All In With Chris Hayes, Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Read the transcript from the Wednesday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
March 26, 2014
Guests: Jennifer Stefano, Phil Schiliro, Ruth Conniff, Barbara Lee, Sam
Seder, Aisha Moodie-Mills, Jess McIntosh
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris
Well, tonight, conservatives are beside themselves with outrage and
exasperation over the news the Obama administration will allow Americans
who have begun to apply for coverage on Healthcare.gov, but have not
finished, to have extra time to complete that process.
Here is how FOX News greeted the announcement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS: We are getting reports now that the White
House has just announced a new extension for health care signups. How
NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS: Wait a minute. Wasn`t that the one deadline
they said they could never move?
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Unfortunately, it is the
continuation of lawlessness from the administration.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
HAYES: That was Speaker John Boehner, railed against another deadline
made meaningless, and pointed to the fact that the government will rely on
an honor system for people indicating they tried to enroll before Monday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The administration is
now resorting to an honor system to enforce it. What the hell is this, a
joke? The dates are the dates and the law is the law. The president
doesn`t have the ability to change the law whenever he wants.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Yes, the dates are the dates. Never before has a president
moved an enrollment deadline for a health insurance initiative.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT: You can apply after May 15th
without penalty. We want everybody to sign up, the system is modernized
and it`s cost -- it saves you money. And that`s what we want.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s right, in 2006, President George W. Bush extended a key
Medicare prescription drug benefit deadline from May 15th, not by a week or
two weeks, he extended it all the way to December. And it`s funny, we
could not find any record of John Boehner calling that a joke.
Of course, today`s attacks on Obamacare aren`t really about extending
the deadline. They`re just the latest front in a full spectrum of the law
opposition to which binds together the entire conservative movement, from
the Drudge Report to FOX News, to Republican Party, to groups like the Koch
brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity.
Unceasing, intractable hostility to law has become the defining
feature of the contemporary right, their reason for being. And just look
at what happened yesterday, the Supreme Court began considering the Hobby
Lobby challenge, the laws employer mandate to provide birth control
coverage. That wasn`t even the only Obamacare legal challenge yesterday.
In the D.C. federal court, conservatives are using a small bit of sloppy
legislative language to argue against all logic that the law intended for
only customers in state-run health insurance marketplaces known as
exchanges to be eligible for federal subsidies. Since most Republican
governors won`t establish those in their state, the legal challenge, if
successful, would essentially kill the law.
And that seems just fine with D.C. Judge A. Raymond Randolph, a George
H.W. Bush appointee, who yesterday called the law stupid and hobbled
together and described its launch as an unmitigated disaster.
Another judge, Carter appointee, Harry Edwards, pointed out what is
really going on. "What you`re asking for is to destroy the individual
mandate and gut the statute," he said. "That`s what this is about."
Right you are, Judge Edwards, that is what this is about. And that`s
what it`s about when conservative groups hold tailgate parties to encourage
young people not to sign up for health insurance, and when Republican
governors block Medicaid expansion around the country denying the working
poor access to health care, and when the House votes 50 times to repeal or
rollback Obamacare and when the Tea Party is in Arkansas trying to take
Medicaid coverage from people that already have it, and when lawmakers in
Georgia pass a law explicitly named the Georgia Health Care Freedom and ACA
Whatever argument you`re getting on a particular day about Obamacare,
that argument isn`t about what the people arguing it say it`s about. It
never is, never forget that destroying a law designed to get people health
insurance in arguably the most market-friendly way is what this is really
Joining me now, Jennifer Stefano. She`s regional director for
American for Prosperity. She`s one of those people who I really think
genuinely wakes up every day and thinks about how to destroy Obamacare.
And, Jennifer, the first question is: why should anyone care about
this extension of the deadline? Who cares? So people are going to have a
few more weeks to sign up.
JENNIFER STEFANO, AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY: Actually, Chris, the
thing I wake up about and think about every morning is my children, and I
think people should care about the deadline for the same reason that I wake
up and millions of women -- actually 85 million women across the country
wake up and think about their children as well. That`s how many mothers we
have, because we really are having our choices removed from us as mothers,
and the health care that we can provide our children.
STEFANO: So the extension of the deadline --
STEFANO: The president lied to us. The president promised us -- and
a lot of women who voted for him a lot who didn`t.
HAYES: Wait a second.
STEFANO: He promised -- no, no, no, let me finish. Let me finish.
HAYES: No, answer this question first, though.
STEFANO: I`m going to answer it.
HAYES: Why does extending a deadline for two weeks take away the
choices you have for your children? Explain that to me.
STEFANO: It continues to not allow people to go back and change this
law. This law has made 7 million people lose their insurance. For the
people who have actually signed up on the exchange, the McKinsey Institute,
which is a consulting group that tracks these things, nonpartisan, has
found only 14 percent of them are actually people without coverage.
People without health care right now, who don`t have health care for
their children, don`t want this law, Chris. It`s not helping them, that is
HAYES: That isn`t true.
STEFANO: They`re not signing up. And as a mother, I take offense
that women are being forced to have no choices to cover their children.
HAYES: What you`re talking about?
STEFANO: They don`t want this law.
That`s why you have to push back the deadline. You can`t get people
to pay for it. You can`t get people to sign up for it.
HAYES: Jennifer, what are you talking about?
Do we have the chart?
STEFANO: You wouldn`t care.
HAYES: Do you realize that millions of people have signed up for
STEFANO: No, no, no, let me make one thing clear --
HAYES: No, no, millions of people have signed up for it.
STEFANO: How many people, Chris, of what percentage of those people
don`t have insurance? Only 14 percent.
HAYES: Right, but --
STEFANO: This is not helping the uninsured. Why will they not sign
up for it?
HAYES: Wait a second.
STEFANO: Why will they not sign up for it?
HAYES: This is key. This is an important point. If what you`re
saying to me, what I hear from you is, you`re worried that not enough
people signing up on the exchange are actually people that are not
And here`s an interesting thing about the way this law works. The
huge amount of the heavy lifting it`s doing is insuring the uninsured is in
the Medicaid expansion. And yet Tea Party after Tea Party --
STEFANO: Fundamentally not true.
HAYES: Yes, absolutely true. The estimate --
STEFANO: And also, it is hurting --
HAYES: It is absolutely true that a huge part of the heavy lift in
insuring the insured is the Medicaid expansion.
So, take this from me -- answer this question for me. Throw out the
mandate, throw out the exchange, throw out the deadlines you don`t like,
forget about all that, OK? Bumping up Medicaid eligibility from 100
percent of poverty line, 133 percent of poverty line, so that`s working
poor people can get some health insurance, what is the objection to that?
Why does every conservative Republican governor oppose that, explain that
STEFANO: Ooh, number one, not true. Plenty of Republican governors,
including Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania, including the Ohio governor, there
are Republican governors that have expanded Medicare -- please, please,
HAYES: Do you like that?
STEFANO: Spare me this is a Democrat/ Republican thing. Number one,
HAYES: I want to hear what you say.
STEFANO: Number two, let me finish your question.
HAYES: Do you believe in Medicaid expansion?
STEFANO: I have a real problem, when you talk about raising the
poverty level, that`s people making $94,000 a year. They`re not poor.
That`s taking resources from the poor. The expansion --
HAYES: Not on the Medicaid issue. That`s a math trigger. That`s not
the Medicaid expansion.
STEFANO: Excuse me?
HAYES: It`s not the Medicaid expansion.
STEFANO: Oh, my brother, yes, it is, you need to look at your facts.
Take 133 percent of the poverty level, states like Pennsylvania and others,
you get $94,000 a year. Now, I don`t know what you consider rich, but that
is an awful lot of money.
I consider the poor, they do deserve a safety net. They do deserve
health. And right now, Medicaid has failed those people. It is a moral
issue. Do you know that people on Medicaid are --
STEFANO: No, no, no.
HAYES: Here`s the thing.
STEFANO: Morally, people on Medicaid suffer.
HAYES: Jennifer, this is crazy. Here`s what you`re doing. Here is
what you`re doing.
STEFANO: They suffer.
HAYES: Here is what you`re doing.
STEFANO: Giving you facts?
HAYES: No, what you are doing is you are working backwards from
opposition law. Jennifer Stefano, Americans for Prosperity, was not doing
anything to get people health insurance, was not concerned about the plight
of people on Medicaid, was not sponsoring bills before Congress, was not
trying to get people health care.
What happens now is that any part of the bill, any part of the law
that can be picked apart to try to destroy it, suddenly, the great saviors
of the working poor are people on Medicaid, are people opposed to the law.
But the fact of the matter is, that is not the animating thing that is
making people get up in the morning and go to war against Obamacare.
It`s not like you care about people on Medicaid or that`s the thing
that got you into politics. I don`t understand, why not just be honest
about it? This is honesty.
STEFANO: Can I answer?
HAYES: Why not just be honest about it?
STEFANO: You know nothing about me, you have no idea what I think in
the morning --
HAYES: We have talked before.
STEFANO: Excuse me, you don`t know what I wake up and fight for and
believe in. You know nothing about me or my family. You don`t know if I
was born --
HAYES: You were working on Medicaid.
STEFANO: You don`t know if I was born and raised in a trailer park --
how dare you, like, Harry Reid, try to undercut the voice of a woman simply
because she disagrees with you? Now, you may not like where I`m coming
from on public policy, but you have no right to undercut my voice. As a
woman, I have worked very hard --
HAYES: I put you on my TV show, I`m not undercutting your voice.
STEFANO: You`re undercutting my voice, because you`re making it
personal. Saying I wake up to do this, and this is what I was not -- you
have no idea about me or my life.
HAYES: What do you want to see? How are you going to get people --
STEFANO: Here`s what I want, stick to the facts.
HAYES: How do we get people health insurance.
STEFANO: Stick to the facts, talk about facts, logic and -- how dare
you personally attack me and what I believe?
HAYES: All right. I`m not personally attacking you, Jennifer.
STEFANO: Typically, because you can`t win, brother.
HAYES: Jennifer, thank you. Thank you. Appreciate it.
STEFANO: Thanks, Chris. It`s sad. You`re a good guy otherwise.
HAYES: Jennifer Stefano of Americans for Prosperity, thank you.
Joining me now Phil Schiliro, White House adviser for health policy
Phil Schiliro, so that is the opposition. You guys are running
lawless. What is your response that you are blowing through this deadline
as a completely abuse of power?
PHIL SCHILIRO, WHITE HOUSE ADVISER FOR HEALTH POLICY AND REFORM:
Well, it`s ridiculous, Chris. All we`ve done is recognize the fact that
what happened in December is already happening now. Thousands, hundreds of
thousands of people are coming to the Web site, they`re calling call
centers. The demand is terrific.
And in December, we allowed a little extra time for people who lined
up or are trying to buy insurance. That`s all we announced yesterday. We
had more than a million people come to the Web site yesterday.
HAYES: What about this idea that we just heard that it`s a failure,
no one`s signing up. Is it true that no one`s signing up?
SCHILIRO: Well, millions of people have signed up on the state and
federal exchanges just this year. We have over 5 million people that
number is growing every day.
The reason why we`re allowing a little extra time for people in the
process is because so many people are trying to sign up. What we`re doing
is taking a common sense approach to demand. We have so many people who
want insurance right now, we want to make sure at the end that it`s --
we`re not in a situation that happens on election day. When people line up
at the polls, it becomes 10:00 or 9:00, the polls close, you let everybody
vote. In this case, people are lining up to buy health insurance, which
seems to be not a very controversial idea.
HAYES: There is some interesting polling about folks that are
uninsured. Do you know Obamacare enrollment deadline? This is -- the
people that said yes correctly, March 31st, that was 39 percent, don`t know
or refuse the question; 43 percent, sometime after March, 13 percent.
Are you guys succeeding in communicating to the people that need to
know about this, about when the deadline is and what they need to do it?
SCHILIRO: I think so. The deadline is March 31st, just in a couple
days. I know a lot of your viewers already have insurance. But they
probably know people who don`t.
LeBron James spreading the word, helping spread the word that people
should get covered, the deadline is March 31st, is very helpful. We`ve had
a lot of activities like that, so the awareness is going up.
And the reason we know the awareness is going up is the calls to our
call center are increasing dramatically, the visits to the Web site are
increasing dramatically. We`re responding to popular demand. That`s a
good thing -- it`s a good thing for individuals, it`s a good thing for
America, it makes America stronger.
HAYES: What about this idea -- I`ve been hearing this, and Jennifer
was citing this, that the people signing up for the exchanges aren`t the
uninsured and therefore, the entire project of the ACA is ridiculous and
SCHILIRO: I think she knows something right now that`s unknowable.
There are guesses of how many people are uninsured, we know a lot of the
people signing up are uninsured, we know some people are insured and are
finding a better deal in the marketplace, that`s a good thing, because
they`re getting insurance, that`s less money and it`s better. But millions
of people who don`t have insurance are becoming insured.
HAYES: One of the things when we talked about this law and the run up
to it, was the disfigure of 45 million uninsured, there were estimates of
how many this would cover, when you see how many people are scheduled to be
covered this year, it`s much smaller than that total pie number we had of
Is the idea that as this phases in, you`re going to get somewhere much
closer to that 30, 35 million figure?
SCHILIRO: Absolutely. You just pointed out that in Medicaid, because
of decisions in some states, there are 5 million people who can`t get
Medicaid who otherwise will qualify for Medicaid. Eventually, that will
change and they`d be added to the pool.
To me, the most astounding thing about this debate right now is
there`s so much intensity over a relatively noncontroversial idea. People
should exercise personal responsibility and buy insurance.
HAYES: Phil Schiliro, Phil Schiliro, White House adviser for health
policy reform, thanks a lot.
SCHILIRO: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, the Koch brothers-backed super PAC takes on a
county of 6,000.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Iron County is a vast and diverse place in
northern Wisconsin. Bordering Lake Superior and the upper peninsula of
Michigan. Many roads and highways will take you here, and once you`re here
you`ll know it was worth the trip.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Why the billionaire brothers group is getting involved in a
very, very local election. Stick around.
HAYES: Coming up --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: For the first time in
our history, the winners of the White House turkey pardon were chosen
through a highly competitive online vote. And once again, Nate Silver
completely nailed it. The guy`s amazing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Nate Silver, the guy who made a lot of Democrats fall in love,
when he correctly predicted President Obama would win the last two
elections is making them fall out. Why you shouldn`t be falling in any
HAYES: In the post-Citizens United era, big money is coming to a
small town near you. Just ask the residents of Iron County, Wisconsin.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Iron County is a vast and diverse place in
northern Wisconsin, bordering Lake Superior and the upper peninsula of
Michigan, many roads and highways will take you here, and once you`re here,
you`ll know it was worth the trip.
HAYES (voice-over): Iron County, Wisconsin, home to around 6,000
people. On Tuesday, it will hold its county board elections, which is
typically a quiet affair. One veteran county clerk said he couldn`t
remember the last time the county had even won a contested race for county
Well, this year is different, 10 out of 15 board members faced
challenges. There is one big proposal to be voted on by the county board,
a proposal to construct an open pit iron mine. This proposal has divided
the community. One observer described it like the civil war with brother
As you can imagine, there`s a lot of iron in Iron County.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve got my favorite refrigerator magnet here, and
you can see how much iron is in this rock, at least 70 percent.
HAYES: Things got really interesting, when about 1,000 Iron County
households got this in the mail -- this flyer sent out last week warns of
radical environmentalists who want the mines shutdown no matter what. The
last working mine in Iron County closed in the 1960s. The flyers sent out
urged residents to call up seven anti-mining radicals, at least one of whom
actually supports the mine.
So, who sent these flyers, which warn of wealthy environmental groups
from outside Wisconsin? Americans for Prosperity sent the flyers, a group
funded in part by the Koch brothers. The two billionaire industrialists
who live outside of Wisconsin.
But Americans for Prosperity say they`re trying to educate folks in
Iron County about the issues with these flyers. The issue being iron
mining, a resource extraction business. The Koch brothers are in the
resource extraction business, a spokesperson from Koch Industries told us
neither Koch industries, nor any Koch company has any interest in or
involvement with this mining project.
But this isn`t the only small community where the Koch-funded
Americans for Prosperity is working to influence an election. Right now,
they`re getting involved in a school board election in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
In the past, they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in a school board
election in Colorado. They`ve also gotten involved in a mayoral race in
Iowa, property tax fights in Kansas, Ohio, Texas.
The events unfolding in Iron County, Wisconsin, are just the latest
indication that big money conservative groups bankrolled in part by the
Koch brothers could be coming to a town near you.
HAYES: Joining me now, Ruth Conniff, editor of the "Progressive
Ruth, when I saw this story, I could not believe it. I just -- how
did this even end up on their radar screen of Americans for Prosperity?
That they knew to go into this town of 6,000 people and start throwing
elbows in the local county board election.
RUTH CONNIFF, PROGRESSIVE MAGAZINE: It`s really amazing to think that
these outside billionaire, these folks from out of state are coming in, in
such a big way, in such tiny local races. And the people in Iron County
have been under tremendous pressure, because, of course, there`s a $1.5
billion project at stake here.
And the local county board has some concerns. They have concerns that
this mine might poison their drinking water and they have to make a zoning
decision. So, what the Koch brothers are doing is saying, this is not
going to be up to local people. We`re going to come in big, we`re going to
go into races that have never been contested before, we`re going to spend
the kind of money these folks have never seen in these races, and we`re
going to buy this county board.
HAYES: Yes, I mean, I will admit that I`m not the world`s biggest
expert on the electoral history of Iron County, Wisconsin, I would hazard
to guess that flyers like that are not the rule. And that`s probably the
most professional bit of direct mail, bulk mail campaign flyer that`s ever
been in a county board election in Iron County, Wisconsin.
CONNIFF: And, you know, as you point out. It left a lot of people in
Iron County scratching their heads because these are folks like the
president of the Chamber of Commerce in the town of Mercer who used to be a
supporter of the mine, supported the state legislation that was incredibly
controversial in the state capital in Madison to weaken environmental
regulations to speed up the process to get it approved.
But then, later, further down the road it became concerned because the
mine wouldn`t acknowledge the asbestos and wouldn`t acknowledge that this
sensitive watershed which provides drinking water to the local people could
be poisoned by the mine. He was worried about that. You know, he`s the
head of the Chamber of Commerce. This is not an environmental radical.
Another guy, a firefighter, Carl Kraal (ph), actually stood with
Governor Scott Walker to support the mine, was given a pen from the bill
signing, okaying this mine and pushing it through, he was a target.
HAYES: Wait, they`re going after him now?
CONNIFF: Yes. They`re going after not only mine supporters, they`re
going after mine supporters plain and simple, and they`re going after folks
who are a little doubtful because they`re worried about their drinking
water. But, generally, are very pro-business small town folks.
HAYES: There`s an amazing one-two punch that happened here, right?
For this whole mine, this product to move further. You just mentioned
Scott Walker signed a very controversial piece of legislation. Legislation
will dramatically reshape Wisconsin`s mining regulations, I`m reading from
a local news report, to ease the permitting process for the open pit mine
that they want to dig just south of Lake Superior.
So, this has been the kind of -- I don`t want to say the fix is in,
but Scott Walker got this bill through basically -- is my understanding
correct the legislation was basically targeted to make this mining project
CONNIFF: Yes, and not only that, Chris, but the governor acknowledged
it in a press call, which was really stunning, to a group of reporters. He
said, look, I know there`s alternative legislation that was negotiated on a
bipartisan basis, by Republicans and Democrats, in the state legislature to
say, look, let`s not roll over open meetings, let`s not roll over open
control, let`s try to work something out with the local folks. And the
governor`s response to that was, you know what, I talked to the mine owner,
Chris Kline, and he`s not going to go for that, he said that he pretty much
needs the deal we talked about before.
He acknowledged this. The mine owner wrote the bill and that was the
deal we had to take.
HAYES: You know, this is the amazing thing about democracy. If
you`re listening, you hold the power, voters of Iron County, there`s a lot
of very powerful people that want you to do something, you have the power.
Ruth Conniff from "The Progressive" -- thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, Bill O`Reilly calls Congresswoman Barbara Lee a
race hustler. Yes, that actually happened and she will be here to respond,
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: Oprah Winfrey and others who play the race
card can`t back up their statements with any facts.
GREG GUTFELD, FOX NEWS: Race baiters always say that conservatives
speak in code. But how was it a code if you know what they`re saying is
race-baiting? The race baiters become embarrassing.
KELLY: This would be funny if it were not so telling about our
society, in particular, the knee-jerk instinct by so many to race-bait.
O`REILLY: Race hustlers and the grievance industry have intimidated
the so-called conversation, turning any valid criticism of African-American
culture into charges of racial bias.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
HAYES: Race-baiting and race hustlers are actually pretty ingenious
terms. Similar to the phrase "playing the race card", they`ve been
reverse-engineered and it seems only to apply to people of color, talking
about race and racism.
I bring this up because Bill O`Reilly on his show last night called a
sitting member of Congress a race hustler.
The context was an interview with Congressman Paul Ryan, who said two
weeks ago: "We have got this tailspin of culture in our inner cities in
particular of men not working, and just generations of men not even
thinking about working. There`s a real culture problem here that has to be
Congresswoman Barbara Lee responded to that by saying -- quote --
"Ryan`s comments about inner-city poverty are a thinly veiled racial
attack. When Mr. Ryan says inner city, when he says culture, these are
simply code words for what he really means, black."
Lee also said Ryan should step off and offer some serious proposals to
tackle poverty and racial discrimination.
O`Reilly had Ryan on to talk about his exchange with Lee in a private
phone call between the two members of Congress. And then when Paul Ryan
refused to kind of come out swinging and attack Barbara Lee on the air,
O`Reilly said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE O`REILLY FACTOR")
BILL O`REILLY, HOST, "THE O`REILLY FACTOR": They don`t want to solve
the problem. These race hustlers make a big living and they get voted into
office by portraying their constituents as victims. And it`s all your
fault and it`s my fault, it`s the rich people`s faults, it`s the
It`s everybody`s fault, except what`s going on. And what`s going on,
as you know, is a dissolution of the family, and you don`t have proper
supervision of children, and they grow up with no skills and they can`t
read and speak, and they have tattoos on their neck, and they can`t compete
in the marketplace. And that`s what`s going on.
But if you say that, you`re a racist. So, no matter what you say,
Congressman, you`re going to be branded because the race hustlers don`t
want to solve the problem. How`s that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Near as I can tell, what Bill O`Reilly means by the terms race
hustler is someone who tells their audience that the problems of poverty,
particularly black poverty, have nothing to do with what they, the
audience, are doing, that they, the audience listening to the race hustler,
are completely relieved of any obligation to change behavior, to do
anything different in their lives to make poverty better. They bear no
responsibility for it.
In other words, the race hustler tells the audience, you are off the
But, of course, that is precisely what Bill O`Reilly does. He tells
his audience that the problems of black poverty is due to black culture,
problems that are born in this country out of institutional racism and
long-standing. But he tells them it`s the dissolution of the family to
blame, for example, the fact that, before the recession, non-Hispanic white
families were about four times as wealthy as non-white families.
By 2010, whites were six times as wealthy. Or I suppose it`s neck
tattoos that lie behind the fact that the black unemployment rate is
consistently twice that of whites.
But none of it, according to Bill O`Reilly, none of it has anything to
do with institutional racism or government policy or budgets or even just
the laws passed by the people his audience shows up to vote for.
If you are in Bill O`Reilly`s audience, you can count on him to tell
you time and time again that the racial disparities in America are not your
And so I would submit that by his very own definition, Bill O`Reilly
is a pretty accomplished race baiter himself.
Joining me now, Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California.
So, Congresswoman, I guess the first question I have to ask is, are
you a race hustler?
REP. BARBARA LEE (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, you know what? Race hustler,
welfare queen, food stamp president, these code words are to be expected
from the right wing.
However, they should not be accepted. What we need to talk about here
in our country are issues around racial discrimination, income inequality
and poverty. These stereotypes that the right wing puts forward are very
harmful and they`re decisive. And so what can I say? It`s just unfortunate
that these comments continue. But I think the public understands where the
right wing is coming from.
HAYES: What do you think Bill O`Reilly means when he uses that word
race hustler to describe you, a sitting member of Congress who represents
the good people of Oakland?
LEE: I can`t even dignify his comments. I have no clue.
Maybe the public should ask him what he means. But, again, race
hustler -- I think he said notorious race hustler -- food stamp president,
welfare queen, there are a long list of comments that I think should never
But, in fact, they`re becoming -- it`s getting to that point now where
we expect the right wing to say these things. And so I have no idea.
Someone should ask him what he really means.
HAYES: No, he also said -- I thought this was interesting. He said
race hustlers -- and I think he was including you in that -- that you are
coming to power by portraying your constituents as victims. Do you see
your constituents as victims?
LEE: My constituents are not victims.
My constituents want jobs. They want education. They want the
opportunity to live the American dream like everyone else. And that means
we have to address poverty. We have to make sure the safety net is
preserved. We have to raise the minimum wage. We have to protect our
You know, there are whole series of efforts that we need to engage in
to make sure that the American dream is real for everyone, not only a few.
HAYES: You know, the other thing that struck me in that mini-tirade
was the idea that you don`t want a conversation. You`re right here. We`re
having a conversation,.
But do you want a conversation on poverty? It seems to me like you`re
one of any number of people, particularly in the Congressional Progressive
Caucus who have put out this very ambitious budget, who talks about these
issues and would love a conversation about how to reduce poverty in
LEE: We have been talking about income inequality, poverty, racial
discrimination for many, many years.
I chair the task force -- the whip`s Task Force on Poverty, Income
Inequality, and Opportunity. I co-chair the Congressional Black Caucus
Task Force on Poverty and Economic Growth. And so you can`t tell me that
we don`t want a conversation.
But we want more than a conversation. We want to see a budget. And
Chairman Ryan chairs the Budget Committee. We want to see a budget that
protects the safety net, that ensures that the most vulnerable have the
type of resources they need to survive through this very difficult time.
We need to extend unemployment compensation, raise the minimum wage.
We need a budget that invests in people and education. And we need a
budget that makes sure that we close the income gap disparity and end
racial discrimination. And that takes a heck of a lot of work.
And so that`s what we want to do, not only have the conversation and
the debate, but we want to see the real, real results of policies and
programs that really lift everyone out of poverty, so that everyone can
have the opportunity to live the American dream. That`s what people want
in this country.
HAYES: You just mentioned Chairman Ryan of the Budget Committee, who
was on the show last night, on Bill O`Reilly`s show.
Do you owe Congressman Ryan an apology for the statement you put out
after his comments about inner city?
LEE: Absolutely not. I do not owe Chairman Ryan an apology, because
in fact, if you read his statement, you see what he said, and we commented
And I think what`s important to recognize is that we have to have a
budget. Chairman Ryan chairs the Budget Committee. I serve on the Budget
Committee. We want to see a budget that really addresses poverty, income
inequality, and lifts everyone out of the ranks of the poor, so that people
can really have a shot at the American dream.
And so that`s the point. You know, it`s not about what`s in his
bones. It`s about what`s in his budget.
HAYES: One thing I can`t help but notice is there`s a very obvious
policy in front of everyone right now, which would be extending long-term
unemployment insurance. And it`s hard for me to think that the reason that
those people who are on long-term -- who are long-term unemployed -- who
are long-term unemployed, is because they have neck tattoos or they didn`t
have enough supervision growing up.
I can`t quite see a way to match cause and effect there. You agree?
LEE: These stereotypes are outrageous. People don`t have jobs
because we haven`t invested in job creation, and the Republican Tea Party
refuses to invest in job creation.
People don`t have jobs, for the most part, because we have really
fallen short on work force training, on education, on really investing and
targeting resources in communities that are hardest-hit. Not everyone has
benefited from this recession -- you know, this recovery -- excuse me.
But you know, some are. Others aren`t. And so we want to make sure
that everyone benefits from a recovery effort. And that means that we must
target resources to those who have been marginalized and to those who need
investments in job creation, education, work force training, and move on.
Everyone deserves the American dream. So, these stereotypes and these
code words, race hustler, welfare queen, food stamp president, they serve
no purpose in a debate around poverty, racial discrimination and income
HAYES: Congresswoman Barbara Lee from the great state of California,
thank you so much.
LEE: Pleased to be with you.
HAYES: Coming up: a rare instance of justifiable profanity from the
mouth of a politician. And it`s caught on tape.
I got to say, I have watched it about 20 times today, and we will show
it to you next.
HAYES: It is so rare when a politician just lets loose with
absolutely justifiable profanity.
We`re about to play you a tape in which that happens.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAN BIDONDI, INFOWARS: The Second Amendment shall not be infringed.
You people need to understand that.
JOSHUA MILLER (D), RHODE ISLAND STATE SENATOR: Go (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: After that clip got posted to the Internet, RNC Communications
Director Sean Spicer, who told us tonight that -- quote -- "the idea of an
elected official using language like that is unacceptable, plain and
simple," well, he tweeted out a link about it, a tweet that is still on his
feed, which reads: "Whoa. Rhode Island state senator to gun rights
supporter, Go F. yourself."
Except, Mr. Spicer really should have taken a moment before he sent
out that link, because you know who Rhode Island State Senator Joshua
Miller was telling to F. himself? He`s this guy.
Remember last year, when press conferences about the horrible Boston
Marathon tragedy kept getting interrupted by a conspiracy theorist yelling
about a false flag? That was the same guy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDONDI: Was you guys given any warning ahead of time of this taking
We have got photographs. (OFF-MIKE)
Why were loudspeakers telling people in the audience to be calm
moments before the bomb went off? Is this another false flag staged attack
to take our civil liberties and promote homeland security while sticking
their hands down our pants on the streets?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: His name is Dan Bidondi. He`s a reporter for the Alex Jones
conspiracy Web site Infowars.
And according to state Senator Miller, who has now apologized for his
words, out of respect for the decorum of the statehouse and his
constituents, not only is Bidondi known for his aggressive and intimidating
manner. He had reportedly been antagonizing an elderly veteran before
And later that day, police had to physically remove him from a
committee room. In fact, Bidondi himself posted the moments leading up to
that objection, when he wouldn`t stop talking after his allotted time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Leave the room.
BIDONDI: We won`t. No, ma`am.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Leave.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There is something sort of clarifying when that guy, when
Infowars and the RNC are the one-two punch defending the Second Amendment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DICK MORRIS, POLITICAL CONSULTANT: We`re going to win by a landslide,
Romney is going to carry 325 electoral votes.
So that poll is seven points wrong. So when it says Romney`s going to
lose by three, he`s going to win by four. So, that`s another three points.
Add that on top of it and you have got Romney winning by seven. The
undecided vote always breaks against the incumbent. Take the seven or
eight points of undecided after you move those numbers around, split them
two to one, you have Romney winning by eight or nine points -- in the exact
same poll that they`re passing off as being a three-point Obama victory.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The last election, you may recall Dick Morris, Karl Rove, FOX
News, an army of poll truthers were famously trapped in a tightly sealed
information bubble, confident Mitt Romney would win the presidency, while
those of us outside the bubble were religiously refreshing 538 on the "New
York Times" Web site, where the statistical phenom Nate Silver had his
election forecasting, which the closer to the actual election, the more
likely it was to be exactly correct in its predictions.
Well, now Silver, with his Web site, has made his first prediction for
the 2014 midterm cycle, specifically on the Senate -- quoting -- "We think
the Republicans are now slight favorites to win at least six seats and
capture the chamber."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But it`s probably six, plus or minus five.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really, they could pick up 11 seats?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They could.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nate`s projection is a 40 percent chance Democrats
hold on, but a 60 percent chance the GOP wins, with a 30 percent shot they
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So, whatever comfort Democrats took from Silver`s predictions
last time around is long gone.
In fact, there`s been a weird amount of freak-out and pushback, even
among the official organs of the Democratic Party, like the Democratic
Senatorial Campaign Committee, citing Silver`s past mistakes.
"In August of 2012, Silver forecasted a 60 percent likelihood
Republicans would pick up enough seats to claim the majority. Three months
later, Democrats went on to win 55 seats."
But here`s the thing. If you came to me last week over a beer and
said, Chris, you follow politics for a living, what do you think the odds
are the Republicans will take the Senate, I would have said, probably
better than a coin flip, 55 percent, something like that.
The map looks bad, Democrat retirements in deep red states like West
Virginia, South Dakota, Montana. Democrats are defending in really tough
races like Arkansas and Louisiana. They have further tough races in
Michigan and North Carolina.
So, Democrats have an uphill battle to retain the Senate. Whether
they will retain it will depend, I think, on three states, like I said,
Michigan, North Carolina and Georgia, the latter being a chance for an
actual Democratic pickup.
And in all three states, it is going to come down to turnout of the
constituencies that didn`t show up in the last midterms, the way they have
in two successive presidential elections.
Instead of freaking out or falling into a Dick Morris pit of denial,
Democrats should talk to their people, and figure out a way to get them to
What, you might ask, is a secret weapon for Democrats to do just that
in the midterm? Well, I have three panelists and they hold the answer when
we come back.
HAYES: Joining me now, Jess McIntosh, communications director for
progressive PAC EMILY`s List, Sam Seder, host of "Majority Report," and
Aisha Moodie-Mills, senior fellow at Center for American Progress.
Aisha, I will begin with you.
What is the secret? This is the big task, right, for Democrats. They
have got these two elections they did very well. This one election, they
did very bad. They`re headed to another midterm. How do you close that
AISHA MOODIE-MILLS, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: Talk about the
issues and actually talk to the people.
The people care about economic security. And I think that if the
Democrats continue to have a populist tone, talk about how health care,
talk about how unemployment insurance, talk about how raising the minimum
wage and a variety of economic security issues are going to benefit people,
then that`s what`s going to bring them out to vote for them, black, white,
LGBT, Hispanic, and all others.
HAYES: But part of the issue there when you talk about the Affordable
Care Act specifically, Sam, is there`s this asymmetry, as we saw at the top
of the show, that the people -- the right is so unified by it.
It`s like it`s sort of unites the whole collision. And it gets people
so upset, they will come out to vote for it. I feel like the Democratic
base on the left likes the bill, likes the law, but it does not have that
Sam kind of...
SAM SEDER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I totally agree with you.
In fact, I`m convinced -- and some of the polling out of the Florida
special election sort of bore this out. I don`t think it`s a winner or a
loser for Democrats. I don`t think you`re going to change one person`s
mind. I think, if you`re a Democrat, you might as well talk about
Benghazi. It`s not going to motivate your people, and it`s only going to
motivate people who are already going to vote against you.
SEDER: I think that Mark Begich has basically has the special sauce.
And that is, you talk about expanding Social Security.
HAYES: He`s in Alaska. He`s got a tough race.
SEDER: And you pull the Republican that you`re -- you make them
address that proposal. And then they start to lose and they go on the
defensive, and then you follow up with a series of other populist messages.
HAYES: Right, because part of is that it`s not inspiring or it`s not
motivating, I think, defending the law, right?
JESS MCINTOSH, EMILY`S LIST: Sure.
HAYES: What`s motivating is picking new fights. That`s what sort of
the guts of politics is. Aisha is referring to things like the minimum
wage. Is that what you`re seeing in the races you guys are tracking?
MCINTOSH: Yes, absolutely.
These issues of economic justice are really resonating. It`s raising
the minimum wage, it`s paycheck fairness. It`s -- equal pay across the
board is turning out to be the sleeper issue of the cycle. I`m going to
call that now.
I don`t agree with Nate Silver`s assessment. I think it`s a lot
closer to 50/50 than 60/40. But I`m glad he made it. I don`t want
Democrats lulled into a false sense of complacency because they listen to
this show and they hear reasonable people. And they think that because of
the issue profile Aisha is talking about, it`s so obvious we`re so right
about everything and they`re wrong, of course we`re going to win. But this
is a tough map. And I want people...
Aisha, there`s this thing in D.C. -- we were talking about this
earlier today where there`s this thing in D.C. where like if you`re a
professional D.C. P.R. person, you could never -- you have to spin
If someone says, oh, you might lose, even campaigns that are down 30
points the day before are saying, we`re going to win. But it`s like --
just, there`s no reason, like, yes, it`s a tough map. If Democrats care
about this election, they have got to put their back into it. And whatever
way they choose to get involved in politics, like, it`s a tough map.
MOODIE-MILLS: Yes, it`s a tough map, there are tough races, and you
actually have to work for the people`s vote.
And I think that that`s the good news here. I totally agree. Now
that the Democrats realize that no one is just going to pat them on the
head, and pretend that everything is going to be easy, they have to get out
and talk to real people about the issues that matter in their lives and
really make politics personal. And so I`m hoping that that is what we see
HAYES: To me, the two kind of like tipping point states on that map
are Michigan and North Carolina.
It is not a coincidence that those are both Dems defending Democratic
seats, not in sort of deep red states, but winnable seats. And it`s also
it`s two of the states the Americans for Prosperity have been pouring a ton
of money into.
SEDER: Also, one thing that I think is slightly different from in
past races, we`re starting to see so much outside expenditures by these
groups dumping the money in before really...
HAYES: Because there`s a campaign, before there`s candidates.
SEDER: Before there`s a campaign. There`s no opponents for these
SEDER: And so all they are is just sitting ducks, essentially.
HAYES: That`s a great point.
SEDER: And they have no one to run against, and they have yet to
really get their campaigns in gear.
And this is -- that`s why it could also be very devastating in some
ways, because it`s redefining. But they`re also incumbents. So, it`s hard
to redefine these people.
HAYES: Yes, Kay Hagan in North Carolina is a perfect example of this.
MCINTOSH: Look at the polls in North Carolina. Kay Hagan has had
more AFP-Koch Brother money spent, yes, more than anybody else in the
HAYES: Eight million dollars. Let me just make clear, they haven`t
had their primary yet. They`re doing a Republican...
MCINTOSH: No. No. Primary is May 6, yes.
MOODIE-MILLS: But that`s because the Democrats are actually busy
governing right now. And they`re focused on policy, as opposed to
And that`s what we`re seeing play. That`s what the polling is
showing, that the Democrats are off actually trying to run the country.
And I think that if there`s any message, it should be that message that
HAYES: But Kay Hagan is...
MCINTOSH: Is still leading in the polls. She`s still beating Thom
Tillis. She loses slightly to the others in the primary, but that`s only
because nobody knows who they are. Those are the Todd Akins of that
And it`s hard to -- that sitting duck point is so perfect. Right?
Because when you don`t have an opponent, what, are you going to respond to
an ad that is paid for by the -- or you go, and you try to make the Koch
brothers an issue, which Democrats I think have smartly tried. They`re
going to play on this level, then they`re fair game.
MCINTOSH: Nobody likes outside billionaire money in their state,
Republican, independent, Democrat. That`s just a terrible idea.
HAYES: We ran a story today about the Koch brothers, who partially
fund Americans for Prosperity, running mailers in a small race, accusing
the other side of outside multimillionaires coming into their backyard.
SEDER: Yes, look, I think it`s -- we hear a lot about the Koch
brothers, but I think the more money that they put into these races, the
more efficacy attacks on them have, because they are -- in some ways,
they`re fulfilling the prophecy that they`re being accused of.
And, look, everybody is grownups here. This is politics. You get in
the arena, and this is what happens, clean hits all around.
Jess McIntosh, from EMILY`s List, Sam Seder from "Majority Report,"
Aisha Moodie-Mills, the Center for American Progress, thank you all.
All right, that is ALL IN for this evening.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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