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All In With Chris Hayes, Monday, November 9th, 2015

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Date: November 9, 2015
Guest: Katrina Vanden Heuvel, McKay Coppins, Alan Grayson, Dave Zirin,
Jelani Cobb


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

equivalence there. Tell me somebody, please.

HAYES: Carson cracks, and Republicans attack.

for the personal stories we tell about our lives.

a hammer, and I never stabbed anybody.

pyramid because it`s all solid.

HAYES: Tonight, separating the fair from the foul in the Ben Carson
feeding frenzy.

Plus --

AD NARRATOR: Marco Rubio looks good on TV, but that`s about it.

HAYES: How candidates respond when campaigns go ugly early.

AD NARRATOR: David Vitter chose prostitutes over patriots.

HAYES: Then, Rachel Maddow on what we learned from the MSNBC
Democratic Forum.

I dodged the question. The fact is I am dodging.

HAYES: And amid racial harassment on campus, how a group of students
and college football team combined to force change in Missouri.

resign comes out of love, not hate.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


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

We are looking at live pictures of a Donald Trump campaign event just
about to begin in Springfield, Illinois. We will be monitoring that for
any news as Trump continues to adapt to a very different dynamic in the
presidential race.

On the eve of the fourth Republican debate, hosted by Fox Business
Tomorrow at 9:00 p.m., Trump`s front-runner status is being challenged on
every front by his fellow political novice Ben Carson. In a new poll of
likely Republican voters in South Carolina, one of the earliest primary
states, Carson and Trump are now tied for first place in a statistical dead
heat, but the rest of the field trailing way behind.

Compare that to the last time the same poll was conducted back in
August when Trump had double Carson`s support.

The new polling comes as Carson faces new scrutiny about certain
details of his remarkable life story. A story that`s central to the
rationale for his candidacy.

Over the last week, reporters have raised questions about Carson`s
claim of having been offered a scholarship to West Point, about accounts of
violence he committed as `young man, and about anecdotes from his time in
high school and as an undergrad at Yale.

For the first time on Friday night, Ben Carson`s famously calm, quiet
demeanor seemed to crack.


CARSON: This is all subterfuge -- things that happened 45, 50 years
ago. You`re saying that something that happened, the words of scholarship
was offered is a big deal. But president of the United States, his
academic record being sealed does not -- tell me how there`s equivalency
there. It doesn`t matter where it is. Tell me how -- that`s a silly

What you`re not going to find with me is somebody who`s just going to
sit back and let you be completely unfair without letting the American
people know what`s going on. And the American people are waking up to your


HAYES: Over the weekend, Carson told NBC`s Chris Jansing he`s never
witnessed such intense scrutiny of a candidate.


CARSON: I have always said that I expect to be vetted. But being
vetted and what is going on with me, you said this 30 years ago, you said
this 20 years ago, this didn`t exist -- you know, I just -- I have not seen
that with anyone else. If you can show where that`s happened with someone
else, I will take that statement back.

CHRIS JANSING, NBC NEWS: I think almost every person who has been
president --

CARSON: No, not like this. I have never seen this before.


HAYES: Proving it again, he`s nothing if not consistent.

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders defended Carson on his
biographical details, faulting the media for taking its eye off the ball.


CHUCK TODD, MEET THE PRESS: Is this fair game?

does not believe that climate change is caused by human activity. This man
wants to abolish Medicare, impacting tens of millions of seniors, and this
man wants to give huge tax breaks to the rich.

I think it might be a better idea -- I know it`s a crazy idea. But
maybe we focus on the issues impacting the American people and what
candidates are saying rather than just spending so much time exploring
their lives at 30 or 40 years ago.


HAYES: In an interview today with MSNBC`s Andrea Mitchell Carson`s
confidant and business manager Armstrong Williams tried to walk back some
of the candidate`s earlier reaction, chalking it up to inexperience running
for office.


have a legislative record and Dr. Carson has his incredible story and his
biographies that he`s written and co-written. He doesn`t have the kind of
record to vet that many other candidates may have. So the media must vet
what they have.

I`ve always said to him, and we go back and forth on this, that you
know what, this is just -- this is small stuff. It`s only going to become
more harsher and more difficult.


HAYES: With his main competitor sweating under the bright campaign
spotlight, you might think Donald Trump would be unable to resist piling
on. But calling into four out of five Sunday talk shows yesterday, fresh
off his gig hosting "Saturday Night Live," Trump appeared to take the high


TRUMP: Well, first of all, I hope it works out well for Ben. I am
not looking to see anything bad happen to him. I`ve got-tone know him and
like him.

Well, I feel badly for Ben. I`ve gotten to like Ben. It`s a tough

I hope it all works out because I don`t want to see Ben have problems
over this stuff.

I hope Ben`s going to be OK with it. It`s going to be interesting to
see what happens. Time will tell.


HAYES: And true form, however, Trump did not stop there.


TRUMP: He said he has pathological disease in the book. When you
have pathological disease, that`s a very serious problem because that`s not
something that`s cured.

Well, if you have pathological disease, that`s a problem. I mean, he
wrote it. I didn`t write it. Stabbing somebody, only to be broken up by a
belt buckle, which if you know about belt buckles, they turn and they
twist. Belt buckles really pretty much don`t stop stabbings. They turn
and twist and things slide off them.

The pyramid situation is a little bit different because frankly if you
know anything about the pyramids, you know they`re pretty solid structures.

The pyramids, you know, pyramids are solid structures, essentially
other than a little area for the pharaoh.


HAYES: Until today Donald Trump has been the only GOP contender to
take up this line of attack against Carson. But now, two candidates with
little to lose are jumping on the bandwagon. Chris Christie and Mike
Huckabee, both demoted to the kids` table tomorrow night.


CHRISTIE: A couple of days of being asked about something that you
put in your book, I`ve got to tell you, I don`t have a whole lot of

HUCKABEE: I was kind of taken aback when he said that, you know,
people are looking into his personal life and they`re going after him. I`m
thinking, pal, you ain`t seen nothing yet.


HAYES: The question now is what the rest of the candidates will do on
that main debate stage tomorrow night.

Joining me now: Michael Steele, MSNBC political analyst, former RNC
chair; Katrina Vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of "The Nation"; McKay
Coppins, senior political writer for "BuzzFeed News", author of the
forthcoming book "The Wilderness: Deep Inside the Republican Party`s
Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House."

Michael, let me begin with you. Everything else aside, let`s agree
that the idea of what he what he has gone through in the past few days is
unprecedented is a bit much.

is someone who`s never had to go through this.


STEELE: When you are the preeminent surgeon in a surgical theater, no
one tells you anything other than "yes, sir," "no, sir," "what do you mean,
sir". They don`t scrutinize the way you perform the surgery. They don`t
second-guess the words that you say during the course of the operation.

Politics is not that. And I think Dr. Ben Carson has run into that
maturation process now that he`s out under the glare of the lights. He`s
got to grow up and realize, hey, this is real, that`s what Armstrong has
been trying to tell him. Now this is real. You`re at the top of the
ladder. You go any higher, this gets hotter, it doesn`t get better.

HAYES: Katrina, OK, I found myself torn as this particular
contretemps played out.


HAYES: On one level, I think there`s a lot of reason to be skeptical
of Dr. Ben Carson as a possible president of the United States. At the
same, I couldn`t help but feeling like a twinge of sympathy to him and his
followers` world view that this was essentially a hit job. And I think --

VANDEN HEUVEL: You`re a better person than I am.

You can`t make this stuff up. I mean, Michael Steele is right. He`s
lived in a different universe. But he had to have studied some of the
presidential campaigns or known some of the history.

I think there`s something a little dangerous here. This guy wants
journalists essentially to be like stenographers to his power. He doesn`t
like the journalistic profession. And you know, there are some problems
with it. But we`ve lived in a post-truth environment for too long.

So I think the main problem I have is I don`t love personality
coverage. Unless it really gets you to where you can understand how
someone will govern.

And I think Senator Sanders was onto something.

HAYES: Right, yes, right.

VANDEN HEUVEL: I think you want to know that this guy believes
scientists don`t know anything. He`s impervious to evidence. How would he
govern? That`s what I want to know.


MCKAY COPPINS, BUZZFEED NEWS: Well, in defense of the coverage here,
I think part of the problem that Carson faces is that he -- and Armstrong
Williams --

HAYES: Yes, it`s a good point.

COPPINS: He doesn`t have that many policies that he advocates.


COPPINS: If you listen to his stump speech, it`s almost entirely
biography and then kind of mixed in with grievance and like some theology
and Christian stuff. But like you don`t leave -- if you`re the front-
runner in the Republican presidential nomination, like you don`t leave that
much for reporters to vet or challenge you on or to research if you don`t
give them any policy proposals, you`re going to -- we as reporters are
going to have to gravitate toward the stories you tell.

HAYES: I think that`s a fair point. But there was something about it
moment that seemed a perfect encapsulation of where we are in this campaign
and this media challenge moment where it`s like, the guy is going around
the country manifestly unbriefed on every major issue of policy. And I`m
not saying --


HAYES: Ben Carson -- I`m not saying this is not a smart -- clearly --

COPPINS: Smart guy.

HAYES: And incredibly adept. And incredibly capable in the field
that he chose. In the field that he`s running for president, he has
displayed very little command or interest in the nuts and bolts of policy.
He didn`t seem to know what the debt ceiling was, OK? The guy`s going
around the country saying this.

And then we`re going to nail him on where did he fudge his biography
when he got into West Point. It`s like, wow, that seems a mismatch.

VANDEN HEUVEL: And it`s even more obscene at this moment, Chris, when
we face such grave perils.

Now, Trump, who I think is completely odious on the issue of
immigration and other things, he`s spoken out about trade. He`s ready to
rewrite the rules of trade with China. He says he`s not going to touch
Social Security and Medicare. He`s the least bellicose of some of these
Republican candidates. He`s not like Rambo Rubio.

HAYES: Speaking of which, Donald Trump started his event. He started
out with a riff about how his ratings for "SNL" were higher than Hillary
Clinton`s ratings, which basically what Michael Steele is laughing. Half
in sadness and half in --


HAYES: But, Michael, this gets to the point, we`ve had a bunch of GOP
strategists on the show over the course of the last few months, who keep
saying with Trump and also with Carson, look, eventually there`s going some
kind of come to Jesus moment where you`re going to have to sort of say this
is what I want to do with the country, these are the policies and defend
them and show some sort of command. You know, it doesn`t seem like we`re
there yet. Are you comfortable when that moment arrives?

STEELE: No, we`re not there. Those consultants and political analyst
types that you have saying they`re on their hands and knees off camera
praying to their gods that moment comes.

Yes, but the reality of this is, it really kind of goes to this whole
phenomenon with Carson right now is that yeah, he doesn`t have all that
experience. That`s a good thing in the eyes of a lot of voters. He`s not
propounding all these policy positions. That`s a good thing, too.

There`s an innate trust that they have in him that he is going to be
different somehow.

Now, what that ultimately is we don`t know, and we certainly don`t
know how it gets defined, which is the scary part. But that`s where a lot
of the voters are right now. They look at the media, they look at the
political class, the professional political class, and they shake their
head in disgust. So, a Trump and a Carson is a safe harbor for them right

HAYES: Well, and, McKay, I mean, the one thought I had watching this
news cycle play out, and starting with the pyramids news cycle, which I
didn`t think we`d have a pyramids news cycle -- I don`t frankly care one
way or the other again. I mean, it does seem ridiculous to say they were
built to store grain.


COPPINS: -- have Trump explain pyramids.

HAYES: I`m a builder. OK? That`s not what you -- so, my question to
you is, but I couldn`t watch that news cycle and think anything than if I`m
a Carson fan this makes me like him all the more. Like, he`s got all the
right enemies, right?

COPPINS: No, exactly, and the thing that illustrates that is that up
until that story broke that day, Donald Trump was actually going after
Carson very aggressively on Twitter. He`d been tweeting nonstop about oh,
well, he says this about how he stabbed his friend but that story`s falling
apart. He tweeted like several tweets and was going after Carson.

And then as soon as it turned and it was fascinating to watch the
evolution because it happened fast, when the West Point story first broke,
a lot of Carson fans I saw online were like oh, this is bad. And then it
very quickly turned into another hit piece by the mainstream media. And
once Trump saw that, he backs off.

HAYES: Let me briefly interject that in his book he said he was
offered a scholarship to West Point which he declined. It now appears the
case he was never actually offered admission. He had a meeting perhaps
with a military official who said he could get it.

VANDEN HEUVEL: Here`s what I worry about, Chris. Forgive me. So
Donald Trump essentially embodies the complete obliteration of the line
between news and entertainment.

And I think our conversation is fun tonight. And I know we`ve got to
do it. But I do think out there, there are a lot of people who really do
believe that government can improve the condition of their lives, that
there are people who are seeking some solutions. You know, that there are
policy ideas they want to hear.

And they`re hearing it from -- the debates have been so badly handled.
And I think the debates are showing also the failure to have a kind of
public interest discussion, serious questions --

HAYES: But this is a question, a supply-demand question. The
question is on the supply side or the demand side. Meaning, you know, if
you`re saying there`s a thirst for real policy that is unmet, that`s a
hypothesis that may or may not be true.

VANDEN HEUVEL: But there`s also a disconnect. You know this
expression that you can -- conservareformicons, right? There was a Pew
Research poll which showed Republicans want Social Security and Medicare,
they want a different way of governing.

And the whole system right now is set up for entertainment because
Trump and Carson are essentially for the most part entertainment.

COPPINS: Let`s also make the point, though, that those pollsters are
calling these voters and giving them options about policy. They`re being
asked about policy. And then they`re saying, yes, I would like XYZ when
we`re talking about policy. I mean, there is a reason that the candidates
who are the most entertaining and loud and provocative are getting the most
votes. I don`t think it`s just the media.

VANDEN HEUVEL: I agree with you. We`re not even talking about the
real power. I mean it, the money piece. The invisible primary -- so much
but not all.

COPPINS: But that`s true, although in this case, right, you`ve got
two people at the front who are not the people who were backed by the
money. Donald Trump and even Ben Carson who say whatever you want, you can
say he`s running a direct mail company. He`s not owned by big donors.

VANDEN HEUVEL: I agree with you. I think Michael Steele, you would
agree. The rules have been rewritten. The rules are being rewritten, and
we don`t know where it`s going to move. The voters haven`t voted yet.

HAYES: Right, that`s a big question. That ends up always being the
big question.

As I followed this campaign so far, there are two things battling on
my mind. One says it`s early, and lots of crazy stuff happens early.


HAYES: And the other says done count on the future being like the

STEELE: Absolutely true.

HAYES: And I don`t know which it is. We watch it as it plays out.
And I think if you had bets going that Donald Trump was going to be a flash
in the pan, you lost that bet.

STEELE: It`s both of those things. I think you really put your
finger on the new reality, the new normal that`s emerging in front of us.
And I think Katrina really segued into it very nicely to explain what`s
happening with Trump.

The downside for not necessarily Trump but Carson right now, think
about it this way: Carson -- why this is important that he gets this story
behind him is that right now he has that support locked in with a
significant part of the GOP base. There`s a lot of folks that support him

But then you also have a widening of that circle. The rest of the
voters. And they`re now tuning in. And that`s where this becomes a
dangerous slope for a lot of these candidates as they go forward on some of
these issues, because the substance will have to come into play at some

HAYES: We shall see.

Michael Steele, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, McKay Coppins --

STEELE: It must, it just must.

HAYES: -- thank you very much.

All right. Still ahead, the season of attack ads is getting ugly.
We`ll show you who`s taking aim at Marco Rubio.

Plus, Rachel Maddow joins me here live to give the inside scoop on
hosting the Democrat Candidate Forum. You want to know about that.

And later, a college football team boycott influences the resignation
of a University of Missouri systems president.

Those stories and more, ahead.



AD NARRATOR: The choice for governor couldn`t be more clear. John
Bel Edwards, he answered our country`s call and served as a ranger in the
82nd Airborne Division.

Or David Vitter, who answered a prostitute`s call minutes after he
skipped a vote honoring 28 soldiers who gave their lives in defense of our

David Vitter chose prostitutes over patriots. Now the choice is


MADDOW: That is a TV ad currently playing in living rooms across
Louisiana. Less than two weeks to go to the state`s gubernatorial runoff
Democratic State Representative John Bel Edwards is going after his
opponent Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter for his role in a
prostitution scandal.

In 2007, Vitter apologized for what he called a very serious sin after
he was linked through phone records to a D.C. madam. Today, Vitter offered
a rebuttal to his opponent`s attack ad with a political ad of his own of


SEN. DAVID VITTER (R), LOUISIANA: Fifteen years ago, I failed my
family but found forgiveness and love. I learned that our falls aren`t
what define us but rather how we get up, accept responsibility, and earn


HAYES: Next, political ads in the GOP presidential primary also
getting harsh. Alan Grayson weighs in on the battle brewing between Ted
Cruz and Marco Rubio.


HAYES: Ahead of tomorrow night`s Republican debate, Marco Rubio and
Ted Cruz are gaining ground.

The latest NBC News/"Wall Street Journal" poll shows the two senators
polling in third and fourth place among Republican primary voters with a
slight edge going to Rubio. Not only are the two in a statistical dead
heat, they are in a statistical dead heat in a contest where the two
candidates polling ahead of them are named Ben Carson and Donald Trump,
which means in the minds of many in the GOP donor class, Marco Rubio and
Ted Cruz are essentially tied for first.

And team Cruz sees an opening. A super PAC allied with Cruz has
thrown the first punch, highlighting Rubio`s support of a failed
immigration reform bill in a new ad.


AD NARRATOR: We all loved how Marco Rubio took apart Jeb Bush in the
debate. Wasn`t it great? But what`s Rubio ever done? Anything?

Other than his "Gang of Eight" amnesty bill, can anyone think of
anything Marco Rubio`s ever done? Anything at all besides amnesty.

Marco Rubio looks good on TV, but that`s about it.

Ted Cruz for president.


HAYES: Joining me now, a man running for Senator Marco Rubio`s seat
in the Senate, Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida.

Congressman, obviously, you want to occupy the seat that Marco Rubio
currently does. What is your judgment on whether that`s a fair or unfair
characterization of his time in the Senate?

REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: It`s fair. Look at his record. All
he did is basically rename September as -- what was it? Spinal injury
month. Something like that.

He`s done nothing of any real value. And it`s a shame. I mean, one
of the things I`m proud of, running for his seat, is the fact that "Slate"
magazine said I`m the most effective member of Congress. In the past few
years in the Republican-controlled House, me, a Democrat, I passed 31
amendments and 15 Grayson bills are now the law of the land.

I did more in a single day a few months ago in terms of passing
amendments than Rubio`s been able to do in five years. And I think that

HAYES: You were spending a lot of time with the constituents of
Florida and I find myself wondering how all of this has played to
Floridians. Obviously, Rubio has chosen not to seek re-election. So, his
abandonment of what was his signature legislative accomplishment doesn`t
really matter in terms of how it plays with Floridians.

But I would imagine that there is significant support in Florida for
something like the comprehensive immigration bill.

GRAYSON: Well, I think Rubio obviously has run away from that. And
it`s interesting that he`s being attacked by Cruz -- being attacked for
that by Cruz in an interesting way.

You listen to the rest of the ad and you`ll see that what Cruz is
saying is Rubio`s done nothing but what Cruz has done is he stopped the
president from stopping things. It`s this weird negative vibe that just
suffuses the whole ad. He`s taking the credit for the president stopping
flights to Tel Aviv. Something I don`t remember it but maybe I missed it.
He said he`s taken credit for stopping the president from stopping your
right to get guns. Again, I don`t remember that happening but somehow I
missed it.

The thing he leaves unsaid is the fact he shut down the government for
16 days, which was a disgrace to everyone involved, Democrat, independent
or Republican.

It seems to me an odd approach here. What he really needs to do is
grab a hold of one of those basic elements of the Republican electorate.
Right now the situation is pretty simple. Right now, Trump has the Tea
Party vote. He`s the biggest ticket, if you will. Carson has the
religious vote. He talks about God all the time.

And I think what Rubio`s trying to do maybe is try to get a hold of
neoconservative foreign policy vote. But what`s happening right now is
that they`re arguing over the scraps on the table. Neither one of them
seems to be able to get into double digits because neither one of them has
latched on to any specific part of the Republican electorate.

HAYES: Your point about Ted Cruz there, it`s a great point that he
did not boast about the shutdown, which if you were to say what`s the thing
that Ted Cruz has done since he got to the shut -- to the Senate, it was
unambiguously an accomplishment insofar as a junior senator managing to
convince his colleagues in the House to pass something they knew would shut
down the government is something of an accomplishment if you`re in favor of
that. It is striking he doesn`t brag about it.

GRAYSON: It`s destructive. That`s just his nature. He`s incredibly

If you listen to his speeches, he`s really the Miley Cyrus of the
Republican Party. You listen to his speech and you feel like you see him
twerking every right-winger in sight.

HAYES: Do you think Rubio should resign from his seat before next
year, as some have called for him to do, because of his record of
attendance in the Senate?

GRAYSON: Absolutely. Listen, the only way that I can get done what I
get done, those 31 amendments in two years, those 15 bills in two years, is
by working hard. And it is possible to get good things done for people.

When I moved $40 million from the defense weapons budget into the
biomedical research budget, I feel good about that. But the only way to
make that happen is to make it happen.

And he simply hasn`t done that. He has been AWOL on this job. He has
no-show Rubio. He`s been that way for five years straight. It`s time to
get someone else a chance to get good things done for people.

HAYES: Do you find as a legislator that there are some legislators
who evidently love the process of it and some who don`t?

GRAYSON: Well, love is the wrong word. I think there are some of us
who understand the power of it and some of us don`t.

I mean, a lot of us wake up every day. I`m not one of those. But a
lot of us wake up every day simply scratching our heads and wondering, how
do I win the next election and keep this job that pays me $174,000 a year?

HAYES: Right.

GRAYSON: And others of us wake up every day and say, there are
700,000 people who are counting on me to do something good for them in
their lives, how can I do that? And it`s a big divide.

HAYES: Congressman Alan Grayson, thanks for your time.

GRAYSON: Thank you.

HAYES: Up next, the conservative Republican governor-elect of
Kentucky proposes a solution to the same-sex marriage license dispute
raised by county clerk Kim Davis. Why I agree with his solution, ahead.


HAYES: The governor-elect of Kentucky, Matt Bevin, the extremely
conservative tea party Republican businessman who polls showed trailing on
election day against Democrat Jack Conway, pulled off a pretty resounding
victory that day.

Part of that was fueled by throwing his lot in with social
For instance, rallying around county clerk Kim Davis, who was jailed for
contempt of court when she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex
couples. Which you recall, turned into quite the national spectacle before,
during, and after her
stint in jail, but particularly upon her release.


KIM DAVIS, COUNTY CLERK: Thank you all so much. I just want to give
God the
glory. His people have rallied, and you are a strong people!

[ cheers and applause ]


HAYES: Now that Bevin has been elected, he says that one of his first
acts as governor will be to follow through on his support of Kim Davis.
Quote, "one thing I will take care of right away is we will remove the
names of the county clerks on the marriage form."

As a strong supporter of marriage equality myself, I think this is a
perfectly fine solution. If this is what that accommodation comes to, fine.
No one cares if some county clerk`s name is on their marriage license

People get married, want to see their own name on the marriage
license, along with the name of the one they love. If everyone can now go
back to work and we can all move on, then way to go, Matt Bevin.

Hopefully he will pick a path on the health care of 400,000
Kentuckians who are currently part of the Medicaid expansion that is
equally non-destructive.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good evening. I`m Rachel Maddow, and welcome to
the MSNBC First in the South Democratic Forum.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to rebuild our nation`s infrastructure.
It`s crumbling. That`s why I no longer drive on bridges or through tunnels.

Instead, I keep a kayak strapped to the top of my car.


HAYES: The open of Saturday Night Live had some fun with MSNBC`s
First in the South Democrat Candidates Forum.

The forum, moderated by our own Rachel Maddow, offered a unique format
that to be entirely honest, I was not quite sure would work, but ended up
being a real breath of fresh air, particularly given all the complaints
that have been lodged against various televised debates over the past
couple of months.

I found it to be two of the most edifying hours of the campaign thus


me as a candidate to figure out a way that I could deny the vote to people
because they might vote against me. And the people who do that are
political cowards. They`re afraid of a fair election.

We have a real crisis in this country.

take a very big collective breath and ask ourselves, what is happening, and
what is motivating the kind of violence we`re seeing?

And it`s particularly troubling when it`s from a position of
authority, whether it`s in a school or a police officer on the street. But

[ applause ]

That is not the only place this is happening.

MARTIN O`MALLEY: And now I hear all of these Republicans squawking
about the
debt, the debt, the debt. Well, you know what? The reason we have the debt
is because George Bush falsely led us into war and didn`t even ask us to
pay for it along the way.


HAYES: Today, in response to the news that governor Chris Christie
vetoed an automatic voter registration bill for the third time, Hillary
Clinton tweeted, "Yet another Republican refuses to make it easier to vote.
What part of democracy are they so afraid of?"

She also filed her official paperwork for the New Hampshire primary,
held a rally, and was beset with questions of eager reporters.

Today Bernie Sanders appeared at the Fair Immigration Reform Movement
in Las Vegas and said that as president he would stop deporting
undocumented immigrants if they have lived in the country for at least five

Joining me now, the host of The Rachel Maddow Show, my colleague and
friend, Rachel Maddow.

I thought it was great. I really mean that. I really did think it was
two of
the most edifying hours of the campaign.

No long debates about what were the pyramids for.

RACHEL MADDOW, THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW: You know, it was interesting.
I had a bunch of questions written for each of the candidates about the
Republicans, about you know, like why is the Republican field so big when
the Democratic field is so small, and what do you think it says about the
Republican party that their
front-runners are Ben Carson and Donald Trump who`ve never held office
before, and how will you beat Donald Trump since none of the other
Republicans can?

You know, I had a whole bunch of Republican questions, and then I
realized once I was there, sort of eyeball to eyeball with them, and I was
like, oh no, I can go way deeper on stuff that`s not about stuff that`s
outside this room.

HAYES: You know, one of the things that struck me was that part of
the spectacle of the Republican field and part of, I think, the complaints
of the
candidates about the debate just really has to do with the zero sum problem
of too many people and not enough air time.

Part of what made that really edifying was how sustained it was. I
mean, you can sit and listen to someone actually think through something,
say -- you know, speak in paragraphs for a long period of time.

MADDOW: You don`t get that opportunity, even with a little push.

Like no, no, no, that`s away from the question. You come back to the

You get a chance to do that without seeming like you`re just watching
the clock. I mean, you do have to watch the clock. I tried to approximate
15 minutes and then a break and 10 minutes with each of them. I had a
little stump thing I
wanted to do with each of them to break it up.

HAYES: I like the stump thing.

MADDOW: It`s something, and I think it ended up -- I don`t have any
regrets about it. I know people can make fun of it, but I actually think it
was a helpful thing, and it made it a much easier thing to watch. But you
do have -- time is
always finite. How you divide it is up to you, though. And how the
Republicans choose to pick their candidate this year, is to a certain
extent up to them.

And they have not given us a format in which we can hear from any of
them at length.

HAYES: And that was the thing I kept imaging myself, because you know
you have these three people, Hillary Clinton and Martin O`Malley and Bernie
Sanders, and I think there are people like this on the Republican side, who
whatever you think about their politics are just able to have a level of

HAYES: That shows like oh, these are not doofuses.

You may think like well, I don`t think she`d be a good president, I
hate her politics, or Bernie Sanders is too far left for me. But the guy
knows what he`s talking about fundamentally. And U felt like the format
showed that in a way that I
would even love to see it for everyone.

Because who knows what`s there is sort of my weird feeling about the
vetting process we`re seeing on the Republican side.

MADDOW: Yes. And you couldn`t hold people`s attention to do what I
did with
14 candidates in a row on the Republican side.

But, let`s say hypothetically we had a less partisan universe and a
less hypercritical media politics nexus, and you could do, you know what,
foreign policy. Let`s do four candidates, let`s do Democrats and

Marco Rubio has zero foreign policy experience. He`s decided to make
policy the touchstone of his campaign. Well, that`s great as long as he can
just give slogans at the debates.

HAYES: Which he does effectively.

MADDOW: Which he does very effectively, but I`d love to go in depth
him, alongside the person with the most foreign policy experience on the
side, who`s Lindsey Graham, who`s not even allowed to debate.

Martin O`Malley, zero experience on foreign policy. I`d love to hear
from him in some depth, because he`s figured out a couple of bumper
stickers on it but has zero experience on the issue. And then Hillary
Clinton, who`s got the most extensive foreign policy experience of anybody
who`s run for president in a long time.

Like, putting those four just randomly off the top of my head together
just on foreign policy for an hour and a half --

HAYES: Would be fascinating.

MADDOW: I mean, you wouldn`t even need popcorn. It`d be good.

HAYES: Do you feel like there were moments of surprise? Do you feel
like you learned things over that period of time?

MADDOW: Yes, I do. When I asked Secretary Clinton about a concern
that I hear from a lot of people just an anecdotally in my life about the
sense that she would be more hawkish than President Obama and she flat out
said no, I would not be
a more aggressive commander in chief. I didn`t expect that from her. I
never heard her articulate that before.

HAYES: I agree. It was surprisingly unhedged as an answer.

MADDOW: Yeah. And she hasn`t -- people say that about her. I`m not
sure anybody has ever said it to her and given her a chance to directly
respond. And it totally surprised me when she came back with that, and I`d
love to talk to her more about it.

I was surprised that Martin O`Malley went after her for having been a
Republican in high school, which I think is what he was doing when he was
talking about former Republicans, because Bernie Sanders isn`t a former

She really was a Republican in high school I think.

And then he went so hard on the socialist issue.

HAYES: Yeah, let me play that little bit of tape, because I thought
it was interesting.

Here`s Rachel asking O`Malley about the sort of -- whether socialist
is disqualifying.


MADDOW: Do you think that him being a Democratic socialist is
disqualifying, he shouldn`t be running for president, that`s too big a
distraction, him in the race means that`s what people talk about and that`s

It seems like that`s the case you`re making.

when President Obama was running for re-election, I was glad to step up and
work very hard for him, while Senator Sanders was trying to find someone to
primary him.

I am a Democrat. I`m a lifelong Democrat. I`m not a former
Independent. I`m not a former Republican. I believe in the party of
Franklin Roosevelt, the party of
John F. Kennedy. I believe that we`re all in this together.


MADDOW: Interesting. I didn`t expect him to go there. I had heard
from the chair of the South Carolina Democratic party ahead of the forum
when I did an interview with him that one of the things he was hearing as a
knock on Bernie Sanders from South Carolina Democrats was that he isn`t a
real Democrat.

He said, the chairman of the party said he`d even be pressured by some
Hillary supporters that Bernie shouldn`t be allowed into the forum because
he`s not a real Democrat and he shouldn`t be there.

But for Martin O`Malley to embody that criticism and really go for it
there, who knew?

I didn`t know that was the fight we were going to have.

HAYES: This sort of left me wanting to see more of this basically.

I mean, I really do think that you get to a lot with time with people
and sort of the -- and preparation and that ability to kind of push back
but also let
them speak.

That has been the problem I think so far.

MADDOW: It also really helps to have people there. You push these
candidates when you interview them. I`ve seen you do incredibly intense
interviews with both
O`Malley and Sanders, and I`m sure you will with Clinton when you get her.

But having voters there and having the context of a primary in South
Carolina, it was a good moment.

I`m proud of how we did it.

HAYES: All right. Republican candidates, let`s do more of these.


HAYES: I`m sure, Rachel, any state --

MADDOW: Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow would love to do a Republican
candidates debate. That`s all we have to do is ask.


HAYES: Rachel Maddow, thanks.

All right. Still to come, why two major resignations at the University
of Missouri today spotlights the massive power college athletes can wield.
We`ll talk about that ahead.


HAYES: More than half the world believes climate change is a big
deal, that`s the good news from a new peer researched centered survey of
climate change attitudes.

In 22 of the 40 nations studied, half or more believe that global
warming is a very serious problem.

Those nations, with the majority of people saying climate change is a
very serious problem include many nations in Africa, such a Uganda, Ghana,
Kenya, Nigeria. South African countries like Brazil, Chile, Venezuela. Some
South East Asian nations, including the Philippians and Vietnam, which are
particularly exposed to the effects.

And while lower levels of support are still crossing the 50 percent
threshold, European nations like France, Italy and Germany.

Two nations that don`t make the cut, China and the U.S., we`re just
18% and 45% respectively believe climate change is a very serious problem.

Those two nations, China and the U.S., also happen to be the world`s
greatest carbon contributors. Which reminds me of the great Upton Sinclair
Theory, it is
difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on
him not
understanding it.

It appears that can apply to entire populaces as well.



everybody, from students to faculty and staff, to my friends, everybody.
Use my resignation to heal and start talking again, to make the changes
necessary. And let`s focus on changing what we can change today and in the
future, not what we can`t change, which is what happened in the past.


HAYES: Stunning turn of events at The University of Missouri today,
where University President Tim Wolfe has resigned. The chancellor of the
Columbia campus, R. Bowen Lofton, announced he will resign at the end of
the year.

Both men stepped aside today under pressure from students,
particularly a very powerful group of students, the University of Missouri
football team, who agreed not to participate in any football-related
activities until Tim Wolfe was gone.

For months now students at The University of Missouri have been
arguing the school`s top officials have not done enough to address
incidents of racist
harassment and other issues on campus.

In September, the Missouri student association president, an African
American, talked about the time a group of men in the back of a pickup
yelled racial slurs at him.

The university`s black student government detailed a similar incident
of the racism last month, when an inebriated white male called them n

Just a couple weeks ago the racial tension culminated when someone
used their own feces to smear a swastika on a communal bathroom wall in a
brand new residence

In an effort to put pressure on Wolfe to resign, Missouri grad student
Jonathan Butler went on a hunger strike last Monday.

In a letter he wrote, "I will not consume any food or nutritional
substance at the expense of my health until either Tim Wolfe is removed
from office or my
internal organs fail and my life is lost."

Butler`s act of protest was followed up by a display of solidarity by
some of the school`s most prized athletes. On Saturday night a statement
went out that read, "The athletes of color on The University of Missouri
football team will no
longer participate in any football-related activities until President Tim
resigns or is removed due to his negligence toward marginalized students`
experiences. We are united."

And yesterday, the entire football team got involved. Head Coach Gary
Pinkel tweeted out this picture of the team with the caption, "The MIZZOU
family stands as one. We are united. We are behind our players."

Now, the football team on strike would have meant the school would
forfeit next weekend`s game against BYU. That would reportedly cost
Missouri a million dollars, which appears to be the thing that finally got
the administration`s attention.

We`ll talk about the ramifications of this game-changing moment, next.


HAYES: Joining me now, Jelani Cobb, staff writer of The New Yorker,
history writer at University of Connecticut, and Dave Zirin, sports editor
of The Nation, host of The Edge of Sports podcast.

Dave, you`ve been doing a lot of reporting on this story before it
kind of exploded onto national consciousness. Give us a little bit of
context of how this got to this point.

DAVE ZIRIN, THE EDGE OF SPORTS: Well, how it got to the point at
Missouri, I mean, it goes back years.

Years of racial tension, years of students and faculty members of
color feeling marginalized, feeling like they weren`t being heard.

And it really came to a head with the killing of Michael Brown in
Ferguson, just two hours away from campus.

It was a pretty generalized outrage that the Columbia campus, the St.
Louis campus, and the campus in Kansas city all felt like it wasn`t being
taken seriously, that it wasn`t being taken as a moment to speak about
systematic oppression on campus.

And I really think the beginning of the end for Tim Wolfe was even
less the football players stepping back than that moment where Tim Wolfe
was asked on a
personal camera, what do you say about systematic oppression on campus, and
basically said, well, it`s in your head.

And I think that`s what really brought it to the point where people
said this is just unendurable, we have to do something.

HAYES: You know, I`ve seen some of the response today.

And these become these sort of Rorschach tests, particularly anything
on campus politics become real Rorschach tests. People were not there all
of a sudden get very intense opinions about what`s going on on the campus.

But people said look, it sounds like many of the complaints that
students had, students of color, sound like horrible experiences, but
weren`t being done by actual members of the faculty or members of the
university family as it were.

I mean, what`s your feeling about that?

JELANI COBB, THE NEW YORKER: Well, I think that`s partly true. But
the other part of it is that you`re in charge of setting the climate, you
know, in the institution.

And certainly, it`s the perception of you as a person that does it, or
as a leader that doesn`t really care about these things, is as detrimental
as being a
leader that doesn`t really care about these things.

And so, if you`re looking at the students trying to talk to or
confront the president at homecoming, he stays in the car and doesn`t talk
to them. Or the other instances that are going on on campus of racism and
it doesn`t appear as if the
institution recognizes the importance, then it does become something that
is in the
president`s purview.

HAYES: Dave, I never heard of a big-time college football team
essentially threatening a strike. I was looking around today to try to find
some examples. I couldn`t really come up with a proper precedent.

How big a deal was this?

ZIRIN: This is huge. I mean, this is the chickens coming home to
roost. And not just chickens but billion-dollar golden geese coming home to
roost because the
modern campus has been set up in such a way that -- and at most state
colleges, the head coach is the highest-paid person, not just on campus but
in the state. And also, the football team is the center of economic,
social, and even psychological and, hey, in some states religious life in
the town.

And because of that though, what they`ve done is set up college
disproportionately African American, have set them up to have a remarkable
power if they choose to exercise it. All the gears go to a halt. And that`s
what we saw at Missouri.

HAYES: Well, and that`s what was so striking, right?

48 hours earlier, the president says I`m not going anywhere. And
obviously, I don`t want to take away from the fact there was obviously a
huge amount of organizing happening before the football students got
involved, and it wouldn`t have got to this point without that, but it did
seem like now -- and I wonder if in a weird way this ends up reinforcing
the sort of centrality of football in kind
of a perverse fashion?

COBB: It possibly does. But the currency people are worried about
here is not moral. It`s monetary. But I do think that there are these
instances like across the country. You look at what`s happening here,
what`s happening in Yale, on my own campus, University of Connecticut we
dealt with this mac and cheese situation not
very long ago.

And I think what`s happening --

HAYES: Is that the dude who wanted to (inaudible) mac and cheese --

COBB: The slurs and the things that were spoken about there.

But I think that what happens, and we`re seeing that people are able
to organize through social media, that there`s a greater awareness of this.

And, Dave is exactly right. A lot of this comes directly out of
Ferguson, or at least is inspired in conjunction with --

HAYES: And I`ve got to say, Dave, my thought today was every campus
activist in America, particularly at a big time state school, just got a
blueprint for how to escalate your campaign to the highest possible level.

ZIRIN: And you know what? That`s been known by administrators for
some time. That`s why the scholarship athletes are at the revenue-producing
sports are so
segregated from the campus, their own dorms, their own cafeterias. At some
state schools there`s even a tunnel that goes directly from the dorms to
the weight room so they don`t have to interact with the students

I hope student activists see this as an opportunity to actually
approach student athletes, talk to them but more importantly, hear their
grievances and try to link in common cause.

HAYES: All right. Jelani Cobb and Dave Zirin, thank you both for your

That`s All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right
now, and Rachel has some new polling data on how South Carolina Democrats
interpreted that
Democratic forum on Friday night. I can`t wait to see that.

MADDOW: Thank you very much, Chris.


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