All In With Chris Hayes, Thursday, November 7th, 2013
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
November 7, 2013
Guest: Ben LaBolt, Jim Manley, Peter Suderman, Phillip Agnew, Ana Marie
Cox, Amy Davidson, Josh Barro
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris
An NBC News exclusive tonight: President Obama sat down with our own
Chuck Todd for a lengthy interview to discuss the maelstrom of criticism
over the rollout of the health care Web site -- in particular, the
president addressed his repeated promise throughout the health care reform
battle that people would be able to keep their existing plans.
CHUCK TODD, MSNBC ANCHOR: And some of those people like those
policies and they can`t keep it. What happened?
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, first of all, I
meant what I said and we worked hard to try to make sure that we
implemented it properly. But obviously, we didn`t do a good enough job.
And I regret that.
We`re talking about 5 percent of the population who are in what`s
called the individual market. They`re out there buying health insurance on
their own. A lot of these plans are sub-par plans. And we put in a clause
in the law that said, if you have one of those plans, even if it was
subpar, when the law was passed, you could keep it.
But there`s enough churn in the market that folks since then have
bought subpar plans and now that may be all they can afford. So, even
though it only affects a small amount of the population, you know, it means
a lot to them, obviously, when they get this letter canceled. And I am
deeply concerned about it and I`ve assigned my team to see what can we do
to close some of the holes and gaps in the law because my intention is to
lift up and make sure the insurance that people buy is effective.
We are proud of the consumer protections we`ve put into place. On the
other hand, we also want to make sure that nobody is put in a position
where their plans have been canceled. They can`t afford a better plan,
even though they`d like to have a better plan. And so, we`re going to have
to work hard to make sure that those folks are, you know, taken care of.
TODD: Do you feel like you owe these folks an apology for misleading
OBAMA: You know --
TODD: Even if you didn`t intentionally do it, but at this point, they
feel misled. And you`ve seen the anger that`s out there.
OBAMA: You know, I regret very much that what we intended to do,
which is to make sure that everybody is moving into better plans because
they want them, as opposed to because they`re forced into it, that, you
know, we weren`t as clear as we needed to be in terms of the changes that
were taking place. And I want to do everything we can to make sure that
people are finding themselves in a good position, a better position, than
they were before this law happened.
Keep in mind that most of the folks who are going -- who got these
cancellation letters, they`ll be able to get better care at the same cost
or cheaper in these new market places because they`ll have more choice,
they`ll have more competition. They`re part of a bigger pool. Insurance
companies are going to be hungry for their business.
So the majority of folks will end up being better off, of course,
because the Web site`s not working right, they don`t necessarily know it.
But even though it`s a small percentage of folks who maybe disadvantaged,
you know, it means a lot to them and it`s scary to them.
And I am sorry that they, you know, are finding themselves in this
situation based on assurances they got from me. We`ve got to work hard to
make sure that they know we hear them and that we`re going to do everything
we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a
sequence of this.
So, ultimately, I think I`ll be judged on whether this things better
for people overall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Chuck also asked President Obama if there was any substance to
a perception that the president is not always on top of things, whether
it`s Healthcare.gov or the specific source of the intelligence gathered by
the National Security Agency.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The idea that somehow every resident is, you know, looking at
the raw intelligence and figuring out what sources those are, that`s just
not the case. You know, I think that my previous reputation was that I was
this policy wonk that was digging into stuff all the time.
TODD: You know us in the media, we have to change every six months,
the conventional wisdom.
OBAMA: Right. And was immersed in the details. I think that
stereotype is probably a little more true than the latest one. But,
listen, when you`ve got a health care rollout that is as important to the
country and to me as this is, and it doesn`t work like a charm, that`s my
fault. That`s something that I`ve got to do some examination of how that
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Ben LaBolt, former press secretary for
President Obama`s re-election campaign, now a founding partner of the
Ben, are you surprised by two things -- one, what`s happening
substantively in the individual insurance market, in which there seems to
be a fair amount of disruption. Whether that`s coming from the law or the
insurance companies is one question. And are you surprised by the level of
press attention and backlash there has been around those cancellations?
BEN LABOLT, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY, OBAMA FOR AMERICA: I think, no
doubt, it was a surprise to the administration. Look, there was 60 percent
churn in the individual market beforehand. In many ways, these were sort
of wink and a nod plans. They said they covered you, but they had
astronomical deductibles, and once you got sick, they dropped your
And the goal of the Affordable Care Act was to strengthen plans not on
in that market, but across the board. I think what the president --
HAYES: But did you guys think -- when you were having these
conversations, I would imagine that you were talking about the Affordable
Care act Every day, both in the White House and in the campaign. Was there
a sense there was going to be some iceberg you guys were going to hit
where, look, these letters are going to go out, we`re going to have to deal
with the fact that there will be some people who are seeing their plans
canceled, or is the number bigger because insurance companies have sort of
taken advantage of this window to push people out of stuff?
LABOLT: Well, I think we always knew Republicans, in particular,
would do anything they could to take the law down. Look, this is a
Republican Party that`s been against anything that the president`s for.
And they haven`t presented any sort of alternative to strengthen these
plans in the individual market. They`re simply raising this as a problem.
So I think the president went out tonight to reassure people that the
goal here is to provide them with better coverage at the end of the day,
that there will be no more lifetime cap on these plan, they can`t drop your
coverage because you get sick.
HAYES: So, the final thing on this, on this kind of promise idea, is
that it does seem when you go back in time, and again, hindsight`s 20/20,
that you could have used language or the president could have used
language, or anyone could have used language like, look, the overwhelming
majority of you will see nothing change, right, or only improvements, as
opposed to the "you can keep your plan," because there`s some person on the
other side of the "you" -- you know, it`s a big country, there`s 300
million people in this country, right, when you say "you," that`s a kind of
categorical problem that you can almost never keep in almost any
circumstance when you`re talking about legislation of this scope.
LABOLT: Sure. Look wing the White House is always scared to death of
getting something wrong. Every speech went through a thorough vetting
process. You had policy people look at it. You had research people look
at it. Everything was fact-checked and everything was done to ensure that
it would be as accurate as possible.
And, unfortunately, that didn`t happen in this case. And you`ve seen
the president`s credibility under attack over the past week. The most
important thing to do in a crisis situation and the hardest thing to do is
maintain your credibility. And I think the president went out tonight to
restore that and outline the goal of the Affordable Care Act, which is to
provide stronger coverage for people across the country.
HAYES: I want to bring in Jim Manley, former spokesman for Senate
majority leader, Democrat Harry Reid. He worked in the Senate for 21
years, now senior director at QGA Public Affairs.
Jim, there`s this meeting at the White House yesterday with a number
of Democratic senators who are up for re-election in 2014. The reports we
have indicate that some of the substance of the conversation was about
Healthcare.gov, about the Affordable Care Act. If you could imagine
yourself in that room, what do you think was being said?
You`ve been around Democratic senators.
JIM MANLEY, QGA PUBLIC AFFAIRS: Yes, I`ve been around a few of these
myself. Well, I`m not so sure I can say much on the air, because I`ll
probably get into swear words.
But I`m sure they were expressing the frustration that they were
hearing from their constituents and from the American people about what
exactly -- where exactly the White House is going and what does it intend
to do to get this Web site up and running. But like I said, I`m not
surprised that this meeting occurred. I would have been shocked if it had
occurred a couple of weeks ago.
But the fact of the matter is, it was, I believe, just a desire to try
and hear the senators out, reassure them, and pledge that they were going
to get this done and up and running as quickly as possible.
HAYES: I`d like to hear both of you gentleman respond to this
question. There`s two ways of thinking about the politics of the
Affordable Care Act as it plays out over the course of the next year.
One is that, basically, spin, attacks on the program from the right-
wing media or even the mainstream press, don`t matter in the end. What
matters is the thing works, more people benefit from it than don`t benefit
from it. And you know, when you`re a week out from Election Day,
basically, the policy itself at the core of it is functioning. And that`s
all that matters.
And there`s another way that says, no, actually, spin and perceptions
can destroy something in people`s minds, even if the policy underneath
matters. Which of those two do you think is ultimately true as you think
about the next year?
LABOLT: Well, look, both Jim and I are in communications, so I think
it would be a little bit silly for us to sit here and say that perceptions
of the law and its implementation don`t matter. But I do think that with
all the attention you`ve seen on a Web site, the White House has promised
that that Web site will work at the end of the month. And they`re setting
up alternative methods. Whether that`s seeing somebody in person or
calling to allow you to sign up for a plan. And people will be access the
exchanges and get on to the exchanges, and then they`re going to make an
Is my health care stronger today than it was before? Do I have
coverage now that I can afford that I couldn`t before? And that will be
the calculation going into 2014 .
HAYES: You agree, Jim?
MANLEY: Yes, I do. But I`d phrase it slightly differently. Look, at
some point, this Web site is going to get up and running and the program is
going to run like it was intended to do.
And then, Republicans are going to be in a world of hurt, because
they`re going to be positioned as taking away healthcare for millions of
Americans. And that`s a bad situation going into 2014.
So, they can crow about this all they want right now, they`ve got no
alternative. They`ve got no clear vision. All they`ve got is complaints,
but at some point, that`s going to change and they`re done.
HAYES: In fact, part of what we`re seeing in this entire story about
the plan cancellations and we`ve talked a lot about how we think it`s being
poorly covered. But there is a lot of disruption right now in the
individual market, and that`s part of the nature of the Affordable Care
Act, it was designed to minimize disruption.
But part of what we`re seeing, of course, is the power of the status
quo. And I think, Jim, what you`re saying there, once the status quo
becomes the way people are covered under Obamacare, the power of the status
quo switches from being on the side of the broken, current insurance
market, to being on the side of Obamacare politically.
MANLEY: Not only politically, but, again, affordable coverage that
people can depend on, which, again, Republicans are going to be in the
position of taking away. No more being ripped off by the insurance
MANLEY: From now on, they`re going to be ripped off from Republicans
trying to undermine the president`s program.
HAYES: Ben, the president`s approval ratings right now are right
around 41 percent. They`re about where George W. Bush`s were at this point
in his presidency. They`re far below where Bill Clinton`s were at this
point in his presidency, which were up around 59 percent -- a lot of that
having to do with the economy.
How do you see the president situated politically at this moment?
LABOLT: Well, I think Barack Obama has been declared politically dead
12 times before in his career, and oftentimes, I think that`s when he
performs his strongest, when his back is up against the wall. I think the
White House recognizes that this is a crisis situation and they`re dealing
with it like it`s a crisis. They`ve brought in an outside crisis manager
to manage the process of getting the Web site online. They`re doing daily
briefings. They`ve brought in outside technical experts to make sure we`re
testing this Web site every which way.
But I think the Republican brand is toxic right now if the American
people voted for the president to find an economic path forward, invest in
the middle class. He`s fighting for that every day, and I think at the end
of the day, that`s the bottom line calculation that the American people are
going to make in the months ahead.
HAYES: When you want to talk about fundamentals and perceptions,
fundamentals are two people have jobs, are wages rising, do people feel
they have a shot at some relative modicum of comfort -- and that`s
ultimately the recovery and whether we have a recovery is going to be what
returns it all.
Ben LaBolt from the Incite Agency, former Senate staffer Jim, Manley -
- thank you, gentlemen.
Coming up --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOMER SIMPSON: Marge, dear, would you kindly pass me a donut.
MARGE SIMPSON: Donut, what`s a donut?
H. SIMPSON: Ahh! Ahh!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Today, the FDA announced it was banning donuts. I`m kidding.
They voted to announce they were banning Trans fats in doughnuts and
everything else. And they caused the Internet to freak out, imagining a
world where donuts would never be the same.
But there are bigger issues at stake. I`ll explain them, ahead.
HAYES: Earlier today, Chuck Todd got to ask President Obama all sorts
of questions, about Healthcare.gov and the Obamacare rollout. The rest of
us, we can only dream about what we`d ask the president of the United
So, for tonight`s question, I`m asking you to do just that, if you
could ask the president one question about the Affordable Care Act, what
would it be? Tweet your answers @allinwithchris or post at
Facebook.com/allinwithchris. I`ll share a couple later in the show when we
talk about this issue.
Stay tuned. We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The FDA, if they have their way, and it`s likely
they will, artificial Trans fats will be banned from the food supply in the
United States, and that includes your favorite canned and frozen and baked
and processed foods.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Big news in the Food and Drug Administration today, which
announced the first step towards a likely ban in the artificial trans fats,
the deeply unhealthy substance found in frozen, donuts, frosting, microwave
popcorn and other processed products.
Artificial Trans fats are based on partially hydrogenated oils and
have absolutely no health benefits, according to the Institute of Medicine,
which determined there is no safe level for human consumption of artificial
Trans fats. The FDA said today that removing them from the food supply
could prevent 20,000 heart attacks, as well as 7,000 deaths from heart
disease every year.
New York City banned added Trans fats in restaurants back in 2006, a
decision Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement today faced initial
criticism before gaining widespread support.
We went searching for some fierce criticism of today`s move by the
FDA, right-wing backlash about a nanny state, once again trying to take
over our lives.
But outside of some half-hearted complaints on obscure right-wing
blogs, we didn`t find much. It was much different than the outrage against
Bloomberg`s attempt to ban large sugary drinks in New York, which generated
such apoplectic hysteria that Sarah Palin needed just a sip from a big gulp
to earn rapturous applause from a conservative audience.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Oh, Bloomberg`s not around.
Our big gulp`s safe. We`re cool. Shoot, it`s just pop.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That is like the Sistine Chapel of trolling.
The disconnect between the outrage that greeted the soda ban and the
lack of anger over today`s news got us thinking about how we think what
constitutes an unacceptable attack on our freedoms, about a culture that
can see a ban on big gulps as an affront, while accepting all sorts of
other decisions that affect our lives as good policy.
One person who is upset about the ban, Peter Suderman, senior editor
Peter, give you Trans fats or give you death? Why are you not on
board with today`s decision?
PETER SUDERMAN, REASON: Oh, it seems like this is the sort of thing
that really ought to be an individual decision. It also, you know, we
don`t know exactly what the FDA is going to do here, but if the FDA really
plans to completely eliminate Trans fats from this food supply, that goes a
lot further than any of the city-based bans that we`ve seen so far. Even
New York`s ban, supposedly, ban actually allows for small amounts of Trans
fats to be used in recipes.
HAYES: So, I want to get at this sort of bedrock idea that this
should be an individual decision, right? You have this product, you have
this chemical. People have very limited awareness of what it is or whether
it`s in their food, (a).
It also is just massively destructive. I mean, we are talking about,
you know, all the science on this says, this is really, really clogs up
people`s arteries, bad cholesterol, it causes lots of heart attacks. There
is no safe level that can be found in it.
Like, if there was something in chewing gum that made one out of every
six people who chewed it dropped dead of cancer 20 years, hence, you would
be on board with the FDA banning it, right? This isn`t some like hard line
principle that, no, there should be nothing the FDA should ban?
SUDERMAN: Well, I guess what I would say is that there`s a couple of
reasons we ought to be weary of this sort of, you know, completely hard and
fast n. One is that dietary conventional wisdom has really changed over
the years. You go back a couple of decades, the conventional wisdom was
that you ought to eat a really low-fat diet, with low cholesterol.
And now, people are actually saying that, you know, that fat can be
good for you, that you actually want to have fats. In particular, we`ve
seen big shifts in the wisdom on saturated fats.
SUDERMAN: You know, a few years before Trans fats, saturated fats
were the big thing that you had to avoid. And now we`ve seen research that
shows that saturated fats not only don`t cause heart disease, they can
actually prevent it.
So, this is the sort of -- this is one of the reasons why we ought to
be wary of these huge centralized bans on --
HAYES: But the fallibility of the scientific literature at a given
moment in time, right, to extend that -- I mean, you know, there`s always
an argument that what we know at a given moment isn`t the whole truth, and
you could use that to say, stop all sorts of smoking regulations, right?
We`ve gotten things wrong before about the causes of cancer, so who knows
that smoking is the cause of cancer. And the meantime, you know, you have
tens of thousands of people who died.
I mean, when I look at this and I think this just gets to something
really essential about the way that libertarians and, you know, statist
leftists like myself encounter this, is that I see this amazing progress
where tens of thousands of lives could be saved by a decision that in the
end is going to mean essentially no reduction in anyone`s enjoyment.
McDonald`s got rid of Trans fats in their fries voluntarily in 2008.
SUDERMAN: You know, the thing that I would say in response to that is
that you`re discounting the ability of consumers to make their own
decisions here. And what we`ve actually seen is that as the FDA has raised
the alarm about Trans fats, consumption has gone down quite a bit, about
80 percent in roughly the last decade or so.
And, you know, sort of the history here of science, you know, and
dietary health conventional wisdom changing over time, really suggests that
we ought to be cautious and that we ought to inform people of what we think
is best right now and let them make their own decisions. That`s what we`re
doing. It`s reducing Trans fat consumption already. The FDA ought to call
these policies a win.
HAYES: Why do you think people freaked out so much about the soda ban
and this was met with such a kind of, essentially, non-reaction. I came in
the office today, we were having an editorial meeting. I was like, let`s
pull some great clips of them on FOX News railing against it, but there was
SUDERMAN: Part of it, honestly, is just that we don`t really know
exactly what the FDA is going to do yet. You know, this is a fairly new
announcement so once we have more details, I suspect there`ll be more
HAYES: The backlash. I think it also has to do with what you and see
what you don`t. And people have an attachment to the consumer product that
they themselves hold rather than the abstract Trans fat.
Peter Suderman from "Reason" magazine -- thank you so much.
Coming up --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTIN`S MOTHER: The person that killed my
son is walking the streets today. And this law does not work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin`s mother, testifying
before the Senate last month. Tonight in Florida, another hearing took
place that will determine the fate of that state`s "stand your ground` law.
I`ll talk to one of the people who has led the charge to get that law
repealed, coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARION HAMMER, NRA FLORIDA GUN LOBBYIST: Bleeding heart criminal
coddlers want you to give a criminal an even break, so when you`re
attacked, you`re supposed to turn around and run, rather than standing your
ground and protecting yourself and your family and your property.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: A subcommittee of the Florida House of Representatives voted
on a proposed bill to repeal that state`s controversial stand your ground
law. The law allows for the use of deadly force if a person believes it
will prevent death or create bodily harm to himself or herself.
It`s been on Florida`s books since 2005, but exploded on to national
attention after the shooting death of an unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon
Martin, the subsequent acquittal of the man who shot him. And though
"stand your ground" was not ultimately explicitly invoked in George
Zimmerman`s defense in that case, many activists believe these laws create
an environment where such shootings are more common.
And they begin to organize. A group of student organizers known as
the Dream Defenders occupied the Florida statehouse after the Zimmerman
acquittal, calling for changes in the state`s self defense laws, including
something called Trayvon`s bills -- a package of bills that aims to change
the way people are policed and treated in Florida.
They pushed and pushed until they finally met with Governor Rick
Scott, a meeting that ultimately culminated in a debate today over
repealing "stand your ground". That vote failed 11-2.
This all takes on new urgency in the wake of the Renisha McBride
tragedy, a story you may have heard of.
According to local reports, 19-year-old McBride got into a car
accident late Saturday night near Detroit suburb. Her cell phone died, so
she went to a nearby home and knocked on the door for help. Moments later,
she was shot in the head.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: I`m going to read you a sentence from the press release
issued to us from the Dearborn Heights police. And it says, "A 19-year-old
Detroit woman was fatally shot while standing on the front porch of the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This is what police told the "Detroit Free Press." "This man
is claiming he believed the girl was breaking into the home. He is also
saying the gun discharged accidentally. So far, there have been no
arrests. And, right now, the prosecutor`s office will not issue charges
without more information from police.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERNITA SPINKS, RENISHA MCBRIDE`S MATERNAL AUNT: Could I possibly do
that? Somebody knocked at the door and I pull my shotgun out and I shoot
them while they are leaving off my porch instead of finding out what was
the problem. Would I be standing here? No. I would be in jail without a
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Michigan is one of more than two dozen states with some
version of a "Stand Your Ground Law." Joining me now, Phillip Agnew,
Executive Director of Dream Defenders. And Phillip, first, I got to get
your reaction to the debate that happened in the subcommittee today.
That debate over a repeal bill only happened because the activism of
you and the Dream Defenders and folks down there, but it went down to a
defeat. How are you feeling right now?
PHILLIP AGNEW, DREAM DEFENDERS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: It went as
expected. So we knew when we got here today, based on the composition of
the legislature that we were in for an uphill battle. To be honest, the
bill that was presented had a number of deficiencies and that is what we
were there today talking about.
It is about bad laws, bad lawmakers and a broken system. And, I think
you played a clip. I recognize the voice of Ms. Marion Hammer. And, she
was there as a Motley crew of supporters. And, it went as suspected. We
knew what we were getting into. It was an uphill battle, but we will keep
HAYES: Marion Hammer is one of the gun lobbyists for the NRA in the
state of Florida. How do the defenders of the law talk about the law and
the argument for keeping it in the wake of what played out so horribly and
now infamously on the night that Trayvon Martin was shot?
AGNEW: You know, they do everything they can to skate around that
night. And, to avoid talking about that night, they talk about the duty to
retreat and being in imminent danger and then being force to have the
burden of proof put upon the victim.
And, so the scope they are looking at it is very, very narrow. They
speak to a very, very few cases. And, really, they act like anybody who
wants to repeal "Stand Your Ground" is actually wanting to attack a
person`s right to defend themselves, and we are not. We are protecting a
person`s right to defend themselves.
And, if there is an opportunity to retreat, they have a duty to
retreat. And, we also feel if you are going to invoke a law, there should
not be automatic immunity. There should be due process of law. There
should be an investigation to happen. And that is not happening. There is
a cancer in Florida, and today we voted to let that cancer keep running
HAYES: You have been remarkably effective in making those lawmakers
listen and pay attention to you. I remember when we first covered you when
you started this occupation in the statehouse. It went a number of days
and lawmakers did not want to meet with you and then they finally did.
And, they want this issue to go away? You have gotten this debate. You
have gotten the vote. What is next?
AGNEW: Today was an example of the many reasons why our people need
to develop independent political power. What we saw today, we got a ticket
to a theater and we knew what was going to happen at the end of the movie,
but we had to stay there because like you said, we were there 31 days and
we fought for this hearing.
But, it really showed us the value of independent political power for
people. And, we are going to continue to build that. We have a school to
print the pipeline bill that we are drafting and that we are going to enter
into legislation and hopefully enact into law during the next session.
And, in January, when any other laws come forward to amend or repeal
or revise the "Stand Your Ground Law," we will continue to do that. And,
we said today, we are going to remember, remember the 7th of November.
And, next year, this time next year, after we have registered our voters,
we are going to be going to the polls with the mandate and continue.
And, we are in it for the long haul. And, we are going to continue to
build independent political power. And, then when we do, we will not have
to come to places just to watch a show. We will be actively engaged in our
HAYES: Quickly, Phillip, what is your reaction to the details coming
out of Detroit with r Renisha McBride`s death?
AGNEW: It sounds strikingly similar to a number of cases. You got
the case of Jonathan Ferrell in Charlotte, North Carolina who was in an
accident, was shot, looking for help -- by police. So, it sounds
strikingly similar. It is a story that I am sick of hearing.
It is a story that in our communities, we are tired of hearing it. We
are hearing it everyday. The loss of a life, whether black, brown or white
is a sad day in America and we do not deserve to have any laws that allow
for the killer of that person to walk free.
HAYES: Phillip Agnew from Dream Defenders, thank you so much.
AGNEW: Thank you very much, Chris.
HAYES: We will be right back with Click 3.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY JUNIOR SENATOR: In New Jersey, $25 million
was spent on ads that included somebody running for political office. You
think there might be a conflict of interest there?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Who could Rand Paul possibly be talking about before a senate
hearing on Sandy reconstruction? The passive-aggressive war between two
GOP front runners gets less passive and more aggressive. We will have the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (voice-over): First, I want to share the three awesomest things
on internet today. We begin with a tongue twisting tweet I cannot stop
repeating. Take a look at this. What is it? Well, it is a ship shipping
ship, shipping shipping ships. What is that, you say? It is a ship
shipping ship, shipping shipping ships. The photo and the alliterative
description were first tweeted about a month ago by a computer engineer and
garnered more than 10,000 retweets. Thanks to a popular thread on red it.
And, if you are still confused, here is a helpful guide. This is a
ship shipping ship, and what is it doing? Well, it is shipping these
shipping ships. And, if you have it tripping over your tongue, at least it
is not this one, buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo. That is
a grammatically correct sentence. And, it breaks down as seen here -- I
would explain it to you, but we only have an hour-show.
The second awesomest thing on the internet today? What is the true
value of Twitter? Well, if you take your lead from the stock market, the
value is billions of dollars. Social media site launched an initial public
offering today the smashing success. But, yes millions of users of
Twitter`s true value is the ability to curse like a sailor. This is F-
bomb. A website created by a Canadian Computer Science student, and what
you are watching is a time lapse of F-bomb`s ability to track each and
every F word used on Twitter in real time.
You can watch vulgarity on a global scale or zoom out of you some true
American exceptionalism. Is there a point to you it? Not really, other
than to show to the planet likes to curse and some places like cursing more
than others. It should be noted you can click on each individual F-bomb to
show the original tweets, which brought us high levels of discourse sites,
as this one from New Hampshire "Bill fear --
Or this one from Los Angeles, "I am pretty sure, I passed two-thirds
of my midterms. (EXPLICIT WORD) macroeconomics." To billion dollars, well
invested. And, the third awesomest thing on the internet. You thought we
would go a day without more Rob Ford news?
ROB FORD, TORONTO MAYOR: I love crack cocaine. Crack, crack, crack
HAYES (voice-over): Back to that in a moment, first we should mention
that another Rob Ford video surface today. This one showing an allegedly
drunken mayor of Toronto, threatening to kill someone. Revelation force
Rob Ford to once address the media, but some people were not done with re-
living Mayor For`s crack admission. People like DJ Steve Porter, the man
behind all of those great NFL and NBA remixes, he lent his death touch to
the Rob Ford
MAYOR FORD: Am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? God bless. It
is my mistake. I know. I have no crack left. I know that doing crack is
wrong. Rob Ford, I will do anything for more. I smoke a lot of it. I
thank the people for support. It is disgusting, as I said before. Rob
Smokes crack, crack, crack, crack. I smoke a lot of it. I smoke,
crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack. I smoke a lot of
it. Your mayor has smoked crack. It is what it is and I can`t change the
HAYES (voice-over): Move over, "What Does The Fox Say?" You can find
all the links for tonight`s Click 3 on our website, allinwithchris.com. We
will be right back.
HAYES: Newly re-elected New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is set to
appear on four of the five Sunday shows as his victory tour continues into
the weekend. But, Governor Christie is quickly learning, there is a cost
to being anointed by the beltway press as a front-runner for the republican
presidential nomination nearly three years before the next election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. PAUL: Question for Secretary Donovan. Do you think that sandy
relief funds ought to be spent on T.V. ads?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (voice-over): That question from Kentucky Senator Rand Paul,
ostensibly directed to the secretary of housing and urban development was
really meant for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
SEN. PAUL: In New Jersey, $25 million was spent on ads that included
somebody running for political office. You think there might be a conflict
of interest there.
HAYES (voice-over): Yesterday, at a senate hearing on Sandy relief,
Paul took the hammer to the newly anointed 2016 Republican front runner,
all without ever saying his name.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. PAUL: New York did the same thing, which I still object, but at
least they did not put someone`s face on the ad and their family, and it
looks like a bio-ad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (voice-over): But, now infamous ad Paul is talking about is, of
course, this gem.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: Because we are stronger than
UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: You bet we are.
HAYES (voice-over): But, Paul`s attacks on the ad is just the latest
flash point in ongoing intra-party war over the fundamental values of the
current GOP. And, it all started this summer in Aspen, when Christie
suggested those questioning government surveillance programs should sit
down with 9/11 families.
GOV. CHRISTIE: I love all these esoteric debates that people are
MODERATOR: Senator Rand Paul for example?
GOV. CHRISTIE: Well -- listen, you can name any number of people who
will be engaged and he is one of them. I mean, these esoteric intellectual
debates, I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows
and the orphans. And, have that conversation.
HAYES (voice-over): Those comments touched off a very illuminating,
very public Republican Party rift. A libertarian upstart wing of the party
versus the establishment hawks.
SEN. PAUL: They are precisely the same people who are unwilling to
cut the spending and they are give me, give me, give me, give me all my
Sandy money now.
HAYES (voice-over): Chris Christie, of course, shot back.
GOV. CHRISTIE: I find it interesting that Senator Paul is saying,
accusing us, of having a gimme, gimme, gimme attitude towards federal
spending, when in fact New Jersey is a donor state. So, if Senator Paul
wants to start looking at where he is going to cut spending to afford
Maybe he should start looking at cutting the pork barrel spending that
he brings home to Kentucky, but I doubt he would because most Washington
politicians only care about bringing home the bacon.
HAYES (voice-over): Thus began the great bacon war of 2013.
SEN. PAUL: This is the king of bacon talking about bacon.
HAYES (voice-over): But, all this talk about pork actually got at a
conflict, deep within the Republican Party, over spending and the growing
national security state.
SEN. PAUL: My problem with some of the more liberal members of the
Republican Party is they are not willing to cut spending other places in
order to preserve national defense.
Rand Paul is a Tea Party hero, and the most notable skeptic of the
security state in the GOP. He is a leading voice against the NSA and the
man who led the nearly 13-hour anti-drone filibuster. Chris Christie has
already planted to his flag as a hawk. The next leader of the John McCain
wing of the party.
The battle between these two men will be one of the most clarifying in
recent memory. They are two of the most important voices in the Republican
Party. They have different world views and approaches, and they apparently
can`t stand each other.
SEN. PAUL: I will support whoever the republican nominee is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Chris Christie included?
SEN. PAUL: Whomever wins, and that would include Chris Christie.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Amy Davidson. Senior editor at "The New
Yorker." Josh Barro, politics editor at "Business Insider," and Ana Marie
Cox, a political columnist for the "Guardian US." I am deeply rooting for
these two to emerge. Deeply rooting for these two to emerge. You too?
AMY DAVIDSON, "THE NEW YORKER" SENIOR EDITOR: Well, the debates in
2016 might be even crazier than the debates in 2012. And, one would not
have actually thought that that was possible.
HAYES: Yes. Exactly, I think that -- and what I like about it is, I
think that the -- people underestimate about Chris Christie, how much he is
going to ally himself, Ana Marie, with those parts of the GOP
infrastructure that is the kind of residual neocon part of the
I can already see it happening. It is partly because he is from here,
partly because the former U.S. attorney and probably because that is where
a lot of the kind of the institutional money that is going to be backing
him is from. Do you see that happening?
ANA MARIE COX, POLITICAL COLUMNIST FOR THE "GUARDIAN US": Yes, I
think that is true and he is a party insider in many ways. I mean he is a
career politician. He is actually a former registered lobbyist as well. I
mean you do not get much more inside of that.
I also think that he is going to continue to do that, because Chris
Christie really is a triumph of style over substance. I mean, he has wooed
New Jersey voters, largely on the basis of personality. He has policies
that they disagree with, that a lot of New Jersey, actual voters like don`t
like his policies. But he has triumphed on personality. He actually
reminds me a lot of George Bush. And, I think he is also much like George
Bush, much more conservative than most journalists would like you to
HAYES: I totally agree with that. And, I think, also, the dynamic
between these two men is about to hit a very interesting point, as
Christie`s national platform emerges, which is the Sequester that is coming
down the pike in which people are going to have to choose. I want to talk
about that right after this break.
HAYES: We are back. I am here with Amy Davidson, Josh Barro, and Ana
Marie Cox. Josh, all right, we should pay less attention to problems
overseas, concentrate on problems at home. This is Pure Research Center,
among republicans, 67% agree in 2007. By 2012, it is up to 86% agree.
There is going to be a really interesting moment in January when the
next year of sequester comes up. And, it goes after defense spending, a
very hard. And, it is going to be really interesting to see people in the
Republican Party take a side on the Sequester, which will be this kind of
JOSH BARRO, POLITICS EDITOR AT "BUSINESS INSIDER": I think it will be
interesting, but I think it is a foregone conclusion what the answer is
going to be. When democrats talk about getting a Sequester unwinding deal,
they say, "Oh, there are these republicans who really care about the
defense sequester." People like John McCain and Buck McKeegan.
BARRO: And, those are the two names, right? -- over and over,
because the list is not much longer than those two names. So, yes, I think
there has been a shift in the Republican Party, partly because there is a
democratic president. Partly because the Iraq war went quite badly in a
way that people of all political parties seem to recognize now. I think
there is not a lot of appetite among most republicans for more wars and for
more military spending.
But, so I think in the primaries, I think Christie will rhetorically
be aligned with the hawks, but I don`t expect him, for example, to pick a
fight over the Sequester or anything nearly that specific. I also think it
is probably a position of mostly convenience, where he is now. The hawkish
elements in the party are not really in the grassroots.
HAYES: No -- yes.
BARRO: They are horses in the Washington. They are the same sort of
people who don`t care that much about restraining government spending.
They are more moderate on their domestic policy positions. And these are
natural allies --
HAYES: Those are his people.
BARRO: Right. But when you look at what people running for president
say about foreign policy before their president, it is often a completely
useless guide to what they actually do. That is both George Bush and
HAYES: But, it is notable, Ana Marie, how much the party has been
wrenched away from John McCain in this respect.
COX: Well, yes. I mean I think he was one of the least popular
presidential candidates within the party base that they have had. And, I
think, again, like Christie, I agree with Josh on almost everything he is
saying. I think the Republican Party is probably not going to protest too
much, the Sequester.
I think they found what they think is a really winning issue in just
this harsh, harsh, harsh austerity method that sounds really good to people
until the things that they need or want are affected.
And, I also think -- again, I go back to the Chris Christie, George W.
Bush comparison. I think that he will say lots of different things about
foreign policy. I am not sure what is going to wind up being the truth.
HAYES: All right. We cannot talk about Rand Paul without the latest
revelation. When Rachel first did the thing on Rand Paul, I said, "Oh!
That is embarrassing. That is funny." And, then like a few more things
came out I said, "Oh! There is some staffer out there who is just cutting
corners and they should fire that staffer and this is embarrassing.
His reaction to it has been completely unhinged. Like, I do not
understand why he has lost so -- he -- more instances of plagiarism in Rand
Paul`s book. He then gives an interview to "The New York Times."
He said, we are going to do from here on forward that will make them
leave me the hell alone is we are going to give them my college paper and
put out footnotes. And, then the naughtiest part of this, "The Washington
Times" has canceled the Rand Paul`s column because they found instances of
plagiarism and he is moving his column to breitbart.com.
DAVIDSON: Yes. I don`t think it is entirely coincident also that he
is gone after Christie in this week, when he would like to talk about
anything else. But, he has been really -- I mean, one of the best moments
this week is when he was so upset at all the attention Christie was
getting, that he began attacking the idea that Christie had in his speech,
that everything was messed up in Washington.
And, you had Rand Paul defending Washington -- defending the
Washington process. I think this goes back to the whole idea that there
are these different ideas in the Republican Party. Every time, like when
Christie tried to give a serious speech about foreign policy, then just
veered off into this battle with Paul.
When Paul, in his own way, tries to make a point about government
spending, it then just gets deranged. And in the end, each of them tries
to define himself against the other in a serious way, and they just end up
brawling. And, that is all they get defined as. And, that is maybe all
that is going on in the Republican Party.
HAYES: But, I have also -- I have also, Josh, this week has made me
come to deeply question Rand Paul`s basic like competent management of his
own office and staff.
BARRO: I would say one thing about that. Yes, you should question
it. However, I think this is more common than you might expect within the
conservative space. I mean, I work for two different conservative think
DAVIDSON: Do you mean the plagiarism part?
BARRO: Well, no, the thing is if you work for a Think Tank and some
elected official is plagiarizing out of your report, you are not going to
go attack the --
HAYES: Right. Of course.
BARRO: -- you are thrilled. The idea that you were paid to get out
there has gotten out there in one of the higher profile ways possible. So,
I think Paul has been in an environment where he can get away with this,
because it is normal -- Normally, the way people get caught for plagiarism
is the person he author comes forward -
HAYES: Who plagiarize it --
BARRO: Right. But, none of the authors were upset. So, it may have
led him to think inside this conservative bubble, well, the authors do not
care, so why should not I do this.
HAYES: Right. They are like memo the staff, "Only plagiarize author
list." You know? Author with items from Wikipedia for plagiarize from
Think Tanks that will be overjoyed that the fact that Rand Paul is giving a
speech. That is a huge chunk out of a -- you know, a Cato position favor.
HAYES: Amy Davidson from "The New Yorker," Josh Barrel from the
"Business Insider" and Ana Marie Cox from "The Guardian U.S.", thank you
all for your time. That is all for "All In" this evening. "The Rachel
Maddow Show" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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