All In With Chris Hayes, Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Tuesday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
August 5, 2014
Guest: John Kirby, Matthew Hoh, Chris Gunness, Cesar Vargas, Amanda
Turkle, Christina Bellantoni
EZRA KLEIN, GUEST HOST (voice-over): Tonight, we are ALL IN.
REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: Afghanistan is still a war
KLEIN: Insider attack in Afghanistan. An Afghan soldier opens fire at a
training facility, wounding more than a dozen coalition troops. Among the
dead, a two-star American general.
Primary night in America. New polling shows a record number of Americans
really do not like their own member of Congress.
And, what is the fastest way to get Rand Paul to flee the dinner table?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m actually a DREAMer.
KLEIN: The amazing scene at an Iowa fund-raiser. We will break down the
ALL IN starts right now.
KLEIN: Good evening from Washington. I`m Ezra Klein, sitting in for Chris
Earlier today, an Afghan soldier being trained by the United States -- so,
in theory, an ally -- opened fire on NATO troops in a military training
academy, killing two-star Major General Harold J. Greene, and wounding 15
others. Major General Greene is the highest ranking U.S. military officer
to be killed in overseas combat since Vietnam War -- since the Vietnam War.
He served as the deputy commanding general of combined security transition
command in charge of training and developing the Afghan national security
force. The attack took place at the Marshal Fahim National Defense
University, a military training facility located on the outskirts of Kabul,
where Afghan security officers are being trained by coalition troops.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: A large group of American and coalition forces led by the
general were at the Afghan military academy examining a new water tank when
without warning, an Afghan soldier from a nearby barracks opened fire with
a machine gun, taking direct aim at the U.S. military officers. Killing
General Greene and wounding eight other Americans. The gunman, himself,
was soon killed by return fire.
In all, 16 military were killed or wounded including two British, one
German, and four Afghans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KLEIN: Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack saying it is "an
act by the enemies who don`t want to see Afghanistan have strong
A Taliban spokesperson did not take credit for the attack -- that`s
important -- but praised the Afghan soldier as a hero.
Today`s incident is the second so-called insider attack this year. That`s
the name given when an Afghan security force turns on their NATO partners.
The attacks peaked, the insider attacks peaked in 2012 with 38 such attacks
killing 53 coalition troops.
After a series of additional security measures were put in place, the
number of such incidents has dropped dramatically. Last year, 16 Americans
were killed in 10 so-called insider attacks. Today`s tragic attack outside
of Kabul was the first such insider attack in Afghanistan in months.
Joining me now on the phone is Rear Admiral John Kirby, press secretary for
Admiral, it`s good to have you here.
REAR ADMIRAL JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY (via telephone): Thanks
for having me. Appreciate it.
KLEIN: Can you walk us through your understanding of what happened earlier
KIRBY: Well, the details are still coming in. This incident is under
investigation. What we know is that there was a coalition member visit to
the Afghan military academy. It`s their version of West Point, really.
It`s where their train their officer corps.
It was an official visit. It wasn`t just by American troops, but by
international troops, as well as Afghan national leaders, to look at the
facility and improvements that had been made there. In the process of
touring the facility, shots rang out. It appears right now that they came
from a building, obviously by an individual we believe to be an Afghan
soldier. That`s the assumption right now going into this thing.
Fire was returned by the security personnel with the group killing the
assailant. But not before the assailant was able to hit 15 in the group,
wounding 14 and, of course, killing General Greene.
KLEIN: So, you make the analogy to West Point which is very exclusive
American military academy. You mentioned this university trains the
officer corps within the Afghan security force. So, how does it happen
within that Afghan security elite you have someone who`s lying in wait to
pull off this kind of attack against Western trainers?
KIRBY: That`s a great question. Again, that`s one of the questions I
think that the investigators are going to try to figure out the answers to.
It`s not clear right now that the assailant was, quote/unquote, "lying in
wait". This could have been just an act of rage and not necessarily
premeditated or even preplanned.
So, we`ll try to get to the end of this. I think that`s what the
investigators are going to be working hard on, but, again, really tragic
day for the Greene family, of course, and our thoughts and prayers go out
to them, but also for not just the U.S. Army, but for all of our Afghan and
KLEIN: Given the prevalence of these insider attacks before the stricter
security measures were implemented over the last couple years, what should
people think about the Afghan security force`s ability to hold the country,
to defeat the Taliban after Western troops withdraw over the next couple of
KIRBY: I think what people ought to look at is how well they`ve done in
just the last year. I mean, they helped secure not just one, but two
national elections. They helped secure the transportation of all of the
ballot boxes or virtually all the ballot boxes to Kabul for this auditing
process that`s gone on. They`re in the lead in combat operations
throughout the country.
As you noted right before I got -- you put me on, the incidents of these
insider attacks have greatly diminished over the last couple of years. Not
just in part to measures we put in place, but due in part to the
confidence, competence, and military capability of our Afghan partners.
They are doing much better this year. They have had a very solid
performance this year. We expect that that performance will continue.
In fact, one of the things General Greene was trying to help him do in his
capacity as deputy trainer of the training command, this is based on his
personal experience as an engineer in the army, was to help them build the
capacity to handle their own logistics and supply needs. That`s one of the
things as we get ready to hand off complete responsibility to them, we want
to make sure they`re able to do. But in the combat arena, they`re strong
fighters and proven that time and time again in the field.
KLEIN: President Hamid Karzai said this was an act by those who don`t want
Afghanistan to have strong institutions. How much are we still doing to
help with other institutions primarily political and civil?
KIRBY: Well, the cooperation with our Afghan partners stretches more than
just in the security environment. It does stretch to helping them, and
this isn`t a military mission, but an interagency mission. Our State
Department colleagues are involved in this, and helping to build the kinds
of strong governing institutions that can help them secure the country when
the mission changes at the end of this year.
So, we`re working across all the levels of influence and power of the
government to do that. It`s not just military, not just security. And,
again, we`re aided in that by our -- by teammates internationally and
through the U.S. inner agency.
KLEIN: Pentagon press secretary, Rear Admiral John Kirby, who -- we should
note -- joined us while in flight to Germany. Many thanks for being here
KIRBY: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
KLEIN: Right now, there are an estimated 32,000 American troops still in
Afghanistan. That is a number that is expected to drop to less than 10,000
next year. By the end of 2016, there will be only a residual U.S. force
left in Afghanistan and an unspecified number of NATO troops.
And that timetable for withdrawal announced by the president earlier this
year, that is at the heart of the political response to today`s tragic
House Speaker John Boehner said earlier today, he has told the president
that his biggest concern is that America will end its mission in
Afghanistan just short of the goal line.
House Armed Service Chairman Buck McKean said, quote, "The event only
underscores the importance of leaving Afghanistan when the job is finished
rather than stubbornly adhering to arbitrary political deadlines."
Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat from New Jersey, however, said today`s
events should not change the president`s withdrawal timeline.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: We have shed a lot of lives and
national treasure in Afghanistan and we want to see the successful
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KLEIN: It is worth adding some context to this debate. The United States
has been at war in Afghanistan for almost 13 years -- 13 years. Over 2,200
American troops have been killed. Almost 15,000 Afghan civilians have been
killed in the last 6 years, alone. Today, there are privates in the U.S.
Army who were in preschool on September 11th, 2001. Think about that for a
Joining me now is former Marine Corps Captain Matthew Hoh, a senior fellow
at the Center for International Policy. He was a State Department official
in Afghanistan but resigned in 2009 in protest over U.S. strategic policy
Matthew, it`s good to have you here. Thank you.
MATTHEW HOH, CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL POLICY: Thank you, Ezra, for having
KLEIN: So what should we take from the continuation of these insider
attacks? What does our ability to turn the country over to the Afghan
security force look like to you?
HOH: Well, you know, the first, of course, you know, our heart goes -- my
heart goes out to General Greene`s family. I didn`t know him, but, you
know, like in all these stories, Ezra, he was probably a very good man. He
had a PhD in engineering.
You have to think, what a waste. What could he have done here in his own
community, in his own home, rather than being part of this effort that
you`ve described so aptly as it`s going on and on without any end? I think
what is so perversely fitting about this murder, and I hope not to be taken
out of context about this, but why it was appropriate that it occurred at
the location it did was because it occurred at the Marshal Fahim National
And for those who don`t know, to Google Marshal Fahim, Fahim was one of
Karzai`s vice presidents, also a defense minister. He was a notorious
warlord. Also one of the biggest drug lords in Afghanistan.
We`ve known this for decades. And still we`ve kept him in a position of
power. We`ve watched as he`s stolen American reconstruction money over and
over again to the tune of millions.
Five years ago, "The New York Times" ran a very extensive profile on him on
the front page and citing how American officials, both Bush administration
and Obama administration, knew how corrupt and how bloody this vice
president of Afghanistan was.
And so, I think the fact that General Greene was killed at this -- at the
Afghan version of west point, which is named after Marshal Fahim really
sums up our war in Afghanistan, that it is so absurd it`s lost any meaning,
there`s no purpose.
And so, further loss of American life in Afghanistan, I think it`s a really
hard argument for the administration to make. This is our longest war.
It`s the most unpopular war than any other war in American history,
including the Vietnam War.
And so, I think it`s really difficult for anyone to trust the
administration in their arguments on why American soldiers have to continue
to die for a government that is as corrupt as what we see in Afghanistan.
KLEIN: Well, then, on the other side of that argument, you have the
administration arguing for this still multiyear timeline for full
withdrawal. But their primary opposition is not really people saying get
out now, right? It`s people saying, you are getting out into early, right?
We heard John Boehner, we heard Congressman McKean.
So, what is your answer to them? Because they believe -- they say publicly
they believe, and so do, you know, some colleagues of yours, not of your
institution, but in the foreign policy community, that we are leaving too
early, there`s a mission there that we can complete and it is closer to
done but not done yet.
HOH: I`d ask them first what is the mission? I heard the comments from
Buck McKean and John Boehner about goal lines and all these other type of
analogies to sports events which seem to common in D.C. to compare to war
which anyone who`s been to war knows that there is no analogy to war. So,
I`d ask them, first, what is the mission?
We -- al Qaeda attacked us on 9/11. We chased them out of Afghanistan soon
thereafter and they turned into this ideological cloud that exists
throughout the world. If we look at the attacks that occurred by al Qaeda
since 9/11, almost all of them are caused by homegrown terrorists, people
who come from the U.S. or the U.K. or from Spain or North Africa or other
So, this notion that somehow we need to be Afghanistan to prevent another
9/11 because al Qaeda needs some type of personal space, some type of
territory, just isn`t found out by the evidence of the last nearly 13, 14
KLEIN: Matthew Hoh from the Center for International Policy -- thank you
for being here tonight.
HOH: Thank you, Ezra.
KLEIN: After weeks of violence and destruction in Gaza, what do
Palestinians have to go back to, and what kind of a future will they have
when the fighting ends? That is ahead.
KLEIN: There`s new polling giving us insight into how the electorate is
feeling right now. The takeaway, America could use some cheering up. I`ll
KLEIN: The cease-fire between Israel and militants in Gaza now heading
into its 17th hour. The longest sustained pause in fighting since
Operation Protective Edge began four weeks ago, and as it went into effect,
at 8:00 a.m. local time, the last of Israel`s ground troops withdrew back
over the border. The Israeli military later tweeting "mission
accomplished. We have destroyed Hamas` tunnels leading from Gaza into
entire. All of Israel is now safer."
Meanwhile, the Hamas political leader in Gaza declared a, quote, "military
victory by the resistance." A military victory.
Sixty-four Israeli soldiers and three civilians have been killed in the
conflict according to the Israel Defense Forces.
But here are the numbers on the Palestinian side of this military victory,
as Hamas termed it. In Gaza, Palestinian health officials said the death
toll reached 1,875. Well over 1,200 of them, maybe many more than that,
were civilians. Well over 1,200. And according to UNICEF, announcing
today that over 400 of those killed were children. More than 70 percent of
those children were 12 or younger.
That is to say nothing of the wounded or damage done to Gaza`s roads and
its sanitation systems -- that Hamas could call this a victory of any sort
And now as Israeli and Palestinian delegations arrive in Cairo to negotiate
a long-term truce, the focus turns to a political resolution and what comes
next for the actual people on both sides of the conflict. With Hamas
insisting on an end to the Gaza blockade, and Israel pushing for Hamas to
completely disarm, much will depend on sentiment on the ground. As
Israelis return home near to kibbutzim near the Gaza border, questions
about safety remain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re scared. We`re scared of living here, but we
don`t want to leave our country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just getting rid of the tunnels, it`s not enough, as
long as the Hamas is anywhere in the region.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KLEIN: In a poll conducted by Israel`s Channel 2, only 30 percent said the
military operation had increased their security.
And in Gaza today, where daily life began to resume after four weeks of
aerial bombardment, some of the nearly half a million residents displaced
in the fighting were finally able to go home only to find in many cases
they had no home to go back to. The destruction throughout the territory
is extensive. One Palestinian official estimating it could run as high as
Chris Gunness, spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency,
joined me earlier from Tel Aviv, and I asked him about the state of Gaza`s
infrastructure. What do residents actually have to go home to?
CHRIS GUNNESS, UNRWA SPOKESPERSON: Well, it`s a very good question, and
I`m afraid to say it says a lot about where we are in Gaza, that I don`t
have an answer. And just as after the fighting in 2008, 2009, teams of
surveyors, engineers, had to go and make site visits for days, weeks,
months on end. That`s where we are now.
So, what we saw in the last few hours is a dramatic reduction in the
numbers in UNRWA shelters, so about 60,000 people left our shelters.
They`re going to a very uncertain future. They`re going to see what`s left
of their houses.
We estimate that tens of thousands of people have had their houses leveled.
Many will have had their houses so badly destroyed they`re structurally
unsound and unfit for habitation. And, of course, many of those homes will
be connected to water and electricity grids that are no longer functional.
So, big unanswered questions, and it`s only one we`ve got out there in the
field that we`ll be able to see the scale of the problem.
And also one other interesting thing, our concern is that this time around,
perhaps unlike the fighting five years ago, it may be, and the early
indications are, that domestic habitation, homes have been hit perhaps more
than public infrastructure and other public buildings.
KLEIN: One of the numbers I think about a lot in this conflict is that 43
percent of the residents of Gaza are under the age of 15. What about their
prospects for the future?
Thus far, Gaza has been under a blockade. I don`t think there`s reason to
belief that blockade will be lifted after the end of kinetic -- of actual
physical fighting. What about their schools? What about their job
prospects? What about international investment funds? What reason do they
have to be hopeful?
GUNNESS : Well, there are very few unless the blockade is lifted, and I
would go further and say that the prospects for lasting peace are very slim
unless the blockade is lifted, and that`s because of the very things that
your question points to. You cannot keep a society behind a fence where
there`s over 40 percent unemployment. Where there hasn`t been any serious
exporting for about seven years, where 95 percent of the water is
undrinkable, where you have huge problems of public infrastructure.
What is the point of being educated in Gaza today? Think about that. You
got universities turning out graduates on to job markets with unemployment
rates which are amongst the highest in the world.
And then one has to ask the question, what does that do for the prospects
of a place living next door to a neighbor that is prospering? It`s the
startup capital of the world. Is it in the interest of Israel to have on
its doorsteps millions of impoverished people without a future? What are
the prospects of peace for Israel with a neighbor being kept behind a fence
and in that position?
And when one starts to unpack that, the issue of the notion of being a good
neighbor and the fact that peace is likely to take hold between good
neighbors, then you start to see the prospects for Gaza in a slightly
different light because there`s no doubt in my mind that the future of
these two people are inextricably linked, and that is a reality which at
some stage has to take hold.
KLEIN: And in the kind of situation you`re talking about, that level of
unemployment and that level of impoverishment, is that of help to the sort
of extremism factions in Gaza? I don`t just mean here, Hamas, but those
that are further beyond them? Is that helpful to those who try to
GUNNESS: Well, if you look at the history of Islamic radicalism, forget
just about Gaza. Look at, for example, after the Cairo earthquake. Look
at, you know, any situation of impoverishment. Look at Syria.
You don`t have to be the world`s leading political scientist to see the
relationship between impoverishment and the kinds of ideologies that you`re
I`m not here, though, as a political analyst. I`m here as somebody working
for a humanitarian organization. And for us, human development in and of
itself is an end in itself. We do this because we think and we believe
passionately in universal values. It`s about making people achieve their
full potential. We educate children so that they can make choices. We
And let us hope that as we move forward beyond the period of the cease-
fire, human development, allowing people in Gaza to fulfill their full
potential, is something which is firmly on the agenda.
KLEIN: Chris Gunness from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency --
thank you, again, for being here.
KLEIN: As the Ebola virus spreads through Africa, some major airlines
announced they are canceling flights there. The latest, next.
KLEIN: Today, the second patient diagnosed with the Ebola virus, 59-year-
old Nancy Writebol, was flown into Atlanta and transported to Emory
University Hospital for treatment. Both she and Dr. Kent Brantly who
arrived at the hospital over the weekend are said to be improving. Thank
How either of them contracted the virus while working in Liberia remains
unknown, and now, major airlines have decided to take action. British
Airways today suspended flights to and from Liberia and Sierra Leone until
the end of the month. Emirates, which does not fly to either of those
countries, halted all flights to Guinea, where the first case originated
until further notice. And, all American Carrier Delta Airlines has yet to
suspend any flights, they warned passengers of potential cancelations and
All that news coupled with yesterday`s announcement that a New York patient
was being tested to rule out the virus. The results expected in the next
24 hours, has added fuel to the fire of Ebola fear mongers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Breaking tonight, we are awaiting test
results from a potential third Ebola victim here in the U.S.
NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS HOST: Now, growing concerns this killer disease
could -- I stress, could, be mutating.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Today the second American infected with the
deadly Ebola virus that we know of will arrive in Atlanta to continue
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KLEIN: The "New York Post" and "Daily News" running these front pages
today and conspiracy theories website Infowars saying, "U.S. Health
authorities concealing number of suspected Ebola victims."
And, yet Congressman Todd Rokita used the outbreak as a cautionary message
for addressing unaccompanied minors of crossing the border. Here he is
recounting a conversation with a doctor and fellow representative who
helped write a letter to the president asking for more information on the
minors arriving in their state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. TODD ROKITA, (R) INDIANA CONGRESSMAN: He said, "Look, we need to know
just from a public health standpoint," with Ebola circulating and
everything else. No, that is my addition to it, not necessarily his. But,
he said, "We need to know the conditions of these kids as well."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KLEIN: Never mind that anyone infected with the virus would be much, much,
much too sick to make the long journey to cross the U.S. border. According
to Arthur Caplan, Director of Bioethics at NYU Langone Medical Center,
"Now, the idea of being diagnosed with Ebola is terrifying. It is
And, today`s outbreak is the worst on record with over 1,600 suspected
cases and 867 deaths according to the world health organization. But, it
is not nearly as contagious as another more common disease. The flu, which
you might have heard of, causes as many as 500,000 deaths each year --
Ebola is scarier with the whole sometimes bleeding from the eyes thing, but
you are a lot less likely to die from it. In a press conference today,
Bruce Johnson, director of SIM USA, the organization Nancy Writebol is
working for in Liberia added some perspective.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE JOHNSON, SIM USA DIRECTOR: I do not know if you know, but there are
50 doctors, Liberian doctors, for 4 million people. The kind of
infrastructure that we have in the U.S. is something that really provides
I saw a report -- you can help me here. Someone in New York went into a
hospital and felt like they may have Ebola. That is exactly what people
need to do, but it is not available in Liberia. They cannot go to the
hospital, and that is why it is spreading.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KLEIN: It is the incredible medical resources we have here, the doctors,
the hospitals, the treatments available in this rich nation that Nancy
Writebol and Kent Brantly came home to take advantage of. And, we should
now help those countries like Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone
that are grappling with this very scary disease.
KLEIN: Voters headed to the polls for primaries in four states today,
Michigan, Missouri, Washington, and most interestingly, in Kansas. Where
78-year-old Senator Pat Roberts, who has been in congress since 1980, and
who as his detractors are quick to point out, does not actually own a home
in Kansas, is facing a Tea Party challenge from a 43-year-old radiologist
named Milton Wolf.
Wolf has generated headlines both for posting grisly x-rays of gunshot
victims on his Facebook page then joking about them and for, believe it or
not, being second cousin to President Obama as laid out by "The Washington
Post" in this Obama/Wolf family tree.
Meanwhile, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, whose disastrous self-described
experiment in far-right governance has left Kansas with a $300 million
revenue shortfall and increased at poverty rate and his polls have
generated a statewide backlash that has been extensively covered here on
Brownback is expected to win his primary today. But, some polls show him
actually trailing Democrat Paul Davis in the general election. And,
remarkably, more than 100 republican officials have now endorsed the
democrat Davis over Brownback in that race.
There is national political news as well with three big new polls including
one released just hours ago from NBC news and the "Wall Street Journal"
providing some crucial insights into the state of the electorate and the
nation. We have four numbers that helped explain where America is
politically right now that you should be paying attention to tonight.
Number one, Americans seemed to have reached a tipping point when it comes
to their own members of congress. Polls have long shown that while we have
little regard for congress as a whole, we tend to like the person who
represents us in the house. This is why even when congress is really
unpopular as it is now, and it is really unpopular, polls in recent years
have shown congress to be less popular than Richard Nixon during Watergate,
less popular than Paris Hilton, than America becoming a communist country
than the band of Nickelback, less popular than even head lice.
Even though congress is really unpopular, most members of congress get re-
elected. People hate congress but they like their member of congress; but,
maybe not anymore. The new "Washington Post"/ABC News poll found that 51
percent now disapprove of the job their own member is doing. That is above
the 50 percent threshold for the first time since the question was asked a
quarter century ago. That is huge.
Takeaway number 2, the party of Congressman Mo Brooks who this week accused
democrats of waging a, quote, "War on whites," continues to do absolutely
terribly among minority groups. What a shock, and not much better among
women. The "Post"/ABC poll found that the Republican Party is viewed
favorably by 25 percent of nonwhites while 70 percent view them
unfavorably. And, only 33 percent women viewed the GOP favorably compared
to 62 percent who viewed the party unfavorably.
That brings us to our third big takeaway. Americans are split on who they
want controlling congress. In the new NBC News/"Wall Street Journal"
survey, 44 percent say they want republicans in charge, while 43 percent
want democrats in control. But, this does not mean the two parties are
viewed almost equally.
The NBC poll found that while congressional democrats do not have a great
reputation; 31 percent of voters have a positive image, while 46 percent
have a negative one. Republicans fair much worse. They are viewed
positively by just 19 percent, while 54 percent -- 54 percent have a
negative image of the party. That is a net negative of 35 points for the
OK. So if people dislike republicans so much more, then why are they split
on who should control congress? It is related at least in part to
President Obama whose own approval rating this poll was 40 percent. More
than one in five registered voters and 43 percent of republicans say their
vote is meant as a check on the president and on congressional democrats.
Now, our final takeaway from these new polls is a bit spiriting. It turns
out that America is pretty depressed. 71 percent say the country is headed
in the wrong direction; 60 percent described the country as in a state of
decline; 76 percent are not confident their children`s generation will be
better off than their own.
But, we do not want to go out on such bad news, so let`s take solace in the
fact that even in this age of political polarization, and acrimony, the NBC
News/"Wall Street Journal" poll found widespread agreement on Russian
President Vladimir Putin. He is viewed positively by only 4 percent of
registered voters. That is even worse than congress.
Coming up, the video that everyone is talking about today. What happened
when two dreamers confronted Congressman Steve King and Senator Rand Paul?
We will break down the incredible awkwardness, ahead.
KLEIN: The video that is going to haunt Senator Rand Paul. We will play
it for you, next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY REPRESENTATIVE: As a teenager, I worked
alongside immigrants, mowing lawns and putting in landscaping around
businesses. I remember once asking one of the immigrant workers how much
he was being paid. "Cuanto le pagan por el trabajo?" He responded, "tres
dollars." I responded, "Yo tambien. Tres Dolars, por hora? He shook his
head, "No," he said, por dia!" At a young age, I came to understand that
it makes a difference whether you are a documented immigrant or
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KLEIN: In preparation for a likely 2016 presidential run, Kentucky Senator
Rand Paul spent the last year reaching out to communities of color,
specifically to America`s Latino community. In February, Paul met with
George P. Bush, the half Mexican nephew of George W. Bush who is running
for Texas land commissioner because Paul really, quote, "Wanted to get
advice from him as much as anything about how the party grows in Texas and
states with large Hispanic populations."
After their meeting, George P. Bush tweeted out a picture of him and
Senator Paul, adding "Great to visit with @senatorrandpaul regarding the
bright future for the GOP." But, when it comes to the topic of
immigration, it should be noted that this, quote, "Bright future of the
GOP," penned an Op-Ed for politico explaining why he was voting "No" on the
senate`s immigration reform bill, because, quote, "The legislation does not
secure the border first."
This despite spending a tremendous amount of money to secure the border and
requiring the border be secured and certified secure first before the path
to citizenship could really work. Senator Rand Paul wants to be seen as a
reformer, while at the same time being seen as an extremely staunch
proponent of border security. In other words, he wants to appeal both to
traditionally democratic groups as well as to the hardest of hardcore
When it comes to immigration, he would like to have it both ways, which
brings us to what happened yesterday in Iowa. Senator Rand Paul -- sorry,
Senator Paul was at a fund-raiser for Representative Steve King, a man not
in favor of immigration reform, to say the least. A short time after both
men sat down to eat, they were confronted by Erika Andiola and Cesar
After the two identify themselves as dreamers, undocumented immigrants
brought to America as children, Rand Paul who is just taken a bite of his
burger, takes off, while still chewing that bite of burger. He does not
even have time to swallow.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIKA ANDIOLA, UNDOCUMENTED MEXICAN-AMERICAN: Hi, my name is Erika. How
are you? Question. I am actually a dreamer, myself, and I am originally
from Mexico, but I have been raised here. I graduated from Arizona State
University, actually. I know you want to get rid of DACA. The one that
give you the opportunity, do you really want to get rid of it? Just rip
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KLEIN: Let`s review that video again. Rand Paul appears to have trouble
swallowing his burger once Erika Andiola announces she is a dreamer. He
does a choking double take, then his staffer shoots him a look, pushes back
his chair and gestures to get the heck out of there. You can almost see,
like the Wile Coyote puff of smoke as he high tails it. This is another
angle of Paul and his staffer leaving. You can kind of see it better in
KLEIN: After that Kentucky Senator left, Steve King hung around to hold
the spirited discussion that Paul probably wisely wanted no part of.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDIOLA: For you to be fighting so much against dreamers, calling us
names, saying that we have --
REP. STEVE KING, (R) IOWA: I do not call you names. I say -- no, no.
Please, please. Stop a minute. You are very good at English. You know
what I am saying.
ANDIOLA: I was raised in the United States.
REP. KING: Right. So, you can understand the English language. I spoke
of drug smugglers. You are not going to tell me you are one of those, are
REP. KING: Do I look like a drug smuggler to you?
REP. KING: You can tell me.
ANDIOLA: I am not a drug smuggler, of course not. I graduated from
Arizona State University. I have a bachelor degree.
REP. KING: I am not here to discuss --
ANDIOLA: No. I am here to --
REP. KING: Stop. Do you understand me? You recognize that -- so your
ears work, too, right? I know they do. And, so -- and so, here, I was
speaking of drug smugglers. Drug smugglers only.
CESAR VARGAS, CO-DIRECTOR OF THE DREAM ACTION COALITION: I wanted to serve
my country after 9/11 as an American. Even though I came when I was 5
years old. As an American, I tried to enter the military. They rejected
REP. KING: Right, because the law says you have to be an American or a
green card to join the military.
VARGAS: But, the point is congressman. We are Americans.
REP. KING: Abide by our laws.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KLEIN: Joining me now is one of the dreamers you saw in that video, Cesar
Vargas, co-director of the Dream Action Coalition. Thank you for being
VARGAS: Thank you so much for having me.
KLEIN: What did you take away from your conversation with Congressman
VARGAS: I think it was very simple. It is seeing the vision of -- a
vision that the congressman sees. It is a vision of fear, a vision of
pretty much really demonstrating the extremism of, especially on
immigration, and the vision of like -- with Erika and myself is just too --
We were there just to tell him that we are American like anyone else and we
are there to serve the country. We are there to serve this country because
we grew up here.
So, that is really what I took. And, for me it was pretty insulting that
actually there is a part where I actually brought up the fact that the
first person who died in Iraq in the Iraq war was an undocumented
immigrant. And, you know, this person fought for this country and
Congressman King was like, "He is a liar. He should not have done that."
So it really goes to show you how extreme he can be on this issue and any
KLEIN: Yes. Well, it is striking, you know, I almost give Congressman
King this. He did not back down from what he had said when he spoke with
you. He had told -- he had said previously of undocumented immigrants in
the military, "As soon as they raise their hand and say I am unlawfully
present in the U.S., we should not take their oath in the military, but we
are going to take your deposition and have a bus for you to Tijuana."
Do you think that the -- do you think that Hispanics in America will accept
this from folks like Congressman King when you look at Texas and Arizona
and states with those rising Latino populations?
VARGAS: Well, what I can see is this. A lot -- you know, there was a
recent poll said that over 90 percent of people who know -- either their
family or their friends, just myself, the rest of my family are either U.S.
citizens or LPR. This is my sister, who are going to be voting.
When congressman king talks about immigrants with calves of the size of
cantaloupes, he is talking about me and my family and millions across the
country are seeing that. And, it is something very personal and it can
definitely guarantee that a nice commercial from the GOP is not going to do
the job, especially when we have members of congress like King talking
about immigrants and talking about hardworking immigrants like our parents.
So, we can definitely see the striking distance that we have seen.
KLEIN: Cesar Vargas from the Dream Action Coalition. Thank you for being
VARGAS: Thank you so much.
KLEIN: We are not done talking about that totally awkward video starring
Rand Paul and Steve King. More, next.
KLEIN: We are back talking about the Republican Party and immigration.
And joining me now is Amanda Turkle, Senior Political Reporter and Politics
Managing Editor for "The Huffington Post" and Christina Bellantoni, Editor-
in-Chief of "Roll Call." And, I want to play for you both what Senator
Rand Paul said defending his quick exit from the Steve King fund-raiser
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: You were seen getting up after you have a
bite of your hamburger and grabbing your drink as you trying to get away.
What is the explanation for this video?
SEN. PAUL: It is about 5 minutes before that or 2 minutes before that, the
video does show that another reporter came up and said will you do an
interview? And, I said I need to take a couple more bites and we will do
an interview and I was told we had to leave and I had to do the interview.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KLEIN: Christina, do you buy it?
CHRISTINA BELLANTONI, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF "ROLL CALL": Well, I was not
there. I mean, the republicans are in a difficult position right now.
And, you can understand why in a state like Iowa, where somebody is testing
the presidential waters, they want to avoid confrontations.
But, I will say this about Senator Paul. He has not been one to run from
confrontation. He has answered a lot of questions. He is gone to a lot of
different audiences. But, this just illustrates what a tough position this
is right now for 5 weeks during recess.
KLEIN: And, Amanda, one of the things that -- what I was confused by is
what was Rand Paul doing there at all? What is a republican -- who is --
does not shy away from confrontation, is trying to expand the Republican
Party`s appeal to minority voters. What is he doing at a Steve King fund-
AMANDA TURKLE, SENIOR POLITICAL REPORTER AND POLITICS MANAGING EDITOR FOR
"THE HUFFINGTON POST": It is Iowa, and if he wants to run for president,
he needs to try to appeal to Iowa republican voters and so he is there
fund-raising for an Iowa congressman. But, I mean, I think that maybe
Senator Paul did have an interview.
But, I think he is also smart enough to realize that being in a
confrontation with the congressman and immigration activists is probably
not the place he wants to be. Let the congressman deal with it and he can
just sort of run away.
KLEIN: Well, that seems to be the problem, Christina, for folks like Paul
even if they run very, very perfect campaigns and even if they do, do a
very good job appealing to minorities, they are still stuck with the others
in the republican party, the Steve Kings and then even further out than
that, the Mo Brooks.
BELLANTONI: Well, yes, and do not forget, this is Steve King who told our
"Roll Call" reporter, Emma Dumain, that the bill, itself, was like he had
ordered it off the menu. I mean this is someone that is shaping republican
policy right now and that is not a place that Speaker John Boehner wants to
be in. Even Mitch McConnell who had a successful effort defeating this
bill, you know, the democratic bill on the senate side last week before
they went for recess.
They do not necessarily want to be in those positions, either. I mean
Steve King is looked at as one of the extreme sides. But, as Amanda noted,
it is Iowa, and roads do lead through Steve King. But, this is happening
all across the country right now. Lawmakers are going home. They are
hearing from constituents.
And, you have groups of dreamers. You got advocates who are really going
to apply the pressure at the same time the crisis happening on the border
and you got the anti-immigration folks who are still angry as well and are
really worried that congress is going to pass some sort of amnesty.
KLEIN: And, Amanda, quickly, is this something -- this is an a agreement
between Paul and others. Is this something they can resolve before 2016?
TURKLE: No. I do not think so. I mean there are very few issues where
republicans right now are in agreement. The Democratic Party to be the one
that was always in disarray and really disorganized, but right now it is
the Republican Party. Democrats have been much more organized, and it is
going to be a problem for the leaders in the party.
KLEIN: Amanda Turkle from the "Huffington Post" and Christina Bellantoni
from "Roll Call." Thank you both for being here tonight. That is "All In"
for this evening. I am Ezra Klein. You can read more of my work at
vox.com or at facebook.com/ezraklein. "The Rachel Maddow Show" starts now.
My friend Steve Kornacki sitting in for Rachel. Good evening, Steve.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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