All In   |  November 07, 2013

Who will be the GOP’S contender in 2016?

Amy Davidson, Josh Barro and Ana Marie Cox return to discuss who has the best chances to become the Republican presidential nominee in 2016.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we're back. i'm here with josh barrel, amy davidson , and ana marie cox . josh, we should pay less attention to problems overseas and krons trait on problems at home. among republicans, 67% agree in 2007 . by 2012 , it's up to 86% agree. there's going to be a really interesting moment in january when the next year of sequester comes up. and it goes after defense spending very hard. and it's going to be really interesting to see people in the republican party take a side on the sequester, which will be this kind of forced choice.

>> i think it will be interesting, but i think it's a foregone conclusion what the answer is going to be. when democrats talk about getting a sequester unwinding deal, they say, oh, there are these republicans who really care about the defense sequester. people like john mccain and buck mckeegan. and those are the two names we're saying over and over , because the list isn't much longer than those two names. so, yeah, i think there's been a shift in the republican party , partly because there's a democratic president, partly because the iraq war has gone quite badly in a way that all political parties seem to recognize now. i think there's not a lot of appetite among most republicans for more wars and for more military spending . so i think in the primaries, i think christie will rhetorically be aligned with the hawks, but i don't expect him, for example, to pick a fight over the sequester or anything nearly that specific. i also think it's probably a position of mostly convenience, where he is now. the hawkish elements in the party are not really in the grassroots.

>> no, yes.

>> they're the same sort of people who don't care that much about restraining government spending . they're more moderate on their domestic policy positions. and these are natural allies --

>> those are his people.

>> right. but when you look at what people running for president say about foreign policy before their president, it's often a completely useless guide to what they actually do. both george bush and obama.

>> but it is notable, ana marie, how much the party has been wrenched away from john mccain in this respect.

>> well, yes. i think he was one of the least popular rshl candidates within the party base that they've had. and i think, again, christie , i agree with josh on almost everything he's saying. i think the republican party is probably not going to protest too much, the sequester. i think they found what they think is a really winning issue in just this harsh, harsh, harsh austerity method that sounds good to people until the things that they need or want or affected. i also think -- again, i go back to the chris christie , george w. bush comparison. i think that he will say lots of different things about foreign policy . i'm not sure what's going to wind up being the truth.

>> we cannot talk about rand paul without the latest revelation. when rachel first did the thing on rand paul , i said, oh, that's embarrassing, that's funny. then a few more things came out and i said, oh, there's some staffer out there who's just cutting corners and they should fire that staffer and this is embarrassing. his reaction to it has been completely unhinged. like, i do not understand why he has lost so -- he -- more instances of plagiarism in rand paul 's book. he then gives an interview to "the new york times." he said, we're going to do from here on forward that will make them leave me the hell alone is give out my college paper and put out footnotes. and "the washington times " has canceled his column because they found instances of plagiarism and he is moving his column to breitbart.com.

>> i don't think it's entirely coincidental, also, that he's gone after christie in this week, when he would like to talk about anything else. but he's been really, i mean, one of the best moments this week is when he was so upset at all the attention christie was getting, that he began attacking the idea that christie had in his speech, that everything was messed up in washington . and you had rand paul defending washington , defending the washington process. i think this goes back to the whole idea that there are these different ideas in the republican party . every time, lake, when christie tried to give a serious speech about foreign policy , then just veered off into this battle with paul . when paul , in his own way, tries to make a point about government spending , it then just gets deranged. and in the end, each of them tries to define himself against the other in a serious way, and they just end up brawling. and that's all they get defined as. and that's maybe all that's going on in the republican party .

>> but i've also, this week has made me come to deeply question rand paul 's basic, competent manage of his own office and staff.

>> i would say one thing about that. yes, you should question it. however, i think this is more common than you might expect within the conservative space. i mean, i work for two different conservative think tanks .

>> do you mean the plagiarism part?

>> no, if you work for a think tank and some elected official is plagiarizing out of your report, you're not going to go attack the -- you're thrilled. the idea that you were paid to get out there has gotten out there in one of the higher profile ways possible. so i think paul 's been in an environment that he can get away with this. normally, the way people get caught for plagiarism is the author comes forward, but none of the authors were upset. so it may have led him to think inside this conservative bubble, well, the authors don't care, so why --

>> only plagiarize from think tanks that will be overjoyed that rand paul is giving a speech that's a huge chunk out of a kato position paper . amy davidson from the new yorker, josh barrel from the business insider, and ana marie cox from the guardian u.s., thank you all for your time. that's all for "all in" this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts right