All In With Chris Hayes, Monday, April 7, 2014
Read the transcript from the Monday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
April 7, 2014
Guests: Eric Boehlert, Bob Ingle, Jess McIntosh, Michelle Goldberg, Robert
ARI MELBER, GUEST HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Ari Melber,
in for Chris Hayes.
There is some important new survey data out today from Gallup. It`s
not about politics but it could have some major implications for politics
and the public interest. The data is about how many people have health
care in the U.S., and it`s good news. Gallup is reporting today that the
percentage of Americans who do not have health insurance has fallen to its
lowest rate since 2008. It fell from a high of 18 percent to about 15.6
In the first three months of this year, the countdown to the ACA
deadline, the rate of the uninsured fell 1.5 points. And Gallup measures
in points but let`s look in terms of people. That`s 3.5 million people
getting health care. So, that`s a snapshot of independent data.
Back in Washington, you may remember President Obama, of course, just
announced that more than 7 million Americans signed up for health care
before the ACA`s March 31st deadline. That took a while and included
plenty of mistakes, but the ultimate number surpassed the Obama
administration`s goal, and that`s just the new private markets. Another 3
million more gained insurance coverage through Medicaid and 3 million more
than that have new coverage through their parents` coverage.
For people gaining coverage, the health benefits and peace of mind
here is obviously the most important thing. But when it comes to people
fighting about whether anyone is gaining coverage, to the Obama politics
that define this era -- well, what we have here is a loss for Republicans
in their argument against Obamacare.
It didn`t have to be this way for them, but Republicans didn`t just
stake their endless Obamacare attacks on an ideological claim, the idea,
for example, that only state governments should handle health care. They
went all in on a factual prediction that the ACA wouldn`t work. That
people wouldn`t sign up. That it would only cover people who already had
coverage, and thus, Obamacare, would be a failure.
Today`s data shows people are signing up and the rate of uninsured
people in America is going down. That detonates the GOP talking point you
may have heard, that Obamacare is only insuring people who were already
And those factual predictions of failure don`t look so hot right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Millions of people across the country have
seen now why we were standing and fighting because Obamacare is a disaster.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Poll after poll indicates that
Obamacare is a failure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good evening, everybody. Obamacare is failing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obamacare is a failure.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obamacare is doomed.
SEN. TIM SCOTT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Obamacare is doomed to fail.
UNIDENTIFIED MAEL: Clearly, this Obamacare is a failure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obamacare has been a failure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obamacare is a colossal failure.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Virginia understands that Obamacare is a failure.
REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: This signature program, which was
Obamacare, is going to go down in flames.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They need 7 million by March. No way they`re
going to hit those metrics. But whatever it is, they need 7 million by
March to make the numbers work and they ain`t going to make it work.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
MELBER: If you take one thing away from this, take away this --
saying that a law to expand coverage will fail isn`t an opinion, it`s a
prediction, and so far it`s wrong.
This evolving reality is captured pretty well in this week`s "New
Yorker" cover. There you see it. A grinning President Obama is not only
giving health care to some child-like versions of Ted Cruz, Michele
Bachmann, John Boehner, and Mitch McConnell, it also suggests that it`s
time for them to accept reality and take their medicine. Peel back the
rhetoric and there are also signs this is sinking in.
On Sunday, "The A.P." reported that Republicans were pushing through
another ACA amendment, but it was not another endless gesture towards
repeal. This time, at the prodding of business groups, some Republicans
quietly tweaked the ACA to expand a few coverage choices. Expand, not
Now, an effort to improve the law seems like a step forward for the
GOP. So, with Democratic support the House cut a cap on deductibles for
some small group policies. You can`t look up the roll call list of who
voted for that bill. That`s because Republicans used a voice vote to slip
in the amendment without any official tally, so they may be on the right
track, it just has to be very quiet.
It wasn`t quiet enough, though. The Drudge Report found out, seized
on the move, splashed this incendiary headline across the home page and
like clockwork, Speaker Boehner, his House, they rushed out a quick
statement insisting that that GOP move was actually just one part of
Republicans` larger effort to repeal the full law. And that short
statement mentioned some version of the word "repeal" nine times we
counted. It didn`t take long.
But here`s the thing: when it comes to Obamacare, these House
Republicans are doing more preaching than practicing now. As these
insurance rates rise, any actual total repeal would mean disrupting or
stripping coverage from millions of Americans. At this point, that would
be a real failure and one the GOP probably can`t afford.
Joining me now to discuss all this is Eric Boehlert, senior fellow at
Media Matters and former RNC chairman, Michael Steele, who`s an MSNBC
Welcome to you both.
Eric, your view on this and whether there is some slight shifting in
the politics, as I mentioned.
ERIC BOEHLERT, MEDIA MATTERS: Well, it`s funny. Now, expansion
becomes repeal. They`re boxed in, right?
On the one hand, they`re voting to expand but they put out a press
statement saying, well, actually, this is part of an effort to repeal. The
larger question and for the conservative movement and the conservative
media is, as you said, they went all in. Last week, we had this sort of
freak-out over enrollment. Now we`ll have a freak-out over uninsured.
They`re going to have to unskew this Gallup poll, right, because this
is -- this goes against everything that they said. As you said for three
and a half years, this was a theoretical debate. They could make all kinds
of scary predictions, you know, death panels, it`s going to kill the
economy, we`re going to lose jobs, et cetera, et cetera.
But as these data points come in, it becomes increasingly difficult
for the Republican Party and the conservative media to deal with reality.
So, let me go to you, Chairman Steele. Sometimes the young people
today, and I know you love the young people, sometimes they`ll ending an
argument by saying, you know, because math. Obamacare is working because
math. And I think we are in this sort of "because math" phase of this
thing, even if people still have ideological differences.
Let me put up on the screen some more from the Gallup report and get
your thoughts. When you look at the income levels and you break it down by
what are people under $36,000 a year doing in this market, we`re seeing
that uninsured rate drop by 3 percent. That is where we`re seeing the
There`s an ideological debate over whether spending federal money to
get those poorer people coverage is a good idea. I think it is. And then
there`s this empirical debate over whether this program is doing what it
set out to do.
Do you think it`s at least doing that?
MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER RNC CHAIRMAN: Oh, yes. I mean, I think it`s
actually drawing people into the marketplace who weren`t there before, but,
again, I think the fundamental debate really boils down to what happens
next? You know, I`m amused by all the crowing now by folks who are
supporters of Obamacare who weren`t crowing so much back in the fall and at
the beginning of the year with the rollout and all of that.
MELBER: Mr. Chairman, I crowed all the time when the Web site was
STEELE: I know, you always crow. You`re just a crower, we get it.
But the vast majority of the men and women on Capitol Hill weren`t
STEELE: So the fact of the matter is let`s see how this thing plays
out. You`re absolutely right, the Republicans, and I`ve said this from the
very beginning, would put themselves into an ideological and a practical
box simply because you`ve got to talk about what you`re going to replace it
with. How do you go about fixing the law as opposed to continuing with
what you continue? You see that now with the House vote earlier -- late
So the reality of it is going forward how does this now play out, what
are the real numbers, what do the insurance premiums look like when the
insurance companies start doling out those numbers in the next few weeks or
months, and then we`ll begin to see how Obamacare will play ultimately for
all those folks who are coming into the marketplace versus those who are
already in it.
BOEHLERT: Well, again, that`s a good point, but this has always been
yes but, yes but. At some point you have to accept this is working.
The fundamental goal was to insure as many people as possible. You
know, according to this Gallup poll, it`s working.
And, you know, I think the conservative movement and media, the
Republican Party, the simple question is: do they want more people insured
or not? They sort have been dancing around this issue for years, talking
about unconstitutional. Again, it`s going to kill the economy.
We get narrower and narrower and the simple question is, is it a good
thing that less people are uninsured now?
STEELE: Eric, your top line is absolutely right. Nobody is going to
say, oh, no, we shouldn`t insure anybody, but the question becomes at what
cost? And that cost is not just financial, it`s also a personal cost that
people will have to pay by having the government now play a role that is
has heretofore not played in their health care, and that I think is still a
You know, Obamacare and a Web site is one thing. The practice of
actually having patients in the system, accessing the system, getting the
doctors they want, getting the services they want, at what cost, both again
in terms of premiums as well as availability of those services, is yet to
be played out. So, you know, all the crowing notwithstanding, the reality
of Obamacare really hasn`t hit yet because now you`re going to have people
start to access the system and how they`re able to do that, I think, is the
penultimate question about Obamacare.
BOEHLERT: Yes. You know, again, we`ll see how it plays out. But we
have to go back to a couple of months ago, as we`ve shown, no one was going
to want this. Nobody wanted it. It was a failure, it was doomed. It was
But, of course, we need reform. And now, again, that`s why we had
sort of this freak-out.
MELBER: And that goes to some of the politics as well, Chairman
MELBER: This was a tarot card, crystal ball predictive approach. You
mentioned being boxed in and have spoken about it before.
This didn`t have to be the way they did it. You can have a debate
over other areas of policy that are less controversial.
We had debate over a national speed limit and there were people who
said Montana should have a higher speed limit even though there are studies
that show if you lower the entire national speed limit, you do save lives.
That doesn`t mean having a higher speed limit makes you a terrible person.
But that became a debate about federalism. It didn`t become a lot of
So, isn`t there a problem here in the predictive nature of how much of
the Republican Party`s attack represents basically something that`s not
happening right now?
STEELE: Well, I think that`s true on both sides. I mean, you heard a
lot of the rosy predictions from the Obama administration and members of
the Democratic Party talking about what Obamacare was going to do starting
with you get to keep your doctor and keep this and keep that.
OK. So what it says to me is the parties need to get out of the
predictive side of the equation and hone down on the policy. There are
major flaws and issues still at work here.
If that weren`t the case, then Obama wouldn`t be delaying as much of
this act adds he`s delaying. If that weren`t the case, Republicans would
not be as concerned as they are about some other aspects of it, which I
still think they need to put something substantive on the table to come
So, I think we get out of the business of prediction and really get
into the business of honing down the policy. I mean I`ll be the first to
say it`s here. You know, by 2017, if you get a Republican president with a
Republican Senate and Republican Congress, you`re now talking close to 20
plus million people will be on this -- in this system who weren`t in this
system before in the health care process before. How do you now deal with
I mean, look, we can`t figure out what to do with 12 million illegal
immigrants, what are you going to do with 12 million Americans that are now
in this new health care system, are you going to kick them out? No.
So these are some realities that I think the party has to deal with in
an open, honest way. It`s not enough to say repeal and not even enough to
say replace, it`s got with something substantive to fix what is arguably a
MELBER: So, Eric, briefly on that and the idea that Michael is
arguing both sides.
BOEHLERT: That would be great if we had, you know, sort of a logical,
honest debate and both sides hashed it out. Again, you know, Media
Matters, we keep an eye on the conservative media. There is no indication
that anyone there is willing to sort of break out of this bubble and have a
factual debate and conversation about health care, the numbers and going
STEELE: Well, Eric, let me ask --
MELBER: We`re out of time but I think to some degree the Republicans
have brought an abacus to a calculator fight. They`re losing right now.
I take your point, Michael, that over the long term --
STEELE: I just want to know if Democrats are going to do what Eric
just said because they have been running away from Obamacare as well. We
look forward to seeing them out on the campaign trail standing behind the
law that they passed and telling the American people why they need to get
MELBER: Well, yes, I think as we go toward the midterms, that`s one
of the questions. The data out today may not catch up on the ground
everywhere. The politics have been bad for some Democrats in the long run
as I`ve argued here, I think the numbers so it`s good. We will keep an eye
on that as well.
Eric Boehlert from Media Matters, and MSNBC contributor and former
party chair, Michael Steele, thank you very much.
Coming up, new developments in bridgegate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Wildstein, could you state and spell your last
name for the record?
DAVID WILDSTEIN: David Wildstein. W-I-L-D-S-T-E-I-N.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where do you currently reside?
WILDSTEIN: Montville, New Jersey.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Are you currently employed?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And most recently, where were you employed?
WILDSTEIN: On the advice of my counsel, I respectfully assert my
right to remain silent under the United States and New Jersey
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: That was literally the last time we heard from the man who
ordered those lanes shut down on the George Washington Bridge according to
e-mails at this time. That is until now. He is speaking again, it looks
like. I`ll explain, straight ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HARRY REID (D), NEVADA: What about the dignity of a single
mother from Las Vegas, Christina, who was stuck living in her elderly
grandmother`s living room because she and her son were evicted when
Christina`s benefits were cut off. Perhaps Charles and David Koch should
spend their night sharing one air mattress like Christina and her son and
see what dignity there is living like Christina and her boy. The Koch
brothers want America to be dignified as they lose their homes, their cars
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: That was today on the Senate floor. Harry Reid continuing to
wage his personal war against the Koch brothers, blaming them in part for
the nation`s unemployment rate and accusing them and calling them out for
opposing unemployment insurance.
Now, right after that, the Senate did hold an important vote, 59-38 to
extend long-term unemployment benefits. Every single Democrat that was
there voted for it and so did six Republican senators.
Now, that bill would pay benefits to the unemployed until the end of
May and would be retroactive to this past December. The bill will head to
the House where its fate is at best uncertain.
Now, we`re going to be back with more news in the bridgegate scandal
right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I don`t know if we`ll ever know
what the motive is. It mystifies me on every level why this was done. And
I hope someday to have an answer as to why it was done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Governor Chris Christie is not the only person looking for
that answer. Today, there are new reports that the federal investigation
into political payback on the George Washington Bridge is collecting more
answers. Investigators in the U.S. attorney`s office in New Jersey, which
is leading the most serious inquiry into this scandal, are reportedly
zeroing in on a former Christie appointee at the center of the traffic
payback. That`s according to two news reports.
David Wildstein was the Port Authority official who e-mailed with top
Christie aide Bridget Kelly about those traffic problems in Fort Lee last
September. Wildstein is also the person in Christie`s camp who was first
to publicly promise testimony in exchange for immunity.
And you may remember he made waves in late January when his lawyer
declared that, quote, evidence exists tying Mr. Christie to having
knowledge of the lane closures during the period when the lanes were
closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press
That letter was part of Wildstein`s pursuit of money to cover his
legal fees and we should mention, Governor Christie later said he couldn`t
recall the specifics about being told of that closure.
Now, what`s different here, what`s different today is it appears David
Wildstein is finally talking to the U.S. attorney`s office. That`s
according to two sources. But we have no confirmation of what he`s saying
yet. The publication "Main Justice", which covers the Justice Department
religiously, they`re reporting that Wildstein was camped out at the Newark
U.S. attorney`s office meeting with prosecutors, according to a person,
quote, "close to the case."
The article says Wildstein spent several days there. Now, neither his
attorney nor the DOJ would comment on the report. Those kind of lengthy
meetings could indicate that Wildstein is providing testimony and details
about these now infamous lane closures or they could simply indicate some
kind of lengthy negotiation with Wildstein or his counsel about whether he
will testify in the future of these reports come just days after the news
broke that Christie`s former press secretary testified before a federal
grand jury. We reported that here on MSNBC on Friday.
Now, we don`t know where this federal investigation will lead. But
taken together, these reports suggest it`s ramping up, not winding down.
Joining me now is Bob Ingle, senior political columnist for Gannett,
New Jersey newspapers, and author of "Chris Christie: The Inside Story of
His Rise to Power."
BOB INGLE, SENIOR POLITICAL COLUMNIST: Thank you.
MELBER: This is a big day for people who are following this case
closely. Wildstein, as I mentioned, is not like every other person
involved in this incident.
INGLE: I`ll say.
MELBER: David Wildstein despite being colorful and having made public
assertions here, he is the one from an investigative perspective has
basically said I`m ready to sing as long as I get my deal.
INGLE: That`s right, from day one. He`s also the guy who ordered the
closing. Now, the question is, did he do this on his own or was he told by
a higher authority to do it? That`s what we`re trying to find out, I
MELBER: Right. And so, when you look at these claims, double source
but no real color about what`s going on in those meetings, do you have any
read or view of what kind of meetings these are?
INGLE: No, I don`t. I thought it was interesting that they said he
had camped out there. I don`t know if that means he`s waiting around, like
the donut shop, you get a number and wait until they call you, or in fact,
they liked what he had to say so much they keep asking him back. At this
point, it`s really hard to tell. And since we don`t know who the sources
are, we don`t know how accurate any of that is.
MELBER: Yes, let`s talk a little bit about Governor Christie`s
approach here. It would seem from the report put out by Governor
Christie`s lawyers that they are either engaging in a tremendous bluff
against David Wildstein and Bridget Kelly, or they are truly not afraid of
these individuals. They don`t think they have anything on them.
INGLE: That looks like the options are right. If it turns out it`s a
bluff and he really does have something, that`s not only the end of any
presidential ambitions. That may be the end of the governorship as well.
MELBER: Right. I mean, that`s the difference with the feds. We hear
about the feds in "Law & Order" and the movies but sometimes it just means
they`re tough because federal prosecutors can be very aggressive.
As we`ve reported on this program, and across MSNBC, the grand jury
process can be very aggressive. Having said, it`s also the fact that it`s
not going to come from the state attorney general, which is all linked to
the governor. New Jersey has got what they call a strong governor state
where he appoints the attorney general. It`s not independent like it is in
So, this is the big game in town. I want to play for you some of what
both Governor Christie and his top lawyer said recently about David
Wildstein because it gives the color of what they look at here when they
see this gentleman who`s reportedly talking to the feds. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDY MASTRO, LEAD ATTORNEY, GIBSON DUNN: It was clear to us that he
was seeking to target Fort Lee and Mayor Sokolich. It was his idea. He
was the driving force behind it. He seemed to have all sorts of bizarre
personal and political animus towards a variety of people.
CHRISTIE: I obviously believe that having David Wildstein at the Port
Authority was a mistake. Let`s just leave it at that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Now, I want to tell you, we put those pieces of sound
together because it`s classic good cop/bad cop. When Governor Christie
says let`s leave it at that, he`s not really being straightforward because
that`s his lawyer we played, Mastro, who was attacking Wildstein and they
put out this report Christie ordered attacking Wildstein. So, it`s not
just leaving it at that.
INGLE: Right. The wording on the report I thought was curious
because it said that he obviously wanted to hurt this mayor and then it
goes on to say but we have no idea why. I mean, what good is that report?
I mean, the report is not worth the paper it`s written on, actually.
And then you have Christie saying, well, gosh, let`s just say he
shouldn`t be there and let`s leave it at that. Well, how the heck did he
get there? Did he change his spots during the years that he`s been at the
Port Authority? I mean why all of a sudden is he a bad guy now? Did they
not vet this guy before they put him in?
MELBER: Well, you`d think to that point, you would think that if they
wanted to put forward an argument that he was doing this for someone other
than Christie, his main benefactor at that point, that the man who
appointed him to the port authority, you think they might have come up with
a theory of who else that would be.
INGLE: You`d think that, wouldn`t you? Yes. This is just a mystery.
The more we look at it, the stranger and the more weird that it gets. And
then there are those people that say -- well, it`s only traffic. They have
traffic everywhere, what is MSNBC doing?
That`s what they said about Watergate, too, why are you so concerned
about a burglary? So, who knows what we`re going to find out once we get
deeper into this and the fact there is a grand jury looking into things.
That`s very serious business.
MELBER: Well, it`s very significant. Yes, you mentioned Watergate,
of course, had very petty sort of seemingly mistaken or low-grade incidents
and then it had some of the highest crimes around.
And to your point, the press obviously interested in the story.
Governor Christie is a man of political import. When you have federal
prosecutors digging around, that`s independent of any press inquiry, that`s
the biggest inquiry there is and operates under oath and often behind
closed doors. So we`ll see what comes out of these reported meetings.
Bob Ingle, author, columnist -- thank you for pay being here.
INGLE: My pleasure.
MELBER: Coming up, we have this from Hillary Clinton`s presidential
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, THEN-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Some people think you
bring about change about change by demanding it and some people think you
bring about change by --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Iron my shirt, iron my shirt, iron my shirt!
CLINTON: Can we turn the lights on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Iron my shirt, iron my shirt, iron my shirt. Iron
CLINTON: Oh, the remnants of sexism, alive and well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: It may have seemed downright bizarre, but six years later,
there are plenty of fresh examples of sexism in our politics. Two in fact
out just this week and it is -- well, it`s only Monday. That`s straight
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARC RUDOV, T.V. PERSONALITY: When Barack Obama speaks, men hear,
"Take off for the future." And, when Hillary Clinton speaks, men hear,
"Take out the garbage."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ARI MELBER, MSNBC CO-HOST: If there is anyone who has a master`s
level experience dealing with sexism as a public figure, it is certainly
Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Last week she talked about what she called the
obvious double standard and how the media cover women in public life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY: There is a double standard,
obviously. We have all either experienced it or at the very least seen it.
And, I think in many respects, the media is the principal propagator of its
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Yesterday house minority leader Nancy Pelosi, America`s first
woman to serve in that role, was asked about those comments from Former
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NANCY PELOSI, U.S. HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: From my own standpoint I
never expected anything but a double standard. I do not know if it is the
media or people say things that is in news that you have to cover. But, I
do think that from equal pay for equal work, there is a double standard,
all the way up to the top echelon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: So, that is all just general conversation. But, if you doubt
it, check out what was then happening on Fox News Sunday about the very
same time Pelosi was speaking about sexism in the abstract. Former CIA
Director, Michael Hayden, was basically man explaining why Sen. Dianne
Feinstein wanted to declassify a senate report about the CIA`s secret
alleged torture programs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL HAYDEN, FMR. CIA DIRECTOR: That motivation for the report,
Chris, may show deep emotional feeling on the part of the senator, but I do
not think it leads you to an objective report.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Wow. Now the idea that Senator Dianne Feinstein, who`s
pretty highly regarded on Capitol Hill, was simply being emotional in her
desire for congressional oversight and disclosure of alleged torture
programs, well, that was too much even for Fox New`s Chris Wallace to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS HOST: Forgive me because you and I both know
Senator Feinstein. I have the highest regard for you are saying you think
she was emotional in these conclusions?
HAYDEN: What I am saying is, first of all, Chris, you are asking me
about a report that I have no idea of its content.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Forgive me. Joining us now is Jess McIntosh, Communications
Director for the Progressive Pacs, Emily`s List. Let me start with that.
I mean what you have there is one of those weird moments where Chris
Wallace is saying forgive me, but what he really means is you need to be
forgiven. What do you make of that exchange?
JESS MCINTOSH, COMMINICATIONS FOR PROGRESSIVE PACS, EMILY`S LIST: I
thought I was coming on to talk about the new season of "Mad Men." this is
a lot more depressing. No, it is amazing that the republican surrogates
managed on issues across the board to insult women. We were not talking
about birth control this time.
We were talking about the Senate Intelligence Committee and their
inability to respect women`s leadership goes past rhetoric. I mean Dianne
Feinstein is the chair of the senate intelligence committee. Right now,
half of the committees are chaired by women. If republicans gain control
of the senate in November, every single committee will be chaired by a
That is just the way the Republican Party operates. That is who they
want to put in leadership. And, occasionally, fairly regularly, their
surrogates will out with the truth and I think that is what we saw on
Sunday. They just do not value women`s leadership.
MELBER: And, did you think that was sort of something that was
mistaken or deliberate?
MCINTOSH: You know, I do not care. I had that thought and I tried to
figure out whether I thought that was supposed to be some sort of sexist
dog whistle or whether that was just his first thought was, "Oh, woman must
be being emotional." And, then I decided it did not actually matter, which
one it was. They were both really quite gross.
MELBER: Hmm. Yes, I think that. I think it might matter in the
sense that if it is part of a deliberate political strategy or way to
undermine her that tells us something different than if it is sort of an
old guard person who does not even realize the offense they are giving.
To your point, though, about who is in congress, I want to put up on
the screen, you know what is interesting in politics here is while we are
still way behind gender parity, a lot more women are now in congress than,
say, women in leading fortune 500 companies.
You can see from the mid-`90s, it went from zero to recently about
20. The spike for women in congress much higher. I suspect that is
because obviously politics is still quite a bit more representative than
other parts of the establishment, and yet what we are talking about this
week, these examples go to the fact that you can get in the room and then
still be discriminated against.
MCINTOSH: Absolutely. And, I would argue that it goes even more
granular than that. If you look at the advancement of women in politics,
it is very different on the democratic side of the aisle than the
republican side. In the last 20 years, democrats have come -- we are
pretty close to a third of our caucus right now and we might hit parity at
Republicans are much, much farther behind than that. They have made
incremental gains at best. And, really sort of peaked with 2010 and the
Sarah Palin effect where more republican women ran than ever before but
fewer of them won. So, we are not going to get to 50 percent in politics
or in business or in any other aspect of life until one-half of our
political parties start respecting and valuing women.
We need them to be OK with women candidates. We need them to be OK
with women business leaders or we need them to step back and let people who
are a little more of this century take over the leadership reins.
MELBER: I have heard this century is a very popular century to be in.
MCINTOSH: I am enjoying it.
MELBER: And, when you talk about women candidates, I know that is
something that Emily`s List does a lot.
MELBER: Jess Mcintosh, thanks for your thoughts tonight.
MELBER: Coming up, what happened in 1992 besides this famous movie
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER (1): I will answer the question. You want
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER (2): I think I am entitled.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER (1): You want answers?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER (2): I want the truth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER (1): You cannot handle the truth!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Why 1992 may look a lot like 2016. You may not be able to
handle the truth. That is straight ahead.
MELBER: As the Kentucky wildcats gear up for the NCAA championship
game, they have certainly got a great fan in Kentucky Senator Mitch
McConnell. But, the occasion has also reminded some folks of that little
mishap his campaign had last month.
He had that web ad entitled, "Rebuild." It was meant to show off the
very best of the Senate Minority Leader`s Home State, which he likes to
call the college basketball capital of the world. But, a flash of footage
at the end of the ad actually winded up showing a Kentucky rival, Duke, and
their players celebrating instead. Whoops!
McConnell`s team quickly fixed the ad but not before his opponent
seized on the gap labeling the senator out of touch with Kentucky. That
mixed up is the second time that team Mitch had a video go viral for the
wrong reasons. The first was this montage of McConnell`s B-role, an
industry term for just footage of you sitting there.
That was set to music and it delighted comedians and netizens alike.
It is called Mitch McConnell working for Kentuckians and it is just a bunch
of different video of Mitch McConnell working for Kentuckians and awkwardly
smiling for the camera. What gives? Well, the video is not as quirky and
random as you might think on first inspection.
Senator McConnell is one of at least half a dozen candidates just
this cycle alone who put up these similar clips. What is the story? Why
are they doing this? Well, when Chris Hayes returns this Thursday, he is
going to tell you why candidates are making these seemingly weird videos,
where that footage is coming from and where it is going.
It is a report you do not want to miss and goes to some structural
problems in our democracy. Now, we will be right back with some other
video footage that Senator Rand Paul would probably rather did not go
viral. That is straight ahead.
MELBER: Senator Rand Paul is experiencing what many potential
candidates for president learn, that once you are perceived as a viable
candidate for president, suddenly what is old is new again. For the past
several months Rand Paul has been laying the groundwork for a 2016 run.
Today, though, it was reported that he is scheduled to speak at
Iowa`s Republican State convention in June, a major development for him,
and then he has had a strong fund-raising quarter, raising over a million
dollars in the first part of the year.
Paul is working early and hard to sell himself to some skeptical
republican members of the establishment as a mainstream candidate. The GOP
establishment, however, is still populated by many people who worked in and
around the George W. Bush White House, and many of them object to Paul`s
claims and videos like this which surfaced in a Mother Jones article
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY SENATE CANDIDATE: We need to be fearful
about companies that get so big that they could actually be directing
policy. When the Iraq war started, Halliburton got a $1 billion no-bid
contract. Some of the stuff has been so shoddy and so sloppy that our
soldiers over there are dying in the shower from electrocution.
I mean it should not be sloppy work. It should not be bad for a
particular process, but it really should not be maybe that these people are
so powerful that they direct even policy. There is a great YouTube of Dick
Cheney in 1995 defending Bush number one and he goes on for about five
minutes. He is being interviewed, I think, by the American Enterprise
And, he said it would be a disaster, it would be vastly expensive.
It would be a civil war. We have no exit strategy. He goes on and on for
five minutes, Dick Cheney saying it would be a bad idea and that is why the
first Bush did not go to Baghdad. Dick Cheney goes to work for
Halliburton, makes hundreds of millions of dollars and he is back in
government and it is a good idea to go to Iraq.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: The video is not new. That speech was made almost five
years ago to college republicans at Western Kentucky University and it has,
to be clear, been sitting on YouTube. But, it is sparking a new fight
today. And, while it might not be shocking that Paul would make a blunt
argument against U.S. Interventions and accuse the party`s last vice
president of corrupt motivations in his foreign policy, that might not be
shocking if you followed Senator Paul, for the Bush veterans and neocons in
today`s GOP, it is unacceptable.
The Washington free beacon is accusing Paul now of, quote, "Cording
the truther voter for that video." And, Liz Cheney told the Washington
Post, quote, it is not surprising since Senator Paul often seems to get his
foreign policy talking points from Rachel Maddow.
Rand Paul brings an unusual constellation of ideas to this Republican
Party table. It ranges from right wing to left wing, from libertarian to
NI intervention. He could push the GOP into a very different set of
debates in the coming years if the party does not drive him off the stage
for making things so uncomfortable.
Let us talk to our panel about all of that. Joining us now is
Michelle Goldberg, Senior Contributing Writer at the Nation and author of
"The Means Of Reproduction" as well as MSNBC Latino Contributor, Victoria
Defrancesco Soto and Robert Costa, National Political Reporter from the
Washington Post, welcome to you all. Victoria, let me start with you.
What do you make of the political significance of these videos whipping
around and drawing at least some heat from some Neocons.
VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO SOTO, MSNBC LATINO CONTRIBUTOR: They are drawing
heat from Neocons but thinking about the general election, if we fast
forward to 2016, let`s have a thought experiment that Rand Paul actually is
able to maneuver his way out of the primary.
This is the type of stuff that democrats have been hammering on for
years and I think this is interesting to see how he is trying to reach out
to those independents and young folks who have been so apathetic for so
long. So, I think it is interesting if he could even get out of the
MELBER: Yes. Well, let`s table that question. We do not know where
he is going to land. He`s clearly someone who has an important role to
play right now. He is one CPAC`s draw full of votes twice. He is in the
conversation. Michelle, the argument there from Victoria is basically that
what we are seeing in that video is a liberal style foreign policy critique
in a libertarian sweater.
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, NATION SENIOR CONTRIBUTING WRITER: I think that it
is a mistake to see it that way. I think that there is a -- to be clear, I
think that a lot of what he said in that critique is true, but I also think
that it does not come from a liberal point of view. There is a place in
American politics where the left and the right bend around and meet each
You know, he does not take his foreign policy pointers from Rachel
Maddow. He takes them from Charles Lindbergh, right? So, he has a long
history of anti-both interventionism -- you know, he has been critical of
the American involvement in World War II saying that it was our blockade
that we kind of goaded the Japanese into attacking us in Pearl Harbor.
He is against almost all foreign interventions. Sometimes he is
right, like in Iran, and sometimes he is nuts like in World War II. But
the point is, is that his view of kind of conspiratorial interests pulling
the strings of American Foreign Policy, it is not a left wing view even if
it dovetails with the left on certain issue.
It is kind of a conspiratorial view of history and foreign policy.
You see him -- you know, he has a long history of association with
Birchers, with neo secessionists, with 9/11 truthers. You know, you might
remember during the senate campaign, he had to fire his communications
director because he turned out to be a 9/11 truther. So, that is where the
staff comes from. It is not that he kind of has this crossover appeal that
he is somehow taking direction from the left.
ROBERT COSTA, THE WASHINGTON POST NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: It is
interesting to see who Senator Paul is surrounding himself with when it
comes to policy advice. He is not really going toward his father, who of
course is known for his isolationist views. He is going to a man named
Richard Byrd, A former ambassador to Germany in the Reagan Administration.
And, Byrd I think really captures where Paul is going to head in 2016
on foreign policy. Byrd articulated a view of a less aggressive foreign
policy. I think what Rand Paul is trying to do is balance his father`s
dovish policies and politics with a more early Reagan view of the world,
which is less interventionist but still being somewhat hawkish on select
Victoria, on that point, whatever sort of epistomology of what rand
Paul thinks he knows about the world, it would seem to be a good thing for
there to be some competition on the right over less aggressive and less
corporate-driven foreign policy.
MELBER: Yes. And, Victoria on that point, whatever the sort of a
epistemology of what Rand Paul thinks he knows about the world, it would
seemed to be a good thing for the Republican Party and the body politics
for there to be some competition on the right over less aggressive and less
corporate driven foreign policy.
SOTO: Absolutely. And, I think also just a less aggressive tenor in
general. You know, when we are talking about Rand Paul in terms of running
for the 2016, we also need to throw Jeb Bush in there. He has been in the
news this weekend for some comments that he made about illegal immigration.
And, over the past couple years, the Republican Party has been the party of
anti-immigration and very ugly rhetoric.
SOTO: But, I think that we are starting to see a little bit of a
change in tenor there. Is the base of the party going to grasp it? Maybe
not in the short term, but I think eventually we are seeing pushes both on
the foreign policy side and also on the immigration front, which is both
domestic and international.
MELBER: Yes. I mean in Jeb Bush`s new comments were very
interesting. They had definitely a poetic patina because he said
immigration reform is all about love, which is appealing. It is an
MELBER: Why do not you --
SOTO: Appealing to who?
MELBER: Well, appealing to people who like love, obviously.
SOTO: Right, not the republican base.
MELBER: Why do not you, guys, stick around and we will talk about it
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB BUSH, FMR FLORIDA GOVERNOR: There should be penalties for
breaking the law, but the way I look at this, and this is not, you know --
I am going to say this and it will be on tape and so be it. The way I look
at this is someone who comes to our country because they could not come
legally, they come to our country because their families, you know, a dad
who loved their children was worried that their children did not have food
on the table.
And, they wanted to make sure their family was intact and they
crossed the border because they had no other means to work to be able to
provide for their family. Yes, they broke the law. But, it is not a
felony. It is kind of -- it is a -- it is an act of love. It is an act of
commitment to your family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Former Governor of Florida there, Jeb Bush. That was
yesterday and he dipped his toe into the 2016 waters while talking to Fox
News. We are here back with Michelle Goldberg, Victoria Defrancesco Soto
and Robert Costa. We are talking about this, Michelle. There you have
that language, the act of love.
He also had just a moment of that strategic Bush stammer that we more
associate with W., but it is sort of almost like makes you pay more
attention, but putting the body language analysis to aside, you were saying
before the break that love does not work for you and I do not know if that
is because you are anti-love or what?
SOTO: No, love works for me. I do not think love works for the
republican base. I mean, you know, I think what he just said really,
really appeals to me; but, I am not the kind of person you have to appeal
to if you want to win a republican primary.
If you look at the backlash against Rick Perry when he talked about
sympathy for the dreamers where even harder to demonize than undocumented
immigrants to the whole because these are kids that were brought here
before they had any agency as opposed to people who crossed the board on
It is even expressing kind of the necessity of sympathy for the
dreamers got Rick Perry, who had all these other kind of conservative bona
fides if that got him in trouble, this is going to make him, I think,
unelectable in any republican primary.
MELBER: Right. You are referring to a politically famous moment in
Rick Perry in 2011 said you have to have no heart to be against that kind
of reform then he was pushed into an apology. Victoria, take a listen to
his apology and I will get your response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK PERRY, (R) TEXAS GOVERNOR: Well, I probably chose a poor word
to explain that. And, for people who do not want their state to be giving
tuition to illegal aliens, illegal immigrants in this country, that is
their call and I respect that. And, I was -- you know, I was probably a
bit over passionate by using that word and it was inappropriate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOTO: You know, I think Michelle and I are totally not on the same
wavelength tonight because I could not disagree more. Rick Perry does not
isolated incident. We have been down this road before where the Republican
Party has alienated Latinos.
The republican candidate -- presidential candidates to get the least
Latino votes was dull. So, in the mid 1990`s, we had been through all of
these anti-immigrant rhetoric and then in 2000 George W. Bush comes back
and wins the Latino vote. The George W. Bush pattern of winning the
Latino vote and neutralizing that anti-immigrant segment of the Republican
Party works because what they are able to do is harness that compassion,
that evangelical base, and say, "Basically, what would Jesus do?"
So, we are going to see this playbook all over again and also Jeb
Bush gets it. And, I hate to say it, but he is a little bit smarter than
Rick Perry, and he knows what he is doing strategically here and he is
laying the groundwork for not just neutralizing, but wooing Latinos.
MELBER: Let me jump in there. I do not know if we have the I.Q. test
to be able the fact check that claim, but Bob Costa, weigh in on this
COSTA: Viewed through the prism of presidential politics, I think
what Governor Bush is doing here is making a dry run of sorts of his
argument. He is trying to see in this current political climate can a
republican with a view on immigration like his break through and survive
politically. At this early stage, it may be the moment to make that kind
of case and see if he can survive in the 2016 conversation.
MELBER: Yes, and I think at a minimum he is doing something that
people in both parties often call on politicians to do, which is trying to
lead a little bit with his platform here rather than just follow and have
his finger in the air.
Michelle Goldberg from the Nation, MSNBC Contributor Victoria
Defrancesco Soto and Bob Costa from "The Washington Post," thank you each
and every one of you. That is "All In" for this evening. I am Ari Melber,
I am in for Chris Hayes and if you want to find a little more of me on
social media, go to facebook.com/arimelber. You have to learn how to
spell it yourself, though. The Rachel Maddow show starts right now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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