All In With Chris Hayes, Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

April 1, 2014

Guests: Steve Beshear, David Cay Johnston, Diana DeGette

STEVE KORNACKI, GUEST HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Steve
Kornacki in for Chris Hayes tonight.

Today, President Obama went before a cheering crowd of lawmakers and
supporters in the White House Rose Garden and he declared a victory in what
has been and what continues to be a very long battle over the Affordable
Care Act.


open enrollment period under this law came to an end. Seven-point-one
million Americans have now signed up for private insurance plans through
these marketplaces -- 7.1 million.


Seven-point-one million, that`s on top of the more than 3 million
young adults who`ve gained insurance under this law by staying on their
family`s plan. That`s on top of the millions more who`ve gained access
through Medicaid expansion and the children`s health insurance program.


KORNACKI: Seven million enrollees was a landmark worth celebrating
for the White House. There was actually a celebration that began last
night when the U.S. chief technology officer, Todd Park, rang in the
midnight deadline outside the Maryland headquarters of the tech company
that had been hired to fix the Obamacare Web site.


CROWD: Seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.


the 7 million enrollee goal.



KORNACKI: Now, on a day like this, it is worth remembering that on
the eve of the launch of the federal exchange, all the way back on
September 30th of last year, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen
Sebelius defined how success was going to be measured.



KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HHS SECRETARY: Well, I think success looks like at
least 7 million people having signed up by the end of March 2014.


KORNACKI: And that 7 million number was also what the Congressional
Budget Office had predicted. The Web site`s disastrous launch which sent
the media into a feeding frenzy forced the administration to hedge a bit on
those projections.

Here`s Vice President Joe Biden on February 16th, this was just 6
weeks ago.


you know, initially we talked about by the end of this period having 7
million people lined up, we might not get to 7 million, but we`re going to
get to 5 million or 6 million and that`s a hell of a start.


KORNACKI: And many fair-minded analysts, too, were expecting
enrollment was going to fall short of the magic number. From Ezra Klein,
November of last year, Obamacare won`t get 7 million enrollees in 2014, and
that`s OK. But for critics of Obamacare, the possible failure of the
health care exchange provided a reliable centerpiece, what they saw as the
ultimate failure of the law as a whole.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On Obamacare, do you think Obamacare can survive
this mess that`s it in right now or completely scrapped and start again?

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Obamacare is a failure. It`s
always been a failure and it will not succeed. It just won`t.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Unlike other issues like Katrina or the Iraq war
that we`ve seen in the other -- in the past second term, this is something
that touches so many people`s lives across the country and you don`t know
whether the president is going to be able to successfully dodge it.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Millions of people across the country have
seen why we were stand and fighting because Obamacare is a disaster.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Poll after poll indicates that
Obamacare is a failure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good evening, everybody. Obamacare is failing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obamacare is a failure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obamacare is doomed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obamacare is doomed to fail.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clearly, this Obamacare is a failure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obamacare has been a failure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obamacare is a colossal failure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Virginia understands that Obamacare is a failure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His signature program, which was Obamacare, is
going to go down in flames.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They need 7 million by March. No way they`re
going it hit those metrics. Whatever it is, they need 7 million by March
to make the numbers work and they ain`t going to make it work.


KORNACKI: And so, today, with that 7 million enrollee bar not only
reached but surpassed, President Obama didn`t shy away from hitting back at
critics and sounding what might be a rallying cry for a tough midterm
election battle ahead.


OBAMA: It`s working. It`s helping people from coast to coast. All
of which makes the lengths to which critics have gone to scare people or
undermine the law or try to repeal the law without offering any plausible
alternative so hard to understand. I got to admit, I don`t get it.

Why are folks working so hard for people not to have health insurance?
Why are they so mad about the idea of folks having health insurance? But
the debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is
here to stay.

It is making sure that we are not the only advanced country on earth
that doesn`t make sure everybody has basic health care. And that`s thanks
in parts to leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Dick Durbin and all the members
of Congress who are here today.


We could not have done it without them. And they should be proud of
what they`ve done. They should be proud of what they`ve done.


KORNACKI: And joining me now is MSNBC senior political analyst David
Axelrod. He`s former senior adviser to President Obama and is now director
of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.

David, thanks for joining us tonight.


KORNACKI: I have to say, I was watching this speech today. My
reaction was this is not an ordinary President Obama speech. I mean, he
was talking about how history was going to be looking on people who tried
to repeal this law even after it had been passed. We heard him there
saying the debate is over.

It really seemed to me he was trying to get people, you know, public
opinion has been so sort of polarized on this for so long. It really
seemed to me like he was trying to get people to take a step back from the
political debate and assess this law all over again and sort of get away
from the politicization of the last four years.

Was that his goal? And do you think there`s a realistic chance of
achieving that?

AXELROD: Well, I think there was also an element of relief. I -- you
know, as one who worked on the passage of the Affordable Care Act, I only
had a small sense of how frustrated the president must have been last fall
when the launch went so badly and all these doomsday predictions took hold.
And so, I`m sure it was an exhilarating thing to see the demand for this
insurance and the way it all came together at the end. I think that what`s
clear is that the people who hoisted the mission demolished banners were a
little bit premature in their doomsday forecasts.

So, do I think that it`s going to turn people? I think it will help
change the attitude that government can`t do anything, that this system
can`t work, and that will be positive.

There`s still a long way to go in the public debate. I do believe
that this is not going to be repealed. I don`t even think, Steve, the
Republicans believe that it`s going to be repealed.

It`s too rooted now and not just this insurance, but all the other
insurance protections that people have that they`re not going to want to
take away. I think this is a turnout tool for the Republicans in the fall.
But it`s not going to be repealed.

It`s going to take some time to win the public opinion battle as
people become more familiar with the law and what they`re getting from it.

KORNACKI: Yes. Let me ask you about that a little bit, because, you
know, the endurance of the opposition to this thing -- I mean, it`s
basically we just passed the four-year anniversary of when this passed the
House in March of 2010. You know, we had that Supreme Court ruling in June
of 2012, and that supposedly settled it. Then, we had the presidential
election of 2012. If there`s any doubt, that supposedly settled it.

I guess when you kind of look at the long arc of history, you know, it
took 100 years to get some kind of national health care, you know, plan
through and into law. So we`re talking about history in a real long term

But when you look at that long arc, where do you think we are right
now it terms of this just becoming an uncontested piece o the social safety

AXELROD: Well, I think it`s going to take -- it`s going to take some
time. Obviously, this was a milestone because if this hadn`t worked, it
would have given some new impetus to the critics to say we have to rethink
what we`re doing.

I think most Americans, Steve, are at the point now where they believe
this law is here to stay and, yes, we ought to improve it, but we`ve got a
lot of other issue facing this country, and let`s not keep fighting the old
fight all over again. I think it`s going to be sometime, you know, in a
matter of years before people say, you know what, this thing was a really
smart and good thing to do. That`s going to take a little bit more time,
but that`s the reason why it was so courageous to take it on.

You know, we reward -- in politics, we get rewarded for short-term
gain, not long-term gain. And anything that involves long-term gain, but
short-term angst, is not welcomed by politicians. The fact that the
president and those who supported this law took that on was a credit to
them. They thought about the next generation and not just the next

I think it will pay off over time.

KORNACKI: You know, there was a part of the speech today, too, where
the president, you know, it was sort of a lighthearted moment. But he
said, hey, look, you know, I can guarantee you the Web site is going to
have problems again. There will be a day when the Web site goes down for a
day and the media might make a big deal about it, but it`s not a big deal,
sort of saying there are going to be bumps in the road.

It does occur to me going forward -- I mean, he showcased in his
speech today a number of individual stories. Of individual people who`ve
been helped by this law in saying, hey, look, if you want to talk object
repealing this law, you`re talking about taking away this person`s health
care, the protection this person now has.

But it seems to me, in terms of the public opinion and public debate
over this, the question going forward is, what is going to get more
attention in the public sphere? Is it the stories like the one the
president told today or, you know, you have Republicans saying, hey, these
people were forced off the plans they had, the Web site was down for this
day. Which of those is going to get more weight in the media?

It seems to me that`s going to drive public opinion a lot, too.

AXELROD: Well, one of the challenges is anything that goes wrong in
the health care system, anyone who gets an increase in their premiums of
whatever size, anybody who gets denied coverage of any sort, is going to
say, well, this must be because of the Affordable Care Act, or at least
that`s what`s they`re going to be told by the opponents. That`s a problem.

I think one thing that`s important to recognize, and one of the
dangers here of this very, very positive news is that the whole of the
Affordable Care Act gets interpreted as just the health care exchanges.
And the fact, there`s so many things about this law that impact people who
have insurance in a positive way.

If you get sick now, you`re not going to go bankrupt because of caps.
There are no more caps, and insurance companies can`t throw you off just
because you`re sick. If they spend more of your money, more than 20
percent of your premium on things other than health care, they have to give
the money back to you.

Seniors -- 8 million seniors are getting more comprehensive
prescription drug coverage now, all these kids who are on insurance under
26 who couldn`t have got there before. So, all these things are positive
and need to be emphasized, not just the success of the exchanges.

KORNACKI: Right. Right. With every milestone that gets passed, with
every new enrollee, it gets tougher to make an argument to take something
away from people.

Anyway, MSNBC senior political analyst, David Axelrod -- thank you for
joining us tonight.

AXELROD: Good to be with you.

KORNACKI: Coming up next, there is one thing that determines what
people think of Obamacare. Just one thing. I`m going to tell you what it
is. That`s ahead.


KORNACKI: Coming up today, the CEO of General Motors faced questions
from lawmakers over why it took the company so long to do something about
the defect in their cars that led to the deaths of more than a dozen


REP. DIANA DEGETTE (D), COLORADO: Between 2003 and 2014, G.M. learned
hundreds of reports of ignition switch problems, through customer
complaints, warranty claims, lawsuits, press coverage, field reports, and
even more internal investigations. But time and time again, G.M. did


KORNACKI: And the person you just saw there, Congresswoman Diana
DeGette, she will be here. That`s ahead.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re talking about health care today. Which plan
to you support, Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Affordable Care Act.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you agree with the Affordable Care Act or


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And why do you prefer the Affordable Care Act over

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just don`t agree with the whole Obamacare
policy thing that`s going on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What plan do you support, Obamacare or the
Affordable Care Act?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Affordable Care Act.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do you support that over Obamacare?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do not like Obamacare. I do not like anything
forced for everybody to buy.


KORNACKI: So, Jimmy Kimmel may have found the key to cracking public
opinion on Obamacare. You just don`t call it Obamacare.

Even as people are beginning to see the benefits of the new law and
even as the president delivered a victory speech in the Rose Garden today,
the politics around health reform is as contentious as ever. Four years
after the law was passed and almost two years after it was upheld by the
Supreme Court, only 20 percent of Republicans support it, while nearly four
times as many Democrats, 76 percent, support the federal health care law.

Republicans` stubborn opposition to the law may be one reason why
Kentucky`s health insurance Web site, a place for folks in that state can
sign up for Obamacare, why the site downplays any relationship to the word

The success of Obamacare in a state where Mitt Romney defeated Barack
Obama by nearly 23 points last year is actually nothing short of an amazing
story. Kentucky has enrolled more than 370,000 people in new health care
coverage. Kentucky`s uninsured rate has dropped by 40 percent.

These numbers explain why Kentucky`s Democratic governor, Steve
Beshear, who is perhaps the biggest supporter of Obamacare in the entire
South called the law a, quote, "a gift from heaven."

Just a few days ago, Kentucky senior senator, Republican Mitch
McConnell, was still calling the law disastrous saying that, quote, "the
pain caused by this terrible law is easy to see."

Forty-nine percent of Kentucky voters who recently said they want to
repeal the law probably agree with that sentiment. So, as successful as
the federal health care law appears to be, there`s also a political
disconnect in fully understanding it in Kentucky. Perry Bacon points out
this week at Yahoo! News, "Even Republicans here say that some Kentuckians
will criticize Obamacare but in the next breath emphasize how well the
statewide exchange known as Connect works, as if they`re not part of the
same law."

Joining me now is the governor of Kentucky, Democrat Steve Beshear.

Governor Beshear, thanks for joining us tonight.

I was so eager to talk to you today really because of that clip we
showed at the beginning from Jimmy Kimmel`s show. That`s something that`s
really fascinated me as the debate over this progressed, when you describe
the individual components of this law to people, you find the individual
components by in large are very popular. When you call it the Affordable
Care Act, people are a lot more likely to say they support it than

And now, you know, you have the example in your state where so many
people are clearly benefiting from this. We just cited the statistics and
yet you take a poll in your state and a plurality says let`s get rid of

GOV. STEVE BESHEAR (D), KENTUCKY: You know, Steve, there`s a lot in
language, I guess, but what Kentuckians did do on October 1st, they started
finding out for themselves. You know, there was this avalanche of
misinformation put out by the opponents of the Affordable Care Act. And
credit to Kentuckians, they decided, hey, let`s find out what this is all
about, and look what`s happened since October 1, over 370,000 Kentuckians
have signed up for affordable health coverage.

There is an eagerness, there is a hunger, there is a desire for
affordable health coverage for themselves, their family, their kids. And
it`s been a great success here. I`m thrilled about it, not just because
next month or next year, more people will have health care, but because in
a generation, Kentucky is going to be a much healthier state, have a much
more productive workforce and change the history of Kentucky.

KORNACKI: And that`s -- look, you get to the bottom line of it right
there. All of these people who have signed up, the success you`ve had.
You can`t understate the importance of that. But when you look at the
politics of it, it raises a very serious question for 2014 because you`re
in a state that this is one of the biggest -- you know, Kentucky is one of
the biggest battlegrounds this year for control of the U.S. Senate. The
Republican leader, he`s facing maybe a tough primary, definitely a tough
general election.

We just heard there in the intro to this piece, I mean, he`s calling
it a disaster. His party is still promising to repeal it. The Democratic
nominee in Kentucky, you know, because of the polling data we just showed,
you know, Alison Grimes, not eager to be associated with Obamacare. So,
there`s the possibility here that the state of Kentucky, which is where the
residents are benefiting so much from this, may still send back to the
Senate somebody who says repeal it, it`s a terrible law.

BESHEAR: Well, Steve, you know, back in October, in the middle of
October, when things weren`t going well on a federal level, I said then,
hey, folks, take a deep breath because this is going to work. It may take
a while, but they`re going to get that fix and this is going to work
because people are eager for affordable health coverage.

I also said in December that, look, come next November, this issue is
going to look a lot different than it does this last November. And I think
you`re already seeing that happen. Slowly but surely, people are finding
out that, number one, 80 percent of Kentuckians and of Americans aren`t
even affected by this law.

You know, they`re now finding that out. They were scared. They were
fearful because of all the misinformation. So, they`re going to be OK in
November because nothing`s changed for them except it`s getting a little

The other 20 percent, 7 million of them now, have signed up and they
like what they find. So I really do believe that by this coming November,
this is either going to be a nonissue or it may even turn into somewhat
positive issue as people experience for the first time man, oh man, I can
take my kids to the doctor, I can get them immunizations, I can prevent
illness before it strikes us. And I won`t go bankrupt if something

KORNACKI: You know, I just wonder, out of curiosity, have you spoken
with Alison Grimes, you had conversations with her about how to handle the
issue in public, how to address it, talk about health care, Obamacare in a
state that voted for Mitt Romney by 23 points? What do you tell her if you
talk to her?

BESHEAR: You know, we have a great candidate in Alison Grimes. She`s
young, she`s energetic, she`s smart.

And the thing about Alison that is so different than who she`s running
against is she`s going to go to Washington and sit down and work with
everybody. She`s willing to work with Republicans as well as Democrats and
actually try to get something done. Wouldn`t that be an amazing feat if
something happened in a positive way in Washington, D.C.?

That`s who Alison Grimes is. You know, she is right now raising
money, and it`s an unfortunate part of this game, but she`s running against
the king of fund-raising, and she`s got to raise the money.

She`s going to engage on those issues, and I think she will find her
way through that thicket and hopefully she`s going to end up on top.

KORNACKI: And just one quick question, because you`re in an
interesting position. You`re unable because of term limits to run for re-
election next year. If we say that you`re the only, you know, Democrat in
the South, you`re probably the most prominent Democrat in the South who`s
fully supporting this law.

I wonder if you had different, slightly different political
calculations to make, if you had to face re-election in 2015 given the
politics of your state, do you think you would have been as aggressive in
implementing this law and standing out in the way you did?

BESHEAR: Steve, I know I would have for one simple reason. It`s the
right thing to do. I mean, this is morally the right thing to do.

And, you know, it was easy on the exchange because every major
stakeholder in the state, the providers, the Chamber of Commerce, everybody
felt like we should run our own exchange, so that was an easy decision.

It was a harder decision on expanding Medicaid simply because the
question loomed, can we afford it? Well, I got an answer to that question.
I asked PricewaterhouseCooper to come in, do a study and tell me the answer
to that question. They came in and said, governor, you can`t really afford
not to do this because it`s going to create 17,000 jobs over the next
several years and put $14 billion into your economy.

So, once I got that answer, because it was the right thing to do, it
was also the easy thing to do.

KORNACKI: All right. Governor Steve Beshear of Kentucky, where they
like the Affordable Care Act but still have work to do, I guess, on

Anyway, coming up next, Congressman Paul Ryan, the self-proclaimed
savior of the poor, had a chance today to prove himself. Here`s a spoiler
alert: he probably didn`t do that well. I`ll explain, next.


KORNACKI: After Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan lost their bid for the
White House in 2012, thanks in part to Mitt Romney`s infamous 47 percent
tape, Paul Ryan sought to recast himself as a champion of the downtrodden.
Arguing in speeches and interviews that America needed a new approach to
fighting poverty.

As "The Washington Post" noted, Ryan was, quote, "quietly visiting
inner city neighborhoods." He was, it was reported, "on a mission to help
the poor."

Last month, Ryan released a 205-page report arguing that the war of
poverty has failed.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: Everybody cares that we get people out
of poverty. But unfortunately, a lot of these strategies have failed
miserably. By not getting people on a path to getting out of poverty, but
making it easier to live and stay with poverty, we`re perpetuating poverty.


KORNACKI: And today, Paul Ryan had a chance to tell us exactly how he
would make life better for the poor in America. The House Budget Committee
chairman released his fiscal year 2015 budget, which purports to balance
the budget by cutting $5.1 trillion in projected spending over a decade.
Underscoring the fact that Ryan`s budget is a political document gets 40
percent of its savings from repealing the Affordable Care Act, of course.
Some even the staunchest Obamacare opponent knows is not going to be

Ryan`s budget gets more savings through deep cuts through food stamps
and Medicaid, programs that benefit the poor, while also increasing
military spending by $500 billion. Budget also revives Ryan`s
controversial plan to transfer Medicare into a voucher program for
Americans who are 55 or younger.

But while Ryan`s budget includes large cuts to programs that help the
poor, it also conspicuously lacks new and specific proposals to revamp
anti-poverty programs that already exist. Instead, it offers bullet points
including a call to expand welfare`s work requirements.

Ryan claims he will offer new ideas on fighting poverty at some point
later this year. For now, though, we`ll just have to make do with his


RYAN: A safety net ought to be there to make sure that those who are
the vulnerable, those who cannot be stand on their own two feet, are
staying out of poverty. Have that safety net. We want to make sure we
don`t have a poverty trap in America.


KORNACKI: We reached out to Paul Ryan to come on the show to discuss
his budget but he was unavailable.

So, joining me now is Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, David Cay
Johnston. His new book is "Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality."

David, I guess Paul Ryan wouldn`t want you to be identified as his
surrogate tonight. You`ll be discussing his budget, anyway.

And I guess, look, there`s -- the politics of this are this thing is
clearly not going to be enacted into law any time soon. There`s an open
question of whether it`s going to get a vote in the House.

But let`s talk about the philosophy behind it, because Paul Ryan has
been talking a lot about poverty lately. And so, when you look at the
programs that he addresses in his budget that deal with the poor, we`re
talking about, you know, Medicaid, he talks about block grants, repealing,
you know, the Affordable Care Act, treating the Medicaid portion as a block
grant, food stamps, block grant, he says, welfare, block grant programs.

The basic philosophy behind that is, look, you can`t -- if you try a
one-size-fits-all approach out of Washington, it`s going to get bungled.
Better to leave it to the states, local governments. They can figure it
out, they can fit it better.

What`s your take on that basic philosophy?

such an incredibly good record, that five don`t have a minimum wage, and
the states where we have the biggest poverty problems find ways to help all
sorts of rich people with big welfare grants to billionaire owners of
football teams, Boeing, Alcoa, Intel, lots of Warren Buffett`s companies.

And somehow the states just don`t seem to be able to find the same
sort of money to help ordinary people who want to do better, unlike Mr.
Ryan`s claim that he said on the TV the other day that some people want to
stay in poverty.

KORNACKI: You know, there`s -- it strikes me looking at this, because
I know Paul Ryan sort of got his start in politics working with Jack Kemp.
You know, Jack Kemp in the 1980s obviously, he loved tax cuts just as much
as Paul Ryan does, just as much as this budget does. This budget envisions
only having two tax brackets, I think.

But Jack Kemp was actually OK with domestic spending. He was OK with
deficits. It strikes me there`s been a change in conservatism, and Paul
Ryan kind of embodies it, where the tax cut portion of the Reagan years
sort of has survived, but now there`s also this aggressive attempt to
really just kind of roll back the social safety net.

Have you noticed that evolution over the last few years?

JOHNSTON: Oh, absolutely.

And in the new book that we have, which is an anthology -- I didn`t
write it. It has got 44 contributors, from Adam Smith to Elizabeth Warren.
We show all these myriad factors. And if you want to deal with poverty in
this country, it`s not that hard. A, you need better education. B, you
need jobs and you need policies that promote the creation of jobs here, not
sending them overseas.

You need transportation, because we have subsidized companies to move
jobs out of the areas where people are poor to the suburbs and to rural
areas. You need to have better pay, which means unions. If you believe in
market economics, you should believe in unions, because it means there`s
bargaining power on both sides of the table. And we need to stop treating
college as a business that helps lenders of money, and go back to the
system that our competitors have, where good students get a free ride to go
to college because we`re investing in the future.

Ryan`s plan`s very simple, Steve. Cut things for the poor. Cut food
stamps. Cut health care. That`s it.

KORNACKI: Well, of course, as we said at the top, Paul Ryan is
promising to have some new ideas, some new proposals later this year,
though something tells me they not be along the lines of what you`re
saying, what proposing there.

JOHNSTON: I think so.

KORNACKI: But David Cay Johnston, journalist, thanks for joining us

And coming up: Action movie star Steven Seagal seems to fancy himself
a bit of an expert when it comes to Russia.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I don`t think she`s local.

STEVEN SEAGAL, ACTOR: Neither do I. I don`t even think she`s
American. I think she`s Russian.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Wait. I thought he was the amazing Randy.

SEAGAL: Hair, cheekbones (INAUDIBLE) structure, I think she`s


KORNACKI: Now he`s going off-script. I will explain next.


KORNACKI: Today, NATO suspended all cooperation with Russia in
response to the country`s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

NATO`s secretary-general said that in spite of Russia`s claims to be
withdrawing its forces from Ukraine`s borders, that is not what they are
seeing on the ground.

Meanwhile, Russia has cautioned Ukraine against moving closer to the
28-member U.S.-led alliance. But that is not all that`s heating up.


SEAGAL: You guys think you`re above the law. You ain`t above the


KORNACKI: That`s right. Actor, recording artist, martial arts
aficionado and possible Arizona gubernatorial candidate Steven Seagal is on
the scene.

And he`s taken a stand on the situation in Crimea. In an interview
with a state-run newspaper, Seagal said President Vladimir Putin`s desire
to protect the Russian-speaking people of Crimea, his assets and the
Russian Black Sea military base in Sevastopol is very reasonable, that
Putin is one of the great living world leaders, and that Seagal would like
to consider him as a brother.

Now, the two men are known to be friends. They have dined together,
they have attended state functions together, they have watched some mixed
martial arts together. And Seagal seems to have found a second calling in
his friend`s country, where he repeated -- where he frequently appears on
state-run television demonstrating martial arts moves or performing a
traditional Chechen dance.

And that`s not all. He`s also become the unofficial face of the
country`s weapons industry. Putin appears quite taken as well, and
apparently wants all of Russia to be tough like Seagal, who appeared at the
president`s relaunch of a Soviet-era fitness program.

This relationship may all seem a little bit strange, but let`s not
forget this isn`t the first time we have seen a tough guy American fall
under the spell when faced with irresistible charm of Vladimir Putin.


man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy.
We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul.



KORNACKI: It`s only April, and already this year, General Motors has
recalled 6.3 million vehicles, more than two million of them because they
had faulty ignitions. It`s a default that GM`s own account says they knew
about for a decade and did almost nothing to fix.

GM was aware over the years that millions of their cars had an
engineering flaw that could cause the engine to suddenly switch off in the
middle of use. At least 13 people died in crashes associated with the
switch. And, today, Congress finally got a chance to question GM`s new
much-lauded CEO, Mary Barra, about how GM could let this happen.

Barra testified not only before members of the House subcommittee, but
also in front of family members of victims who were watching from the
audience. And with the families there watching, Barra apologized and
promised that a new GM would be different.


MARY BARRA, CEO, GENERAL MOTORS: As soon as I learned about the
problem, we acted without hesitation. We told the world we had a problem
that needed to be fixed. We did so because, whatever mistakes were made in
the past, we will not shirk from our responsibilities now or in the future.


KORNACKI: Now, Barra, who`s been CEO for less than three months, was
not able to answer many of the lawmakers` more pointed questions, even
those about the timeline of what and when GM knew about the faulty switch,
a timeline that they, themselves, have provided to regulators.


REP. DIANA DEGETTE (D), COLORADO: You don`t know when GM knew about
the defect?

BARRA: I will...

DEGETTE: Take a look at tab seven in your notebook, Ms. Barra. This
is a GM document.

BARRA: This is the first I have seen this document.

DEGETTE: GM was notified by Delphi of this, correct, yes or no?

BARRA: I`m not aware.

DEGETTE: As far back as 2004, GM conducted problem resolution
tracking system inquiry after it learned of an incident where the key moved
out of run condition in a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt; is that correct?

BARRA: Again, you`re relating specific incidents that happened...

DEGETTE: You don`t know?

BARRA: ... in our entire investigation.

DEGETTE: You don`t know about that? And, by the way, ma`am, I`m
getting this information from the chronology that GM provided to NHTSA.

BARRA: Right.


KORNACKI: Now, throughout the hearing, Barra pled ignorance again and
again, instead deferring to the company`s forthcoming internal
investigation, much to the frustration of lawmakers.


BARRA: I do not know the answer to that. I do not know the name of
the individual. I don`t know -- I don`t know that. It is not clear to me.
It is not clear to me. I was not aware of this issue. I want to know that
as much as you do. I want to know that just as much as you.

I`m anxiously awaiting the results from his study. Again, I need to
get the results of the study. That`s why we`re doing a full and complete
investigation. It`s part of our investigation. It`s part of the
investigation. That is part of the investigation. Again, that`s part of
our investigation. That`s part of our investigation. Again, that`s
something I will learn in our investigation.


KORNACKI: Now, Mary Barra may be new as GM CEO, but she is a second-
generation GM employee who has worked at the company since she was 18 years
old. She testified that she became aware of the faulty ignition switches
only on January 31 of this year.

But, according to a new report, federal regulators were aware of the
issue much earlier than that.

Today, David Friedman from the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration defended the agency after a House report revealed that --
quote -- "Federal regulators decided not to open an inquiry on the
ignitions of Chevrolet Cobalts and other cars even after their own
investigators reported in 2007 they knew of four fatal crashes, 29
complaints and 14 other reports that showed the problem disabled air bags."

Friedman placed blame on GM, saying they withheld valuable
information. But that fact remains. Both GM and federal regulators knew
in some capacity about the faulty ignitions in many of GM`s vehicles. And,
yet, until now, nothing was done.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Diana DeGette, Democrat from Colorado
and ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce`s Oversight and
Investigation Subcommittee.

You saw her in the -- in some of the clips we just played there.

And, Congresswoman, thanks for joining us.

I`m going to start just with the simple question about Mary Barra.
She basically seemed to be in front of your committee today saying, hey, I
just took over a couple months ago. I just found out about this. I`m here
now. I`m dealing with it. It`s a new GM.

Do you believe her when she says she only found out about this problem
on January 31 of this year?

DEGETTE: Oh, I don`t have any reason to believe that Ms. Barra would
be lying about when she found out about this, but it is disturbing that GM
knew about this defect in the ignition switch for 14 years and did nothing
about it.

There were people killed. There were people in accidents. And,
obviously, this was a grave oversight, at the very least.

KORNACKI: And so the what did you make of the answers you were
getting from -- your frustration was pretty evident there in the clips we

Why do you think you were getting the kinds of answers you were
getting from her?

DEGETTE: Well, I was frustrated, and actually I was perplexed,
because the questions I was asking Ms. Barra were questions that were
provided to the committee by GM.

And so GM gave us this timeline. And then Ms. Barra sat there and
said she didn`t know about these things. I realize that she`s ordered a
full investigation, and I`m supportive of that, but I also don`t know why
GM would send its chief executive in to testify before Congress without
even knowing the timeline that they, themselves, had presented.

KORNACKI: And so there`s the issue of GM knowing about this for a
long time. There`s also the issue of federal regulators.


KORNACKI: As we said in the opening there, I mean, warned in 2007,
they declined to launch a probe. Warned again in 2010, declined to launch
a probe. That seems like a serious issue.

Are there going two repercussions here for federal regulators for not
looking into this earlier? Should they have?

DEGETTE: Well, the regulators told us that they couldn`t make a
decision because GM gave them incomplete information.

And the NHTSA administrator who came in to testify today, he told us
that they are also investigating. So I think this is the very first
investigation that we will have. I`m sure we will have more hearings. But
it`s easy to place blame in retrospect. But the bottom line is, there were
people killed, and it took 14 years to resolve this situation, when GM knew
about it as early as 2001.

KORNACKI: Yes, and I think, obviously, your investigation`s designed
to get to the answer of this, but I think it`s the question everybody looks
at when they see the history of this. I think, 2005, you had the first


KORNACKI: You had reports of deaths, you know, I mean, going back
more -- basically a decade now.

How is it that, you know, with all the regulatory power, you know, the
government, you know, committees like yours, how is it that something like
this only gets aired all these years later?

DEGETTE: You know, in 2000, after the terrible Firestone tire problem
that we had, Congress passed the TREAD Act,and that was a bill designed to
make companies report in a more robust way to NHTSA.

I supported and co-sponsored that bill at the time. We thought these
reports were being made. And what happened was, GM find out about these
problems. NHTSA found out about these problems. But NHTSA thought the
problems were the air bags, not the ignitions. They didn`t make that
connection or connect the dots that it was the starter mechanism -- I`m
sorry -- the ignition mechanism in the car.

And so -- so that`s what happened at first. But then, disturbingly,
GM, they changed out the part, the original defective part. They made a
new part, but they didn`t give it a new serial number. So that only
compounded the problem, because people didn`t know what was causing this.

So, as I say, it was sort of a Keystone Cops situation, which would be
funny, except for now 2.5 million cars have been -- 2.5 million cars have
been recalled and people have died.

KORNACKI: Yes, no, it`s such a common vehicle, and it`s such a scary
story for people to read about...


KORNACKI: ... because it seems such a seemingly simple thing that can
be so catastrophic.

Congresswoman Diana DeGette from Colorado, thanks for joining us.

DEGETTE: Thanks.

KORNACKI: Coming up: Today is a big anniversary here at ALL IN. And
since Chris is on paternity leave, it`s going to be up to me to be the
master of ceremonies. The celebrating will commence right after this.


KORNACKI: Today`s a very special day, because it was on this day way
back in 2013 that ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES broadcast its very first show.
And the rest, as they say, is history.

Since Chris is on paternity leave and at home with his family, that
leaves me the special and important task of unveiling the very first ALL IN
birthday spectacular. Sit back and enjoy.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Took a lot of courage to get on this train. I
wonder what will happen from now on. I wonder. A lot has happened in the
last year. Gee, we got a good start.

CHRIS HAYES, HOST (voice-over): It`s been one year since ALL IN
launched into living rooms across the country, which means it`s our
birthday. And what a year it`s been.

(on camera): Good evening from New York. Good evening from New York.
Good evening from New York. Hi there. I`m Chris Hayes.

(voice-over): Since we began, we have brought you 234 shows, which is
over 10,000 minutes of television.

(on camera): We have a very fun show tonight. We have got a packed
show tonight. An amazing, strange, weird fascinating news day.

(voice-over): As the show went on, I got a tie, a new pair of
glasses, changed my hair, and I even became what we in TV call relatable.

(on camera): I come from a good stock of repressed Irish Catholics
who understand that the way to deal with problems and sources of conflict
is to push it deep, deep down.

(voice-over): Over the past year, we have strived to give you
different perspectives.

REP. RENEE ELLMERS (R), NORTH CAROLINA: The point being that 2 cents
of every federal dollar was cut from our budget.


HAYES (on camera): How many economists do you have on staff?

this is a story...

HAYES: How many economists do you have on staff?


REP. TOM COLE (R), OKLAHOMA: It`s a good talking point.

HAYES: It`s a good talking point. But that`s what it is.


HAYES: How many economists do you have on staff? How many economists
do you have on staff?


When you talk about raising the poverty level, that`s people making $94,000
a year. They`re not poor. That`s taking resources from the poor. The
expansion of Medicaid is a moral issue, not an economic one.


HAYES: That`s a math train wreck. That`s not the Medicaid expansion.


STEFANO: Excuse me?

HAYES: It`s not the Medicaid expansion.

STEFANO: Oh, my brother, yes it is. You need to look at your facts.

HAYES (voice-over): Actually, she needed to look at her facts, but

We let you know when people were being awesome.

(on camera): I`m thinking best pope ever?

(voice-over): And we never let you down when it came to breaking

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s breaking news regarding Toronto`s
embattled Mayor Rob Ford. Hey, watch out for that camera, eh?

HAYES (on camera): That`s the first time I got to see that. It`s

(voice-over): We tried to bring you the stories that no one else was
talking about, which wasn`t always the case at some other networks.

(on camera): Sometimes, in the world of cable news, there`s a
mismatch between the demand for new information about a story and the
supply of new information that exists.

(voice-over): We imagined a world in which a Republican Congress
actually got stuff done.

(on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Tremendous news out of Washington today.

(voice-over): While we reported on the reality.

(on camera): We`re going to go dip in now live to the junior senator
from Texas, Ted Cruz, who last I heard was reading "Green Eggs and Ham."

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Eat them with a goat. I will eat them in
the rain and in the dark and on a train.

HAYES (voice-over): We talked with some of the biggest newsmakers in
the country.

leadership that`s going to stand up and take positions on their behalf.

HAYES: From world-famous actors.

(on camera): First time I heard you interview, I was like, whoa,
whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, hold the phone. Where is this guy from?

(voice-over): To world-famous critics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m so inappropriately dressed for this occasion.

HAYES: To world-class athletes.

(on camera): One side of it is people calling you a thug. And then
people will run in and say, oh, but he`s got a Stanford degree. And it
feels like sometimes the subtext is, oh, he`s one of the good ones.

RICHARD SHERMAN, NFL PLAYER: That`s showing some of the closed-
mindedness of society and how they want to label people. They want to, you
know, feel like there`s black and white, that it`s either this category or
this category. There`s no middle ground.

HAYES (voice-over): At times, we even left our guests speechless.

(on camera): Taking the rhetoric seriously is then meant as
indication they aren`t serious about diplomacy, which is then used as an
argument that there`s a military solution, as opposed to a diplomatic one.


HAYES (voice-over): And, sometimes, our guests left us speechless.

deserves an ass-kicking, OK? Sorry. There, I said it.

HAYES (on camera): All right.

(voice-over): That was the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, offering
some choice words for Governor Chris Christie`s eyes and ears at the Port
Authority, David Wildstein. Thanks to him, the governor and a whole cast
of characters, INers are well-versed in Jersey politics, as we continue our
search for the true meaning behind the words "Time for some traffic
problems in Fort Lee."

It`s been an emotional journey. New Jersey`s governor is sad.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: And you can only imagine, as I
was standing there in my bedroom with my iPad looking at that, how
incredibly sad and betrayed I felt.

HAYES: Chris Christie is, like, really, seriously, legit sad.

CHRISTIE: But I am a very sad person today. It just makes me sad.
But I got to tell you the truth. I`m sad. I`m a sad guy standing here

HAYES: Over the past year, we stood up for what we believed in, like
breaking our country`s fossil fuel addiction.

(on camera): To the addict, tomorrow never comes. The time to quit
is never now.

(voice-over): We were there when the Supreme Court made history.

(on camera): This is a watershed moment in the centuries-long
struggle for equality in this country. It is a sweet, sweet victory, and
it is important in this life to savor those.

(voice-over): We reported on the country going over the hunger cliff.
Nobody else was.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about all the years I paid taxes and worked
so hard? And when it`s time now, I believe that I should get some help.
Look what came and happened now.

HAYES: And we brought you the stories of people standing up across
the country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is their home. Where else are they going
to go?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t do anything with $8. I have three kids
and a husband.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You cannot just ignore the evil.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re human beings. We`re citizens of the state
of Florida who have a right to petition our government.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: I believe that we will win!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not momentary hyperventilation. This is a


HAYES: It`s been quite a year. We survived a show launch, and we
couldn`t have done it without you, our viewers.

Keep watching, INers, because we`re just getting started.

(on camera): That`s ALL IN for this evening. I`m Chris Hayes. "THE

Good evening, Rachel.


HAYES: We did it.

MADDOW: You did it.


HAYES: We did it, America.


KORNACKI: That is ALL IN for this evening.


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