MSNBC that airs weekdays at noon eastern.
All right, governor, I will begin with you and your reaction to Governor
Christie`s victory in New Jersey tonight.
CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, (R) NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: No surprise and it
is a reflection of leadership. I mean people are desperate for leaders who
don`t have any -- that the public sees and supports. And Chris, you may
argue with his style from time to time, but it`s very Jersey and it goes
over well in our state and they see leadership --
HAYES: I am going to give you a counter narrative of that.
HAYES: Chris Christie`s success is contingent on the fact that there
is no Mitch McConnell in the New Jersey Democratic Party. He has been able
to work with New Jersey democrats, because New Jersey democrats are
HAYES: New Jersey democrats were looking with someone they could deal
with. And, there was no election night gathering when Chris Christie was
elected the first time around, the state democrat said, "Down the line, we
will talk to this guy. Anything he passes us, we will throw back at him."
Because we have seen that as disasters as it might be government
strategy, it can be an effective strategy for essentially creating a lot of
WHITMAN: It can, but he has been smart enough to be able to pick it
off one by one to find the things in which they are interested and to work
that kind of -- frankly, in this stage, it is magic. You know, I worked
very closely with democrats even though I have both houses republican, but
some of the most controversial, not controversial but the biggest pieces of
legislation took democrat support and you can do it. And, he has done it
magnificently, frankly; because democrats just did not even fight him.
Barbara Buona, whether you like it or not, I feel sorry for her because the
democrats ran from her.
HAYES: They absolutely rolled over. And, I want to talk about the
implications of that. I want to talk about the Virginia race, which is
looking quite close at the moment. We can talk about what the implications
are there right after we take this break.
HAYES: We are back on this election night tracking all the returns.
I am here with former Governor Christine Todd Whitman, John Nichols, and
Alice Wagner. John, you just wrote a book called "Dollarocracy" which is
about money and politics. So , I want to weigh out a few things about
money and politics on this election night.
Terry McAuliffe, who is right now in a too close to call battle with
Ken Cuccinelli, his republican attorney general opponent for the state
gubernatorial election. He outspent Ken Cuccinelli by quite a bit 32.8
million to 19.1 million. And, outside spending was even more heavily in
favor of McAuliffe, 69% to 31%.
Chris Christie outspent Barbara Buono by quite a bit. But, outside
spending in New Jersey actually went overwhelmingly in favor of the
democrats. $24 million on behalf of the democrats, only $10 million for
the Republican Party. That last statistic, a lot of that money is
Teacher`s union and carper`s union money, doesn`t that scramble our vision
-- big outside money, bad tool of reactionary forces against the little guy
JOHN NICHOLS, CO-AUTHOR OF "DOLLAROCRACY": I don`t think so. Look,
here`s the bottom line. What we are going to come out of, I think, and we
will see where Virginia ends up. We are going to come out with a situation
where the top of the ticket races where the most money was won, and where
the business community went, you had a victory.
There`s no doubts that unions come in and they spend money, and that
it`s big money, often. But, you know, they are going in legislator braces
to try and maintain a balance. They didn`t go after Christie. They try to
equal there because they knew that he would bring that.
And, I just take us slightly off this for a second and say, you were
talking about a previous thing about this minimum wage freezes. In New
Jersey, the big money kind of split down in the minimum wag race, but
without in Seattle, in that Seatac race, in a little town with 12,000
voters, they spent $1.1 million.
HAYES: This is the town around the airport that has an election
tonight of 12,000 voters to race the minimum wages. People basically is
NICHOLS: And, I will just close off with this basic concept.
dollorocracy is on the march. When you have a $50 million governor`s race
or more in Virginia, when you`ve got -- you know, the kind of spending we
saw -- this is -- we are developing politics where the price of entry is
very odd --
HAYES: But, Alice, the Virginia race shows that dollarocracy is not
necessary like partisan lead determined to them.
ALICE WAGNER, MSNBC HOST: Well, I mean we talk about Terry McAuliffe
being the money guy, it is not surprising that he got a lot of money into
this race. I think the biggest sort of signal in all of this is that there
is actual governance and action happening in two areas of American
government, the state level and the judicial branch. That is where things
are actually happening. Now, you can`t put --
HAYES: I argue. Cities as well.
WAGNER: Right. But, so, the municipal level, the state level, that
is where things are going to happening and that is where things are
happening and that is where money is going to go because that`s where
people see agenda is being set and they see the rubber meeting the road.
You can`t actually pour money into judicial nominations, but you can
obstruct them, which is clearly what congress is doing, but that is where
the big, big fights are going to be. Because congress effectively is
HAYES: That is a really good thought and also congress is more likely
to have equilibrium. Right? It is almost like a money ball. If you are a
general manager, right? Where are you going to make the biggest bucks?
Great example is this special election Alabama`s congressional district --
Republican primary. There`s basically an establishment candidate by the
name of Bradley Burns. He has gotten 200,000 from the chamber of commerce.
He is running in his Dean Young, a Tea Party insurgents says the president
is appointing Kenya. This is his first test case of whether the part of
the party that wants to oppose the Tea Party at an electoral primary level
is going to be able to do it.
WHITMAN: Well, I think you`re reading as much h too much into it.
That is where the strong hold of the Tea Party and the Barters is. And,
so, you know, it`s not necessarily reflective of the rest of the country
and you can`t take that the Republican Party is going to go all that way
because of this.
HAYES: Respectfully, I would say this. There were -- it only took
about 80 members of that house caucus to sign a letter saying that you
should shut down Obama care and shut down the government essentially if
they don`t. And, if you look at who those 80 members where, they were --
they only took the 80 members from the districts like Alabama won. They
took -- from Michelle Bachmann and all of those folks. So, if know, if
Dean Young who wins tonight, this is the guy that believes the president
was born in Kenya, he like to be a congressman, he is going to be signing
on with that caucus of 80 --
WHITMAN: Well, the trouble is it is, is that it is going to -- the
party gets keeps getting defined out of Washington because that is where
all the big names are, and that`s where all the best quotes come and that
is where the press is.
So, it is gets to find out about that if you look at the party per se,
the people that used to be the traditional Republican Party. They are not
there. They are voting for people like Chris Christie. They don`t agree
with him on everything, but they want somebody who is more to the center
and does not shy away from getting consensus in order to get things through
and get something done.
HAYES: It is a big question about Chris Christie`s going forward as
whether his ability to portray all his interests of voters in New Jersey is
substantive for perception and that is going to be the big question and
whether when subjected to the intense scrutiny of say, a bigger stage that
will hold up.
Former governor of New Jersey, Christine Todd Whitman, John Nichols
from "The Nation," Alice Wagner, you can catch her show weekdays in noon.
That`s when I watch it, eastern. Thank you. That is "All In" for this
evening. We will be back live, 11:00 p.m. with more election results. I
will be joined by Chris Matthews among others. The Rachel Maddow Show
starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Chris. There is lots of
caffeinated cold diet soda in my office if you need it.
HAYES: Delicious. I will go get some.
MADDOW: Yes, if you need it. It`s really a chemical story that,
which is why it has no calories. It keeps us all going.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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