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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  April 2, 2014 12:00am-1:01am PDT

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that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. 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 continues to be a very long battle over the affordable care act. >> last night, the first open enrollment period under this law came to an end. 7.1 million americans have now signed up for private insurance plans through these marketplaces. 7.1 million. 7.1 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
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more who've gained access through medicaid expansion and the children's health insurance program. >> 7 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 website. >> seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. >> we actually exceeded the 7 million enrollee goal. >> 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. >> what would success look like? >> well, i think success looks
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like at least 7 million people having signed up by the end of march 2014. >> and that 7 million number was also what the congressional budget office predicted. the website'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, just 6 weeks ago. >> i think although, 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. >> many fair-minded analysts, too, expected 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 okay. for critics, it was a centerpiece as the ultimate failure of the law as a whole. >> do you think obamacare can
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survive this mess that's it in right now or completely scrapped and start again? >> obamacare is a failure, always been a failure and will not succeed. it won't. >> unlike other issues like katrina and iraq 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. >> millions of people across the country have seen why we were stand and fighting because obamacare is a disaster. >> good evening, everybody. obamacare is failing. >> obamacare is a failure. >> obamacare is doomed. >> obamacare is doomed to fail. >> clearly this obamacare is a failure. >> obamacare has been a failure. >> obamacare is a colossal failure. >> virginia understands that obamacare is a failure. >> his signature program, which was obamacare, is going to go down in flames. >> 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
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numbers work and they ain't going to make it work. >> so today with that 7 million enrollee bar not only reached but surpassed, president obama sounded a rallying cry for a tough midterm election battle ahead. >> 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. making sure we're not the only advanced country on earth that doesn't make sure everybody has basic health care.
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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. >> joining me now is msnbc senior political analyst david axelrod, former senior adviser to president obama and now director of the university of chicago institute of politics. david, thanks for joining us tonight. >> good to be with you. >> i have to say, i was watching this speech today. my reaction was this was not an ordinary president obama speech. 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 get away from the politicization of the last four years. was that his goal? do you think there's a realistic chance of achieving that?
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>> well, i think there was also an element of relief. as one who worked on the passage of the affordable care act, i had a small sense of how frustrated the president must have been last fall when the launch went so badly and the doomsday predictions took hold. 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.
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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 repeal. 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. >> yeah. 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 ark 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 here. where do you think we are right now it terms of this just becoming an uncontested piece of the social safety net? >> well, i think it's going to take -- it's going to take some
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time. obviously this was a milestone because if this hadn't worked, it would have given 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 have 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. 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 election.
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i think it will pay off over time. >> you know, there was a part of the speech today, too, where the president, you know, it was sort of a lighthearted moment. he said, hey, look, you know, i can guarantee you the website is going to have problems again. there will be a day when the website 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, 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. in terms of the public opinion and public debate over this, the question going forward, what is going to get more attention in the public sphere? stories like the one the president told today or republicans saying, hey, these people were forced off the plans they had, the website 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. >> one of the challenges is
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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% of your premium on things other than health care, they have to give the money back to you. 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.
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all these things are positive and need to be emphasized, not just the success of the exchanges. >> right. right. with every milestone that gets passed with every new enrollee, gets tougher to make an argument to take something away from people. msnbc senior political analyst, david axelrod. thank you for being with us tonight. >> good to be with you. coming up next, there's one thing that determines what people think of obamacare. just one thing. i'm going to tell you what it is. that's ahead. i had to do something. i saw my doctor. a blood test showed it was low testosterone, not age. we talked about axiron the only underarm low t treatment that can restore t levels to normal in about two weeks in most men. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18 or men with prostate or breast cancer. women, especially those who are or who may become pregnant, and children should avoid contact where axiron is applied as unexpected signs of puberty in children or changes in body hair or increased acne in women may occur. report these symptoms to your doctor. tell your doctor about all medical conditions and medications. serious side effects could include increased risk of prostate cancer,
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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 people. >> between 2003 and 2014, gm learned hundreds of reports of ignition switch problems through customer complaints, warrant claims, lawsuits, press coverage, field reports, and even more internal investigations. but time and time again, gm did
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nothing. >> the person you just saw there, congresswoman diana degette, she will be here. that's ahead.
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we're talking about health care today. which plan to you support? obamacare or the affordable care act? >> the affordable care act. >> do you agree with the affordable care act or obamacare? >> the affordable. >> and why do you prefer the affordable care act over obamacare? >> i just don't agree with the whole obamacare policy thing that's going on. >> what plan do you support? obamacare or the affordable care act? >> the affordable care act. >> why do you support that over obamacare? >> i do not like obamacare. i do not like anything forced for everybody to buy.
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>> jimmy kimmel may have found the key to cracking public opinion on obamacare. just don't call it obamacare. even as people are beginning to see the benefits of the new law and 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 two years after upheld by the supreme court, only 20% of republicans support it while nearly four times as many democrats, 76%, support the federal health care law. republicans' stubborn opposition to the law may be one reason why kentucky's health insurance website, a place where folks in that state can sign up for obamacare, why the site down plays any relationship to the word obamacare. the success of obamacare in a state where mitt romney defeated barack obama by nearly 20 points last year is actually nothing short of an amazing story. kentucky enrolled more than 370,000 people in new health care coverage. kentucky's uninsured rate dropped by 40%.
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these numbers explain why kentucky's democratic governor who is perhaps the biggest supporter of obamacare in the entire south called the law a, "a gift from heaven." just a few days ago, kentucky senior senator republican mitch mcconnell was still calling the law disastrous saying, "the pain caused by this terrible law is easy to see." 49% of kentucky voters who recently said they want to repeal the law probably agree with that sentiment. 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 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." join 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
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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 obamacare. 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 obamacare. >> 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 . there was this avalanche of misinformation put out by the opponents of the affordable care act. credit to kentuckians, they decided, hey, let's find out what this is all about, and look what's happened since october 1st. over 370,000 kentuckians have signed up for affordable health coverage. there's an eagerness, hunger, desire for affordable health
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coverage for themselves, family, their kids. i'm thrilled about it not just because next month or next year 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. >> look, you get to the bottom line of it right there. all these people who have signed up. the success you've had. you can't understate the importance of that. 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 is facing maybe a tough primary. definitely a tough general election. we just heard there in the intro to this piece, 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.
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the residents are benefiting so much from this may send back to the senate somebody who says repeal it, it's a terrible law. >> 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% of kentuckians and of americans aren't even affected by this law.
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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 okay in november because nothing's changed for them except it's getting a little better. the other 20%, 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 happens. >> you know, i just wonder, out of curiosity, have you spoken with alison grimes, 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? >> you know, we have a great candidate in alison grimes. she's young, energetic, she's smart. 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 try to get something done. wouldn't that be an amazing feat if something happened in a positive way in washington,
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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. >> 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? >> 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
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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 pricewaterhousecoopers to come in, do a study and tell me the answer to that question. they came in and said, governor, you can't really not to afford to do this. it's going to create 17,000 jobs over the next several years and put $14 billion into your economy. once i got that answer, because it was the right thing to do, it was also the easy thing to do. >> all right. governor steve beshear of kentucky where they like the affordable care act but still have work to do on obamacare. coming up next, congressman paul ryan had a chance today to prove himself. here's a spoiler alert. he probably didn't do that well. i'll explain, next.
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after mitt romney and paul ryan lost their bid for the white house in 2012, thanks in part to mitt romney's infamous 47% 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. the "washington post" noted ryan was, "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. >> everybody cares that we get
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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. >> and today, paul ryan had a chance to tell us exactly how he would make life better for the poor in america. house budget committee chairman released 2015 budget, cutting $5.1 trillion in projected spending over a decade. underscoring the fact ryan's budget is a political document gets 40% of its savings from repealing the affordable care act, of course. some even the staunchest obamacare opponent knows is not going to be happening. ryan's budget gets more savings through deep cuts through food stamps and medicaid, programs
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that benefit the poor, also increasing military spending by $500 billion. budget revives his plan to transfer medicare into a voucher program for americans who are 55 or younger. 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 rhetoric. >> 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. >> we reached out to paul ryan to come on the show to discuss his budget but he was unavailable. joining me now is pulitzer prize winning reporter david cay johnston. new book is "divided: the perils of our growing inequality." paul ryan wouldn't want you to be identified as his surrogate tonight. you'll be discussing his budget, anyway. 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
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in the house. let's talk about the philosophy behind it. when you look at the programs that deal with the poor, medicaid, he talks about block grants, repealing 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, if you try to 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 the basic philosophy? >> the states have 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. somehow the states 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 he said on the tv the other day that some people
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want to stay in poverty. >> 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. jack kemp was okay with domestic spending, he was okay with deficits. it strikes me there's been a change in conservatism and paul ryan 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? >> oh, absolutely. and in the new book that we have which is an anthology. i didn't write it. it has contributors from adam smith to elizabeth warren. we see the myriad factors. if you want to deal with poverty in this country, it's not that
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hard. "a," you need better education. "b," you need jobs and policies that promote the creation of jobs here, not sending them overseas. you need transportation. we 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. >> 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 proposing there. david cay johnston, journalist. thanks for joining us tonight.
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coming up, action movie star steven seagal seems to fancy himself a bit of an expert when it comes to russia. >> i don't think she's local. >> neither do i. i don't even think she's american. i think she's russian. >> wait. i thought he was amazing randy. >> hair, cheekbones, structure, i think she's russian. >> now he's going off script. i'll explain, next. truecar made it very easy... for me to negotiate, because i didn't really need to do any negotiating at all. save time, save money, and never overpay. visit [ female announcer ] some people like to pretend a flood could never happen to them. and that their homeowners insurance protects them. [ thunder crashes ] it doesn't. stop pretending. only flood insurance covers floods. ♪
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today nato suspended all cooperation with russia in response to the annexation of crimea from ukraine. in spite of russia's claims to be withdrawing force from ukraine's borders, that is not what they are seeing on the ground. meanwhile, russia cautioned ukraine toward moving closer to the u.s.-led alliance. that is not all that's heating up. >> you guys think you're above the law. >> that's right. actor, recording artist, martial arts aficionado and possible arizona gubernatorial candidate
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steven seagal is on the scene. he's taking 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 people, his assets and base in sevastopol is very reasonable. that putin is one of the great living world leaders and seagal would like to consider him as a brother. two men are known to be friends. dined together, attended state functions together, watched mixed martial arts together. seagal frequently appears on state-run television demonstrating martial arts moves or performing a traditional chechen dance. 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 as a soviet era fitness program.
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the relationship may all seem a little bit strange, but let's not forget this isn't the first time we've seen a tough guy american fall under the spell when faced with the irresistible charm of vladimir putin. >> i looked the man in the eye, found him to be straightforward and trustworthy. we had a very good dialogue. i was able to get a sense of his soul. i'm sinora and this is my son, chris. i'm a messy person. i don't like cleaning. i love my son, but he never cleans up. always leaves a trail of crumbs behind.
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you're going to have a problem with getting a wife. uh, yeah, i guess. [ laughs ] this is ridiculous. christopher glenn! [ doorbell rings ] what is that? swiffer sweep & trap. i think i can use this. it picks up everything. i like this. that's a lot of dirt. it's that easy! good job chris! i think a woman will probably come your way. [ both laugh ]
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it's only april and already this year general motors has recalled 6.3 million vehicles. more than 2 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 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. 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 before family members of victims who were watching from the audience. with the families there watching, barra apologized and promised a new gm would be different. >> 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
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responsibilities now or in the future. >> barra who's been ceo for less than three months was not able to answer many of lawmakers' more pointed questions, even those about the timeline of what and when gm knew about the faulty switch. a timeline that they, themselves, provided to regulators. >> you don't know when gm knew about the defect? >> i will -- >> take a look at tab 7 in your notebook, miss barra. this is a gm document. >> this is the first i've seen this document. >> gm was notified of this, yes or no? >> i'm not aware. >> as far back as 2004, 10 years ago, gm made a track inquiry after it learned of an incident where the key moved out of the run condition in a 2005 chevrolet cobalt. is this correct? >> again, you're relating specific incidents that happened -- >> you don't know? >> -- in our entire investigation. >> you don't know about that?
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and by the way, ma'am, i'm getting this information from the chronology that gm provided to nhtsa. >> right. >> 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. >> i do not know the answer to that. i do not know the name of the individual. i do not 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. >> now, mary barra may be new as gm ceo but is a second generation gm employee who worked at the company since she was 18 years old. she testified she became aware of the faulty ignition switches only on january 31st of this year.
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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 "federal regulators decided not to open an inquiry on the ignitions of chevrolet cobalts and other cars after their own investigators reported in 2007 they knew of 4 fatal crashes, 29 complaints and 14th ore reports that showed the problem disabled airbags." friedman placed blame on gm. gm and federal regulators knew in some capacity about the faulty ignitions in many of gm's vehicles. 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 investigation committee. you saw her in some of the clips
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we just played there. congresswoman, thanks for joining us. i'm going to start with the simple question about mary barra. she basically seemed to be in front of your committee today saying, hey, i took over a couple months ago, i just found out about this. i'm here now. it's a new gm. do you believe her when she says she only found out about this problem on january 31st of this year? >> i don't have any reason to believe that miss 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. >> and so the -- what did you make of the answers you were getting? your frustration was pretty evident there, in the clips we played. why do you think you were getting the kinds of answers you were getting from her? >> i was frustrated and actually i was perplexed because the questions i was asking miss
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barra were questions that were provided to the committee by gm, and so gm gave us this timeline and then miss 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. >> there's the issue of gm knowing about this for a long time. there's also the issue of federal regulators. 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 for federal regulators for not looking into this earlier? should they have? >> 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'll have.
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i'm sure we'll have more hearings. but it's easy to place blame on retrospect. bottom line is there were people killed and took 14 years to resolve this situation when gm knew about it as early as 2001. >> yeah, 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 death. 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? >> 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 airbags, not the ignitions. they didn't make that connection
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of connect the dots that 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 situation which would be funny except 2.5 million cars have been recalled. and people have died. >> yeah, no, it's such a common vehicle and it's such a scary story for people to read about because it's such a seemingly simple thing that can be so catastrophic. congresswoman diana degette from colorado. coming up, today is a big anniversary on "all in." since chris is on paternity leave, it's up to me to be the master of ceremonies.
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the celebrating will commence, right after this. [ male announcer ] it's here -- xfinity watchathon week,
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there's watching. then there's watchathoning. ♪ 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. 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. >> 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. >> it's been one year since "all in" launched into living rooms across the country. which means it's our birthday. what a year it's been. good evening from new york. good evening from new york.
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good evening from new york. hi there. i'm chris hayes. since we began, we brought you 234 shows which is over 10,000 minutes of television. we have a very fun show tonight. we've got a packed show tonight. an amazing, strange, weird fascinating news day. 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. i come from a good stock of repressed irish catholics who understand the way to deal with problems and sources of conflict is to push it deep, deep down. over the past year, we've strived to give you different perspectives. >> the point being that 2 cents of every federal dollar was cut from our budget. >> how many economists do you have on staff? >> the only reason this is a story -- >> how many economists do you have on staff? >> it's a good talking point. >> it's a good talking point. that's what it is. >> how many economists do you have on staff? >> i have a real problem when you talk about raising the poverty level.
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that's people making $94,000 a year. they're not poor. that is taking resources from the poor. the expansion -- >> not on the medicaid expansion. >> a moral issue, not a -- >> that's a matt train wreck. >> excuse me? >> it's not the medicaid expansion. >> oh, my brother, yes it is, you need to look at your facts. >> actually, she needed to look at her facts, but okay. we let you know when people were being awesome. i'm thinking best pope ever? and we never let you down when it came to breaking news. >> there's breaking news regarding toronto's embattled mayor rob ford. watch out for that camera, hey? >> [ bleep ]. holy. >> that's the first time i got to see that. it's awesome. we tried to bring you the stories no one else was talking about which wasn't always the case at some other networks. sometimes in the world of cable
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news, there's a mismatch between the demand for new information about a story and the supply of new information that exists. we imagined a world in which a republican congress actually got stuff done. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. tremendous news out of washington today. while we reported on the reality. 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." >> with a goat. i will eat them in the rain. and in the dark and on a train. >> we talked with some of the biggest newsmakers in the country. >> people are hungry for leadership that's going to stand up and take positions on their behalf. >> from world-famous actors -- first time i heard you interview the i was like whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, hold the phone. where is this guy from? -- to world famous critics. >> i'm so inappropriately dressed for this occasion. >> -- to world class athletes. >> one side of it is people calling you a thug. people run in and say, oh, he's got a stanford degree. seems like sometimes the subtext is he's one of the good ones.
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>> that's showing 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. >> at times, we even left our guests speechless. taking the rhetoric seriously is then meant as indication they aren't serious about diplomacy which is then used as an argument there's a military solution as opposed to a diplomatic one. right? >> no. >> and sometimes our guests left us speechless. >> david wildstein deserves an ass kicking. okay? sorry. there, i said it. >> all right. that was the mayor of ft. lee, new jersey, offering 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, well versed in jersey politics as we
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continue our search for the true meaning behind the words "time for some traffic problems in ft. lee." it's been an emotional journey. new jersey's governor is sad. >> 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. >> chris christie is, like, really, seriously, legit sad. >> 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 today. >> over the past year, we stood up for what we believed in. like breaking our country's fossil fuel addiction. to the addict, tomorrow never comes. the time to quit is never now. we were there when the supreme court made history. 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.
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we reported on the country going over the hunger cliff. nobody else was. >> 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. >> and we brought you the stories of people standing up across the country. >> this is their home. where else are they going to go? >> i can't do anything with $8. i have three kids and a husband. >> you cannot just ignore the evil. >> we're human beings. we're citizens of the state of florida who have a right to petition our government. >> i believe that we will win! >> this is not momentary hyperventilation. this is a movement. >> it's been quite a year. we survived a show launch and couldn't have done it without you, our viewers. keep watching, "iners" because we're just getting started. that's "all in" for this evening. i'm chris hayes. "the rachel maddow show" begins now. >> you did it.
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>> we did it. we did it, america. >> that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts now and speaking of birthdays, rachel, i hear it's yours tonight. happy birthday to you. >> my family and i thought ahead and planned my birthday to coincide with "all in with chris hayes'" birthday. >> it's perfect. >> about 41 years ago. >> thank you, steve. appreciate it, man. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. happy april fool's day. i swear i'm not kidding about that. one of the things that has been a frustration for people who support president obama politically is that president obama has not been given much credit for the times that he has gotten things done as president. even when he has achieved hard-to-win things in washington, he has not necessarily taken credit for those things in a way that would read down to political capital for himself, and that has been a frustration for the years of his presidency so far for people who support him.


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