tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC July 16, 2013 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
the academy, can you hang around for a few minutes after the show? you will get tonight's last word, tony hale, thank you for joining us. chris hayes is up next. good evening, from new york. i'm chris hayes. and we've got a packed show tonight. the reverend jesse jackson is here. senate majority leader harry reid is here. senator elizabeth warren is here. candidate for office of new york city comptroller eliot spitzer is here. there is a lot to talk about tonight. first, the anger and frustration following the verdict in the george zimmerman case is being channeled into organized action. this is not a one-day thing. demonstration are expanding. political pressure on the system is mounting. at the naacp convention in orlando, florida, 32 miles from
where trayvon martin was shot and killed, a movement is coming into focus as more than 1 million signatures have already been collected from naacp and move on petitions combined, to demand the justice department bring federal civil rights charges against george zimmerman. today speaking before the convention, attorney general eric holder, the justice department investigation into the killing of trayvon martin is open an ongoing and criticized the kind of laws that help create the climate he thinks led to martin's death. >> it's time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sew dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods. these laws try to fix something that was never broken. there has always been a legal defense for using deadly force if, and the if is important, if no safe retreat is available. >> this just one day after naacp president ben jealous made clear that the trayvon martin case is the painful lens through which the next generation of civil rights movement will be witnessed. >> we got the right to live in
any gated community, but we lost the right to know that the self-appointed community watch volunteer would protect our kid and not kill them. we will make this country safer for all of our children. we will roll back stand your ground laws. we will pass powerful anti-racial profiling ordinance. >> martin family attorney benjamin crump put it, the message coming out of the trial should be alarming to everybody. >> the united states supreme court has said that the police cannot profile people, so are we not going to let ordinary citizens profile our children? this could be anybody's child. >> meanwhile, in the state's capital, tallahassee, approved a student activist called the dream defenders occupied the rotunda and staged a sit-in in
the office of governor rick scott. the protesters want the governor to call a special session of the state legislature to address florida's stand your ground law. governor scott is out of town. the protesters say they will remain in the building until they meet with the governor, himself. this, on the heels of more peaceful protests yesterday across country, including minneapolis, cleveland, houston, baltimore, and atlanta. in los angeles and oakland, largely peaceful protests did result in some violence and more than a dozen arrests. city officials made clear that small disruptive groups were the exception and not the norm. and in north carolina's state capital, the 11th installment of moral monday saw its largest gathering ever as more than 5,000 people gathered in raleigh to protest regressive policy and legislation with thousands honoring trayvon martin. today my colleague, the reverend al sharpton, gathered with ministers outside the justice
department to call for peaceful protests in 100 cities this coming saturday. the push is for new federal charges against zimmerman and for a change in the kind of legislation that underpins this tragedy. >> people all over the country will gather to show that we are not having a two or three-day anger fit. this is a social movement for justice. the underlying problem with the legislation of stand your ground and the other issues that are surrounding this have rendered us vulnerable to all kinds of attacks in this country. >> joining me now is reverend jesse jackson, founder and president of the rainbow push coalition. and reverend, my first question to you is, do you get a sense, there's a consensus emerging about what the next steps are, what the fights are now that the verdict is in. the first organizing around this case was to get a trial, was to get an arrest and charges for george zimmerman. then there was a verdict. what are the next steps now? what are the next demands? >> chris, the backdrop is the supreme court removing federal
protections from voter oversight which is a real long-term threat that must be addressed in most meaningful way. there's the case of trayvon which really, there's a trayvon in every town. there's an oscar grant in oakland, for some movie is made, "fruitvale." there's the case in new york. chicago, last year, 57 police shootings, 93% black or brown. so there's a sense this season is crystalized in the trayvon martin case. i think you'll see massive protests. they ought to be massive and with dignity and nonviolence and discipline. and that preparation to protect us from these rigid states rights laws, the supreme court has opened this up two weeks ago. >> reverend, if, when you just named a number of young black men who have lost their lives to
gunshots, some by police officers, some by not. all of which raise tremendous amounts of outrage and frustration and grief. and my question to you is, if what is playing into these deaths, if what played into the death of trayvon martin are hundreds of years of history, of stereotyping, of prejudice and bias, apprehensions of young black men, of the way they're portrayed in our society, in the policies that target them. as a practical matter, what is the solution, then? if we can't undo the history, what will prevent the next trayvon martin in your mind? >> it's a progress. you have another, when megevers was killed, an all-white jury. now you have the case of a known murderer who racially profiled trayvon and pursued him over objections of the dispatchers, one other little punk get away, then he murdered him and walked away from the dead body and gave his gun to the police department. it is amazing the similarities.
this undercurrent of retrogression. we see the progress in so many areas. we will not let even this break our spirit. >> reverend, i understand today you spoke with marissa alexander, she's a woman we've talked about on the show. tonight, joy reid who's with me, and many of the folks who covered her case, she's doing 20 years for firing a warning shot at her abusive ex-husband, and she was prosecuted by angela corey. my understanding is you actually met with her today. >> met with her today for about an hour. you know, she has amazing, strong strength. she has been there for almost three years now. her three children visit her on a rather regular basis, who are now kept by her mother. while she was pregnant.
she had been pump feeding her milk for her babies when she came on this particular occasion, and she was attacked that day. in the end she got a gun for fear. now, the prosecutor said it's not fear, it's anger. there's a thin line between her being angry and her being afraid. if she wants to shoot her husband, she could have pointblank. she shot into the roof. for this she's now looking at 20 years and that must be challenged and stopped. same prosecutor in same jurisdiction. >> reverend jesse jackson. thank you so much for joining us tonight. i really appreciate it. >> thank you. when we talk about justice for trayvon martin, there will be no justice in some ways. marissa alexander has the rest of her life ahead of us. if there's a concrete thing done in the wake of this, some small concession made to equal justice in her law, it would be a pardon for marissa alexander. joining me now is salamishah tillet, associate professor of
english and africana studies. heather mcghee. joy reid. great to have you here. next steps, justice for trayvon. the hash tag and on the sweatshirts. justice for trayvon meant an arrest, a prosecution. now there's the verdict. what does that phrase mean, and there's a few things i see circulating, right? stand your ground laws. there has been tremendous amount of confusion about the role that stand your ground played in this trial, and i, myself, having looked into it remain somewhat confused. >> right. >> what is your understanding? because there's a lot of conservatives are saying, you idiot liberals keep talking about stand your ground. they didn't use the stand your ground defense. it has nothing to do with this case. are they right? >> they're right in the sense that stand your ground was not
the way george zimmerman's defense chose to defend him. >> did not invoke it as part of the -- >> they absolutely did not. they had a right to do it during the trial even though they waived the stand your ground. where it did come in were in two places. one, george zimmerman's knowledge of stand your ground when he gave his story to police. his understanding of it as a defense for himself. the police department's use of it as a reason not to arrest him. third and most bizarrely, this juror who's now come out and spoken and she apparently used -- >> used the phrase. >> she used the phrase. if she, in fact, was in that jury deliberation room utilizing stand your ground as a reason to acquit, she was doing something she was not instructed to do. she was not going by the jury instructions. >> and there's another way it might have played a role. there's an excellent piece in "tampa bay tribune" that catalogs the stand your ground cases since passed. concealed weapon permits have gone up threefold since this law was passed. there is a green of this law and it's changing the culture a bit. some criminologists in florida. it means he was actually
emboldened -- >> to be armed. >> to leave the car and know it. >> think about the fact his friend who trained him, who told him what firearm to buy, the kel-tec .9 millimeter, they discussed these things. the thing is alec and the nra, not only are they trying to encourage gun ownership, but they are proactively wanting gun owners to understand the defenses for use of your firearm. it's in their interest for people to understand how to use your firearm and potentially defend yourself, because it's one more way to push away -- >> and also increase demand which is a huge part of what this is all about. the other thing i'm seeing coming out of the early conversations, the petition, is some kind of federal charges. what's your reaction to that, as people rally around that as a point of activism? >> i actually want to pick up a little bit, juror b-37, this anonymous juror. i think what happened in that
jury room, she told us that the decision was split three ways. so i've been in juries and i've been sequestered and all that stuff. there's so much horse trading. for such a democratic process, it's a very undemocratic to get 6 or 12 people to consensus. i'm really interested how she uses that, the people interested in second degree and manslaughter. it was split three different ways. it took horse trading and strong debate. >> it didn't take that much because it was two days. >> but i think, i mean, for someone to believe second-degree murder -- >> to get from second-degree murder to not guilty is a long way to fall. >> i want to reiterate the ways the jurors misused that defense that they didn't -- >> let me just also they the other part of this, right, stand your ground is both a concept and a law. that's part of the confusion. it's the principle.
part of what we are seeing come out of this, right, is that fundamentally, there is a very old sense of american justice that is almost prelegal, that is pre the state, right? which is this idea of standing your ground that, like, the only justice that happens on the frontier is meted out by people with guns. these should be mediated by a well-trained state that has resources so the interactions that happen, the one that led to the loss of life of this kid, don't happen. right? that's not the way that we want justice meted out at all. >> even in tucson, arizona, 19th century, you had to check your gun, you couldn't go into the saloon armed. what stand your ground did -- >> i want to talk about the federal -- the notion of federal charges and this bizarre, bizarre interview with the juror right after we take this break. all business purchases.
george zimmerman case with our panel ahead. today was also a huge news day in washington. coming up, an exclusive interview with senate majority leader harry reid about the deal struck today over the filibuster. and senator elizabeth warren joins us to talk about one of the results of that deal. the senate has finally confirmed the head of an agency that will help you stop your bank from screwing you. don't go away. [ male announcer ] at his current pace, bob will retire when he's 153, which would be fine if bob were a vampire. but he's not.
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above and beyond what he should have done. i think his heart was in the right place, it just went terribly wrong." still with me at the stable, salamishah tillet, heather mcghee, and joy reid. did not inspire a tremendous amount of confidence, the interview with the one juror we've heard from. there seems to be an intense level of cluelessness broadly. the identification with george zimmerman who she called george and not with trayvon martin, seemed to be pretty operative. then it just made me think about the fact in any high-profile case, one of the things that screens people out that they know about the case. it's like, who are the people who don't know about this huge case that happened in their backyard? >> right. >> what does that produce in a jury? >> i question whether or not she didn't know much about the case. i have to be honest with you. i question a lot about the juror, including how she got on the jury. why she was not voirdeed away when she said the protests were riots.
>> she also was very eager in voir dire to be on jury which is somewhat rare. >> book deal probably not having anything to do with that. she also had this instant notion from the very beginning that george, george is a good intentioned, good guy. she couldn't see beyond george zimmerman has a good guy and couldn't see beyond trayvon martin as a bad guy, or somebody, gosh darn, he looked like a bad guy, there he was walking around in the rain, 7:30 at night during a break in the all-star game. who walks around like that? occasionally black people do, and it is legal. >> when you see what was going through her head, gets back to the question i asked reverend jesse jackson. all those prejudices that are apparently, again, i don't know this woman at all, based on the text i have in front of me, apparently seemed to be undergirding her belief system and the way she perceives this incident. all of those are put there by history and culture and a million different things. we want to stop future incidents like this happening. stand your ground laws. concealed carry laws. those are places to look at it concretely in terms of law.
what do you think of federal charges for george zimmerman that a lot of people are rallying around? is that the answer here? >> i think it's so much broader than this. trayvon martin's parents would say the same thing. you say you don't know this woman's heart. we know the majority of americans have an anti-black explicit bias. this is a study that was done by the "ap" right before the election, and an anti-latino explicit bias, around 51%. when it comes to implicit bias, the kinds of, you know, firings that our neurons are doing on an unconscious level without us even knowing it. we're up in 80% and 90% including a plurality of people of color. i often think racism and racial hierarchy specifically is like the oxygen we breathe in this country. some people have worked up a better metabolism for not exhaling it. that muscle has really been failed to exercised because we haven't had the kind of civil
rights movement in this country since i was born. >> silver lining out of this is the level of energy poured toward things that are direct and concrete. salamishah tillet, joy reid and heather mcghee. former new york governor and sheriff of wall street eliot spitzer is here, and he has i guess some other things happening politically with him that i've been meaning to ask him about. stay with us. eks. and it's great when things last a long time. well...most things. [ male announcer ] how do you get your bounce? [ woman ] can't regret fresh. see, i knew testosterone could affect sex drive, but not energy or even my mood. that's when i talked with my doctor. he gave me some blood tests... showed it was low t. that's it. it was a number. [ male announcer ] today, men with low t have androgel 1.62% testosterone gel. the #1 prescribed topical testosterone replacement therapy increases testosterone when used daily.
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fought battle has been resolved sort of shockingly in democrats' favor. simply by agreeing not to blow up senate filibuster rules today, harry reid convinced senate republicans to stop blocking a number of key white house nominees. perhaps the biggest, clearest democratic victory and frankly victory for american citizens. that biggest victory out of the deal for the first time there is now an officially confirmed director of the consumer financial protection bureau. new watchdog agency created under the dodd/frank financial reform bill, signed to law three years ago in which republicans have been trying to dismantle ever since. joining me to talk about what this means for american consumers in the fight over financial reform and talk about other stuff going on in his life right now, former governor of new york, democrat eliot spitzer, running for office of new york city comptroller. a new book called "protecting capitalism: case by case." >> thank you for having me. >> you've been writing a lot about the ways in which dodd/frank fall short. the cfpb, this development today, what is it? >> this is the one piece of unquestioned good news in
dodd/frank. it was elizabeth warren's brain child. she, of course, was chaperoning it through. should have been the first leader. the banks opposed her so vigorously they basically got the white house to cave. sometimes things ricochet in a good way. we have her and richard cordray. this is a dynamic duo. both powerful, clearest, sharp est minds out there on these issues. >> you're running for new york city comptroller. >> right. you have an opponent named scott stringer, manhattan bureau president here. he was running unopposed until you got into this race. new york city has a public financing system, he opted into the public financing system. you have opted out. he is now saying you should release your tax returns. you've released a summary version. he wants to see all of them. the argument, i don't think it's an implausible one, yours is the one allowing you to opt out of it. i want to play a clip for you attacking mitt romney for not
releasing his full tax returns. take a look. >> romney has now made paying taxes the litmus test for good, moral standing in our community. he has done this by so avowedly dismissing the 47% as dependents and slackers. why i have grown tired and lost interest in tax returns, i have a newfound interest in examining them. if payment is the ticket to moral uprightness, i want to see if mitt has punched his own ticket. >> so are you pulling a mitt romney here? is there hypocrisy? >> public finance, the system in new york city is a good system. the difference is my opponent spent three years out raising money. i got into this race nine days ago. simply you can't raise the money. so what i've said is i'm going to spend money enough to be heard. competition is a good thing. primaries are good. i want my record of independence when it comes to finance, wall street, standing up for the immigrants and workers. i want that to be an opportunity
for voters to say, yes, we will permit you and ask you to be controller which is a financially and fiscally important position. the difference between mitt's position and mine, the data that, and i hate to sort of put these numbers out there, i released my income for the past two years and the taxes i paid. >> right. >> and, again, you can understand why i'm hesitant to say this. last year my income was a bit over $4 million. i paid over $2 million in taxes. i paid 49%. >> so the issue here is -- unlike mitt romney -- not to cut you off there, the issue is you're not paying this ridiculous rate. >> the year before i paid 39.5%. the reason is there -- what i've said is everybody's going to see exactly what i own. in terms of the properties, in terms of where the revenue is coming from. but if the returns, themselves, were released they would see data about each of those that would reveal data about other people, partnerships that simply cannot and should not -- >> eliot, you know how this game works. you've sat in this chair. it's going to look like you have something to hide. >> here's the thing. i absolutely understand you're going to ask the question, you
should ask the question. having said that, i paid 49% and it seems to me the question that i wanted to ask when i calculated these numbers is, why haven't i fired my accountant? i don't know anybody, chris, honestly, i don't know anybody who pays 49%. i called them this afternoon and i said, really? i pay them. i'm glad to pay them. i believe in it. 49%. >> okay. i want to also ask you about some prominent women politicians, prominent women leaders here. i think opinions about your past and what they mean for how people evaluate your record. obviously there's a wide spectrum. this is president of new york chapter of n.o.w. speaking out about your candidacy. take a look. >> do we want an elected official who has broken the law and who has participated in sustaining an industry that we all know has a long history of exploiting women and girls. >> my question to you, do you
consider yourself feminist? >> yes. i think, look, i hate to hide behind the line, life is complicated. what i've said to the voters, look at the totality of my record. i have been forthright, direct. i resigned five years ago. done a great deal between then and now, teaching white and hosting a few tv shows. i'll let you determine. exactly. i don't want to try to be humorous or frivolous about the issue, though. the record i had was one of devout dedication to women's rights, on the issues of choice, on the issues of equal pay. on the issues of anti-discrimination. both as attorney general, where we were fervent in pursuing those cases. where we were fervent when i was governing in seeking legislation. we passed and got passed an anti-human trafficking law. >> quickly, as a feminist, it has to sting a little to look at those clips. >> absolutely. it hurts. i understand it.
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last night, senate majority leader harry reid looked senate republicans in the eye and said to hell with institutional rules and norms, i will nuke your filibuster of nominees. and i have the 51 votes to do it. over the past few days harry reid who has in the past been pretty reluctant, frankly, to mess with the filibuster at all, managed to convince republicans he was serious this time that this time he was actually going to go through with the so-called nuclear option. that he had the 51 votes needed to change senate rules to allow for executive nominees and only executive nominees to be confirmed by a simple majority vote. and in response to harry reid's credible brinksmanship, senate
republicans, well, fell right in line. ladies and gentlemen, i come before you to say, not only did democrats win, but they got almost everything they wanted in a stunning victory. this morning, senate democrats and senate republicans reached a deal to not nuke the filibuster. in exchange for a vote on five of the seven stalled obama nominees. including a vote on richard cordray, first director of the consumer financial protection bureau. he was confirmed just hours ago by a vote of 66-34. and for a little context, just six months ago, 43 senate republicans pledged to, "continue to oppose the consideration of any nominee regardless of party affiliation to be the cfpb director until key structural changes to the agency are made." richard cordray's confirmation is big. so are the agreed upon votes for the other four presidential nominees including gina mccarthy as head of the epa and thomas perez, secretary of labor, both of whom have had unprecedented
republican obstruction. there are two people who are getting frankly, a little screwed here. two nominees on the national labor relations board whose credentials have not been questioned. because a federal court ruled their recess appointments out of bounds, have been replaced as part of the deal. hours ago, the white house confirmed they will nominate nancy schiffer and kent yoshiho hirozawa in their place. the nlrb could be up and functioning and enforcing the nation's laws again which also means all seven positions that were vacant and stalled should be filled before summer is out. today harry reid scored a rare and thorough victory because he and senate democrats are starting for better or worse to put the lessons of the house republican caucus into practice. the same tools that have given us the sequester for which we seem incapable of escape. the only way to get things done
in this era of dysfunction and polarization is to stop paying attention to taboos and norms and what just isn't done and threaten to do whatever it takes. we'll be right back with today's big winner, senate majority leader, harry reid. iness needs more cases. [ male announcer ] where do you want to take your business? i need help selling art. [ male announcer ] from broadband to web hosting to mobile apps, small business solutions from at&t have the security you need to get you there. call us. we can show you how at&t solutions can help you do what you do... even better. ♪ congestion, for it's smog. but there are a lot of people that do ride the bus. and now that the busses are running on natural gas, they don't throw out as much pollution to the earth. so i feel good. i feel like i'm doing my part to help out the environment.
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about the big win and how he had to threaten to go nuclear to make it happen. senator reid, my takeaway from today's deal seems to be this. i'd like you to tell me if i'm right or wrong. the only way to get republicans to abide by the norms of the institution of the senate is to credibly threaten to destroy them. >> well, i would hope that we have been able to establish that we need to have a new norm around here. what's been going on for the last period of time has just not worked well at all. filibustering secretary of defense, the i.a. director. the people i had on the cabinet, now it's nine months average wait for them. so i don't think we need to go back and more recriminations. we had a joint caucus last night. it was very, very good. >> but with all due respect, senator, the only way this came about was a real credible threat you were going to do this thing that would have been fairly measure. a 51 vote to change the rules. what sense do you have that this new norm will preserve without
that being wielded that things won't go back to the way they were before? >> last night at the joint caucus i reminded everyone we had a vote at 10:00 in the morning and that i had the votes. and there was never any doubt about that. i was very fortunately, the caucus was with me. i think that's what was important. i think we were able to get this done, and i think it would never have happened had we not gone through the process we did. >> my understanding is as part of this deal that was announced today, there is no agreement on your part to take the possibility of a further use of the nuclear option in some further future foreseeable circumstances off the table. so does that remain a possibility if we see the republican minority go back to their ways of old? >> i was asked if i could do that, and i said no. i could not. i have to have the ability to protect not only the senate, but the country.
and, listen, they want to filibuster, let them filibuster, and we'll override those filibusters, and if they get too out of hand, we'll have to revisit all these things again. i don't think that will be necessary. i really feel very comfortable where we are. i think there's -- you know, we have to move past this. we've got student loans to do. we have to finish immigration. i've talked to senator mikulski. we had a long visit about appropriations bill. we have an energy bill that jeanne shaheen and portman want to do together. i feel it's really a new day, and hopefully, and i feel comfortable, it's going to be a new norm here in the united states senate. >> i want to play this clip of you speaking in 2008 about the nuclear option which has been making the rounds. i'm sure you've seen this, republicans pointing to this and other quotes. take a listen to this for just a moment. >> as long as i'm the leader,
the answer is no. i don't -- i think it -- i think we should just forget that. that is a black chapter in the history of the senate. i hope we never, ever get to that again because i really do believe it will ruin our country. >> that was you talking about the invocation of the nuclear option, about the 2005 invocation of the nuclear option by bill frist. you says, look, i think this is a terrible idea. people watched what happened with you and mitch mcconnell. people conclude the role reversal on procedure is mere hypocrisy, that it just matters what side of the majority/minority line you're on. is that the case? >> of course, understand that was a different time, a different issue. that dealt with lifetime appointments. that isn't what we're talking about here. that's why everyone knew i had the votes in my hip pocket. we were talking about the fact that a president should have the
ability, put his team together, and that's what it was all about. so you people can go back and look at my book and talk about what i said those many years ago. the fact is, things have broken down very much since then. and president obama has not been able to put his people on the table. look, i'm kind of an expert at this. lyndon johnson was the leader of the same period of time that i have been. he had to overcome one filibuster. i've had to overcome 413 filibusters. >> so if that's the case, majority leader, then why should the filibuster exist at all? there are a lot of people hoping today that actually you'd press that button on the 51-senator vote precisely because we view the filibuster, itself, fundamentally as an obstacle to progress. what is the argument to have it at all? >> the senate is a body that has been for, title was established to protect minority rights. we have to make sure we do that. if there are abuses, we have tools to do that. i understand those tools as well
as anyone. that's why we are where we are today. we are today, we've given up none of our rights. we have all the nominees that we requested. i mean, sometimes you have to take yes for an answer. we had seven filibusters. we worked things out. they stopped those. so when somebody tells you yes, it doesn't make much sense to say, yes, but, no. >> there's no question that you got essentially all of what you wanted going into today. i think a lot of people are very happy to see the results. the only two people that probably aren't happy are sharon block and richard griffin, the two nlrb nominees. am i wrong in thinking they got a raw deal here? they ended up getting rescinded. no one alleged that these individuals were anything but qualified for the board they were nominated to sit on. >> i think they are going to be just fine. we may have other arrangements for them down the road. cinch up your seat belt. don't worry about griffin. block has 15 months to go in her term.
i think there will be a future for her in government some time in the near future. >> are you generally concerned about the uncertainty cast over recess appointments by the federal court for appeals in the district of columbia? does that now hamper the president's ability to fill vacancies when there is still, even after today, this breakthrough, a huge backlog of positions that need to be filled? >> the president was forced to do what he did. from the time we've been a country, the president when he stymied doing something with deployments, he has a recess appointment. that is in our institution. the decision reached by the d.c. court of appealed was foisted upon the american people because we had some bad judges. we have not been able to fill a spot there since roberts except for the latest guy we the put on there. we've been waiting years and years. we have three more coming up. we're going to fight to get them. i have confidence, as much as i disagree with the decisions of the supreme court most of the time, i feel that the facts and
law are on our side, i think except they will say the president has his institutional ability to do recess appointments. >> finally very quickly here, is mitch mcconnell the problem? or is it the caucus of the senators? if you could wave a magic wand and change the makeup of the republican senators, or change mitch mcconnell to get things done, which would you do? >> this is not between harry reid and mitch mcconnell. this is about having the function of the senate be what it should be. i -- this is not about us. it's not about democrats and republicans. about having a body that the constitution set up that was supposed to work really well and it has been working well. especially with what is going on in the house, we need to have an effective united states senate, and i think in the foreseeable future, we're going to have one. >> we'll be checking back on those words. hopefully in the future. senate majority leader harry reid. great pleasure to have you this evening. >> my pleasure. after waiting for what felt like an eternity, we have a head
on this vote, the ayes are 66. the nays are 34. the nomination is confirmed. >> that was senator elizabeth warring flashing a big smile as she presided over the vote to confirm richard cordray to head the consumer financial protection bureau. it marks the first time in the history that it has been actual confirmed director. cordray was not the first person president obama wanted to head the new bureau created by the dodd/frank wall street reform bill. the original plan was to nominate, well, elizabeth warren, herself, to head the bureau. since the entire idea was hers
to begin with. >> this is an idea i've worked on for a long time, and i can tell you why in five blunt words. the credit market is broken. the broken credit market caused the current crisis, is perpetuating the crisis, and will cause more crises in the future. unless we fix it. >> it was not to be, however. thanks largely to a republican temper tantrum and elizabeth warren's decision to pursue another line of work. joining me now to discuss today's news, as well as her proposal for new ways to rein in wall street is senator elizabeth warren, democrat from massachusetts, and senator, first i want to have you explain to me the following. richard cordray has been running this bureau. it's been up for two years since dodd/frank was passed. tomorrow he's going to go run the bureau again. what changes from yesterday to tomorrow in the fact that he is now officially confirmed to head this position? >> well, today, tomorrow, what we know for sure is now this agency is here to stay.
no more clouds over what it is legally entitled to do, no more attacks that say maybe we're going to be able to undercut it in this way or weaken it in that way. we have a full-fledged watchdog. the one we fought for. he's going to be there to fight for us. i love it. >> well, i don't blame you for loving it. it is an amazing thing to see something -- >> it is. >> i remember reading, you wrote a piece in a very, very small policy journal called "democracy" which still exists and turns out great stuff. i remember reading that piece that proposed this idea. you basically said you have this great metaphor, look, if a toaster, if one in ten toasters blows up in a home, we take that off the market, have a consumer product safety commission. why can't we have something for financial products? how does it feel to see something go from your brain to the real world? >> it feels great, but let me tell you the main reason it
feels great. it feels great because it means that millions of people out there are not going to get cheated the way they've been cheated in the last several years. i'll just give you a couple of examples. >> great. >> yeah. this agency has been under way for about two years now, and already it has returned nearly half a billion dollars to consumers that credit card companies cheated them out of. it has already set up a complaint hotline so that if you think you got cheated on your checking account by your bank or you think somebody else has cheated you on mortgage, you can file a complaint. there's a process by which you may be able to get your money back. you should check the thing out. it's called cfpb. that's consumer financial protection bureau. cfpb.gov. there's a whole complaint process there. and it's working. it's working for tens of thousands of people.
they got money back for military families. >> so senator, my question for you, if it's working, then why have your republican colleagues been so committed to killing the thing to the extent they were willing to write a letter and sign it and say, we won't just not confirm richard cordray, we won't confirm anyone. why would they hate this thing that's working? >> because it's working. come on. this is money that's staying in the pockets of ordinary families. this is the money that's staying in the pockets of seniors and students and military families. instead of the money that's getting sucked up by the big credit card companies. instead of the money getting sucked up by payday lenders. let's face it, this is about much and this is about lobbyists. the bank lobbyists have been in the halls of the united states senate for years now fighting against the consumer agency. they wanted that money to stay with their clients. at big banks. >> one of the other places we're seeing them fight is on two front.
the implementation of the landmark financial reform bill, dodd/frank of which cfpb was one part. you now have a proposal along with senator john mccain to reinstate what's known as glass steagall which is part of the banking act from the new deal that separated out investment banking and commercial banking, the sort of boring banking as you talked about it where you take deposits, lend out money to local small business. we've all seen it in wonderful light. and the high-risk stuff, on wall street, with high yield. you want to separate those back together. why do you think this is the way to go to rein in the excesses of wall street? >> look, we need a lot of tools in the toolbox to deal with too big to fail. and this one is an important tool. it says, effectively, look, hedge funds, the wall street traders can get out there and take the risks they want to take. but they don't get to use the money in your grandma's checking account to do that.
they don't get to take the money out of someone's savings account to do that. we're just going to put a wall back in place. basic banking should be boring. risk taking should happen somewhere else. >> so this sounds eminently sensible to me and i have read a million position papers on this and articles. we had this debate during dodd/frank and there was this thing called the volcker rule and was idea behind the volcker rule is it was a 21st century version of glass steagall. it was going to be regulatory rules that drew that church/state separation between the risky stuff and insured stuff and it's a year later from when we should have the volcker rule and we do not have it. what to you make of that? >> in fact, i'm going to push the point further. you remember when the crash occurred what we all talked about is that one of the problems we had that created too big to fail was too much concentration of the top. the big institutions were just too big and too concentrated. well, here's what's happened. the big four financial
institutions are 30% bigger than they were 5 years ago. and so the big have gotten bigger. and what that means is we just have to add another tool to the toolbox. none of this, well, you know, we'll try to find our ways. we should. we should. do what we can to bring down risk in the system, but glass steagall is one way to do that, and we should do it. >> very quickly, senator, jack lew, who's now in treasury, heading up treasury. his confirmation hearings, referred to glass steagall as, quote, anachronistic. do you think the white house will be behind you and senator mccain as you push this legislation? >> it's like so many things. if you don't get out there and fight for what you believe in, i guarantee it doesn't happen. i'm here today to celebrate the consumer financial protection bureau. you want to know how many people told me you could never get something like that through? well, we're here. we've done it. we have a good, strong agency. glass steagall, we're going to
get out there. i have a good fighting partner in john mccain. >> senator elizabeth warren. thank you so much. that's "all in" for this evening. the "rachel maddow show" starts right now. thanks to you at home for staying with us the next hour. right now as we speak the florida governor's office looks like this. somewhere north of 100 protesters have taken over the statehouse office of florida governor rick scott. it is peaceful, there have been no arrests. clearly there has been singing. but this does not look like it is ending any time soon. this started early this afternoon when protesters gathered on the steps here of the state capitol building in florida. and then they decided that they were going to march to the governor's office directly saying they want to meet with florida governor rick scott. they will not leave his office, they say, until they do meet with him. that means that at least they