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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  October 13, 2015 12:00am-1:01am PDT

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having given it one more college try, go for it. the democratic party can surely stand it. the country may get something good out of it. it may even, though it's a long shot, get you. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in" -- >> i don't think he'll end up being president of the united states. >> the rise of the anti-policy politician. >> make you can prove me wrong but i don't think you're a friend to women. >> i knew i shouldn't have picked her. >> reporter: tonight how donald trump. and ben carson continue to defy political gravity. >> is that just hyperbole to use nazi analogies? >> it's not hyperbole at all. >> then more proof of a plot to stop hillary. >> it's a lie. >> republicans respond to the latest bombshell about the benghazi committee. and with a break in case of biden podium at the ready, the democrats get loose.
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>> you guys are the first to realize that i'm really not even a human being. >> tonight, how democrats are planning their debate approach and why no one should be surprised a socialist is doing so well. >> are you a capitalist? >> no. i'm a democratic socialist. >> when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. we're now a little more than 24 hours from the first presidential democratic debate. while that would seem to be huge for someone in politics or following politics the republican presidential front-runner says he isn't clearing his schedule. >> i think it's not going to be very well rated because trump isn't in the debate. i'm only kidding. i think it's not going to be highly rated. i think you're going to watch it for 10, 15 minutes, people are going to get bored and turn it off. >> are you going to be watching? >> i'll be watching. i don't know how long. i think it's going to be hard to watch. i think it's not going to be a very exciting debate. >> donald trump's disinterest in
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a debate involving his potential general election opponent is exceedingly telling. right now the democratic candidates are gearing up for what should be a pretty substantive discussion form tomorrow night focused on areas of policy friction on topics like inequality, gun control, health care, trade, and immigration. we're going to get into all that later in the show but on the republican side the two leading candidates, trump and ben carson, barely ever really talk policy or engage with the messy details of governing in any sort of substantial or extended way. in fact, for a reality star like trump, policy's just kind of, you know, boring, low rated. donald trump seen here air drumming to aerosmith's "dream on," which he's been using at campaign events despite a cease and desist letter from the band. what trump knows is how to play to a crowd, as president obama noted in an interview that aired last night. >> he knows how to get attention. he's the classic reality tv character. and at this early stages it's not surprising that he's gotten a lot of attention. >> the classic reality tv character in question touched down today at a rather
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incongruous event, a congress organized bit group no labels, a well-funded initiative that says it's focused on problem solving and civility and which seeks to push politics toward a mythical center that looks remarkably similar to the views held by a donor class. when a female questioner started to accuse trump of not being a friend to women he interrupted her. fortunately she had a chance to finish her question and it wasn't about policy -- >> i respect women. i love women. i cherish women. hillary clinton said he shouldn't cherish. i do cherish. i cherish women. my mother was one of the great people of the world. maybe the greatest ever. my mother. i respect women. >> the guy loves his mother. trump's brand of substance-free showmanship combined with an appeal to anti-immigrant sentiment and a penchant for insulting opponents and an apparent eagerness to offend has proven remarkably durable. a new poll shows that trump is still, after all of this, leading the gop primary pack with 27% support. the only other candidate that comes even close is ben carson at 21%.
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there's been some speculation carson might fade in the wake of a string of fairly outrageous comments including his suggestion that muslims shouldn't be president, that gun control helped cause the holocaust, and that the victims in the oregon massacre should have done more to stop themselves from being murdered. yet "the new york times" reports carson's aides are finding his inflammatory remarks are only helping him. going to the carson campaign over three days last week small donors sent carson a million dollars in reaction to criticism he was receiving. donald trump may well be right. tomorrow's democratic debate, which will almost certainly be longer on policy and shorter on insults than the gop version, will also almost certainly not do nearly as well in the ratings. after all, democrats simply aren't offering the sort of theatrics and extreme rhetoric that have drawn 48% of gop voters to these candidates. and if this were a reality show and ratings indeed would be a big concern. the thing is we are also need to elect a president. joining me now, "washington post" columnist e.j. dionne. mckay coppins and michelle
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goldberg, a columnist at slate. >> it struck me as so fitting and so perfectly incongruous donald trump speaking at no labels today. the whole idea behind no labels is that polarization is ripping america apart, we need common sense solutions, we're going to come together in the middle, with no indication they understand that that polarization is deeply asymmetrical, there is a real difference in the institutional apparatus of the right and left in this country right now, and donald trump was just -- you couldn't do better to sort of refute that underlying premise than unleash donald trump on your audience. >> yeah, i totally agree with that. trump being there is like a distiller showing up at a women's christian temperates union meeting. it was remarkable. but you're right. the polarization is asymmetric and we're seeing it in this race. and i think one of the things that we probably should pay more attention to is that we kind of pretend the parties are static and that they stay the same, but the message a party sends over
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time attracts certain kinds of people. that happened to the new left. todd gitlin the great scholar of the new left, said as the new left became more radical it attracted more radical people. i think the republican party has been much more negative, much more down on the country's future, and therefore has attracted angrier people than the people who might have been republicans back, say, in 2000 or even 2008 when john mccain got nominated. and this change within the composition of the party may be part of why the first top three people in that poll were trump, carson, and then ted cruz. and that's the kind of party it is now. >> the carson thing to me is really telling because we had the summer of trump. i thought trump is sui generis in a million different ways. a. b, maybe because this guy literally was a reality television star he just has a kind of leg up on everyone.
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but then you look at carson, it's like oh, no, no, no, no. because none of that applies to ben carson. right? he's not bombastic in the way trump is -- >> he's actually not entertaining really. >> he's not entertaining. >> he's likeable in a certain way but he doesn't have like the showmanship or the talent. i think, though -- so what i think is interesting is that what they share, the two of them, besides being of course outsiders, no political experience, is that they both -- it's cathartic for a certain portion of the american electorate to listen to them speak. right? >> not only to listen to them speak. let's be clear. to then watch them be attacked. that's part of the cycle. >> right. i think we saw what was -- carson raised a million dollars from small dollar donors. that is because everyone in this -- and let's be honest. everyone across the political spectrum has things that they hate, feels undermined in some ways. the difference is that the republican party, the forces at work right now, have created a
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crazy vacuum of leadership that enable these figures to rise up and become very popular and command a large portion of the party. >> and you see this thing. carson said this thing, it seemed a little offhand about, you know, hitler took the guns away. and there's actually historically a much more complicated story than that. bracketing that for a second, all of a sudden i see online a million people rushing to defend like actually, let's talk about jews and guns and the holocaust. it's like what are you doing? >> years and years ago i went to a conservative film festival in texas and i remember watching a whole documentary about precisely this subject, about how gun control paved the way for the holocaust. so it's not as if he made this up. and this is part of why he's so popular and why he's -- because there are -- there is -- i've written about it. many people have written about it. this alternative right-wing reality, particularly in ben carson's case the alternative reality of the christian right in which a whole bunch of things that seem nutty to us are just taken as given or taken as fact.
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you know, the -- >> hitler took away the guns -- >> hitler took away the guns. the sort of eugenic -- the fact that evolution is really a kind of satanic eugenic denial of god. you know, all of these things that again like to us were -- sound like this terrible gaffe. but he's really just saying what is a baseline reality to a huge part of the republican party. >> but i would -- i think that's true. but i would also add that probably a lot of the people rushing to defend ben carson and donald trump for that matter don't -- didn't actually come into that knowing anything about the hol- -- >> that's my point. >> what they think is that a bunch of media elites and political elites are ganging up on him just the way they're ganging up on them and that's why they rush to defend him. >> which connects to what e.j. was saying about this kind of static cling thing that's happening here, right? where you say these things and then that attracts more people to the ideas to defend it. >> right.
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and i think the other thing, i think the point about a vacuum of leadership is very important because we talk about a republican establishment and i don't like to use that term because i don't think there is much of an establishment anymore. and the republican party has sent out and endorsed some of these crazy things. when people were talking about president obama as being a muslim and when the birthers were there, there was a great reluctance on the part of the leadership to push back against that. kevin mccarthy, when he wrote in that "young guns" book with eric cantor and paul ryan, was saying a lot of tea partyish things so that the leadership has not pushed back. they've enabled this. and then when they didn't deliver what these folks wanted, they get angry. well, of course they got angry. because they felt promises were made that weren't kept. so that -- i think it's both the draw of the extreme message and the fact that the leadership really hasn't wanted to push back very hard against it.
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>> and that really is what the test case that's unfolding here. it happens longer every day that these polls come out. because there's part of me that says look, the political science models predict certain things, the parties decide who has elite endorsements -- >> i went and looked at this exact time in 2011. herman cain was leading the republican race. right? and before that michele bachmann was. >> but the key there is those were much more short-lived and there was also a sense in which, you know, ultimately people got serious, et cetera, those sort of flamed out. we've seen something more durable here. and to me the key is to look to the house, right? what's the other center of republican political power? what institutionally are they up to? and what they're up to is something that is in historical terms profoundly anomalous. they're committing ritual hari kari of their political power by basically cannibalizing every possible leader. whether they're right to do that or not. it is not the norm. >> and i think that that's something interesting that e.j. said. what is the republican establishment?
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i saw a lot of people as this chaos in the house was unfolding questioning what even is the republican party still a political party at its core? is that what it is or is it a brand or is it a banner people fly or is it a way to raise money? it's not entirely clear how the party is functioning right now and when this all ends and when the dust settles and 2016 will be a crucial moment for the party, when the dust settles do we have a republican party with a new agenda that people are rallying around or do we just have a lot of different factions that are just sort of using republicanism as a way to, you know, do their thing? >> and that is going to be determined, e.j., to a large extent by how this does play out. everyone, the political science models all predict that donald trump and ben carson won't play out. they probably won't win any delegates. and yet and yet. so there's some genuine uncertainty here and it's uncertainty with tremendous stakes for what both the republican party and american politics looks like going forward. >> right.
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if you go back to the last campaign, it was very easy to understand. it was romney and the non-romneys. and every time somebody seemed to have a better chance to beat romney he'd rally or she'd rally the right. but what you have in this race is no really strong figure other than trump who dominates the stage and you have all the constituencies of the party even or divided. there's no clear evangelical candidate. there's no clear libertarian candidate. and there's no clear tea party candidate. so you have this fractioning -- i'm sorry. of the party that is creating problems even on the right itself. >> all right. e.j. dionne, mckay coppins, michelle goldberg, thank you all. still ahead, the floodgates are open on the benghazi committee as details emerge on how far the inquiry has widened into personal attacks on hillary clinton. plus an update on the police shooting of 12-year-old tamir rice as two outside reviews controversially call the shooting reasonable.
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and later it's the eve of debate night. while most eyes are on front-runners sanders and clinton, one of the other candidates could have a breakout night. could they? we'll discuss. those stories and more, ahead. [announcer] sunday's your last chance to save big
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447 days after "washington post" reporter jason rezaian was arrested in iran on espionage and other charges he has reportedly been found guilty. but his alleged conviction remains as secretive as his closed-door trial. state tv quoted a spokesman for tehran's revolutionary court saying "he has been convicted but i don't have the verdict's details." those details include what exactly the charges were that rezaian was found guilty of and whether a sentence was issued. rezaian's brother wrote today that his family went to court to seek clarification on any verdict in this case. in just the latest cruel step in the outrageous legal process they were provided no further information under the guise of a translator not being available. rezaian's supposed conviction could be the latest move by iran to use him as essentially a bargaining chip to secure the
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release of iranians who've been convicted in american courts of sanctions violations and are currently in u.s. prisons. recently iranian officials including president hassan rouhani began floating the idea of a prisoner exchange. >> translator: if the americans take the appropriate steps and set them free, certainly the right environment will be open and the right circumstances will be created for us to do everything within our power and our purview to bring about the swiftest freedom for the americans held in iran as well.
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everybody thought hillary clinton was unbeatable, right? but we put together a benghazi special committee, a select
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committee. what are her numbers today? her numbers are dropping. why? because she's untrustable. >> first house majority leader kevin mccarthy appeared to reveal the benghazi committee's real purpose was to damage hillary clinton. now a former investigator for the benghazi committee, major bradley podliska, an air force reservist and self-described conservative republican, says he was fired when he raised concerns that the committee's work had become too partisan toward clinton. >> as i've stated, hillary clinton has a lot of explaining to do. we, however, did not need to shift resources to hyper focus on hillary clinton. i honestly done believe this investigation was set up to go after hillary. i believe it shifted that way. the victims' families are not going to get the truth. and that's the most unfortunate thing about this. and i know this because the nine months of research i had done is now lost. i have no idea where it is. >> in an interview with nbc news the benghazi committee chairman, congressman trey gowdy, fired back. chairman gowdy calls podliska a liar. gowdy says podliska claimed he
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was discriminated against because he was a reservist taking leave away from work on the committee. goudi says when podliska realized he would lose that argument in mediation he then claimed for the first time the committee was slanted against hillary clinton. and gowdy says it was podliska who mishandled classified information and if it was he who tried to inappropriately focus his work on hillary clinton. >> it's a damn lie, and that's not a word that i often use, but rarely is it so easily proven. leave was always granted. he was never denied leave. so he was losing in mediation on his reservist claim, and that presented a really good opportunity to pivot to the democrat talking point of, well, let me try this. part of it was the mishandling of classified information, and part of it was his refusal to do what he was hired to do. he's an intelligence expert. that's what we needed him to focus on. but twice he tried to assign people under him to work on hillary clinton and others. >> podliska's lawyers say they have issued a cease and desist
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letter to gowdy because he is the one inappropriately releasing information about podliska's mediation and they expect to sue for wrongful termination. meanwhile, "new york times" has now detailed the extent to which the benghazi committee shifted its attention to hillary clinton's e-mails. joining me, noah schreiber, a labor and workforce relations writer for the "times." this is the paragraph that stood out to me in your piece. i will read. "with the slow progress members of the standing committee engaged in social activities like a wine club nicknamed wine wednesdays, drinking from glasses imprinted with the words glacial pace, a dig at representative elijah e. cummins', democrat of maryland the committee's ranking member, major podliska said. mr. cummings used the term to question the speed of the committee's work." is this for real? >> yeah. we feel pretty about good about it. certainly major podliska is the source. but we asked multiple people about it. we feel like it stood up. >> one of the things that seems to be the case here is there were already a variety of investigations that had been
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conducted into the benghazi committee. this is now one of the longest-standing sort of select committees in congressional history. certainly in recent memory. it's longer than watergate. what exactly are they doing is the question everyone has. what can you tell us about what they're doing behind closed doors? >> yeah. well, so far as we could tell, major podliska's narrative basically held up. and we were very careful. we did not want to rely only on him. so there was a lot of documentary evidence that we were able to kind of dislodge that was very consistent with what he told us. the narrative is they started off with a pretty broad-based investigation. they were looking at the defense department. they were looking at the intelligence committee. they were looking at white house staffers who were involved and had some role in foreign policy and national security. they had what they called three tranches -- preattack, during the attack, post-attack. it seemed to be fairly comprehensive. but this all shifts after the hillary clinton e-mail revelations.
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they become very preoccupied with that, not surprisingly. and resources are basically diverted. people who have other portfolios are kind of detailed to the hillary clinton e-mails. not just the e-mails. to stay more broadly. but initially, again, it was intended to focus on the entire foreign policy, national security apparatus. and it suddenly just becomes a kind of becomes very focused on the state and secretary of state. and again, we had a lot of documents from the committee that had never been seen before publicly that were very consistent with that. the chairman of the committee, mr. gowdy, had announced nine proposed hearings in late 2014. one a month about. basically, what had happened, what we should learn from it, what we should do in response. none of those hearings have been held. he had a list of -- >> wait. there have been -- none of the hearings? >> none of the -- no, there was an initial hearing, kind of an organizational hearing about how to proceed in january.
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but none of those nine hearings that were announced have been held publicly. the committee will tell you they've interviewed some of those people privately, but the fact is they have had fairly ambitious proposed hearing schedule and none of those hearings have been held. similarly, there were 12 very high-profile defense and intelligence community officials, current and former officials who mr. gowdy announced he was going to depose in february. only one of those 12 has been interviewed so far by the committee. in the meantime since the e-mail revelations came out there were 18 state department people added to their roster of witnesses. the evidence really does support the account that this shifted in march after the hillary clinton e-mail revelations. >> part of this also has been the fact that these interviews are happening, you know, behind closed doors. some of the interview subjects, cheryl mills, who is a lawyer and a close aide of hillary clinton, asked for it to be released. it wasn't released. this was shocking to me.
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during one daylong session mr. sidney blumenthal who's a long-time friend and associate of the clintons, was asked more than 160 questions about his relationship, communications with the clinton family. that included more than 50 questions about the clinton foundation and 45 questions related to david brock who runs a group that defends the clintons against political attacks. whatever you think of the clinton foundation and david brock we are pretty far afield of the horrifying death of four americans on that night in libya. >> yeah, no question. there were also a lot of questions that they asked mr. blumenthal about his business times -- wiz ties with businessmen who had interests in libya. and the claim there was that because he had a kind of financial interest in a robust military presence and intervention in libya he skewed mrs. clinton's views on libya, made her more interventionist than she otherwise would have been. those interventionist views and subsequent policy that's fell out of them created a backlash in libya which ultimately led to
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benghazi. there did seem to be some tenuous -- or at least attempt to make a case why the business interests mattered. we couldn't really suss out why mr. brock and the clinton foundation were relevant. the committee will point out that he has been paid by both of them. maybe there was some conflict there, but we couldn't entirely piece it together. >> noam scheiber, thank you very much. >> thanks for having me. coming up, a look at the elite 158 families whose campaign donations make up over half, yes, that's right, half of the early 2016 fund-raising efforts. all the details ahead. , well. it the belle of the ball. gentlemen. you look well. what's new, flo? well, a name your price tool went missing last week. name your what, now? it gives you coverage options based on your budget. i just hope whoever stole it knows that it only works at progressive.com. so, you can't use it to just buy stuff? no. i'm sorry, gustav. we have to go back to the pet store. [ gustav squawks ]
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he's gonna meet us there. the name your price tool. still only at progressive.com.
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it has been almost a year since tamir rice, a 12-year-old african-american boy carrying what turned out to be an air gun, was shot and killed by cleveland police officer timothy loehmann. less than three seconds after police arrived on the scene in their car. a 911 caller reported that rice was pointing a gun at people on the playground but cautioned that the gun was "probably fake." the person holding it was "probably a juvenile." that message was not given to the responding officers. an initial account of the incident from the cleveland police saying that "the suspect did not comply with the officer's orders and reached to his waistband for the gun" appeared to be contradicted by surveillance video later showing loehmann shooting rice less than three seconds after arriving on the scene pulling up there right there next to him and shooting him. it was later revealed that that same officer had resigned from his previous job after he was deemed emotionally unstable and unfit for duty especially in his
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handling of firearms. in june a judge found probable cause to charge the cleveland officer in rice's death, and then this weekend the ohio prosecutor who will ultimately present evidence to the grand jury released the results of two outside investigations into the case, both commissioned by the county prosecutor himself and both reviews, one by a colorado prosecutor, another by a former fbi supervisory special agent, found that officer lehmann acted reasonably when he used deadly force against the 12-year-old. the prosecutors said they are "not reaching any conclusions about the findings in these reports" and will leave it up to the grand jury to decide whether or not to press charges. that's something we've heard in other cases like this, most notably in michael brown. but the investigations leave us with two very disturbing options. one is that these reports, commissioned by the prosecutor, are simply wrong. the judge who found there was probable cause to charge officer loehmann with murder was correct. the other option is that justice in these cases is weight sod heavily toward police in fatal shootings that killing a 12-year-old boy less than three seconds after appearing on the
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scene could actually be understood as reasonable in some technical sense. and that, it strikes me, is an even bigger problem.
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here is the difference in political outlook between the president and myself. what i understand is that the power of corporate america, wall street, the corporate media is so great that real change to transform our country does not take place unless millions of people begin to stand up and say very loudly and clearly that the united states government has got to represent all of us and not just the top 1%. >> the government has to represent all of us, not just the top 1%. but in this case the top 1% might be altogether too generous when we talk about who controls the american democracy. thanks to an investigation by the "new york times" looking into who the donors are, we now know this. we have a better understanding of who's buying political influence.
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just 158 families along with companies they own or control contributed $176 million in the first phase of the campaign, or in other words, a very, very, very small subset of the 1% who are overwhelmingly rich, white, older and male, and providing almost half of all the seed money raised to support democratic and republican presidential candidates. but the investigation found that most of that money benefits the political right. of the 158 families the "times" identified 138 families who back republicans. joining me now, nick confessore, political reporter for the "times," who spent three weeks investigating this piece. is this -- 158 families providing half of the money so far in this campaign. is that -- >> that's right. it's a very small number. >> is that possible? is it true? >> it's only possible because of citizens united. >> 158 families. >> yeah. in the old days those 158 families, you know, could each have made one hard money contribution of a few thousand dollars, and that's it. you're done.
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you're out of the game. >> but because of the campaign finance reform that was passed after watergate and then sort of tweaked again through mccain feingold. but that's the basic structure after watergate. it's called hard money. there's a cap on how much you can give. >> super pacs opened up this whole new vista of unnamed contributions and that changes the game. the superpacs are raising most of the money. the candidates are not. so they're all overbalanced in this way. and the overbalancing is the main reason you see this intense concentration for the early money. >> so how do you figure this out? because one of the things about the citizens united world is that in the old campaign finance regime passed after watergate there's disclosure requirements and they're pretty rigorous. the new one has some disclosure but it's much less rigorous, much easier to get around. so how were you able to find out to get to this number? >> some of these people gave in their own name. most of them did in fact. but in some cases it's people's
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kids and relatives, companies they control or companies they own. >> just to be clear, the finding of citizens united, right? was that these companies can donate and they can donate unlimited amounts. >> it's set up just for the purpose sow can't see who made the contribution. >> so you can make a make great great again llc, make surety paperwork's not clear about who runs this thing. then that corporation is writing big checks to donald trump or whatever. >> or five corporations or ten. people in real estate, for example, tend to have lots of llcs kind of floating around with cash in them. there are some mystery donors in this pile. those families do include some really large checks in these pacs we couldn't identify. companies whose identities and owners are not clear or they're based in states that don't require the paperwork to show the actual controller or owner of the organization or the company. >> why do you think there's such
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an asymmetry that so much of this money's pouring into the republican side and relatively less on the democratic side? >> i think part of it is that the gop primary's much more active. >> there's more candidates. more people to spread that over. >> and i think that the republicans have been much more aggressive in saying super pacs are-g they're here to stay, we're going to exploit them and use them. >> and there's also some kind of ideological affinity. i think a lot of conservatives believe citizens united was rightly held, this is a matter of the first amendment, free speech. democrats on a whole don't like, it even democratic donors so, there's probably a little more reluctance tone gauge -- >> yeah. i hear it from democrats all the time. there are some big donors you don't see in the democratic superpac that are kind of a surprise to me, people who are big, billionaire hedge funders supporting hillary clinton who are not putting money in there so far. >> when is the last time we saw this kind of concentration of money in politics? >> it seems like you can't get to this concentration since before the '70s and watergate. right? so before watergate a union or a company could bankroll a candidate and it wasn't possible
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really after those reforms, after watergate. now it's possible again. >> we are back. we are sort of in precampaign finance reform territory and one of the great things about this reporting is this shows how much that's true. nick confessore, great, great work. thank you for being here. coming up, the dnc has received a lot of criticism for having only six debates. now a dnc official says she was disinvited from tomorrow's debate for voicing the same concern. also she's a congresswoman. she'll join me live. just ahead.
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at least 97 people were killed. hundreds more injured. the turkish government is
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blaming isis for the attack, though no one is yet taking credit for it. but others including survivors at the scene and the march's organizers directed their anger at the turkish government for its increasing repression of its political opponents and for looking the other way as anti-kurdish mob violence and vigilante attacks have grown. >> two suicide bombers are thought to be responsible for the explosions. in the immediate aftermath angry survivors turned on the police. >> anti-government protests have now spread across turkey this weekend including at the funerals for several of the victims. and all this happening as the country prepares for national elections in just over three weeks.
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in a speech in san francisco today on the eve of the first democratic debate one of hillary clinton's most recognizable and controversial advocates david
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brock laid out the case against bernie sanders her main opponent right now without mentioning him by name. according to buzzfeed which got an advance copy of the remarks brock called clinton the real progressive champion in the race with "real plans that work, ambitious, specific and realistic plans to tackle the problems of our time." this comes after sanders took an implicit shot at clinton yesterday on "meet the press." >> from day one i opposed the keystone pipeline because i believe that if you're serious about climate change you don't encourage the excavation and transportation of very dirty oil. that was my view from day one. tpp. i believe that our trade policies going way back when, i voted against nafta. i think they've been a disaster for our -- companies shut down, move abroad. people will have to contrast my consistency and my willingness to stand up to wall street and corporation, big corporation with the secretary. >> up until now sanders has mostly resisted opportunities to ak at that time democratic
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front-runner wp we'll see what happens tomorrow night in vegas. as the big event approaches there's ongoing discord about the limited number of democratic primary debates, just six compared to 11 for the republicans and the somewhat mysterious criteria for candidates to participate. while three of the democratic candidates, lincoln chafee, martin o'malley, and lawrence lessig all scored less than half a percent in the latest national polling, only two of them get to take part tomorrow. lessig is the only one being excluded from the debate stage. this is what it will look like. according to the debate host cnn, clinton in the middle flanked by sanders and ao. malley with chaffee and jim webb holding down the edges. meanwhile there's an emergency podium on standby for joe biden in case he decides to jump in at the last second. now, congresswoman tulsi gabbard, a hawaii democrat who serves others a dnc vice chairwoman, says the organization, the dnc, disinvited her after she called for more democratic debates. the dnc disputes her account. in response the sanders campaign offered congresswoman gabbard an extra ticket. and congresswoman tulsi gabbard joins me now, just promoted from capital-ton major by the hawaiian army national guard.
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congratulations, congresswoman. could this be the case? could they really disinvite you because of this? >> hello, chris. it's good to talk to you. the answer is yes. plain and simple. >> how do you know that? >> i was actually on your network. i was on msnbc speaking with steve on "meet the press" daily. the very next day i landed after a redeye flight from hawaii back to d.c. and landed to a message saying that debbie wasserman schulz's chief of staff had called mine and said we saw her on msnbc and basically i'm paraphrasing but if she continues this then we really don't think she should be at the debate. >> why do you think -- why such a strong reaction? i know the dnc sort of came up with their basic plan for the debates and they want to make sure that people don't go to unsanctioned debates, you're punished if you do, but it really does seem like democrats
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have not been in the public eye as much as republicans, they're having fewer debates, they have fewer candidates, obviously. it seems like you can disagree about that and there's no reason for there to be necessarily bad blood about it. >> you're right, chris. especially when we're dealing with an issue as serious as democracy, as serious as our freedom of speech. you know, i spent this morning at the punch bowl national cemetery of the pacific and had a chance to reflect on the thousands of people who literally gave their lives for our country fighting for these freedoms, for these rights that we hold near and dear to our hearts. we've got to remember, freedom is not free. there's a very high cost to these freedoms that i'm talking about and that we're talking about. so with this issue of debates, with this issue of whether or not i should be allowed to disagree or whatever the case may be, these aren't just words. this isn't just games. this goes down to the core
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principles of democracy that so many of my brothers and sisters in uniform have literally sacrificed their lives for and more people should be calling up and -- should be standing up and calling it for what it is. >> well, one of the things i'm curious to see happen tomorrow night, i think so far it's largely been somewhat polite. which is fine. i like politeness and civility as much as everyone else. but there are actual issues. there's disagreement. politics is about conflict. and i think -- and i'm curious what you think. it's okay if the candidates in the democratic party go at each other a little bit about areas that they have disagreement. >> well, chris, i think this is the whole point of why the american people deserve more opportunities to hear from our presidential candidates. they should have an opportunity to be able to delineate their differences and positions, to talk about their different views and how they approach things we're facing today in our country and the path that they
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would like to take the american people on going forward as our commander in chief, as our president. so creating these opportunities for the american people to hear from our presidential candidates, to hold them accountable for decisions they've made in the past or the vision that they're outlining for the future is critical to our democracy, and it's critical to making it so that the american people are best equipped with the right information as they make this important decision on would our next president should be. >> the operating assumption by martin o'malley and others is that this relatively constrained debate schedule was done to essentially rig things for hillary clinton. do you think that's true? >> i don't know. there's a lot of speculation flying around. i think it's not really relevant to the call to action that i and so many others across the country are doing right now. that is the american people deserve more opportunities, more debates. getting rid of this exclusivity clause that essentially punishes people and their communities if they try to invite the
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presidential candidates to come and engage with them. as we say in hawaii, to talk story, to discuss the important issues that are affecting american families, all across the country and are affecting us abroad. >> all right. thank you, congresswoman tulsi gabbard. really appreciate it. >> thanks, chris. up next we'll take a close look at what to expect tomorrow night as the democratic candidates prepare to take the stage for the first time. >> and the parties wouldn't talk to each other. when a moment turns romantic why pause to take a pill? or stop to find a bathroom?
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i was actually on your network. i was on msnbc speaking with
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steve on "meet the press daily." the very next day i landed after a redeye flight from hawaii back to d.c. and landed to a message saying that debbie wasserman schultz's chief of staff had called mine and said we saw her on msnbc and basically, i'm paraphrasing, but if she continues this then we really don't think she should be at the debate. >> we will have debbie wasserman schultz on the program tomorrow. we can talk about that as well as the debate that's happening. joining me rebecca traister writer at large from new york magazine and sabrina siddiqui political reporter for "guardian." you're out there in vegas with the wynn casino product placement behind you. having covered this campaign thus far, what do you think of my idea that it's been one of those -- there's been a lot of politeness, there's been a lot of reluctance to go after each other, which is perfectly fine but what do you think we're going to see tomorrow night in terms of how much direct confrontation there is?
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>> well, i don't think that you're going to see democrats really attacking each other in any kind of aggressive way. you have to remember that unlike the republican party, where there are serious points of difference in terms of policy and where candidates are completely at the opposite end of the spectrum, among democrats there's still a broad consensus on most issues they just differ in how they want to get there. i think we're going to hear a lot from bernie sanders and martin o'malley saying they've been consistent on certain positions such as keystone, such as trade and other areas where hillary clinton has tacked left since day one. and you're going to hear hillary clinton probably defend her approach as to why she has evolved on some of these issues only recently but i think it also allows her to kind of refocus the debate on policy and away from e-mails, away from the poll numbers and a lot of the noise that we've been hearing over the last couple of months. >> i think when we went into this i doubt bernie sanders thought that he was going to have a hard time like presenting his space between himself and hillary clinton.
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of all the challenges bernie sanders imagined when he ran for president, it wasn't going to be like how do i differentiate myself policy-wise from hillary clinton? yet somehow she has just rushed toward him in a way. what do you think we're going to see from hillary clinton as a hillaryologist? >> i think she's probably going to present herself as the practicing pragmatic choice. she's going to go and bring out her bona fides and suggest she has the experience to navigate opposition and obstruction in a way that somebody like bernie sanders doesn't. it's going to be a stylistic -- i agree with sabrina, it's going to be a stylistic difference but we should be hearing -- i want to go back to what you said. we should be hearing their differences. it's a debate. we have to choose between them soon. the democrats are insane for not wanting for debates because in the absence of debates all we talk about is e-mails and want to talk about what's different about them. >> here's a perfect exam p pl. i want to play this exchange
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which i loved from "meet the press" this weekend about bernie sanders' sort of political philosophy. take a listen. >> the other day i noticed you said, you know what? don't use the word socialist. i'm going say i'm a progressive. are you pushing back on the idea? >> no, not at all. look, when one of you republican colleagues gets on the show do you say are you a capitalist? have you ever referred to them as capitalist? >> are you a capitalist? >> no. i'm a democratic socialist. >> i love that. no hesitation. if this was on the republican side in a real dogged contest, someone would attack bernie sanders on the stage about that and i think it would be an illuminating exchange to see the different candidates weigh in about this issue and i'm hoping we see that tomorrow night. >> i think we will. and look, i think that the candidates will certainly draw out areas of difference. there are places where hillary clinton's campaign feels she has a leg up on bernie sanders. gun control is one such issue where she has consistently advocated for stricter gun laws and he hasn't.
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you might see those points of differences it just might not be as dramatic as some of the republican debates have been. >> so much of hillary clinton's persona has been formed by being the experience being a woman in the public eye and ways in which she's had to be coached in certain ways to not ruffle feathers. and i personally like her most when she's at her most competitive and at her toughest. i'm curious how much of that we see tomorrow. >> that's like you and me, we like that. >> we are not the median voter. i know we're not the median voter. >> don't listen to chris. >> i understand that. i'm just talking for myself. >> i don't think you're going to see her attack bernie sanders. i think it's a bad look for her. i think the sanders fan -- she's trying to win over sanders fans. that's part of why she's tacking left. everybody loves bernie. a lot of people love bernie. >> particularly when you're talking about democratic primary voters. the other thing about bernie sanders it's going to be interesting to see how he addresses questions of racial equity. that's going to play a huge part tomorrow night. rebecca traister and sabrina siddiqui who is there in vegas.
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looks nice out there. thank you both. that is all for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. melissa harris-perry is sitting in for rachel. >> hi, chris. thanks to you and thank you for joining us this hour. rachel has the night off. we begin tonight with sweat. yes, sweat. it has played a bigger role in political life than we may think. famously it played a big role in america's first televised debate when richard nixon's pale perspiring face may have cost him the election against the telegenic jfk. and this year sweat has made something of a political comeback. donald trump seems to be a little obsessed with it. specifically how much of it his rivals for the republican presidential nomination produce. it was in the very first moments of his campaign launch speech that mr. trump mocked rick perry for how sweaty he was at his campaign kickoff, claiming his inability to control his perspiration would make him bad at fighting isis.

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