Skip navigation

All In With Chris Hayes, Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Read the transcript from the Tuesday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed


August 11, 2015




Date: August 11, 2015

Guest: Rick Wilson, Sandy Berger, Lawrence Lessig, Alicia Garza, Bill



CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN --


HAYES: The Trump show continues.

DOOCY: Glad you`re back with us and we`re friends again.

HAYES: The inside story how Donald Trump stared down FOX News and


Plus, the Republican candidate now making it his mission to destroy

the Donald.

Then, a new Democrat jumps into the race with a one-topic platform.

LAWRENCE LESSIG, HARVARD PROFESSOR: I will enter the race as a

referendum candidate.

HAYES: Tonight my exclusive interview with Harvard professor Lawrence


And Bernie-mentum sweeps the West Coast. Tonight the question, Black

Lives Matters activists right to interrupt Sanders?

PROTESTERS: Black Lives Matter! Black Lives Matter!

HAYES: We`ll have the debate tonight when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening.

At this very hour, Donald Trump is addressing the crowd gathered for

the Michigan Republican Party`s Lincoln Day dinner.

Now, this is Trump`s first campaign event since last week`s

blockbuster Republican debate. And as a warm-up act, Trump spoke to the




in the debate it came out on one of the networks today. So, there should

have been 2 million people watching. Do you agree? About 2 million,

that`s been sort of standard, 2 million people. They had 24 million

people. And the 24 million, I think, is going to go to 28 million, 29

million and maybe even 30 million when the final numbers come in.

Who do you think they`re watching? Jeb Bush? Huh? I don`t think so.


HAYES: When asked if he`s ever gone over the top, here is what he had

to say.


TRUMP: I don`t think so at all. I mean, I look at the polls. I can

only go by the polls.

A new poll came out, 32 percent. That`s the highest for anybody yet.

So, I can only go by the polls. The people we`re dealing with and whatever

has happened, it is what it is. You just look at the results.

I guess Iowa just came out a little while ago and leading in Iowa,

leading in New Hampshire, leading in North Carolina, leading in South

Carolina, leading in Nevada, leading everywhere. So, that`s all I can go



HAYES: Also asked him if he would consider running as a third party



TRUMP: I hope that I will be the Republican nominee because that`s

the best way to win. I`m going to keep the door open on the other. If I`m

not treated fairly -- and the word is fairly. It doesn`t mean well. It

means fairly. If I`m not treated fairly, we`ll see what happens.


HAYES: All right. Joining me now, Republican media consultant Rick

Wilson, founder of Intrepid Media, and MSNBC political analyst Howard Dean,

former Vermont governor, former chair of the DNC.

Rick, what are we -- what are we watching here? I can`t -- I continue

to have a hard time understanding what is happening in front of me as far

as Donald Trump is concerned. The campaign which started on a platform of

Mexico is sending rapists, has now become a campaign about cherishing

women. He said earlier in terms of women`s health, I`m for that.

He also seems to have constructed this somewhat bizarre new axis of

evil that`s China, Mexico and just dashed in today, Vietnam, whose leaders

are more cunning than ours and apparently beating our brains out, although

if you went to the median Mexican or median Chinese and ask them if that

was the case, I doubt they would give you the same answer.

What is this?


up yet that half -- that Donald Trump`s brain is a hot mess? This is a guy

who just says what`s on his mind. He`s the drunk uncle at your

Thanksgiving dinner. There`s no internal monologue constraining what his

momentary prejudices or his momentary beliefs are.

It doesn`t have to have any basis in fact. I mean, as you said,

Vietnam is not our competitor in the global market space.

HAYES: Nor is Mexico really. Obviously, there`s a massive issue vis-

a-vis what happened post-NAFTA and the sort of trajectory of American wages

and how trade has affected that. All of which are totally legitimate. But

it is this kind of fascinating, Howard Dean, let me bring you in here,

Steve Kornacki was on the program and he compared it to Pat Buchanan back

in 1992, and there is something Buchanan-esque.

To the extent there`s any identifiable, ideological anything here,

it`s sort of this idea what you need are people, are leaders that are tough

and China`s got leaders that are tough. Mexico has got leaders who are

tough. We need leaders.


really about. This country has changed enormously both in terms of

demographics and this new, young generation I call first globals that most

call millennials are changing everything. You have gay people who are

allowed to get married. You had an African-American president. You have

women who are asserting themselves as equal to men.

This is incredibly disturbing to a significant number of people in the

Republican Party, and they are lashing out. They are angry. They don`t

know what to do.

And the elders of the Republican Party know they can`t win the

election with that going on and they`re trying to steer the party back to

the center. That`s what this is happening.

HAYES: Rick, does that stand to you?

WILSON: I think Howard has a point there that Trump is activating a

very small but very vocal faction in the party. They are very much this

nativist segment of it. He`s conning them with his seven-mile golden wall

surrounded with alligator moats. It`s not going to happen.


HAYES: By the way, it will be built, as we learned today, on top of

the toads that apparently stopped it from being built the first time and

will be paid for by Mexico as he reiterated again.

But here is the thing -- the con game here is precisely the issue.

This comes off this crazy weekend in which he appeared to go to war with

FOX News, a war he was said he couldn`t win. Remember, he kind of

rhetorical war with John McCain and everyone thought that would be his

Waterloo, it was not.

Then, it was -- he takes on FOX News. He`s going after Megyn Kelly,

who is a prized talent there, whose debate performance, I think, it`s fair

to say, was widely praised. Her questions were tough but fair. He`s going

after her and, you know, Gabe Sherman basically reporting today, and this

is his reporting, and I can`t independently vouch for it, that basically

Ailes waved the white flag. He could not find the off button on the


Like is that how you feel watching this? Or is this just an August


WILSON: I think this is the mad doldrums of late August and we`re

going to end up, look, guys, no matter how interesting Donald Trump is,

every interview is largely the same. Every interview is largely the same -

- weird stream of consciousness out of the guy.

And eventually there will come a point where it`s not as fascinating

every day for the press to cover it. Eventually, there will be other

things and other factors that start to wear away at the novelty of Donald

Trump and that starts to reduce the level to which it`s a story every day

for us to once again have to talk about the magical wall or the terrific

health care system he`s going to pull out of thin air, you know?

So, eventually the oxygen will start to go out of the room. Ailes

does play the long game. He`s a genius at television. And part of this is

that Roger Ailes has a set of motivation about the news and there`s a

symbiotic rating monster that they created --


HAYES: He did 24 million viewers.

WILSON: No kidding.

HAYES: When Donald Trump -- and this is what`s hilarious to me, too -

- it`s like these arguments. What are you going to do? Well, look at the

polls. I`m leading in the polls.

DEAN: Right.

HAYES: It`s like, well, that`s not -- it`s like this bizarre

chronological thing of like, what are you going -- well, it`s working. I`m

leading in the polls.

DEAN: Here`s the thing -- he`s gotten -- he`s existed longer than I



DEAN: I thought he was going to self-destruct with John McCain. When

he said this to Megyn Kelly, I just thought, OK, he can`t survive this.

But he has. So, the next test really for him, assuming people don`t get

tired of this spectacle is Iowa because you have to have a good

organization in Iowa. You have to have smart, on the ground professional

people who have done this before.

HAYES: You speak from experience.

DEAN: It`s true. When I was chairman and was scrupulously neutral

between Hillary Clinton and Obama, I realized that Barack Obama could be

president because of what he did in Iowa doubling the previous record

turnout in my year, doubling it and getting all people to the polls, three

quarters of whom nobody in Iowa Democratic Party had seen before.

That is organization and discipline. You need those to win this. And

Trump first has to show that he has it. So far, there`s no evidence. We

don`t know.

HAYES: Rick?

WILSON: But what I think, though, I mean, Howard has a great point

about having to actually do the mechanical work of running a campaign.

Right now, Donald Trump is most of the time holed up in this fortress of

solitude in Trump Tower. He`s most of the time doing phone-in interviews

only. He doesn`t travel all that much. He`s not on the road all that


And eventually, you can`t fake it. You have to go out on the ground

and work these early states, you have to go out and be there and be

present. And I don`t think there are many five-star hotels he`ll be

comfortable with in Iowa unless he wants to commute back and forth to New

York every day and he`ll have to start exposing himself not only to the

day-to-day of campaigning but he`s also going to have to start rolling out

policies which are -- you know, it`s not sufficient to have three bullet

points on a sheet of Trump stationery in these things.

All the other factors will be picked apart of the mechanics of running

a campaign and, frankly, right now, he doesn`t seem to have a terrifically

large infrastructure. He`s picked up a couple of people that are good Iowa

hands but doesn`t have all the build-out that`s necessary to go out and win


HAYES: Let me flip this around, though, OK? Let`s talk about someone

who did do the stuff you do about campaigning, the guy who has been doing

it, Governor Rick Perry.

Now, whatever you want to say about Governor Rick Perry, the guy

governed one of the largest states for three terms for 12 years. That`s

like an actual job.

And he is a flurry of press today saying he`s run up against money

problems. The super PAC is going to come in. He had to stop paying staff

in South Carolina. The boxes you check, Rick Perry is doing those things.

And he`s screwed.


WILSON: I do think, Chris --

HAYES: Hold on one second.

DEAN: Trump is sucking all the oxygen out so people like Rick Perry

can`t survive. There are going to be four or five people probably serious

contenders in Iowa. I can`t tell you who they are, but that means there

are going to be 12 people who aren`t. Trump is making it impossible for

those people to get any oxygen at all in this race.

WILSON: That`s exactly right.

HAYES: But here`s the part of this that I think actually points to

something bigger, you talk about the oxygen, right? People getting tired

of hearing it.

I mean, here`s -- there`s a cycle that`s set into American politics

and you, Howard Dean, I think know this as well as anyone. There`s that

famous moment back in 2012 when someone yelled at Mitt Romney, what about

your gas, right? This sort of meta question like you`ve been saying -- and

campaigns become this means of gaffe chasing, right?

And you have this kind of weird cycle between the press and the

candidates where candidates speak less. They`re more controlled. Then

when they say something that can be a gap, that`s a bigger story, right?

DEAN: I`m very familiar with it.

HAYES: And part of what I think is interesting about Trump and it`s

been somewhat true of Bernie Sanders who I don`t think is comparable to

Trump in any way.

DEAN: I don`t think he`s made any gaffes.

HAYES: No, but the thing about Sanders is -- Sanders will talk to

you. Sanders talks and talks. Sanders will talk to you. Sanders is not

button down. He`s not going to not talk about things, right?

And to me, part of what we`re seeing here is we`ve hit some kind of

weird tipping point with the logic of control that has set in among the

relationship between campaigns and the press corps that covers them.

DEAN: That`s been going on for a long time, though. It`s oh, got you

all the time. I mean, the press corps doesn`t -- there are some, and I

respect them greatly, but very few people who go out and cover campaigns.

It`s all about got you. Can I be the one to ask the question that`s going

to get my name on the front page of the paper?

Even the great papers -- the best paper in the country, which is "The

New York Times," you read three or four paragraphs and they`re giving their

opinion although the article is not labeled as analysis. That`s fact.

HAYES: Criticism from Howard Dean.

DEAN: So, this is a game. This is a game that`s gone on. It

certainly went on when I was there. It really hasn`t changed much, except

it`s gotten worse.

HAYES: It is a game to a certain extent. It is a game in the

theoretical sense. It`s a back and forth between the candidates and the

press corps that covers them, there`s this war for novelty, OK?

The candidates` job is to not say anything new. The press corps` job

is to get novelty and make news.


HAYES: That`s why Donald Trump is --

DEAN: For Trump to be -- of all people to put Roger Ailes in his

place, I`m scratching my head. I don`t know anyone else on earth who could

do that. The Democrats don`t care. The Republicans, it`s a big deal.

WILSON: You`re right, Chris. It is a game and part of this is this

tension with voters, they say, we want authenticity. We want real. We

want people who will tell us what they really believe in.

And they typically don`t reward that.

HAYES: Right.

WILSON: They typically end up rewarding the Barack Obama who stayed

on message all the time in 2008. It was all about the war and the economy

all the time. And so, you know --

HAYES: One of the most remarkably disciplined candidates in recent


WILSON: Right.

And what will happen eventually is people will tire of the same set of

lines out of Trump that seem so authentic and refreshing in July and

August. They will become trite. They will signal not his authenticity but

of his -- like I said, the fact his thinking is a hot mess. This is not a

guy who`s got a policy or philosophy that he`s running on.

DEAN: I wouldn`t want to bet on that one, Rick.

I`ll tell you why. He`s a master of picking up the hot issue and

running with it before anyone else does. So, he`s going to have another

hot issue whether it`s immigration or who knows what it`s going to be.

He`ll be all over it with outrageous statements and nobody else will get a

word edge-wise.

HAYES: I think there`s also this leverage issue, which he keeps sort

of, you know, it`s an awfully --

WILSON: The word you`re looking for is not leverage, it`s blackmail.

HAYES: Well, let me -- people can draw their own conclusions. Here,

take a listen of what he said about a third party run.


TRUMP: I`m going to keep the door open on the other. If I`m not

treated fairly -- and the word is fairly. It doesn`t mean well. It means


If I`m not treated fairly, we`ll see what happens. I don`t want to

run a third party or as an independent, I want to run as a Republican. As

long as I`m treated fairly, that`s going to be the case. And fairly is an

instinct. It`s an instinct.

I know what fair is. You know what fair is. I know what it is, yes.

I know what fair is.


HAYES: And this is the thing, Rick, that I think in terms of when we

think about the next phase of this campaign. "A," I might be more with

Howard Dean about the duration of this is an actual contender particularly

in a diffused field, but when it comes time to not be a contender, this is

a guy who`s going to take every last ounce in the final negotiation when he

sits down. That`s what he does.

In fact, he`s been bragging about that. If there`s one thing the guy

wrote a freaking book about, the thing that he beats his chest the most is,

you`re going to sit across the table from me, you`re going to give me

something, and he is already starting the campaign for that moment.

DEAN: It`s true.

WILSON: You know, I think he`s framing that out a little bit. Like I

said, I think there`s an element to the blackmail thing.

I will tell you when Republican voters heard him in the first debate

not being willing to foreclose that option, I think he hurt himself there.

I think there will be longer lasting damage than we think among rank and

file Republicans. And when they come to realize that a third party run by

Donald Trump is an absolute lock for Hillary Clinton in the White House --

HAYES: Right.

WILSON: -- that he was enabling that, they will say this is not

leverage. It`s flat-out blackmail.

HAYES: All right. Howard Dean and Rick Wilson, thank you, both,

gentlemen, for your time. Really appreciate it.

Up next, how an organization lobbying against the Iran deal couldn`t

convince an extremely important person in their own ranks.

Plus, he is the only presidential candidate pledging to quit once he

gets the job. My exclusive interview with Lawrence Lessig is ahead.

And later the politics of disruption, did Black Lives Matter

protesters do the right thing when they interrupted Bernie Sanders on

stage? Both sides will join me tonight.


HAYES: Two months after one of the biggest U.S. prison breaks comes a

bombshell report by "The New York Times" of other prisoners being beaten by

guards in a frantic effort to get information on the escapees. Richard

Matt and David Sweat`s break ended a few weeks later with Matt`s shooting

death and Sweat`s capture.

But for days after the prison break, according to "New York Times",

many prisoners in the honor block shared by Matt and Sweat described a

litany of abuses, including being beaten while handcuffed, choked, and

slammed against the cell bars and walls. Sixty inmates filed complaints

with prisoner`s legal services.

A prisoner occupying the cell next to Mr. Matt, Patrick Alexander,

says he was handcuffed and lifted up by the throat, a plastic bag was

placed on his head and he was threatened with waterboarding. "Times" also

described an exchange with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who toured the

prison hours after the break, "Must have kept you awake with all that

cutting, huh?" Mr. Cuomo asked, according to video of the exchange. Then,

Mr. Alexander said the governor gave me his best tough guy stare and walked


Investigators have, thus far, found that certain prison system

employees were responsible for aiding Matt and Sweat.


HAYES: Right now, there are a lot of groups spending a lot of money

to lobby members of Congress and the public against the nuclear deal with

Iran, and you`d be forgiven for having trouble keeping it all straight.

They all seem to have politically ambiguous names, like Citizens for a

Nuclear Free Iran, the Foundation for American Security and Freedom, and

Secure America Now. Some are running ads on this very network, even during

this very show.

One of those groups, United Against Nuclear Iran, is ramping up

campaign right now. They put out a new ad hitting the Obama administration

over the four American hostages currently in Iran`s custody and now,

they`re sponsoring a billboard in times square thanking New York Senator

Chuck Schumer for coming out against the deal.

But already, there`s at least one key person United Against Nuclear

Iran has been unable to convince. His name is Gary Samore, the president

of United Against Nuclear Iran. Samore, you see, is a nonproliferation

expert who served as President Obama`s first czar for arms control and

weapons of mass destruction, and he endorsed the deal in an op-ed for

"Time" magazine last month.

And now, United Against Nuclear Iran has apparently decided it needs

someone new at its helm, someone in a better position to lead their

lobbying efforts against the deal and who better than former Connecticut

senator and former Democrat Joe Lieberman, a guy who hasn`t been all that

optimistic about diplomacy with Iran.

Here it was back in 2013.


JOE LIEBERMAN (I), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: The bad news is I think the

tougher sanctions will not convince Iran to find a diplomatic way to end

our nuclear weapons project. I think there`s an even better chance before

the end of 2014, the U.S. and/or Israel will take military action against

their nuclear program.


HAYES: Samore has now stepped down as president of United Against

Nuclear Iran, and Lieberman is the group`s new chairman. And with that,

Lieberman who once told "Time" magazine, he`d, quote, "for sure not become

a lobbyist after retiring", now sits on the boards of at least three groups

actively lobbying against the nuclear deal.

Joining me now, Sandy Berger, former national security adviser for

President Bill Clinton, current co-chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group.

Mr. Berger, have you ever seen an effort quite like this one to undo a

diplomatic accord of this nature?


pretty strenuous, impressive effort. You know, there have been efforts

before to oppose arms control treaties with the Soviets. I don`t think

I`ve seen one where there`s been so much participation of a foreign

government involved. But this is about a strong an opposition I think as

I`ve seen in all my time here.

HAYES: And what are you -- I mean, you`re talking foreign government,

in this case Israel, the Israeli government, both the current government

and the opposition party are fairly strongly against the deal. Why do you

-- what do you make of this? Is the Israeli government making a different

calculation than the American government is? Do the two countries simply

have different interests which also seems a distinct possibility in this


BERGER: Well, if you`re Israel and you are living near a country

which denies your existence and would be happy if you didn`t exist, you

have to every reason to be insecure and to be paranoid. And so, I

understand that fear. And I think all of us -- all of us should.

My own view is if I thought this agreement threatened Israel`s

security by the way, in any way, I would not be for it. I think Israel is

better off if Iran does not have a nuclear weapon. It`s not in the verge

of getting a nuclear than if it is.

HAYES: But that`s -- let me stop you there. That seems to be what`s

so maddening about this debate, to the extent there`s actual debate.

There`s a deal on the table that was negotiated over a very long period of

time. The people who I would say are closest to technical expertise in

arms control and nuclear development seem to think this is a good deal.

There`s a new letter out today from scientists, dozens of them,

there`s 36 retired generals and admirals, who have come out now in favor of

this deal. Everything -- all defense of the deal seems to stem around the

deal. Objections to the deal seem far more existential. So, you run ads

about the fact that there are some Americans who are currently in Iranian

custody, or the fact that Ahmadinejad said odious and anti-Semitic things

about the state of Israel, but that`s a distinct thing from the actual


BERGER: Sure. I think that`s right.

I mean, you mentioned Gary Samore at the top of this. I think it`s a

very interesting development. Gary is one of the leading nonproliferation

experts of the United States, one of the leading Iran nonproliferation


He was one of a group of former Obama officials who wrote the

president about a month ago and laid out a series -- essentially

conditions, rather skeptical letter saying that the agreement didn`t meet

these conditions, they wouldn`t be for it. So, you have an Iran skeptic

looking at this agreement with very, very expert eyes saying, I think this

is a good agreement. I think that`s a very strong validation of the

strength of this agreement.

HAYES: This is a key point, right? That letter that you signed on to

happened before the final -- I mean, it was between the interim framework

and the final 100-plus-page document of the deal was announced. I mean,

this was before that thing. He said, we need to see these conditions met

in order to support it. The deal came out, he felt satisfied those

conditions were met. He supported it and he is now no longer at United

Against a Nuclear Iran.

BERGER: And it was a rather high bar, Chris. It was not just one

item. There were four, five items they felt needed to be addressed. And I

think the fact that Gary now has looked at this agreement and examined it

from I would call him a super Iran skeptic.


BERGER: And from that perspective, you know, I think that`s a

significant endorsement.

HAYES: Yes, I think it is.

Sandy Berger, thank you for your time. Appreciate it.

Ahead, presidential candidate Rand Paul unveils his two word solution

of on inequality, work harder. A look at meritocracy in the 2016 field is




SEN. RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY: The thing is income inequality is due

to some people working harder and selling more things. So, if people

voluntarily buy more

of your stuff, you`ll have more money.


HAYES: Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky took a bold stand while

defending his tax plan over the weekend, declaring that some people work

harder than others and that`s why they have more money, half of which is

true -- it is definitely true that some people in America, in the world, do

work harder than other people. It is, however, deeply unclear to the

degree which that has anything to do with the

money they make or income inequality.

Paul was trotting out a tried and true Republican standard on American

meritocracy, you work hard, you rise up to the top. But for a more

realistic picture of real American meritocracy in action, look no further

than last week`s Republican debate.

Reviewers watched broadcaster Chris Wallace, son of broadcaster Mike

Wallace, asking questions of former Governor Jeb Bush, son of former

President George H.W. Bush, real estate developer Donald Trump son of real

estate developer Fred Trump and Senator Rand Paul son of former congressman

Ron Paul.

This election cycle of course is not unique. 2012, of course, gave us

presidential candidate and former governor Mitt Romney, son of former


and presidential candidate George Romney. And every four years it seems

like we

have a whole host of candidates competing to give us their best Horacio

Alger story proof the American dream still exists.

So, now we have Rand Paul who inherited a name and a political base

from his father noting that income inequality is due to some people simply

working harder than others. Paul, who spent the last several days in his

campaign, hitting the current Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and

questioning his conservative credentials, to which Trump called Paul in a

tweet a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain.

Paul`s rebuttal to the spoiled brat portion of that remark came today

at a

campaign stop at Riley`s Gun Shop in Hookset (ph), New Hampshire.


PAUL: If we`re talking about who is a spoiled brat or not, my kids

all work minimum wage jobs. Do you think any of the Trump kids have been

working at the

local Pizza Hut?


HAYES: For the record, Rand Paul is no fan of the minimum wage and

also for the Trump family is not above working for Pizza Hut.


DONALD TRUMP,REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER: Do you really think this is the

right thing for us to be doing, Ivana?

IVANA TRUMP, FRM. WIFE OF DONALD TRUMP: What will people think?

TRUMP: Let them talk.


TRUMP: Ivana.

It`s wrong, isn`t it?

IVANA TRUMP: But it feels so right.

TRUMP: Then it`s a deal?

IVANA TRUMP: Yes, we eat our pizza the wrong way.

TRUMP: Crust first.


HAYES: Different times.

You know, let me tell you something, working hard is great, but if you

really want to make it in America your best bet is still being born to a

rich person. If you don`t believe me, just ask the Donald.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This campaign is not about a person, it`s about a

principle, an American principle that we must reclaim that all are created

equal and that a democracy must respect us all as equals. This is our shot

to make democracy possible. We need to take it now.


HAYES: All right, it appears there`s going to be another entrant into

the 2016 presidential field, this one on the decidedly less than crowded

Democratic side, and one I don`t think anyone expected a year ago or even

six months ago or even a few months ago. Today, Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard

law professor, announced he is launching an exploratory committee for the

2016 Democratic nomination for president. Lessig, a pioneer in

intellectual property law has more recently dedicated himself to battling

big money and corruption throughout political systems and other systems.

The Harvard professor is running as what he called a, quote,

referendum president with a singular mandate of passing what he called the

citizen equality

act, a bill that would focus on equal voting rights, representation and

citizen funded elections.

Once it`s passed, Lessig says he would hand over the presidency to his

elected vice president.

Easy as that.

Joining me now is Lawrence Lessig, Harvard professor, potential

Democratic candidate for president. Full disclosure, I was a fellow at the

Safra Center for

Ethics at Harvard a few years back, which is run by my friend, Lawrence


How are you.

LAWRENCE LESSIG, HARVARD: Great to see you, Chris.

HAYES: OK. Let me hold off on the skepticism and start with the

central -- what is the idea here?

LESSIG: The idea is we are at a place where everyone recognizes this


is deeply corrupted and corrupted because of a basic inequality in the


Look, in the way we fund campaigns, we`ve created essentially a green

primary, you know, in the southeast have the white primary where only

whites could vote, well now we have a green primary where people like The

Donald have the money and they are the people who are voting and the

candidates spent all their time sucking up to these people giving them

money so that they can be qualified to run in a general election.

That is a perverse corruption of the basic equality of a

representative system.

And as you describe in the introduction it`s not the only corruption

of equality in the system. The way we district in gerrymandered ways to


all sorts of people from any meaningful representation, the way we

disqualify people from being able to vote through these ridiculous systems

to keep them out.

These are all ways in which we`ve allowed the system to evolve away

from the founding idea of what this republic was supposed to be, a

representative system where citizens were represented.

HAYES: Every citizen, each soul is equivalent to each other soul.

LESSIG: Absolutely.

HAYES: OK. So, I agree with you on the problem broadly. I mean, I -

- you know, and the citizen equality act talks about racial disparity as

well, racial injustice, criminal justice the way that the criminal justice

system also values some citizens much more highly than it does others, the

way that it values donors over average working people. Agree on the


Why run for president? I mean, you`re a Harvard law professor, you`re

a friend of mine, I think you`re brilliant. But you`re going to run for


LESSIG: Right, because as I`ve listened to the Democratic candidates

describe all the beautiful things that are going to happen under a

Democratic administration, really bold, fantastic ideas for dealing with

climate change, for dealing with Wall Street, for taking on the problem

that`s been raised by the immigration issues in really powerfully effective

ways, I`ve had this kind of fantasy politics feeling about it all, because

the thing that we all know in Massachusetts where our senator is Elizabeth

Warren is the, quote, system is rigged, right? The system is rigged.

What follows from that is if we do not fix the rigged system that all

these dreams are fantasies, fantasies.

HAYES: OK. But then you have got a candidate named Bernie Sanders.

And Bernie Sanders is someone who very high high up if his issue priority,

I mean, maybe even the top thing, he talks about money and politics. He

talks about Citizens United. His funding streams are actually quite

distinct from the other candidates in terms of how he actually is raising

his money. Isn`t Bernie Sanders kind of doing this?

LESSIG: Well, it`s interesting. Bernie Sanders two days ago -- money

and politics was the lowest issue on his list of issues. Today it`s number

two on his list of issues. So, that`s progress already.

But the point is I think Bernie has been great in talking about these

issues. But the question isn`t whether you`re checking off the box of the

right issues, the question is show me the plan that gives any plausible

reason to believe you`re going to have a mandate to take on the most

powerful political interest in Washington.

HAYES: But isn`t that the -- see, this strikes me as a problem.

You`ve done all these sort of interesting experiments in interventions into

the political system the last four or five years. And you and I have been

having a conversation about precisely this issue. You have this thing

called May Day PAC, which is this kind of way of using the system in a

jujitsu way, raise money against big money and sort of these pledges.

And part of the issue it strikes me is that you know when people can

agree with you, but the thing they want to argue about over Thanksgiving

Dinner, or the thing you`re going to stream to vote in are on the sort of

first order issues, right.

Like, are the cops going to shoot my kid? Am I going to have a good

enough wage?

The question is like how do you make this stuff you`re talking about,

which I

can nod my head, into that sort of primary issue?

LESSIG: Right. Because if I had the opportunity to be in the debate,

then the debate would tie every issue to this inequality. We would see how

every issue that we`re complaining about like climate change -- we will not

have climate change legislation in the United States until we fix this


So, if you`re talking about how terrible it is that the oceans are

rising or that Bangladesh is going to disappear, you need to realize that

until we deal with this issue, we are not going solve our contribution to

global warming.

You want to take about taking on Wall Street, all the Democratic

candidates, they are talking about massive new laws to take on Wall Street.

I`m all for it.

But here`s the reality, Wall Street is the largest contributor to the

Democrats and Republicans in over anyone else. And so you`re going to take

on your

number one funder and regulate them in a way that will drive them nuts?

It`s not going to happen, Chris, it`s not going to happen until we find a

way to fix this rigged system.

We have got to find a commitment to fix the rigged system first.

And the thing that they`ve not done is given us a plan that has any

credible mandate to take that on.

HAYES: Specific.

Citizen equality act it`s called?

LESSIG: It`s not just an act, it`s that there would be a referendum,

that`s what the presidency would be, a referendum, that that referendum

would be the thing that would create a mandate different from anything any

presidential candidate could bring to it.

HAYES: Lawrence Lessig, I`m a great admirer of yours. And thank you

for coming on tonight.

LESSIG: Thank you.

HAYES: Coming up, Berniementum (ph) takes Los Angeles.


SARAH SILVERMAN, COMEDIAN; He is a man of the people. He has to be,

his name is Bernie. And he`s a man for the people. He has to be, he`s

from Vermont.


HAYES: As the crowds keep getting bigger, the debate over the Black


Matter protest to Bernie Sanders continues. A debate over the politics of

disruption, and the future of the progressive grassroots is ahead.


HAYES: Last night there were more than 20 arrests during another

night of protests in Ferguson, Missouri marking the one-year anniversary of

the police shooting death of Michael Brown. Last night`s arrests came

after some protesters refused to move out of traffic. One of the most

striking images from the sight of -- was the sight of certain heavily armed

civilians mixing among the crowds, the so-called oathkeepers as they call

themselves, a right-wing group composed largely of former military and

police who pledge to, quote, defend the constitution against all enemies

foreign and domestic and who spend a considerable amount of time worrying

about the federal government declaring martial law.

A St. Louis County police chief John Belmar said their presence was,

quote, both unnecessary and inflammatory. But a police spokesman said he

did not think the armed civilians had been asked to leave.

If you could create one little moment, one picture of America in 2015,

I think it would be an armed oathkeeper with an assault style weapon amid a

Black Lives Matter protest in Ferguson talking up Donald Trump.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump provides more jobs for more people

even -- he helps people of all races. The man is not a racist.

UNIDENTIFEID MALE: Is that just talk. Is that just talk, though?



HAYES: When we come back, the Black Lives Matter movement versus

presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.


HAYES: Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton spoke at an event

today in New Hampshire focusing on substance abuse. Activists from Black

Lives Matter told The New Republic they planned to disrupt that event

today, but when it was over, Politico reported that five demonstrators with

the Black Lives Matter movement were

barred from entering after they arrived too late to make it past the Secret

Service screening.

But then in a somewhat unexpected turn of events Hillary Clinton

agreed to a private meeting with Black Lives Matter activists.

A tweet from Black Lives Matter Boston said they had, quote, gotten

the attention of Hillary Clinton`s staff and they are working with us.

Black Lives Matter activists have been able to directly challenge

other Democratic candidates for what they consider paying insufficient

attention to race

and criminal justice.

At the progressive NetRoots nation annual convention last month in

Phoenix, Black Lives Matter activist interrupted both Bernie Sanders and

fellow democratic presidential candidate Martin O`Malley.

After that event, O`Malley unveiled a criminal justice platform that


to address many of the protesters` concerns. Sanders was interrupted again


Saturday. At an event for Social Security in Seattle by protesters

identifying themselves as from the Black Lives Matter movement. That event

ended without him


And since that confrontation, Sanders has added his own racial justice

platform up on his website. It`s quite ambitious.

He has introduced his new national press secretary, a young black

criminal justice advocate named Simone Sanders. And she was the one who

kicked off Sunday night`s event in Portland in front of a record crowd of

28,000 people and she was the one who introduced comedian Sarah Silverman

at last night`s rally in Los Angeles before Sanders took the stage and

spoke to more than 27,000 people.


SILVERMAN: He was against the Iraq war, against deregulation of Wall

Street that led to the 2008 collapse, and, most importantly, against the

breakup of Destiny`s Child.

I may have made that last one up.


HAYES: The Bernie Sanders campaign along with the Black Lives Matters

movement continue to be what I think are two of the most vibrant parts of

the American left at the moment. But there`s a very heated debate

happening about each side`s tactical wisdom. We`ll talk about that with a

supporter from each side next.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are going to honor all of the black lives

lost this year, and we`re going to honor the fact that I have to fight

through all these people to say my life matters. That I have to get up

here in front of a bunch of screaming, white, racists who say my life



HAYES: It was an emotional moment from Saturday in Seattle when

protesters identified as Black Lives Matters interrupted Bernie Sanders.

And joining me now a Alicia Garza. She`s co-creator of Black Lives

Matter and special projects director at the National Domestic Workers

Alliance and Bill Press, host of the nationally syndicated radio show The

Bill Press Show.

Alicia, let me start with you. I think one of the things I`ve heard

from folks about this tactic is there are people who perceive Bernie

Sanders has been singled out. He`s been interrupted twice, which I think

is more than any other candidate, and that it seems odd to people who feel

he`s someone who in his record, in his politics, in his world view would

seem in some senses to be of the 20 people running probably the closest to

having an ideology similar to folks at Black Lives Matter.

What`s your response to that?


responses. And I think the first one is just for the record to say both

Sanders and O`Malley have been interrupted. It has not just been Sanders.

And that that interruption really forced Bernie Sanders to have a strong

platform on race and racial justice and criminal justice. And it can get

much stronger.

And so we should really be thinking, activists, who have taken the

risk to make sure that our lives are represented in every candidate`s

platform and that is our plan from now leading up to 2016.

I think the other thing that`s important just to acknowledge is that

bird dogging and disruption is about as American as apple pie. But when we

talk about bird dogging when folks like Code Pink or Act Up, mostly white

folks, are disrupting the president, they`re disrupting businesses as

usual, we don`t seem the same level of vitriol that we`ve seen against

Black Lives Matter protesters who doing exactly the same thing.

HAYES: Yeah. I mean, I would say I think Act UP got a fair amount of

vitriol in their day when they were disrupting people.

But Bill, I mean, what the response to this argument which I`ve heard,

which actually seems pretty -- to scan pretty well. Look, we disrupted

people. You know, politics ain`t bean bag. No, you have to so what -- you

get interrupted, you brush yourself off, you go to your next speech.

And, in fact, look at the next results. Martin O`Malley puts out a

very strong platform. Bernie Sanders puts out a pretty ambitious platform.

What`s so bad about that?

BILL PRESS, THE BILL PRESS SHOW: First of all, Chris, let me say --

look at me, right? If I -- if my hair were more disheveled, if I spoke

with a Brooklyn

accent, I might be Bernie Sanders. So, maybe I`m the last one to be giving

advice to African-Americans about how to deal with this issue of race, but

I know something about protests. I mean, I marched with Al Sharpton and

Jesse Jackson and Cesar Chavez and Jean McCarthy.

The first thing I learned about protest is, you target the people who

disagree with you. You don`t waste time targeting your friends.

I think the tactic is absolutely right, shut it down whether it`s a

highway or a city park or a speech by a politician, but I think of all the

people who

understand that economic justice and social justice go hand-in-hand with


important, Bernie gets it better than any of those other 22 candidates.

They`re picking the wrong target.

HAYES: So, Alicia, let me ask you this on sort of on that point,

right, part of it seems to me -- there is kind of -- let`s just talk about

the Democratic primary and then we can talk about Republicans in a second.

But there is sort of a zero sum situation here, right? I mean, these

folks are competing against each other in a primary. And one of the things

I found

fascinating about the NetRoots Nation thing is O`Malley and Sanders were

disrupted at that event, right. And Hillary Clinton didn`t get disrupted

because she wasn`t there, right. It ends up creating somewhat perverse

incentives to be as hunkered down as possible, right?

So, if you got the Secret Service retinue like the event today in New

Hampshire, if you don`t show up at NetRoots Nation, maybe you could avoid

it and then a day later you can come out with a perfectly good statement

about Black Lives

Matter because you didn`t have to deal with it in the moment.

Like, do you worry about that tactically creating the incentives in

which the

front-runner in this race, I think it`s fair to say, sort of ends up with

this kind of added benefit?

GARZA: Let me say this. Every single candidate in this upcoming

election cycle is going to be pushed, and the tactics are not all going to

look the same, but we are going to make sure that every single candidate

addresses what their plan is to make sure that we can breathe, to make sure

that our lives do actually matter.

And I want to be really clear. With Bernie Sanders, yes, he is

someone that people on the left really like. But we have to be honest,

when he was asked whether or not Black Lives Mattered at the NetRoots

Nation conference, this is someone who spent 50 years fighting for civil

rights, right? We`ve heard this many times. He could not and did not

actually say Black Lives Matter until he was pushed.

So, again, we have to be really, really clear here that if there isn`t

disruption and if our friends and our enemies are not pushed around this

question of whether or not black lives matter and not just whether but what

they plan to do in order to ensure that black lives matter, we won`t see it

and so we`re going to continue at every step of the way to make sure that

each of these candidates feels

accountable to ensuring that black lives matter.

HAYES: Bill?

PRESS: Look, Chris, with Bernie I think this is a case of trying to

make the

perfect the enemy of the good. I mean, Bernie`s record is second to none

when it comes to civil rights. People accuse Barack Obama of not using

certain phrases enough and yet look at all that he has done.

I have to say this, I think Black Lives Matter has made a real

contribution here. It`s a hugely important movement, a hugely important

message. Martin O`Malley has put his platform out there. Bernie Sanders

has put his platform out there. I would say now there are 17 Republican

targets and a couple more Democratic targets that should be their next

target, their next rally.

HAYES: Quickly, Alicia, Donald Trump basically dared Black Lives

Matter to interrupt him today. I don`t know if you saw that but any plans

for him?

GARZA: We have got plans for everyone. And I will say, again, it`s

important to us that we are moving our people. It`s not important it us

that we are palatable to folks who are not sure if they align with

disruption or not but, again, we want to be very, very clear that every

single candidate will be pushed to acknowledge what they`re going to do to

make sure that black lives matter.

HAYES: Candidates on notice. Alicia Garza, Bill Press, thank you

both very much.

And that is All In this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show begins now.




<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2015 NBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by

United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,

transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written

permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,

copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>



Sponsored links

Resource guide