All In With Chris Hayes, Thursday, September 18th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
September 18, 2014
Guest: Sen. Bernie Sanders, Molly Crabapple, Mike Wise, Dylan Scott, Nate
Cohn, Ewen MaCaskill
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST OF "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" (voice-over): Tonight
on "All In" --
RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY, JUNIOR SENATOR: Sending arms to so-called
moderate Islamic rebels in Syria is a fool`s errand and will only make ISIS
HAYES (voice-over): Over objection, the senate approves the
President`s plan to train and arm Syrian rebels.
PRES. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I want
to thank leaders in congress for the speed and seriousness with which they
approached this urgent issue.
HAYES (voice-over): We will look at what the phrase moderate rebels
really means. Plus new disturbing details surface about the latest NFL
player accused of domestic abuse and child abuse.
SGT. TRENT CRUMP, PHOENIX POLICE SERGEANT: After she was physically
assaulted, he took a shoe and threw it at their 18-month-old child.
HAYES (voice-over): And, Scotland goes to the polls to decide whether
to leave the United Kingdom.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: That is not a tattoo. It is a birth mark.
HAYES (voice-over): "All In" starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I am Chris Hayes. The senate
just voted to give the Obama Administration the authority it needs to train
and arm members of the Syrian opposition. President appearing on camera in
just the last hour to praise members of congress for getting it done.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. OBAMA: I believe that we are strongest as a nation when the
President and congress work together. And, I want to thank leaders in
congress for the speed and seriousness with which they approached this
The strong bipartisan support in congress for this new training effort
shows the world that Americans are united in confronting the threat from
ISIL, which has slaughtered so many innocent civilians.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And, as of this evening, congress has moved in -- to fund the
government through December 11th to arm the rebels a significant change in
American policy and the close-up shop for the next six weeks until after
the midterm elections.
The authorization was rolled into a continual resolution, which passed by a
bipartisan vote of 73 to 22, but not before certain Senators voiced some
very strong objections including Rand Paul in an extended speech from the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. PAUL: The moss covered too long in Washington crowd cannot help
themselves. War, war. What we need is more war. But they never pay
attention to the results of the last war. We should not give a free pass
to forever intervene in the civil wars of the Middle East. Intervention
created this chaos. Sending arms to so-called moderate Islamic rebels in
Syria is a fool`s errand and will only make ISIS stronger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Paul was joined by a handful of Senators across the aisle including
an unusually fired up Mark Begich of Alaska.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK BEGICH, (D) ALASKA, JUNIOR SENATOR: Here we are once again, going to
have solve some civil war issues in a Middle East. Instead, the countries
in the region are starting to maybe we will help a little. Maybe, they
need to put troops on the ground. They need to step up to the plate. I
heard somebody talking about combat troops. Absolutely not. Absolutely
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Well, Senators could have blocked the unanimous consent required to
expedite the authorization if they really wanted to, but the decision by
leadership in both parties to package it with the government funding bill,
the bill that would keep the government open made that a politically
Legislation includes reporting requirements to ensure congressional
oversight but does not say anything about where the funding for this
training program will come from. Congress still has not take action to
pass a broader authorization for military action including the expansion of
the airstrike campaign to Syria, which Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told
the house panel the U.S. is ready to begin.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK HAGEL, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: Centcom`s plan includes targeted
actions against ISIL safe havens in Syria, including its command and
control, logistics capabilities and infrastructure. General Dempsey and I
have both approved and spent considerable time reviewing and adapting the
Centcom plan, which General Austin as I noted briefed to the President in
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And, now with congress adjourned till November 12th, members are
heading home to dedicate themselves to the midterms after having worked to
total of eight days since July. Joining me now, Senator Bernie Sanders,
Independent from Vermont. Senator, you voted no today. Why did you vote
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) VERMONT, U.S. SENATOR: I voted no because I
do not want to see this become a war between east and west, a war between
Christianity and Islam, a war between the United States and ISIS. The
bottom line is, we will not be successful until the countries of the Middle
East themselves become engaged and are prepared to take on this terrible
organization called ISIS.
Chris, many people do not know this. Saudi Arabia has the fourth largest
military budget in the world. They spend more than the United Kingdom and
France. If we talk about ISIS being a threat, they are most definitively a
threat to the countries around Saudi Arabia and around Egypt. Those are
the guys who are really threatened. Where are they? Where is Kuwait?
Where are -- where is Turkey?
So, I do not want to see this be a war between the United States and ISIS.
These guys have got to the commit both militarily and financially. Last
point on this issue. It turns out, of course, that the Saudi family is
worth hundreds of billions of dollars, one of the wealthiest families in
You tell me why taxpayers in the state of Vermont who cannot afford to send
their kids to college are in a sense subsidizing the efforts of one of the
wealthiest families on earth. Does not make a lot of sense to me.
Bottom line is, I support the President`s effort in terms of air strikes
and I support our effort to bring the international community together, but
we are not yet there. These are the guys in Saudi Arabia and other
countries that are going to lead this effort. We work with them. This
should not be an American war.
HAYES: What do you say to people, who are watching this all unfold.
They see congress home for the August recess, come back, spend a few weeks,
slamming the President. There is no leadership. Where is the plan? You
know, going in front of the cameras and then they vote for authorization.
They do not even explicitly vote to authorize military force inside the
nation of Syria and go home after working for two weeks?
SEN. SANDERS: Well, there is a reason why the United States congress
is hovering at around 10 percent in favorability ratings. But, I want to
say this, you know, I hear many of my colleagues especially the republicans
criticize the President because, quote, unquote, "He did not have a
strategy for ISIS."
Well, I remember a President and a vice President Bush and Cheney, they had
a strategy. They were forceful. They were bold. They took action. And,
they committed the worst foreign policy blunder in the modern history of
the United States. The result of which we are trying to deal with today.
HAYES: Do you ever --
SEN. SANDERS: Go ahead, I am sorry.
HAYES: Do you ever feel -- I mean Rand Paul brought this up. Do you
ever feel like this entire thing feels like this tragically faded
enterprise where we -- this the fourth successive American President, who
has ordered air strikes against Iraq. This is basically in some sense a
sort of 20-year war. Do you feel that there is this cycle that does not
seem we can break.
SEN. SANDERS: Chris, let me tell you what the nightmare is. The
nightmare is that a U.S. fighter plane gets shot down or some American
soldiers are taken captive. The war hysteria rises in this country. Our
troops get sent into battle. You are already seeing republicans are
talking about boots on the ground.
SEN. ANDERS: And, this becomes a perpetual war, a never ending war.
Meanwhile, by the way, between the media and the congress, we lose track of
the fact that 12 percent of our people are unemployed. Minimum wage is a
starvation wage of $725. We have more wealth and income inequality than
any country on earth. Those questions will not be dealt because everybody
will be focusing on military action.
HAYES: Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Thank you, sir. Despite
calls to help the Syrian opposition in their fight against Bashar al-Assad,
it is something the White House has resisted as a matter of official policy
for the duration of the Syrian civil war. Although, there have been
reports in the past of covert CIA aid to the rebels.
But, now congress has given the Obama Administration and department of
defense explicit authority to provide both training and arms to Syrians
fighting Assad and ISIS provided, and this is a statutory language, they
are "Appropriately vetted." The term we keep hearing to describe th3is
group that will receive American aid is, quote, "Moderate rebels."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER (1): Moderate opposition.
JEN PSAKI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: The moderate Syrian
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER (2): The vetted moderate opposition.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER (3): Moderate vetted Syrian opposition forces.
JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Moderate opposition.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: What exactly does that mean? On a battlefield as horrific and
complicated as the Syrian civil war, among the worst war zones in the
world, can you really call anyone moderate? Legislation describes the
groups who qualify as those free of, quote, "Associations with terrorist
groups. Shiite militias aligned with supporting the government of Syria
and groups associated with the government of Iran."
Such groups include but are not limited to the Islamic State of Iraq and
the Levant (ISIL), Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, other al-Qaeda groups
and Hezbollah. The question is with all those categories crashed out, what
is left to fight in Syria?
Joining me now Vice Columnist, Molly Crabapple. She was on the Syrian
border recently reporting on the rebels fighting there. You opened the
last story you wrote about your last trip to the Syrian-Turkish border with
the two fighters, what group were they from?
MOLLY CRABAPPLE, COLUMNIST, VICE: They were from the Islamic front.
HAYES: OK. So, the Islamic front. Where does the -- I think there
is so many groups fighting there. Where does the Islamic front lie in the
spectrum of bad rebels and, quote, "Moderate opposition"?
CRABAPPLE: The term moderate rebel is first meaningless and second
islamophobic. There are all sorts of groups of varying religiosity or
secularism, but I think what is important is not how long their beards are.
What is important is whether they respect human rights and whether or not
they have committed war crimes.
HAYES: Right. So, we have this idea. I think the spectrum has been
sketched it, which is that it is a single spectrum that is kind of
religious extremism and at one end is ISIS and then you move in and it is
al-Qaeda, Ahrar al-Sham and the Nusra brigades and then you work your way
to the secular for Syrian army. But, that does not necessarily means --
that is not exactly the spectrum necessarily of like who is not killing
people needlessly or who is preserving human rights.
CRABAPPLE: There are huge, huge variety of brigades in Syria as the
war has progressed, brigades have fractured, especially because so much of
the funding for these armed groups was through private donors or covertly
through governments. And, so, brigades would actually fracture to try to
get more funding
HAYES: So, it is like an ameba, if you split into the two cells, you
can write another grant application --
HAYES: -- to whatever donor is funding it.
CRABAPPLE: Several years ago, there is an amazing essay in the London
review of books by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad called "How to make a battalion in six
easy steps" about how a brigade would break apart into two because a second
in command would think that he can get more money from a private donor
HAYES: All of these fissures do not necessarily represent anything
coherently ideologically also on the ground, right?
CRABAPPLE: Well, these people are all primarily committed to
overthrowing Assad. And, this is what is most troubling and most
delusional about what Obama is saying. You have a group of people, who for
three and a half years have fought the most brutal bloody civil war. A
revolution against their government.
CRABAPPLE: And, Obama thinks that with a small cash infusion, he can turn
them into his special proxy army to fight his war.
HAYES: Right. And, they are not going to fight the American war.
They are going to continue fighting on the ground the way they have been
CRABAPPLE: Exactly. I got a quote from a young Islamic media
activist. I asked him what he thought about Obama`s speech. And, he said
that, you know, he hopes he is honest but that he does not trust Obama and
he thinks that Obama just wants to have them fight ISIS to protect him
rather than fighting to protect the Syrian people.
HAYES: But, there is the case, right? That they are already fighting
ISIS. In fact --
CRABAPPLE: They are absolutely.
HAYES: Ahrar al-Sham, which is one of the groups that we statutorily
cannot give arms of training to, just had their entire leadership taken out
by a suicide bomb, probably by ISIS, right? Some of the most intense
fighting against ISIS comes from al-Qaeda and the Nusra brigades and Ahrar
al-Sham, right? Which are also Islamic groups.
CRABAPPLE: Absolutely. The Syrian opposition is very committed to
fighting ISIS, but their primary enemy is Assad. That is who they have
been fighting for three and a half years.
HAYES: But, why would not it be the case that injecting some sort of
training our money to whoever you end up injecting actually in the sort of
zero sum world of this crazy battlefield does reduce the power or force of
CRABAPPLE: Well, here is another interesting question, right? These
people have been fighting for three and a half years. Why do they need
more training in Saudi Arabia?
HAYES: Right. Right.
CRABAPPLE: And, there is recently an article in Lebanon`s Daily Star
where they interviewed an FSA commander and he said, "You know, my guys are
defected military officers. We have been fighting for years. We do not
need more training. We do not need to be told."
HAYES: Right. We are not going to go out of like the place, which is
like the most intense cultural battle probably in the world --
HAYES: -- where all we do is fight all day and all night. Just somewhere
elsewhere we can train, so we can come into this very unique battle space.
CRABAPPLE: Exactly. I think that the notion that we are going to
take 5,000 people train them for a year in Saudi Arabia and stick them back
into Syria to defeat ISIS is a bit confused.
HAYES: What about the fighters you have talked to and you are in
contact with and what you have seen when you have been on the border, arms
-- my understanding is arms tend to circulate in this kind of environment.
So, you can give arms to this cadre of people, but after very bloody
battles people take weapons from other people. It is not like arms do not
CRABAPPLE: In wars people capture each other`s arms. I mean when
ISIS took over the air base recently from Assad`s forces, they confiscated
a lot of arms that were provided by Iran for Assad.
HAYES: Yes. They posted pictures of themselves with surface-to-air
CRABAPPLE: Exactly. No one can prevent their weapons from being
taken over by the people that they are fighting because battles are lost --
CRABAPPLE: -- and people take weapons.
HAYES: When you are dead and you are there with your armaments they
are going to fall into the hands of the enemy whoever that might be.
CRABAPPLE: Exactly. And, one of the other things that is disturbing
about Obama`s speech is that he frames Yemen and Somalia as models of
HAYES: As success. Right. There is, actually, right now as I saw a
reporter, there is fighting, breaking out in the capital of Yemen as we
speak. Molly Crabapple from Vice, thank you very much.
CRABAPPLE: Thank you.
HAYES: All right. Grim new details on the case of the latest NFL
running back arrested for domestic violence. Plus, breaking news out of
Kansas that could prove fatal for the republican bid to take over the
senate. Stick around.
HAYES: You know it is a big vote when there are flame throwing
bagpipers outside your polling places. Videos from the outskirts of
Edinburgh. Tonight is the night that Scotland will decide for itself
whether it officially wants to leave the British Empire. And, Scottish
people exercising their will as human beings. Will they continue to labor
under English rule or seize their own freedom? Now, it all reminds me that
famous Mel Gibson movie Lethal Weapon 3. We are going live to Edinburgh,
HAYES: New details are emerging in the latest domestic violence arrest in
the NFL. Court documents released today by Maricopa County detailed the
charges against Arizona Running Back Jonathan Dwyer. According to the
police report on July 21st of this year, after his wife refused his sexual
advances, quote, "He head-butted her in the face, which she later learned
had caused a nasal bone fracture."
Police are also investigating a second incident that was alleged to have
taken place the very next day. They say Dwyer, quote, "Punched his wife
from the left side of her face with his right closed fist and picked up a
shoe and threw it striking their 17-month-old son in the stomach." Police
say the boy was not injured.
The report goes on to says as his wife tried to call 911, Dwyer grabbed her
cell phone and threw it down from the second story residence. Dwyer was
arrested yesterday among the charges aggravated assault causing a fracture
and aggravated assault involving a minor.
Neighbors called the police during the first incident as it was happening
and police say Dwyer admitted to hiding in the bathroom when the police
came to his house at that time, but he denied any physical assault. Police
say his wife fled the state and reported both incidents last week after
receiving text messages from Dwyer in which he threatened to kill himself.
The Cardinals have now placed Dwyer on something called the reserve non-
football illness list, meaning he will not play football but will continue
to get paid while the Cardinals have the option not to pay him. Dwyer`s
arrest makes five high-profile cases of alleged domestic or child abuse.
The NFL is grappling with already this season.
There is Ray Rice, of course, who is seen in the now infamous video,
knocking his fiancee, now wife, out cold in an elevator. Adrian Peterson
indicted for reckless or negligent injury to a child for allegedly beating
his 4-year-old son. There is Greg Hardy who was convicted in July of
assaulting his girlfriend and threatening to kill her. And, Ray McDonald,
who is being investigated on allegations that he assaulted his pregnant
fiancee and who is the only player yet to be taken off the field of those
The key question that has emerged in the wake of all these, does the NFL
have a particular domestic violence problem? Is this a specific issue for
a league whose game is predicated on actual violence, week in and week out,
where hitting someone is the point; or is the NFL just a high profile
example of a society wide problem, A place that finds itself under the
A website "FiveThirtyEight" crunched some numbers trying to find out. And,
what they discovered was that in general, NFL players have a much lower
arrest rate than the national average. That probably has something to do
with the fact the poverty rate among NFL players is zero and studies show
poverty is strongly connected to higher levels of arrest.
When it comes to domestic violence, "FiveThirtyEight" discovered that
although the NFL arrest rate is below the national average and just over 55
percent, that percentage is more than four times worst than the league`s
arrest rate for all other offenses with just 13 percent of the national
average. And, domestic violence accounts for 48 percent of arrest for
violent crimes among NFL players compared to "FiveThrtyEight`s" estimated
21 percent nationally.
Joining me is Mike Wise, Sports Columnist for the "Washington Post." Mike
as someone who covers football and as covering this scandal, how do you see
this? Do you see this as a league with a particular problem? Do you see
this as essentially a league that has the problem the rest of society has
that is now coming under the microscope because of the way it is handling
MIKE WISE, SPORTS COLUMNIST, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I think both of
those, Chris. And, especially the latter -- This is a league essentially
that has now suspended, activated, re-suspended, this is like moral stands
of musical chairs. And, unfortunately, all the moral stands are driven by
public backlash and sponsor backlash, not by what is right and what is
And, Commissioner Roger Goodell, you know, this exempt list that he is
found convenient for harboring some of these people until their cases are
resolved. I am wondering if he is on it himself. I have not seen him for
HAYES: Yes. It is remarkable how radio silent he has gone. It has
been a week of probably the most tumultuous week of negative coverage in
the modern era of the NFL. And, Roger Goodell has not come with a public
statement. He has not been before a camera in a week. What do you think
is going on there?
WISE: This is a man, who basically loves to wipe the dirt off his
blazer and stay away from the bad news when he can. I just do not
understand how you could step away from this and put your owners out in
front, put you know, God knows some of his football coaches.
John Harbaugh, Ron Rivera, some of the things said by them in a tone deaf
manner in regard to domestic violence this week has told you, these men are
football coaches. They do not need to be talking about anything else but
their football teams.
And the commissioner of the NFL is absent and probably -- I do not know,
one of the biggest crises he has ever had to deal with and one that may
personally cost him his job. It is explicable that he is not voicing his
opinion or at least trying to lead during this crisis.
HAYES: One of the things I found most interesting about the data that
"FiveThirtyEight" ran was that in the general population, of course, the
most common arrest is for drugs. In the NFL, drug arrests are very, very
uncommon. There is the biggest gap is in between NFL arrests and general
population is for drugs. And, the smallest gap is for so domestic
So, that is the place where -- it makes you think, right? If you go back
to when Ray Rice was suspended for two games and yet other players is
suspended for more than that for marijuana possession, that if the league
were to take domestic violence as seriously as it does drugs, those numbers
might look different.
WISE: Yes. I go back to everybody says is the NFL in a bad spot
right now. I do not really care about the NFL. I think the NFL is going
to survive. People are going to eat. There are domestic violence victims
out there, some of which were not heard from a couple years ago because
nobody had a video of someone knocking their wife out in an elevator.
WISE: And, so, I think we really need to focus on them more than we do the
NFL. And, if they are calling for Roger Goodell`s job and if they are
calling for policy reforms and they are asking the NFL to grow up and be a
real American corporation instead of this $10 billion colossus that is tone
deaf, I am going to listen to them before I am going to listen to any
sponsor or owner.
HAYES: You know, there is this one silver lining as you talk about
that as you talk about people who are on the wrong end of the abuse,
survivors of that abuse. The national domestic hot line saw an 84 percent
increase in phone calls in the two days after the Ray Rice video was
HAYES: Yes. And, you wonder also in the case of Dwyer, you know, it
appears to be precipitated by a threat to kill himself, but also, of
course, it is within the midst of this. You wonder how many people might
be finding the ability and strength to report things that had not happened
before because of the attention on this right now.
HAYES: I think that is a fair point. I am still troubled by a league
that is essentially harboring guys that hit women and get away with it and
go on to be employed. I have a problem -- I know it is very convenient
from the NFL players association`s standpoint. They do not have to grieve
a suspension when someone is paid when they are out of work but the notion
that Adrian Peterson is being paid right now.
WISE: The notion that Greg Hardy is being paid, who has been convicted of
domestic violence. So, this is bothersome.
HAYES: Mike Wise, thank you so much.
WISE: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: We have some breaking news to report tonight on what federal
investigators have to say about New Jersey Governor`s Chris Christie`s
involvement in Bridgegate. That is ahead.
HAYES: Breaking news tonight. Federal officials tell NBC, the
justice department`s investigation into Governor Christie`s role in the
infamous Bridgegate Traffic Scandal have so far revealed no information
Christie either knew in advance or directed the closure of traffic lanes on
the George Washington bridge. Over that investigation remains on going and
it is, of course, not the only one.
A democratic-led New Jersey State legislative committee is still
investigating those famed traffic problems in Fort Lee. And, also
Manhattan DA and the SEC`s investigations that the circumstances
surrounding port authority funding for the renovation of a different New
Jersey Bridge funding Christie pushed for. Plus, there have been other
reports of an ongoing Bridgegate investigation by the U.S. attorney`s
office in Newark. So, stay tuned.
HAYES: Today, democrats got good news. Chad Taylor, a democrat, is
off the ballot in the U.S. Senate Race in Kansas. As we mentioned before,
the reason that is good news for democrats is that without Taylor on the
ballot, the republican incumbent Pat Roberts might get beaten by the
Independent Greg Orman, who might caucus with democrats.
The democrats will need all the help they can get to hang on to a U.S.
senate majority. Although, Taylor ended his candidacy earlier this month,
it was just today that the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that Taylor`s name
must be removed from the ballot. Highly significant because Taylor was
splitting the anti-Roberts vote.
And, if his name had stayed on the ballot, he was bound to get votes
on Election Day, which is why republicans obviously wanted Taylor`s name,
the democrat, to stay on ballot. And, why according to the "Washington
post," quote, "Republicans are expected to demand that democrats put up a
replacement nominee for Taylor. It is unclear whether they can force that.
Joining me Dylan Scott, reporter for "Talking Points Memo," who has
been reporting on this. All right, Dylan. Taylor says he is going to
withdraw his name from the ballot. It appears because democrats think that
without him, Orman might win and Orman might caucus with the democrats.
He is the best chance to beat Pat Roberts. Taylor writes a letter to
the secretary of state who is an infamous republican conservative activist
named Kris Kobach and what happens next?
DYLAN SCOTT, TALKING POINTS MEMO REPORTER: Well, AT that point,
Kobach decides that under state law and his interpretation of it, Taylor is
not allowed to withdraw from the race. Taylor promptly sues Kobach and
then we went to the Supreme Court, who issued their ruling today. Their
interpretation of the state law is that Taylor`s letter was sufficient to
take his name off the ballot.
And, so, yes, now the ball is in Kobach`s court if you will. He has
already said that he thinks that the democrats have to name a replacement
for Taylor, but it is not sure what recourse he has to force them to do
that and whether there is enough time to get the ballots printed, so they
can be sent out to absentee and military voters.
HAYES: And, as all this is happening, Orman is surging ahead in the
polls. There are some polls indicating he is neck and neck with Roberts.
He may even be beating Roberts in certain polls. So, this was the big
question was if Taylor are stays on the ballot, it was going to be hard for
Orman to win because Taylor would take some votes. If it is just a match-
up between Roberts and or Orman, what does the race looking like now?
SCOTT: Well, the polling has been pretty consistent back since August
when a pollster first did an Orman versus Roberts match-up without Taylor.
And, that match-up, Orman was leading Roberts, I believe, by 10 points.
And, some of the polling sense that if you take Taylor`s name off the
ballot that tends to give four or five points to Orman. And, so there is
no question that Orman is in a lot better position to pull this upset if
Taylor especially or any democrat is off the ballot and that is why I think
you have seen the fight to get Taylor off the ballot.
HAYES: One of the things that is a little unclear to me is Orman has
said he is an independent. He has not said who he will caucus with.
Roberts tried to make that issue in the campaign. Roberts has run a very,
very moribund campaign. Questions about his residency. He was barely
Orman is a businessman. He seems fairly charismatic figure. Why do
democrats want to put their eggs in that basket? Why do they think Orman
is going to end up caucusing with them?
SCOTT: Well, maybe they know something that you and I do not, Chris,
for starters. But, yes, I mean it is based on, I think, obviously, he
briefly considered a 2008 run as a democrat against Roberts. That is kind
of the most public evidence that we have that he would choose to caucus
with the democrats.
He always emphasizes that he has supported people like Bob Dole, given
money to both republican and democratic candidates. But, the best -- yes,
the best evidence we have is he is toyed with running as a democrat before.
And, obviously, it is just a win for democrats in general if they are
forcing republicans to defend a seat that they did not think was going to
be in play this year.
HAYES: Yes. This really does scramble the board right now. Kansas
was never considered a closer contested race. All the energy had gone into
places like Alaska and Louisiana and, you know, Michigan, North Carolina.
So, this really changes things from a republican standpoint. How much
money are they going to pour into this thing to try to save Roberts?
COTT: That is a good question. I mean they have already sent in a
dream team, if you will, to try to rehabilitate the Roberts` campaign, some
topnotch national operatives; some people like John McCain. Rand Paul said
they are going to go and stump for Roberts on the ground.
So, clearly, they are kind of pulling out all the stops. I think that
is as much evidence as you need that they really believe the seat is in
play and they have to defend it. So, we are two months away or less than
two months away from the election at this point. So, it is going to be all
out as far as I can see for the next month and a half.
HAYES: Dylan Scott from Talking Points Memo, thank you very much.
SCOTT: Thank you.
HAYES: Kansas is a wildcard in a mid-term landscape in which
democrats must win five out of about nine close senate races in order to
hang onto the senate. Now, the rest of those key races are shaping up,
HAYES: All right. Here is where things stand. The democrats only
have a five seat majority in the senate. It is 55 democrats or 55 people
in the democratic caucus and 45 republicans and that includes the two
independents who caucus with the democrats. Of the 36 senate seats up for
re-election this time around, republicans are expected to make gains.
And, yet, if democrats could win five out of nine key races, they
would hold on to a majority of 50 seats with vice President Biden providing
the tiebreaker in a 50/50 senate split. Remember democrats only have to
maintain a tie because they have the vice presidency.
OK. So, here are those nine states, more or less, in order of
importance as largely outlined by our next guest, The New York Times` The
Upshot. They are Colorado, Michigan, Iowa and North Carolina. Those key
senate races in those four states by no means safe for democrats are at
least clearly winnable.
Democratic incumbents are performing decently or well in Colorado with
Senator Mark Udall and North Carolina with Senator Kay Hagan. And, in
Michigan and Iowa, open races democrats have real shots particularly in
Iowa. They have been helped with a republican candidate, Joni Ernst, who
has said a lot of, well, extreme things.
Now, if democrats prevailed in all four, then they just need one more.
Like Alaska or Kansas, although the polling is thin in Alaska, the Democrat
incumbent Mark Begich has generally seen as having an uphill battle. That
is why Kansas could be so key to democrats if they cannot hold on to
And, then there is the south. You got Arkansas, Louisiana and
Georgia, which are all red states and all tough prospects for democrats in
any election. However, you got democratic incumbents that might survive in
Arkansas or Louisiana particularly Arkansas with Senator Mark Pryor and
democrats might pull off an upset win in Georgia with Michelle Nunn.
Joining me now, Nate Cohn. He covers elections, polling and
demographics in The New York Times` site, "The Upshot." All right, Nate,
so, here is what is interesting to me. All the models have seem to be
converging towards a prediction of essentially something looking more and
more like a 50/50 flip of a coin tight, tight race for democrats to keep
the senate. Is that your sense?
NATE COHN, THE UPSHOT: I think that is right. I think it is because
the democrats appear to still have a tenuous advantage in the four states
you mentioned, North Carolina, Michigan, Colorado and Iowa.
And, then they really do still seem to have many options to get that
50th seat. It is a tenuous route, but that route is still open. And, it
is one that has not been closed off. And, this evening`s news in Kansas
certainly makes the pathway all easier to imagine.
HAYES: So, what is interesting to me about the four states you said
where it looks we can say, you know, very tight but leaning at this point
to democratic North Carolina, Michigan, Colorado, Iowa. In three of those,
right? Michigan, Colorado, Iowa, you are dealing with blue states, right?
North Carolina was blue in the 2008 and 2012. How much in your model
does the Presidential performance and the general kind of political tenor
of the state figure into it the prediction of which way it goes in a
contested senate race?
COHN: So, to be clear, "The New York Times" Upshot Senate Model is
not mine. It is by two of my very talented colleagues, Amanda Cox and Josh
Katz. And, so, they deserve all the credit for that.
That said, there is a strong relationship between the partisanship of
a state and how it will vote in senate elections about half of the
variation we see in the outcomes of senate elections seems to be related to
the partisanship of a state in a Presidential election.
I think that is a big part of why the democrats are cleanly pulling
ahead maybe in Michigan and why they have an apparent advantage in
Colorado. For the republicans to win, all they have to do though is unify
these red states.
If they can pick off the democratic incumbents in the red southern
states, Louisiana and Arkansas and they can beat Mark Begich in Alaska and
hold on in Kansas, then they can get all the way to majority without
picking off a sing the state that John McCain failed to win in 2008.
HAYES: So, let us talk about Alaska for a second. Mark Begich, he is
son of a former congressman from Alaska. He, today -- it is interesting,
he voted no. He is one of among the 22 people to vote no in that vote of
the authorization to train Syrian rebels, which struck me as interesting.
He was fairly passionate about it. He is, you know, in a tight race
up in a cycle. But we do not know a lot about this race. Why do not we
have a better sense of what is going on up in Alaska?
COHN: Well, basically, everything makes Alaska difficult. Reporters
cannot get out there because it is thousands of miles away. It is
difficult to poll because you have a lot of people that, you know, are not
on land line telephones and are using a regular telecommunications
services. Only a third of Alaska towns are accessible by road.
You have a large population of Alaskan native, who represent about 14
percent of the voting eligible population, who I am not sure are captured
very well by traditional telephone surveys. The state is small. It is no
bigger than the average congressional district. And, so, you know, from
polling congressional districts, those are very difficult because you run
out of sample.
COHN: I mean if you are trying to poll registered voters you could
have conceivably dial every voter in the state before you have enough
respondents to your survey. So, all of that makes it difficult. And, so
far this year, the pollsters are not trying. There has not been a single
traditional live interview by the un-partisan survey, or the kind
commissioned by "The New York Times" and CBS News or the kind commissioned
by NBC and Marist.
HAYES: So, the race that might be most important -- the race that
might make or break democratic control of the senate is basically a black
box at this point?
COHN: Absolutely. I think that you could convince me that Dan
Sullivan is clearly ahead in Alaska. That could be the truth where that
race is at or Mark Begich could be ahead. I just do not think we know.
And, you know, if the states are all shake out, sort of the way they look
like they will shake out. And, if the republicans -- if Pat Roberts
ultimately retakes the lead in Kansas, then the election will come down to
Alaska. At midnight on election night, we will go to Alaska and we will
have no idea what is happening.
HAYES: Fascinating. Nate Cohn of The Upshot of The New York Times,
COHN: Thank you.
HAYES: All right, the polls are closing. The counting is under way
as Scotland votes on whether to leave the United Kingdom. We will go to
Edinburgh for the latest, next.
HAYES: Today, 4 million Scotts took to the polls to decide once and
for all whether or not to end a 300-year union between Scotland and
England, dissolving the United Kingdom as we have known it, as we have
known it for several centuries. The question on the ballot, pretty clear.
Quote, "Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country? Yes
or no." There you have it.
The yes campaign for Scottish independence has once seen as a hopeless
cause was neck and neck with the no thanks campaign in the final days
before the vote. Polling taken as Scotts went to the vote found 46
supporting independence, 54 percent wanting to stay a part of the UK.
Leading the yes side is Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, who has led
the Scottish independence movement for the better part of two decades.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX SALMOND, SCOTLAND FIRST MINISTER: This opportunity is truly
historic. There are men and women all over Scotland look in the mirror and
knowing that the moment has come. It is our choice, our opportunity, and
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Salmond and his supporters have been racking up the celebrity
endorsements like Sean Connery, Alan Cumming and Tennis star Andy Murray.
On the no thanks side, that is actually the slogan they have been using,
"No, Thanks," are millions of Scotts Mick Jagger and increasingly desperate
cadre of English politicians left, right and center. Earlier this week,
Prime Minister David Cameron traveled to Scotland to make one last plea for
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID CAMERON, UNITED KINGDOM PRIME MINISTER: Independence would not
be a trial separation. It would be a painful divorce. If you do not like
me, I will not be here forever. If you do not like this government, it
will not last forever. But, if you leave the United Kingdom, that will be
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Ed Miliband also met with voters earlier this week to plead
his case to stay in the queen, who is constitutionally required to be
impartial in all things political said, quote, "Well, I hope people will
think very carefully about the future." Back in June, President Obama said
as diplomatically as possible, he would like a united Great Britain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We,
obviously have a deep interest in making sure that one of the closest
allies that we will ever have remains strong, robust, united and an
effective partner. But, ultimately, these are decisions that will be made
by the folks there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: He reiterated that sentiment minus some of the diplomacy
tweeting last night, quote, "The U.K. is an extraordinary partner for
America and a force for good in an unstable world. I hope it remains
strong, robust and united." Emphasis on the united.
And, we will know shortly if Scotland will leave the three-century-old
union that also happens to be America`s closest ally. The big question
that no one really knows, the answer to what tomorrow looks like after the
results come in. Joining me now from Edinburgh is Ewen MaCaskill, Senior
Reporter from "The Guardian."
So, Ewen, let us start with -- We got this first return from
Clackmannanshire. It was expected I understand to be a yes to leave to be
independent and came back no. Does that provide any indication where
things might be going?
EWEN MACASKILL, "THE GUARDIAN" SENIOR REPORTER: You are absolutely
right. This is a disastrous start for the independence campaign. If they
cannot do well in Clackmannanshire, if they not win Clackmannanshire, they
are not going to win Scotland.
And, there are other indications, as well in terms of turnout and exit
poll and although the actual result is not to be known for another five or
six hours, and I think it is safe to say Scotland will not be leaving the
HAYES: Wow. Well, that is -- I am glad we are talking to you. I do
not think I would have drawn quite that conclusion from the one
Clackmannanshire return. So, my second question is, can you sketch out the
kind of crest of momentum that happened here?
The Scottish sort of independence movement had pushed for this
referendum. It was seen as a safe thing for Cameron. I will let you have
your little referendum. All of a sudden it seemed to catch fire and then
it sort of stalled out in the last few days. Describe for me what has been
driving that momentum?
MACASKILL: The independence campaign is definitely the much more
vigorous -- attracted lots of young people, lots of energy. The
campaigning was much more imaginative. There were much more noisy and that
gave the impression that the case for independence had the momentum to win.
But the people who were as opposed to independence tend to be more
discreet, more quiet. And, they were worried about things like currency.
They were worried about the pensions. They were worried about defense and
other issues. And, then when they went to the polling booth, that silent
majority seems to be the one that is counted.
It is not just the result in Clackmannanshire. The turnout has been
huge in the `No` areas and in the areas where the independent people needed
to do well, the turnout has been much smaller. So, it is not just these
If you put that together with the result in Clackmannanshire plus the
exit polls, it does not look good. And, I have spoken to politicians.
They are not saying anything in public yet but in private. The anti-
independent campaigners are pretty optimistic.
HAYES: There was a political dynamic to this, above and beyond sort
of regional self-determination or national self-determination, a kind of
left right dynamic and you saw it in Cameron`s reference. "If you do not
like me, I will be gone. But, if you are leaving then you are gone for
And, that Scotland is traditionally sort of to the left of the voting
populous in England and there is a lot of anger at the Tory government and
a lot of sense that if we can break free of this Tory austerity government,
we could govern ourselves from the left. Is that a big part of what was at
MACASKILL: Yes. There is a real dislike for conservative party in
Scotland. Very few MPs. But, it is not just the conservatives. There is
a sort of dislike of the whole Westminster system. A dislike not just of
conservatives but of the labor party, too. That is become very dangerous
and that is contributed to this sense of drift away from the rest of the UK
and the sort of rise of populism.
And, the Scottish National Party, which once was fairly conservative,
has now positioned itself to the left of labor. And, so these are the
politics in play. If the breakup had happened, it would have been fairly
disastrous for lots of people. And, David Cameron, the prime minister
would probably have had to resign as the prime minister that saw the
breakup of the United Kingdom.
And, the labor party would have lost a huge block of their MPs from
Scotland. Make it very difficult for them to win again in England. And,
so, there was lots of consequences for this vote tonight. But it seems to
-- it looks like the Scotts have gone for the conservative safe option.
But one thing it is important to understand this is not over. For the
last 30 years, the support for independence stood around 30, 35 percent.
There is no jump jumped to 45 percent.
MACASKILL: They will try again in five or ten or 15 years and maybe
then Scotland may become independent.
HAYES: Ewen MaCaskill, "The Guardian," live from Edinburgh, thank you
very much. I will note the -- back in 1996 when they had their referendum.
They have not had one since. Sometimes when you miss, sort of put things
in bed. That is "All In" for this evening. "The Rachel Maddow" Show
starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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