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All In With Chris Hayes, Friday, October 30th, 2015

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Date: October 30, 2015
Guest: Philip Bump, Alex Isenstadt, Catherine Rampell, Rick Wilson, Trey
Radel, Ben Jealous, Wade Henderson, Jeb Lund, Juan Cole


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


HAYES: Republican candidates stage a coup, holding a secret meeting
without the RNC.

micromanage the process.

HAYES: While Reince Priebus is doing damage control.

REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: I just can`t tell you how pissed off I

HAYES: Then, Jeb Bush ramps up his attacks on Marco Rubio and tries
to reassure panicked donors.


REPORTER: Are you having any fun?

BUSH: Oh, yes. You saw it. Having lots of fun.

HAYES: Plus, the White House announces it will deploy U.S. commandos
to Syria, despite assurances there would be no boots on the ground.

women on the ground has not changed.

HAYES: We`ll look at the shifting strategy against ISIS.

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: The challenge that we face in Syria
today is nothing less than to chart a course out of hell.

HAYES: And Hillary Clinton`s speech on criminal justice reform
interrupted by Black Lives Matter.


going to talk a lot about that in a minute.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.

In the wake of a chaotic third GOP debate, the candidates are
revolting against the party`s central institution, the Republican National
Committee. The only thing the different factions of the GOP seem to agree
on is vilifying the media. Almost no one in the Republican field was happy
with Wednesday night`s debate, and after Ben Carson said he was reaching
out to the other candidates about reforming debate rules, last night,
"Politico" posted a big scoop, since confirmed by NBC News.

The campaigns, all of them, are planning to gather in Washington on
Sunday to plot how to change the messy debate process, and quote, "how to
remove power from the hands of the Republican National Committee."

NBC`s Chris Jansing reports most of the campaigns have signed on
including the Bush camp, which had been initially non-committal. While the
RNC has made multiple attempts to reach the organizers, Chairman Reince
Priebus and his representatives remain uninvited. Last night, Priebus was
still trying to contain the debate fallout, blaming host CNBC, our sister
network, for how things went.


PRIEBUS: Obviously, we had assurances it was going to be straight up
finance, which is what they do every day.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: Let me ask you --

PRIEBUS: Just nothing but a crap sandwich.


HAYES: In response to the initial criticism of the debate, CNBC
responded in a statement Wednesday, "People who want to be president of the
United States should be able to answer tough questions."

Today, perhaps a signal that he`s hearing the candidates` message,
Priebus went even further, writing a letter to NBC News chair Andy Lack,
who also oversees MSNBC, canceling NBC and Telemundo`s participation in a
debate scheduled for February 16th. "The CNBC network is one of your media
properties and its handling of the debate was conducted in bad faith.
While debates are meant to include tough questions and contrast candidates`
visions and policies for the future of America, CNBC`s moderators engaged
in a series of gotcha questions, petty and mean-spirited in tone and
designed to embarrass our candidates."

That Republican debate had been the only one set to air on Spanish
language television. Meanwhile, Priebus said he still plans to hold the
event with the debate`s other co-host, the conservative publication "The
National Review," which was going to do it together with Telemundo and NBC.

NBC News responded in a statement, "This is a disappointing
development. However, along with our debate broadcast partners at
Telemundo, we will work in good faith to resolve this matter with the
Republican Party."

Now, railing against the mainstream media has proved to be a major
political boon to the candidates, especially Ted Cruz, who this week has
practically made it his campaign platform.


are primarily moderated by liberals, and the Republican debates are
primarily moderated by liberals. On the Republican side, you look at an
awful lot of the media interviewers. Their object is, whoever the
Republican nominee is, to beat up on them and to have people either stay
home or vote for Hillary Clinton.

HOST: Sure.


HAYES: After Cruz`s big moment slamming the moderators Wednesday
night, 24 percent of Republican-leaning respondents to an online poll said
he`d done the best job in the debate. The day after Cruz told FOX News his
campaign managed to raise $1.1 million.

Joining me now, "Washington Post" political reporter Phillip Bump, and
Alex Isenstadt, political reporter for "Politico".

Alex, let`s talk about this meeting, how it came to be and what the
intention here is.

intention here is that candidates sort of want to take power out of the
hands of the Republican National Committee, which has been really taking
the lead in negotiating the terms of the debates. So, they`re going to be
getting together a number of campaigns together on Sunday night and talking
about what they warrant for debates in the future.

And they all agree that this debate we had on Wednesday in Boulder,
Colorado, was a total mess and they don`t want to repeat that again.

HAYES: Well, but here`s my question for them, right? I mean, part of
this is there`s this backlash against Reince Priebus, and it seems like
sometimes that`s what`s driving this. I mean, I feel like the frustration
toward the last debate in some ways was building over three debates, it`s
the culmination of a lot of frustration. It`s the culmination of a lot of
frustrations at Reince Priebus himself.

Is that a fair assessment?

ISENSTADT: It is a fair assessment. And understand why that`s
happening. It`s because the RNC this cycle really took it upon themselves
to take greater control over this process. You`ll remember four years ago
when there were about two dozen Republican debates and they were just as
much of a mess. Afterwards, the party decided they wanted to have greater
control, wanted to clean it up a little bit.

But look, it`s just as much of a mess as ever and now you have a
tremendous backlash. The RNC is under a massive amount of pressure right

HAYES: Let me play Reince Priebus basically promising it that things
are going to be better this time. This is him February 2nd. Take a


PRIEBUS: I am against a process that can turn into a circus, which is
what I`m trying to prevent. So I`m trying to in a reasonable way, allowing
for debate, allowing for people to get involved but also not allow for 23
debates and a six-month out-of-control primary process from taking place.
So I`m trying to find that happy medium, Steve.


HAYES: Philip, it strikes me that Reince is in a position similar to
John Boehner, which is the center of gravity for the institutional
Republican Party is just becoming completely unmoored and there`s very
little he can do about p it.

look at who started putting together this thing, it was people who weren`t
long-standing members of the Republican Party and the Republican

Absolutely part of this is that the candidates who are on stage want
to demonstrate they`re independent of the Republican Party, they`re
independent of the news media. If you look at what happened in 2012,
right, we all remember when Newt Gingrich challenged CNN, got huge
applause. Like that sort of thing is very memorable. And Ted Cruz is very
aware when he was dodging the questions actually posed to him and instead
attacking the media, that that would be beneficial.

HAYES: Well, and it also strikes me that if you ask Reince Priebus
eight months ago, ten months ago, do you think Ben Carson and Donald Trump
are going to be the front-runners in the primary, calling the shots
essentially, and running an end-around around your authority over the
debate process he would have said you`re out of your mind.

BUMP: Well, I think that if you had tried to predict anything that
happened in Republican politics in the course of the last 12 months, maybe
since the night Eric Cantor lost, it would have been almost impossible to
do so. The extent to which the RNC has lost control over Republicans is
hard to emphasize.

HAYES: Well, and this gets me back, Alex. I feel like obviously
we`re in a sort of conflicted position because CNBC is a sort of partner to
MSNBC, and I`m not going to like opine one way or the other about the
journalism because it`s just not credible in either direction.

What I will say, however, is it does seem to me that there`s a little
bit of scapegoating. I mean, look, the Republican primary has more
candidates than anyone ever before. There`s ten people on that stage,
which is kind of tough to manage, and two people who`ve never had elected
office have been dominating the polls for three months -- a billionaire
real estate mogul who says outrageous things, former reality star, and a
neuroscientist who has no political experience whatsoever.

That`s not anyone`s fault. That is the state of play in the
Republican race.

ISENSTADT: No, that`s true. And I can guarantee you that when the
RNC took control of this process, they weren`t betting that there would be
about 16 different candidates in this race and that Donald Trump would be
leading in the polls and that Ben Carson would also be leading in the
polls. That wasn`t what they were thinking.

And so, this race has taken on a very rambunctious tone. The RNC
didn`t know that when they signed up for this.

HAYES: There`s an item in "Politico" that said during the debate that
two DNC people came in to complain about Jeb Bush not getting enough time.
Sean Spicer who was named there later said it was for a number of
candidates not getting enough time. But the CNBC employee who was involved
said the only candidate they heard about was Jeb Bush.

Which if that`s true and you`re another candidate I would hit the roof
on that.

BUMP: Yes, absolutely. There`s not much secret that the Republican
establishment was hoping Jeb Bush would be able to carry the ball across
the finish line to some extent, obviously not all the of them. But putting
your hand on the scale like that doesn`t help the RNC`s case.

Obviously --

HAYES: Right. Please? Yes?

BUMP: I mean, obviously, what we`ve seen over the course -- I mean,
the night before the debate everyone was mad about at the RNC because of
the green rooms. Then there was the debate, and the day after, they were
mad at the RNC over how the debate -- and Reince Priebus is trying to
figure out how to regain control.

And I can say it I don`t work for NBC, part of what he did today is
simply so he can say, oh, no, I`m on your side, when he had a tough week in
proving that.

HAYES: All right. Philip Bump, Alex Isenstadt, thank you both.

All right. I`m joined now by "Washington Post" columnist, Catherine

And, Catherine, I thought you had a good piece about this where you
said Republicans are right, we`re terrible, the media, not for the reasons
they say. And part of it was about what these debates have been more
broadly. What`s your beef?

what`s happened is that the candidates have learned from previous
experiences both at the debates and other coverage, what scores them
points, what gets them more air time, what dominates the news cycle.

And they`ve learned and they`ve acted on it. And one of those things,
you know, is just talk over your time limit, right? That was part of the
reason why the debate was so chaotic because they had learned from previous
debates that they should just keep talking, they`ll get more air time, you
know, which is kind of an annoying thing.

But more substantively, they learned that if they lie but they lie
confidently, maybe they`ll get fact checked later. But if in the interim
the pundits are like good job, that was so confident.

HAYES: Or that 24 million people see the lie and 1 million people see
the fact check you`re still up net-net.

RAMPELL: It seems pedantic in the end, it seems nitpicky. So it`s
really about how great can I craft my performance, whether or not it`s
tethered to the truth.

HAYES: And look, I think part of the core issue here and part of the
frustration everyone`s feeling is that when you look at the minutes that
people got, right? You`re watching these long big things. People were
getting four minutes of speaking time, six minutes of speaking time. At
the top is seven minutes, right?

It is -- there is no solution to producing a ten-person debate. None.
Like if someone came to me and my producer said, hey, we`ve got a great
idea for tonight`s show --

RAMPELL: Book ten people.

HAYES: We`re going to book ten guests at the same time. And you just
sort of -- I`d be like no, that`s going to be bad television and nothing
will ever get resolved or said because there`s ten people. But that`s what
-- I mean --

RAMPELL: I know.

HAYES: So that`s no one`s fault. And I understand if I were
participating in that as a candidate, I would find it massively

RAMPELL: And I also wonder when I was talking about how they`ve been
strategic about crafting their strategy from one debate to the next, in
previous debates the way that your opponent got to talk was that you
attacked them, right? So I do wonder if part of the reason why you saw
candidates not attacking their competition this time around --

HAYES: Because that gave time to the person being attacked.

RAMPELL: Yes, more air time.

HAYES: But then you need something to attack.

RAMPELL: And you go after Kasich, right? You know, he`s not as much
of a threat to Donald Trump.

HAYES: Right.

RAMPELL: I think what happens is the candidates have to figure out
how can I get as much air time as possible, how can I get as little -- give
as little air time as possible to my greatest threats, and you have this
sort of finagling for what eventually in the end is like three minutes of
speaking time.

And it just is not the most -- it`s not the format that`s the most
conducive to a substantive informed conversation.

HAYES: It`s funny because it`s a situation that I think a lot of
people feel that way, right? The candidates clearly feel that way. I
think people -- critics across all three debates sometimes maybe feel that
way although there are certain exchanges that have been very illuminating
but they`ve also been -- all three are basically breaking records for
ratings, right? That`s the other part of it, is that, yes, it might be
that there`s some tension between what will be the most dynamic television
and what serves --

RAMPELL: Democracy?

HAYES: That`s right. The best. It`s possible there`s a tension
between those two things.

RAMPELL: Who would have guessed?

HAYES: I mean, I`ve never guessed.

RAMPELL: Yes. It`s never wrestled with these problems. It`s
absolutely an issue. And it does create some perverse incentives if you`re
a moderator, right? Like you kind of want to create some tension on stage.

HAYES: Absolutely.

RAMPELL: You want to get them to attack each other. There was more
of that I think in previous debates than in this debate. Partly, again,
because I think that if you attack your opponent they`re going to get to
talk, they realize that. But --

HAYES: That`s a great point. I had not thought of that.

RAMPELL: But I do think if you`re a moderator you kind of want to ask
these provocative questions that are going to produce the greatest drama.

HAYES: And also look, at each subsequent debate, there`s a premium on
novelty, right? You`re trying to find in debate 3 and 4 and 5 and 6 and 7,
you as a moderator are trying to find questions that haven`t been asked
before, right? All this sort of low-hanging fruit gets taken. That`s how
you end up in places that I think maybe the candidates feel are esoteric.

But I -- to me, whatever the rules are, whatever the RNC comes up
with, ten people on stage is going to be kind of a mess no matter what.

RAMPELL: Especially if they`ve learned they shouldn`t answer the
question, if it`s a difficult question they don`t want to answer, just bash
the media and say, liberal bias, not worth my talking about the debt
ceiling or whatever. So, even if they ask substantive questions --

HAYES: Right, doesn`t mean you`re going to get an answer.

RAMPELL: Right, exactly.

HAYES: Catherine Rampell, thank you very much.

All right. Still to come as Jeb Bush`s campaign trains its focus on
Marco Rubio, it`s easy to forget they were once very close allies. We`ll
look at the latest attacks.

Plus, our second ALL IN candidate book report. This week, it`s Mike
Huckabee`s latest work titled "God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy", which sounds
almost delicious.

And later, how Hillary Clinton handled a Black Lives Matter protest
during her speech on criminal justice reform.

Those stories and more, ahead.


HAYES: Jeb Bush has a message for everybody asking dire questions
about his floundering presidential campaign. He is having a great time.


HOST: Are you having fun running for president?

BUSH: Yes, I am. I`m having a blast. And I`m getting my views
validated and challenged at the same time. It`s a phenomenal way to grow
intellectually, spiritually. Physically, I`m in phenomenal shape for an
old 62-year-old guy. In fact, I think we ought to have five-hour debates.

REPORTER: What do you make of the headlines that say your campaign is
on life support?

BUSH: It`s not on life support. We have the most money. We have the
greatest organization. We`re doing fine.

End is not near. Memo to file. Life is good.

REPORTER: You told donors on a conference call that you`re going to
get better at this. What are you going to do to get better at this?

BUSH: Look, we`ve got eight more debates. I`m going to have to do
what other candidates do, which is rudely interrupt, not answer the
questions that are asked, and hopefully the debate moderators will actually
ask more substantive questions as well. It`s going fine.

REPORTER: Are you having any fun?

BUSH: Oh, yes. You saw it. Having lots of fun.


HAYES: Doth the candidate protest too much?

When we come back, the Shakespearean saga that the relationship
between Bush and his protege-turned-bitter-rival Marco Rubio. And yes,
there`s a sword involved. That`s next.


HAYES: When Marco Rubio was elected speaker of the Florida House back
in 2005, then Florida Governor Jeb Bush presented Rubio with a sword Bush
claimed he had long relied on which Bush called the sword of Chang.


BUSH: I`m going to bestow on you the sword of a great conservative
warrior and I know Chang won`t let you down and you won`t let him down.



HAYES: With Rubio now having surpassed Bush in the race for the GOP
presidential nomination, Bush`s bequeathing of that sword to his one-time
protege has started to look pretty prescient. It is hard to overstate how
close these two men once were. They first met 15 years ago and quickly
became close allies who reportedly regularly consulted each other in late-
night phone calls, a relationships friends have described as being almost

In a 2012 tribute to Bush, now senator Rubio said, quote, "Often in
the Senate when faced with a tough choice I would ask myself, WWJD. What
would Jeb do?"

But as Rubio`s demolition of Bush in Wednesday`s GOP debate made
clear, the relationship has morphed into an increasingly bitter rivalry
with all the markings of a Shakespearean drama. Last night, "U.S. News"
published a leaked 112-page internal Bush campaign memo that is starkly
critical of Rubio. One slide titled "Marco is a risky bet" bullet-points
Rubio`s, quote, "misuse of state party credit cards, taxpayer funds and
ties to scandal-tarred former Congressman David Rivera."

The memo then goes through other alleged Rubio dirty laundry before
concluding cryptically, those who have looked into Marco`s background in
the past have been concerned with what they have found.

A Bush aide told "U.S. News" that was a reference to Rubio being
vetted for vice president by Mitt Romney`s team in 2012 but long-time top
Romney aide Beth Meyers pushed back telling politico that "Senator Rubio
passed our vetting. We found nothing that disqualified him from serving as

Meanwhile, Bush`s campaign manager, Danny Diaz, has reportedly bragged
about the size of their operation research file on Senator Rubio and said
they were prepared to begin a full-scale attack.

The Bush campaign isn`t the only one going to war. While Rubio has
been relatively restrained in his public comments about Bush, the super PAC
backing him which just unveiled this, its first campaign ad, today found a
memo that includes this remarkably cutting line, quote, "When you consider
all angles as we do, we believe there are really only four candidates with
a reasonable chance of becoming the Republican nominee, Senator Marco
Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, Donald Trump, and Senator Ted Cruz." You probably
noticed that a certain former Florida governor was not among the names
listed there.

As for Bush, seen here underneath a "Jeb can fix it" sign, he has
spent the last 48 hours in damage control mode following his widely panned
debate performance. A national NBC News online poll conducted by Survey
Monkey out today found that 38 percent of Republican-leaning voters felt
that Bush did the worst job in the debate. No other candidate was even in
the double digits.

Bush`s campaign last week said it was slashing payroll by 40 percent.
Today brought yet another dire sign. The campaign`s chief operating
officer, long-time Bush family ally, Christine Ciccone, lost her job for
which she was reportedly being paid $12,000 per month.

Bush himself appears to be trying to reboot. His campaign is billing
a month Monday speech in Tampa at major event in which Bush will be sharper
than ever and his cash-flush super PAC is planning an $11 million ad blitz
starting in January.

Joining me now, former Republican Congressman Trey Radel of Florida,
and Republican media consultant Rick Wilson, founder of Intrepid Media.

Trey, give us a little background on this relationship. I know you
know both these gentlemen. It was a kind of defining relationship in
Florida politics for years there while Marco Rubio was in the legislature
and Jeb Bush was in the state house.

TREY RADEL (R-FL), FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: Sure. And shortly after
that Rubio wrote a book. Governor Bush also wrote a forward to it.

They are very close. They are colleagues. They share a lot of the
same views.

But is it really like Obi Wan or Yoda to Luke Skywalker? I don`t know
if it`s that much. I think the word protege has been used a little too

I think that Marco Rubio -- I think it`s more like Dr. Dre to Snoop
Dogg, if you will. Marco Rubio is his own man. Yes, Jeb has helped him
throughout his career tremendously, has given him a certain platform and
stature, but Marco Rubio is his own man.

I met Marco Rubio back in 2009. I was a political reporter here in
southwest Florida. Marco at the time was running for the U.S. Senate
against Charlie Crist. At the time, Governor Crist had the highest
approval ratings in the United States of America. At that time, Marco
could not get ten people to sit down with him at a lunch.

And now, where are we today? Marco`s running for president after
being in the U.S. Senate. And Charlie Crist is running as a Democrat for
the United States Congress.

HAYES: Right.

RADEL: Marco Rubio has some serious political chops, and he`s shown
us that through most especially this last debate.

HAYES: Rick, you had this tweet that a lot of people pointed to, this
is right before the debate, says the following, "Man, oh man, the dumb
replanned move a certain campaign is about to make in the big debate is
campaign-ending stupid."

A lot of people thought this was Jeb Bush turning toward Marco Rubio,
attacking him on this vote, referencing the French work week,
mischaracterizing the French work week, I will also add. Is that what you
were referring to?


And look, that was a moment I think that Governor Bush didn`t meet the
standards he tends to set for himself in terms of carrying an attack that`s
substantive and real because you could see that he was uncomfortable with
it from the very beginning. You could see that he was grinding it out.

And the fact of the matter is the rumor mill had pushed that out so
far and so widely, there was no scenario under which Marco Rubio wasn`t
ready to snatch that thing out of the air no matter what the variation of
the attack was, he was going to take that and smash it. And I think it
really blew back on the governor.

And I think he would have been better off, frankly -- you know, Jeb
Bush`s folks are telling him his target is Marco Rubio, and he couldn`t be
more wrong. If Jeb Bush wants to solidify his donors and the folks who
support him in the establishment side of his party, then he`s got to prove
he can take out Donald Trump. It`s not Marco. That to me is a fundamental
strategic distraction for him.

And I think the fact that it`s against a guy who is wildly popular in
Florida, wildly popular in the field right now, a rising star in this
thing, really it contradicts sort of basic political gut logic. You go
after the guy that`s going to make something for you. You knock down
Donald Trump a few notches and you`re something. You knock down Marco and
it doesn`t yield you a lot if you`re Jeb Bush.

HAYES: Well, it also, Trey, brings it mind, there`s an old adage that
when the stakes get low, the politics get very, very petty, they get very
vicious. And there`s a corollary in politics which is when two people
don`t have a lot of substantive differences, right? When they`re running
on very -- when they don`t have things they can point to and say you voted
for this and I`m against that and you want this war and I don`t want that
war. Then, all that`s left is personality.

The differentiation process is almost predetermined to get pretty
personal when you have Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio who there`s not a ton of
political daylight between them.

RADEL: I agree. And quite frankly I disagree with some of their
stances on things.

Let`s take a look at a few things here. I think that both Jeb Bush
and Marco Rubio see themselves as being in this for a marathon. I think
they believe that people like Donald Trump and Ben Carson, who Rick just
mentioned, I think they see those as -- and I hate to say this, everybody
said about Trump as a flash in the pan. I don`t think those two think
they`re in it for the long haul, even though Trump has done what he`s done.

But let`s go back to a few things. When we see that, here`s what I
definitively know in politics. I`ve been through quite a bit both
professionally as an elective member of Congress, and having been through a
campaign. If you are being attacked, you are winning. If you are
explaining, you are losing.

And right now as this cycle stands, right now Marco Rubio even though
he`s down in the polls, he`s winning pretty big and Jeb is losing because
he`s having to explain himself at every turn.

HAYES: That`s the key, Rick. The poll we had out today had Marco
Rubio at nine points. It`s not clear to me the voters in the base of the
Republican Party were as impressed by Marco Rubio as the kind of pundit and
donor class seem to be. What do you think?

WILSON: The donor class damage that that mistake made to Governor
Bush in the debate is still being tallied. I mean, just tonight Maggie
Haberman of the "New York Times" broke that Paul Singer has decided to back
Marco. And the donor class movement toward Marco right now, because they
recognize that Ben Carson is a wonderful man but fundamentally unprepared
to be president in every possible axis and that Donald Trump is quite
frankly bordering on, you know, delusional that he`s going to be president.
He may be ahead in the polls but the Republican establishment, the donor
class, and frankly mainstream Republican voters, 75 percent of them don`t
want Donald Trump as president.

HAYES: Right.

WILSON: So, they`re looking at Marco Rubio across the board, from
various conservative folks to moderate folks to establish -- whatever the
demo is, they`re looking at Marco now not just as the guy who can be the
nominee but as the guy who`s going to be the best positioned to beat
Hillary Clinton.

HAYES: Right. Trey Radel, Rick Wilson, thank you gentlemen both.
Appreciate it.

WILSON: Thanks, Chris.

RADEL: Thank you.

HAYES: Up next, our second ALL IN book report. This week, Mike
Huckabee`s book which asks, quote, "Have I been taken to a different planet
than the one on which I grew up?" We`ll try to answer that, next.



JOHN HARWOOD, CNBC MODERATOR: As a preacher as well as a politician,
you know that presidents need the moral authority to bring the entire
country together. The leading Republican candidate, when you look at the
average of national polls right now, is Donald Trump. When you look at
him, do you see someone with the moral authority to unite the country.

I`ve got, the last one I need is to give him some more time. I love Donald
Trump. He is a good man. I`m wearing a Trump tie tonight. Get over that
one, OK?


HAYES: Governor Mike Huckabee, who`s currently polling around 3.5
percent in the Republican presidential primary, only got to talk for about
seven minutes during Wednesday night`s debate.

Fortunately, he laid out his thoughts earlier this year in the tome
"God, Guns, Grits and Gravy" and Guardian and Rolling Stone columnist Jeb
Lund just read it for us.


JEB LUND, JOURNALIST: "For those us from the land of god, guns, grits
and gravy being told we need to ride a bicycle and live in a tree stump by
an environmental lobbyist in a Gucci suit, or an aging hippie who hasn`t
been outside the San Francisco city limits since Jerry Garcia died, goes
over about as well as Pee-Wee Herman lecturing George Foreman on how to
throw a punch."

I hate this.

"I`m a life member of Ducks Unlimited, a life member of Bass Angler
Sportsman Society, and a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation. In
fact maybe I should add another G to god, guns, grits and gravy: game.
Because god gives us game that we shoot with guns and serve with grits and
gravy. Good."

There are so many straw men in this book that I was afraid to read it
near an open flame. Huckabee explains a war on Christians by citing
protests against Chick-Fil-A and claiming they were inspired by the company
owner`s comments on a radio show to make liberals look easily outraged.

It would be a good point were it not for the company`s history of
donating to anti-marriage equality groups and being sued for workplace

Give Huckabee some credit. He`s fluent in pop culture in a way that
most conservatives aren`t. And he effortlessly drops references throughout
the book. But if you`re a woman pop cultural figure you only show up here
to be shamed as a fallen woman -- Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Beyonce, they`re
only cited as part of a
culture of dehumanization.

And then he goes on to say that a culture of dehumanization is what
led to the holocaust. So we`re going to have to update the Martin
Niemoller quote, "first
they came for Destiny`s Child, and I only did twerking."

This book is pretty good. Huckabee spins a good yarn the way any
charismatic preacher should, and there are some genuine laugh out loud
moments. As a campaign book it`s probably a 4 out of 5.

As a real book that you would read for normal reasons it`s a 3 out of
10. Please, don`t read the book.


HAYES: Next week, Guardian and Rolling Stone columnist Jeb Lund will
be reviewing a brand new book for us, the much-anticipated "Crippled
America: How to Make America Great Again," by one Donald J. Trump with no
ghost writer, I`m sure. I`m sure he just wrote this in the last few
months. It hits book store shelves on
Tuesday. I cannot wait.


HAYES: A major escalation announced today in what had previously been
a U.S. air campaign against ISIS in Syria. That effort will now involve
U.S. troops on the ground engaged in combat.

American special operations forces numbering fewer than 50, according
to the White House, will deploy in the Kurdish-controlled area of Syria to
help fight ISIS. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke of the change in
strategy today in Vienna.


JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATES: He authorized a small
complement of U.S. special operations forces to deploy to northern Syria,
where they will help to coordinate local ground forces and coalition
efforts in order to counter Daesh.


HAYES: Daesh is the acronym of the Arabic word for ISIS.

Today`s announcement comes just over a week after Army Master Sergeant
Joshua Wheeler was killed in combat during a raid to free ISIS prisoners in
Iraq, a
country in which the U.S. supposedly no longer had a combat role.

And the announcement arises after repeated assurances by President
Obama that the U.S. strategy against ISIS would not involve boots on the
ground in Syria.


on the ground in Syria. I will not pursue an open-ended action like Iraq
or Afghanistan. I will not pursue a prolonged air campaign like Libya or


HAYES: The White House is insisting that today`s announcement
represents an
intensification in strategy, not a change, while also acknowledging the


commander-in -chief has given our military personnel in Iraq and now in
Syria is a train, advise and assist mission. And we have gone to great
lengths to make clear that that in no way diminishes the amount of risk
that our men and women in uniform will be facing.


HAYES: Whatever the semantic distinctions, the intensification looks
like part of an inevitable trajectory toward greater U.S. military
involvement in the Syrian civil war.

Joining me now, Juan Cole, professor of history at University of
Michigan and author of The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is
Changing the Middle East.

Professor Cole, you are someone who has been chronicling the region
and studying it for a long time. You`ve been critical of U.S.
intervention. You`ve advocated for U.S. intervention in the case of Libya.
What do you make of today`s

JUAN COLE, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN: Well, I think that today`s
announcement is probably an acknowledgment of something that`s been going
on for a little while. The U.S. has hooked up with a leftist Kurdish
militia in northeast Syria which has been the best Syrian actor for
fighting ISIL.

And since Obama`s emphasis is on defeating ISIL, perhaps depriving it
of its capital in Syria at Raqqa, it is the Kurds with which the U.S. is

HAYES: The Kurds have been probably the most effective if not one of
the most effective forces in fighting ISIS. They won a very brutal battle
at Kobani near the Turkish border. Of course what complicates this is that
Turkey, a NATO country, absolutely hates that group, is scared of them, has
been trying to bomb them at times. So what does that do to that

COLE: Well, Turkey says it bombed the Syrian Kurds on Friday. And I
don`t know. It`s possible that one of the reasons this announcement has
been made is to signal to the Turks publicly that if they bomb the Syrian
Kurds they`re in danger of bombing U.S. troops because they`re embedded
now, and to -- hands off.

But this is a big fight, as you say, between the U.S. and Turkey.

HAYES: Well, this is a really good point. It leads me to the thing
that I`ve been thinking about. I`ve been listening to this amazing podcast
called Hardcore History by Dan Carlin. He`s got this epic about World War
I. And I have got to say listening to it and reading the news out of Syria
you start to wonder are we going to end up in a situation where one country
-- all these countries are involved via proxies, Russia`s bombing, Turkey`s
bombing, the U.S. is bombing, Iran is on the ground, different people on
the ground. You`re going to end up in a
situation where I don`t know, Russia accidentally bombs a U.S. special
operations commando. I mean, what are we headed toward here?

COLE: You know, that is not completely impossible but it`s a little
unlikely because you have to think about the Syrian civil war as having
theaters. So there`s a northeast theater that`s mainly Kurdish and ISIL.
And then there`s a northwest theater that`s mainly now Russia and al Qaeda.

So each of these areas is a place where there`s a concentration on a
particular enemy.

Syria, as you said, is very complex. It`s not like a football game
where there`s two sides. It`s more like a poker game where there are like
five, you
know, players and each of them is trying to win.

HAYES: And in the middle just tremendous and unceasing carnage,
misery and horror for the people of Syria, the blameless people of Syria,
who are knocking at the door of the European countries as they try to flee.

Juan Cole, thank you very much for your time.

COLE: Thank you.

HAYES: Coming up, Hillary Clinton`s rally on criminal justice reform
is interrupted by a Black Lives Matter protest. Her reaction, ahead.


HAYES: If you are still looking for a costume this Halloween, here`s
some of the best the internet has to offer.

Charlie Todd on Twitter gives us Donald Grump who is upset about his
numbers in the latest MSNBC toddler poll.

On the other side of the aisle there`s Baby Bernie, ready to tell his
fellow trick-or-treaters about his plan to reduce candy inequality.

Here`s a somewhat more obscure political one. This brilliant getup is
Vice President Joe Biden whispering into the ear of Stephanie Carter at the
swearing in ceremony for her husband, defense secretary Ashton Carter.

There`s plenty of non-political costume greatness, too. Here`s
modern-day Aladdin riding his hoverboard magic carpet. And toddler crazy
cat lady in her robe and curlers.

And there`s this impressive feat of engineering. The little girl
under the cloud is named Zoe. Her very talented dad, who apparently has
got some time on his hands, turned her into El Nino with LED lights for
lightning and a pump connected
to a water battle in her backpack to make it rain.

Shaming all the other dads out there, I might add.

Here`s hoping your Halloween is safe, fun, and less stormy than Zoe`s.
And don`t important our important annual public service announcement.
Never, ever wear blackface ever.


HAYES: Starting today over the next several days about 6,000 people
will be released from federal prison as part of an effort to reduce their
sentences for drug crimes. Officials say it is the largest one-time
release of federal prisoners in U.S. history.

This is happening because last year the U.S. Sentencing Commission
decided to reduce the sentences of drug offenders in an effort to reduce
overcrowding. And congress did not object to the commission`s decision.

This federal prisoner release comes amidst a rhetorical push by
President Obama for criminal justice reform. This year the president
commuted the sentences of 46 non-violent drug offenders and became the
first sitting president to visit
a federal prison. Speaking with inmates in Oklahoma about reforming the

Now, the administration`s push seems to be in line with what is widely
seen as a growing bipartisan campaign for criminal justice reforms. Early
this month a group of Democratic and Republican senators introduced what
Republican Chuck Grassley hailed as the biggest criminal justice reform in
our generation.

But if anyone thinks these reforms won`t be fodder for political
opportunism and fear mongering I give you the Louisiana governor`s race
where Republican Senator David Vitter is casting his Democratic rival John
Bel Edwards as soft on


ANNOUNCER: Voting for Edwards is like voting to make Obama
next governor. Want proof? He dangerously called the releasing of 6,000
criminals from jail. Edwards joined Obama promising at (inaudible)
university he`ll release 5,500 in Louisiana alone.

5,500 dangerous thugs, drug dealers, back into our neighborhoods.
Edwards even voted to allow convicts to receive taxpayer-funded pensions.
Obama and Edwards, wrong for Louisiana.


HAYES: New Orleans branch of the NAACP is calling for Vitter to take
down that ad saying it seeks to strike fear in the hearts of the white

Vitter`s ad is the first we`ve seen seeking to exploit the recent
sentencing reforms for political gain.

Now today, Hillary Clinton speaking in Atlanta got a taste of the
pressure on the other side of the criminal justice debate. New pressure.
And we will show you what that looks like next.



violence, using the power...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Black lives matter!

CLINTON: ...of these feelings that come forward -- and yes, they do.
Yes, they do.

And I`m going to talk a lot about that in a minute.

Now, my friends, I am going to get to some very important points that
actually prove that black lives do matter and we have to take action


HAYES: During her speech on criminal justice this afternoon at Clark
Atlanta University, a historically black college in Georgia, Hillary
Clinton was interrupted by Black Lives Matter protesters singing and
chanting for at least ten
minutes. The crowd eventually countered with chants of Hillary and let her
speak and Atlanta Mayor Kassim Reed and congressman John Lewis, himself no
stranger to
protest, were seen trying to talk to some of the protesters.



CROWD: Hillary.

CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you all very much. I really appreciate
it. And I appreciate the congressman and the mayor having my back.


HAYES: Joining me now, Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the
Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and Ben Jealous, partner
at Caper Capital and former president and CEO of the NAACP.

Mr. Henderson, let me start with you. We`ve seen a real change in the
politics of criminal justice and criminal justice crime and punishment, but
I think there`s a real question about how deep this goes and where the
pressures are.
What is your judgment of where we are?

Well, there is a question, Chris.

But let me say I`m really pleased to see Democrats leading on this
important issue. I mean, this is the first time that we`ve seen Democratic
presidential candidates not afraid of their shadow when it comes to
criminal justice policy.

I think it`s attributable in part to the Black Lives Matter movement.
I think it`s also attributable to a surprising convergence between left and
right ideologies on crime.

And lastly, I think it`s a reflection of the severity of the problem
in prison with mass incarceration and overcrowding.

Now, the question of how deep this commitment goes, it remains to be
seen and tested. But I think it`s important that we are having the
conversation, and I do think it`s important that steps are being taken like
that today as a result of the
sentencing commission having reduced sentences, people being released.

My one concern about the 6,000 who are being released is that they are
not prepared to really in most instances address the revolving door
and I think without preparation, given the fact that they can`t get
employment in most instances, can`t get student loans, and often don`t get
housing, that these individuals really will face obstacles that no one
individual can be expected to overcome.

HAYES: Well, and Ben, that speaks to I think part of the issue here,
right? We`ve seen a kind of confluence of the rhetoric. We`ve seen the
politics align a different way. We`ve seen a situation where because of
groups like Black
Lives Matter there`s pressure on the other side, which there wasn`t for a
long time, at least not of the kind there is now.

But this question of how deep it goes, you know, are we actually going
to commit to making a world in which those 6,000 folks getting out of
prison have something to do?

BEN JEALOUS, CAPER CAPITAL: You know, look, this all comes down to
trust. The issue is that I think people suspect -- people know she was
against, for instance, retroactivity before she was for it but essentially
she was -- she was for it before she was against it. And the fear with
moderates is that quite frankly they tend to follow their opponents. And
so right now, yes, the Republican Party generally has been pretty good but
what happens if they shift right? Will she also shift right? And that
really is the concern, can we trust her?

HAYES: Yeah, Mr. Anderson, I`m hearing a lot of that from criminal
justice reformers when they look at -- and not just Hillary Clinton, at
Bernie Sanders and Martin O`Malley as well, right, because -- but very
focused on Hillary Clinton. There`s a long Marshall project sort of
chronicling of her record on criminal justice, which she`s gone back and

How important is trust? And how important is -- it doesn`t matter as
long as the politics continue to be there.

HENDERSON: Well, look, I believe in trust but I also believe in
verification. Trust but verify.

I think in this instance it`s up to us, the advocacy community, and
communities around the country, to insist on getting relief for those who
incarcerated for the reason that it makes no sense to fill up prisons
without providing relief for individuals who will eventually be released.

So I think it`s really up to us to press our political leadership to
force the issue and to be aggressive. And I think if we do it in a
strategic way the results, regardless of who is elected, can`t be against
the kinds of things that we`re pushing now.

HAYES: You know, Ben...

JEALOUS: Well, you know...

HAYES: Please, go ahead.

JEALOUS: Quite frankly, that`s why the Black Lives Matter movement is
so important, because they do sort of unleash kind of a unpredictable
righteousness and real force that creates more room for long-standing
leaders like Wade to really be even more forcible, but also create some
fear for a politicians that if they don`t quite frankly have the courage of
their convictions that black folks won`t just sit quietly by and be
betrayed once more and poor people even more generally.

HAYES: Yeah, Mr. Henderson, my question to you is do you see this
around, do you see a backlash coming? Here in New York City we`ve seen
some of the old politics of crime and punishment. Do you anticipate us
seeing that?

HENDERSON: I think we have to anticipate some of that. But I think
the current climate of change is really quite powerful. And as Ben said,
the Black Lives Matter movement is contributing to it, but I also think
middle-class Americans, regardless of race, recognize that mass
incarceration has cost our country dearly and I think we are prepared to

HAYES: All right, Wade Henderson, Ben Jealous, thank you gentlemen

That is All In for this evening.


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