tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC October 4, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
that's all we have for tonight. stay with msnbc for full coverage leading up to the live telecast of the one and only vice presidential debate at 9:00 p.m. eastern, followed by post-debate analysis from our team, chris hayes, who is always in the twilight of the elites, takes over right now. mr. hayes, it's all yours. >> good evening from longwood university in farmville,
virginia, site of the one and only vice presidential debate in the 2016 cycle which kicks off here, just three hours from now. i'm chris hayes with a lot of very excited lanterns behind me. in the past hour, donald trump and hillary clinton speaking to reporters weighed in on tonight's debate. >> i'm very confident and excited about tim kaine in the debate tonight. because he understands what's at stake in the election. he knows what our policies are. he is ready to go toe-to-toe with mike pence, on all the issues that matter to americans. >> the debateill be a contrast between our campaign of big ideas and bold solutions for tomorrow, versus the small and petty clinton campaign that is totally stuck in the past. >> tonight offers trump's campaign the chance to alter the trajectory of a presidential
race that for trump has been going very much in the wrong direction since last monday's debate. three polls out of pennsylvania suggests that clinton has built a big lead there. one poll showing her up by 12 points. a slew of new polls show clinton opening up a lead of five to six points nationwide, in a head-to-head matchup. clinton's running mate, tim kaine, will seek tonight to defend a running mate he largely agrees with on the issue, and to cast trump as fundamentally unfit to serve as president. trump's running mate, indiana governor mike pence would seem to face a bit of a tougher task. in addition to having to defend his own far right record on issue like gay rights, pence will likely be pressed to justify shocking behavior by his running mate, plus he may have to explain away policy de differences he's had with his running mate. here's joe biden today. >> i don't know if he really thinks that a lot of what trump is saying makes any sense. what a hell of a way to make a
living, have to be vice president and get up every morning and support someone you don't agree with. joining me now, a.j. delgado, senior adviser to the trump campaign. a.j., what i think is interesting about tonight is that mike pence in a lot of ways represents a part of the republican party is a pre-trump part of the republican party. he voted for nafta, voted for the iraq war. he is a guy who embodies this consensus set of ideology, that donald trump in a lot of ways has thrown out the window. do you think we're going to see him talk about the sort of mike pencism or donald trumpism? >> well, i think it's important to show that this is obviously a yin and yang ticket, in some ways. that's what made it so great. yes, mike pence has a different position on the iraq war than donald trump did. and this ticket was all about unity. so that's a good thing. as far as the iraq war goes, i would love to see that discussion happen tonight. because it's something we didn't get into in the last debate, and that's before -- hillary was a cheerleader for that war, chris. she advocated for it on the floor of the senate. i wonder if folks remember that. and it's a stain on her record.
so he should bring that up. >> here's my question. particularly on social issues, it's been sort of amazing to me. so i sat in cleveland, you were there in cleveland, and i watched donald trump deliver an acceptance speech before the rnc, in which he did not mention abortion. he did not use the phrase, "sanctity of life," that's something mike pence is a huge believer in. he led the attacks on planned parenthood funding. do you think we'll see stuff on gay rights, onnerfeld was wrongly decided, abortion, redefining rape legislation, is all of that going to be on the table tonight? >> probably not, because how much of that is controlled by a vp or even a president? it's become in a large part a supreme court issue. so i don't think we should see a focus on that tonight. i would love to see more of a focus on the clinton foundation, on e-mails. i would love to see -- >> well, i know what you would love to see focused on. >> no, with chris, with everybody is saying how are will mike pence defend donald trump? how will tim kaine defend hillary clinton? i would not want that job. >> i'm quoting donald trump who says, i want big, bold decisions
in the future. so there's a whole lot of issues that resolve around women's right to choose, marriage equality. those are big issues in this country. >> usually decided by courts. >> but there's a seat being held open on the supreme court for donald trump to choose, right? >> right. >> those issues did not get a lot of play either in the convention at the rnc, they didn't get a lot of play in the debate. mike pence is somebody who comes from that part of the coalition. are we going to hear him talk about that? >> i would rather hear him talk about the number one issue, which is jobs and the economy. mike pence took unemployment in his state from 8.4 to 4.8. what's tim kaine's record on job creation? what's hillary clinton's? >> i love this argument, i've sat in there and watched republican governor after republican governor get up and say two things, boy, the obama economy is an absolute nightmare. in my state, things are going very well. add up enough of those states, you get a whole country. the thing is, mike pence has seen a decline in indiana,
that's more or less with the national decline. >> i think it's lovely that the folks here, everything seems to be going so well for you guys. if you don't want change, by all means, vote clinton/kaine. if you are suffering, like the people in my community and you want change, we're voting for trump and pence. >> that's the other thing that will be really interesting. donald trump had this argument in the first debate, and i thought it was sort of politically effective, right? his whole thing was, look, hillary clinton's been there for 30 years and i haven't and the system's broken. >> correct. >> but mike pence isn't a very credible messenger on that. the guy served in congress multiple terms, he's been a governor, he is sort of part of the establishment for lack of a better word. it seems to me harder for him to make the argument that we've had basically two decades of failed policy when he's been implicated in that. >> well, for instance, the v.a. scandal with hillary clinton, when that was happening, when there were folks refusing to obtain treatment -- >> did she run the v.a.? >> was she not in the senate? is that not a federal issue? >> no, she was -- the most recent v.a. scandal? >> no, no, no, not when the
scandal broke. when people were undergoing a failure of care, that has been going on for at least a decade, chris, if not longer. >> but mike -- >> hillary clinton were -- there were complaints put forth -- >> that's precisely my point. that's not true. >> what did she do? >> she's been quite active on the v.a.. >> what did she do? >> she sponsored a number of pieces of legislation -- >> what did she do? >> let me ask you this. >> no results on the v.a.. >> isn't the same problem with mike pence? he was sitting in congress at that time. so if you say the v.a. is broken, it's an institutional failure, that seems to catch up a whole lot of people other than just hillary clinton. >> right. and is mike pence running for president? >> well, he might be president, right? >> well, he's not on the ticket as president. >> right, right. so you think that -- you expect to see mike pence hammer this change versus more of the same outside -- anti-establishment -- >> jobs, the economy, tim kaine has no record on that. hillary clinton has no record on that, other than enriching
herself for special interests -- >> but what do you mean no record? >> what is hillary clinton's record on job creation? >> she was in the senate! >> on economic issues. >> what jobs does that create, chris? >> but that's true of everyone. if no jobs were created by senators -- >> mike pence has created thousands of jobs. mike pence slashed the unemployment record. >> okay, a.j. delgado. >> this is an obvious choice. >> thank you for your time. >> thank you, as always. >> joining me, john podesta, i'll ask you a.j.'s question. what is hillary clinton's record on jobs in the economy? >> look, she was a very effective senator in new york, she had to take on the challenge of rebuilding the city of new york and the economy of new york after 9/11. she was -- she did a tremendous job working across the aisle with both republicans and democrats, to make sure that new york was rebuilt and the city was once again able to thrive. and i think that what -- look, there's going to be change come january 20th. the question is what kind of
change. what donald trump and mike pence are promising is to go back to the failed policies, big tax cuts for the wealthy, instead of focusing on building an economy that works for everyone. making the right investments in infrastructure and advanced manufacturing that hillary and tim have proposed. so i think if you want to talk about change, we're happy to talk about it. it's the kind of change we're going to have. are we going to go back to the failed policies of trickle down, or are we going to go forward and make the right investment for the country. >> there was a little news made by former president clinton on health care. he was talking about a strata of people in the new obamacare market places that make too much money to qualify for the subsidies, who are getting squeezed. and i think that's something that's broadly recognized across the aisle. hillary clinton came out and spoke a little bit about the need to fix that. that strikes me as one of the sort of core issues here, right? which is, is there any appetite to fix obamacare in the
republican party, if everyone acknowledges there are things that need to be fixed? >> well, clearly, there are things that do need to be fixed, but we can't do what donald trump wants to do, which is strip away all the progress, throw 20 million people out of their health insurance, and end the restrictions on insurance companies, from denying you coverage, if you have a pre-existing condition. and the protection that means that women can't be discriminated against. that's what donald trump wants to do. what hillary wants to do is move forward, give small businesses tax credits, so that they could more easily provide coverage to their employees. she wants to make sure out-of-pocket costs are controlled with the tax credits. and she wants to lowerhe cost of prescription drugs and take on the prescription drug industry. what donald trump wants to do is go right back to a system which puts everything in control of the insurance companies and the drug companies. and i think that, you know, that's a big difference between the two of them. and that's what the president was talking about. we need to make changes,
positive changes, and i think that she's demonstrated her ability to work across the aisle to get stuff done. >> well, so here's a question about tonight. you've got the one and only vp debate. and there's two ways i could see this debate going, in terms of how the participants engineer t it. one is fundamentally about hillary clinton and donald trump, despite the fact they're not in the room. and the other is about the vision of the republican party in 2016, versus the vision of the democratic party as a whole. there are a lot more people other than hillary clinton and donald trump on the ballot up and down the ticket. which of those two do you think we'll see? >> well, look, i know what tim kaine wants to do, he's coming in to argue the case that we're stronger together, that we can build an economy that works for everyo everyone. we're in an historic place in farmville, virginia, which was the heart of some of the struggle for civil rights in the state, in the commonwealth of
virginia. and i think he wants to, again, restore that sense of inclusion, expand the circle of opportunity, that's what he's going to argue for. that's what hillary's been arguing for. but he'll also draw a sharp contrast with the division, the bigotry, the kind of campaign that donald trump has run. you know, he said wants a campaign of big ideas. he's really run a campaign of big insults. and i think there will be contrast, but i think what tim wants to do is talk about what kind of future democrats want to build, what kind of future the clinton/kaine ticket wants to build, so that we bring our country together, not keep working on this politics of division, bigotry, and hate. >> all right. john podesta with the hometown pander, thanks for being with me. appreciate it. >> thanks, chris. joining me now, john harwood with covers national politics
for cnbc. same question for you guys. i went back and read the transcript of the 1960 debate while i was preparing for the presidential debate. what was striking is how much it was a vision of how the republican party stands for this, the democratic party stands for this. especially jack kennedy, because he was young, this is what our party stands for. much less of that in the first presidential debate, partly because of the personality of donald trump and how singular he is. do you think we will see a more generic "r" versus generic "d" debate tonight with two individuals who are closer to generic "r" and generic "d." >> i think it's tougher for pence to look like a generic "r." you're generic "r," that's why you backed the war in iraq? i think it's much more comfortable that we see pence go on offense, rather than give a vision of the republican party as an historical entity. trump has changed that party so
much, reaching back through the ages doesn't give him a lot to work with. >> but on the other side, i think there's ground for kaine to make case. particularly when you look at the senate map and make the fact that there's a real gap that's opened up in a lot of these states between how trump is performing and senator rs are performing. the democrats still need to make a case for what their broad cohort to have governing would look like? >> tim kaine needs to tie mike pence to the stances on which he's unpopular, that is to say gay rights, the indiana law, the planned parenthood cuts, abortion, but also the things that donald trump has done that make him so outrageous to so many people. so he's got to do it at both levels. i agree with betsy, it's difficult to make a generation "r" case, but i think that republicans will be calmed by simply seeing a competent prosecution of the republican -- mainstream republican argument against tim kaine and hillary clinton. >> right. i mean, that is definitely, i think, what republican viewers are looking for. people had a little bit of an
analogy of the last cycle when president obama had what was, i think, nearly universally seen as a poor debate performance and joe biden came out and gave a good one. there was no cataclysmic event, but it was reassuring to a lot of democrats who were in panic mode back in 2012. there's some of that you can see tonight. >> without a doubt. it will be interesting to see if pence is able to lob a direct hit against kaine. republicans are focusing more on hillary clinton, but i talked to some college students who are trump supporters before this hit, and they said they wanted to see pence completely obliterate kaine. that's what they were hoping for. >> that's preposterous. >> that's fool's gold. >> but here's the thing about kaine, in a lot of my reporting, i've reached out to republicans who worked with kaine when he was governor and they were in the legislature. i say, how is your relationship with this guy? i've been surprised how many of these folks i've talked to said, super nice guy, he was great to work, really friendly and
affable. i'm confident if you ask democrats in indiana the same thing about pence, you would not get a lot of super cool dude. >> how many things elections has he lost in virginia? >> goose egg. >> that's the thing, he knows what he's doing. and obliterating mike pence or tim kaine is sort of aside the point. but there's also the case, you have two individuals, one 69, one 70, who are relatively advanced in years in terms of running for presidency. and some of the reporting that at one point kasich was offered the vice presidency with the portfolio of foreign and domestic violence, which trump campaign denied. so someone with zero foreign policy, that could be a cheneyesque level of power seated in mike pence. >> well, i do think that tim kaine is more important to donald trump in that way than -- excuse me, mike pence is more important to donald trump in that way than tim kaine is to hillary clinton. and one of the things that is a democratic objective in this debate is for tim kaine to not
let mike pence be seen as a comforting option for people who are wavering, looking at the ticket, and saying, well, i don't care for trump, he's a little overboard, but mike pence will straighten it out. they want to prevent that from happening. >> john harwood and betsy woodruff, thank you for your time. up next, mike pence and that time trump tried to change his vp pick at the last minute. stay with us.
brought a strong resume to complement ticket. a former misary in honduras, he speaks fluent spanish, he's been mayor of richmond, governor of virginia, and now u.s. senator, representing the state, one of only 20 people in american history to hold all three public offices. joining me now is democrat mark warner, the senior senator from the commonwealth of virginia. well, chris, you left out one very important job. he was lieutenant governor -- >> he was lieutenant governor. he was your lieutenant governor. >> he was my lieutenant governor. >> the two of you were actually quite, quite close. >> we are. our families are close. we actually met each other in law school, not at the library. and we are -- we connected back in the early '90s, we had settled in virginia, and our political futures had been interconnected, but there's nobody i know in politics that is a more decent human being. and you know, in the age of political teardown and personal political attack, tim kaine is a decent guy who is well respected by everybody who works with him, regardless of where they stand on the artisan aisle.
>> i want to talk a little bit about the politics here in virginia. it is somewhat remarkable that you've got a democratic governor now in virginia, you've got two democratic senators. you've got a state that's more likely -- carried by the democrat twice, more likely to be carried three times than even the state of ohio, right? sort of classic battleground state. take me through what's happening. is it just demographics? >> it's not just demographics. back in 2001 when tim and i ran, i ran for governor, tim for lieutenant governor -- >> and you had a heavy lift. >> all five statewide elected officials were republican. our state was as red as idaho in terms of voting in presidential years. >> wow. >> wha we showed was that democrats could be fiscally responsible and socially progressive. and we took a state that at that point, that was in huge financial mess and we turned it around. at the end of my term, we were named best managed state, best state for business, and best state for a public education in all 50 states. all independently ranked. tim continued that, and you've
seen that after an interlude with a republican governor, with terry mcauliffe now, and i think we are very much a state of where the democrats -- >> so your argument, you want to make the argument that it isn't just the growth of the d.c. suburbs in northern virginia and the changing demographics, you think democratic governance is part of what it is. >> i think the fact that we ended up with a -- we started -- when i started with a $6 billion shortfall and when tim took over, we had a $1 billion surplus, people actually do care about facts. >> so let me ask you this, too. tonight we've got an interesting debate. we've got mike pence and tim kaine. both of them, i think, would be characterized as people who tend to be pro-trade and pro-trade deals. you've seen at the top of the ticket, both opposition to tpp by both hillary clinton and donald trump, and bernie sanders was the last person in the democratic primary. you're a pro-trade democrat, a pro-tpp democrat. has your side lost the argument. >> i think that anyone who advocates trade, and i believe, still, that when we're trading with asia, we ought to be setting the rules rather than china. we need to acknowledge that
there have been winners and there have been losers in trade. and we as a nation, back to all the previous trade deals, have not done enough to help those communities and individuals that have been hurt by trade. candidly, if we believe our own language about trade, that is going to add $1 trillion to the economy over the next ten years, tpp for example, we ought to be able to do more than frankly a failed trade assistance act program that's -- >> but i feel like i've heard this discussion since nafta. i'll throw some taa at you -- it hasn't worked. >> it hasn't worked. it needs to be rethought. we need to think about those companies that are going to be winners, they need to have their jobs left behind. you think about the communities 30 to 40 miles south of year. when you go to danville, martinville, communities with textile and furniture, a lot of those jobs went to mexico, then to china, or they've been eliminated by automation. but many of those communities are still challenged. and both sides, both political parties have done a disservice in not helping communities that
have been left b-- >> i look very forward to this lame duck session. much more coverage ahead live from longwood university, as we prepare for the two vice presidential candidates to take the stage, for the only debate in this election. a reminder of the rocky road he took. next, steve schmidt and james carville, where we stand heading into tonight's debate.
election day is just 35 days away. the race between hillary clinton and donald trump is back to looking a lot like it did prior to the weekend. clinton had to leave the 9/11 memorial due to poor health. her polling took a noticeable and appreciable hit. current polling averages have her nearly four points ahead of donald trump in both a two-way race and a four-way race when
alternative candidates are included. the question now is whether there is still potential volatility in this race. joining me now, democratic strategist and msnbc political analyst, james carville, republican strategist and msnbc political analyst, steve schmidt. james, let me begin with you. the big question here is, has the race been volatile or relatively stable with the exception of those two weeks that were pretty bad for hillary clinton and can it still turn around in that way. there's a school of thought from plouffe and pfeifer and the obama people that it was actually pretty stable, there's nothing to worry about in that period and there's the panic caucus in the democratic party. which side are you on? >> my head is on the plouffe side, my heart is on the panic side. everybody in politics panics at one point or another. but honestly, we did see the race tighten, you know, before the first debate. and our guess is if it happened before, well, maybe this could happen again. i have thought consistently that the democrats were going to win
this cycle, and i still think that. but i've been wrong before. so the consequences of being wrong here are pretty dramatic. so i'm going to be nervous all the way to the election. >> steve, you know, one of the sort of recurring stories here so far has been about the ground operation, field game. the fact that the trump game itself doesn't have much of one. most of it's being carried by the rnc. it's something that democrats have done a very good job of getting very good at the last two cycles. from where you sit, having done this, you know, looking at vote totals in counties, coming up with vote targets, how much of an advantage do you think that gives the democrats here? >> it's an enormous advantage for the democrats. and but for the rnc, the trump operation would have no ground game, at all. it doesn't do any of the things that a normal political campaign does that we've grown accustomed to in these presidential campaigns. so when you're looking at a race that's, you know, three, four points national averages have secretary clinton ahead, donald trump has his work cut out for
him. we're right about to start early voting in a number of key states, and the democratic advantage is one that will benefit hillary clinton over the next 30 days. >> steve, what do you think? is there anything that can happen tonight to fundamentally alter the projection of the race, or is sunday the next opportunity for that? >> i think this will be the least consequential vice presidential debate of a generation. you know, you had questions about sarah palin -- >> thanks for that. stay tuned, everyone. >> -- and dan quayle about whether they were able, up to the task. you had the first woman on a ticket with geraldine ferraro. you had bad performances by president bush, by president obama, where vice presidential candidates biden and cheney stopped the bleeding. tonight, this race is dominated, not by the undercard, but by the two candidates at the top of the ticket. it's specifically by donald trump, who has just been in a meltdown mode since the last
debate. and so, i'm here to see mike pence tonight with the unenviable task of explaining to the country why it's okay for a prospective commander in chief to be hate tweeting at 3:00 in the morning, 4:00 in the morning, 5:00 in the morning at a miss universe that he's literally so upset that he can't sleep at night. and is up doing what he's doing at 3:00 in the morning. and i think mike pence is going to have to explain some of that to america tonight. >> yeah, i think that's probably true. james, i also wonder to the degree to which -- i mean, we saw this -- i mean, people talked about the trap that was sprung with alicia machado and the obvious effort that had gone into setting that trap, donald trump walking into it and wriggling around in the trap for a week. it strikes me there's opportunities for that here as well, not that pence will take the bait, but that kaine can create moments that trump will
take the bait after the debate is over. >> i think pence is going to try to freeze the meltdown in place that's going on. i agree with steve. you know, the undercard here is not -- with donald trump in the race, everything revolves around him. and i think for tim kaine and secretary clinton, that's fine. i think they're delighted to have this continue in front of people. who wants to stop it? >> steve, it does strike me, though, that there was a lot of hope way back, sort of after the conventions, particularly during khizr khan, there was a lot of hope by democrats there would be long coattails. and they were going to take the senate, a lot of their candidates have underperformed, particularly if you look at ohio and florida right now. the senate really does hang in the balance. what do you think is the most important thing for pence to do or for trump to do, to help the republican ticket? >> look, i -- there's no help that they can give the republican ticket. all around the country, you
know, today, candidates' campaigns are getting bad numbers back. and i think you'll start to see this play out in the public polling over the next 48 to 72 hours. but republicans in these senate campaigns are deeply worried. they see their positions treading. i think very soon you will see republicans making a divided government argument that, look, hillary clinton's going to be elected president. you've got to put us in there to put an eye on her. and i think you're going to start to see that happen, start to see that happen pretty soon here. >> you know, that's a really interesting point. it seems like there's -- if you look at sort of how these state races move in tandem with the national polling, at the top, between trump and clinton, there is a sort of breaking point, right? we've seen the negative gravity start to pull on an ayotte if clinton's up by eight points, but she can survive a four-point win. you think if that gap widens and continues to wide. you really do start to see that down ballot pressure? >> yeah, look, and i think the other thing that's really bothering republicans out there, certainly running for office, is
that if secretary clinton went into that debate, deliberately, purposefully set to provoke donald trump, and he responded, at every turn. she was like a cat toying with a mouse. and when you're watching this, when you're watching this play out, she just -- the inability to show any level of restraint, the inability to not chase the ball. i mean, temperamentally, i have a labrador retriever, when i hold a tennis ball up for him, he gets this crazed look in his eye. you throw the ball, he'll bring it back, he'll do it a thousand times. that's what you saw during that debate, on issue after issue, she throws it out there and he brings it back. >> tim kaine showing up to sit at the debate tonight with a bucket of tennis balls he'll be throwing across the stage. thank you for your time, appreciate it. still ahead, before mike pence takes the stage, a reminder of the truly bizarre series of events that led to him becoming trump's vp pick. that's just after this debate. don't go anywhere.
convention, when the entire political world was focused on a single question, who will donald trump pick as his running mate. by july 13th on wednesday, trump had narrowed the list down to three people. newt gingrich, former speaker of the house, new jersey governor chris christie, and mike pence, the governor of indiana, who had endorsed ted cruz in his state's primary. after getting stuck in indiana due to a flat tire on his plane, trump declared on the 13th the end was in sight. i will be making the announcement of my vice presidential pick on friday in manhattan. then the following day, 24 hours before the announcement, there was a leak. >> we're back on the air with a development in campaign 2016. nbc news has learned that donald trump will announce that mike pence, the governor of indiana, will be his vice presidential running mate. that announcement expected to happen officially at 11:00 a.m. eastern time tomorrow in new york. after the news went public, trump appeared to back off his decision, telling fox news it wasn't, quote, final final.
by evening, he decided to postpone the attack altogether, citing a horrific attack in france. and then he went ahead and made the announcement ton twitter. quote, i am pleased to announce that i have chosen governor mike pence as my vice presidential running mate. news conference tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. that's when the campaign unveiled their rather suggestive logo. even after trump made his choices, reports emerged about his cold feet the night before, still trying to get out of choosing pence, even after it went public. >> my reporting says that even last night, when donald trump was in california, he was making some phone calls to try to try to assess if he was locked into the pence choice or if he could make a change. no disrespect to pence, likes him, believes in him, but did not think that he was certain yet that it was the best choice for him. really coming down to that whole issue of the trump brand.
>> according to "the new york times," trump even fielded a last-ditch appeal to chris christie, who once again pressed his own case. nevertheless, the pence pick stuck, and trump's big announcement event the following day proved to be just as bizarre as the rest of the process. >> they want the wall. they want the borders. they want these things to happen. i want to thank the evangelicals. because without the evangelicals, i could not have won this nomination. i have a friend who's a great builder. what he builds is plants. that's all he does is build plants. >> i won the right to have the old post office building on pennsylvania avenue, right near the white house. while she got away with murder, in fact, i think it might be her greatest accomplishment. escaping the recent scandal. what a difference between crooked hillary clinton and mike pence. >> i'm joined now by mckay coppins, senior political
reporter for buzzfeed news, and writer at large for esquire. pence is sort of in a position not dissimilar from paul ryan, in certain ways, although he's much more -- he's in there, right? he can't sort of pretend to be ambivalent. and yet, he's kind of weirdly run a parallel campaign the whole time. >> totally. >> basically, it seems to me that lot of these people are waiting for donald trump to lose and put humpty dumpty back together again. >> and try to resemble the republican party that's tattered. trump picking pence, i think, to a certain extent, they expected that, right? they expected that mike pence would go out and speak to the traditional republican voters, who aren't wild about donald trump. he would talk to the christian conservatives, he would talk to the mitt romney voters. he seems like a very stayed, boring, reasonable -- or at least sober-minded republican. >> but quite ideological. quite far right. >> and very conservative, yes. very conservative. but again, remember when trump picked him, trump was having a very -- he had just beaten ted cruz, he was having a hard time
even consolidating the conservatives. so that was part of the logic that went into it. but it's hilarious that you never see them together. and when they are together, it's just so clear that there is no chemistry, no charisma -- like, there's no rapport there between them. this is a strategic pick and now they're just kind of riding it out. >> and i think that mike pence has already spent so much of his time playing cleanup after donald trump's comments, where donald trump says nice things about vladimir putin, mike pence is out with a statement within minutes saying, no, he's no authoritarian, a thug. donald trump says, we're not going to defend our nato allies, mike pence is out with a statement saying, no, no, obviously we uphold our commitments to our nato allies. and i think the problem tonight will be keeping the focus on hillary clinton tonight, like what you saw with kel ly ayotte where she was asked, is donald trump a role model for our children and she said absolutely. as mckay, he's a conservative pick where he has to appeal to a broader electorate.
>> so there's two -- there's the temperament thing, right? there's like a, you know, you know, governor, how much weight do you think is not okay to gain the year that you win miss universe? what's your position on that? and also, what's your position on the nato allies, right? >> right, those are the two critical issues the last couple of weeks. first of all, i would like to congratulate whoever it was on the internet who called this debate the thrilla in vanilla. i think that's a good one. i think one of the things that the democratic party has failed to do, and i think it's -- i think the clint campaign has a lot of responsibility for this, i don't look at donald trump as an aberration. i look at donald trump as a culmination of 40 years of letting the bananas caucus run your party. and i don't think that the democrats are doing anyone a good service if they allow the republicans -- >> that was a -- >> that was a strategic decision to try to pick off some of those more moderate republican voters, to say, oh, look, you don't have to own donald trump. you can come vote for us.
>> and i think hillary clinton's campaign in recent weeks has been on the offense. i think you'll see from tim kaine tonight where he'll say, donald trump may say we should have a muslim ban. mike pence is the one who barred syrian refugees or tried to from indiana. >> which was just shot down by three federal court judges. >> and the arng bishop -- >> -- antiabortion laws. >> i think it would be an interesting debate if they both argued about what their catholicism means in public policy. because they both have this kind of very interesting faith journal. you know, pence claims to be, what, a born-again evangelical catholic, which is theological nonsense, and of course, kaine is -- you know, kaine did the missionary work and now the conservative catholics are pointing out that he met a liberati liberation threeologist who was thrown out of a helicopter by a militia group. that could be an interesting debate. but do you remember those polls before the election where they talk about a generic republican against a generic democrat, that's what this is. >> here's what i think is -- the deeper thing i find fascinating about pence's presence is that i
think a lot of republicans have convinced themselves that basically trump is a sort of aberration, and he's temperamentally totally unfit and you can't listen to anything he does. but that, actually, pencism is actually really popular. and the problem for them is that pencism is not actually popular. so that's part of what we're going to see tonight, i think, is how much he defends that. i want to play that clip of kelly ayotte having to answer that question, that excruciate bit of tape right after this break. don't go anywhere.
i have charlie pierce. and i should say, after she . >> you can see maggie hasson being like, do it! get there. get there! watching her the whole time. ayotte then has to issue a statement saying, i misspoke tonight, while i would hope all of our children would aspire to be president, neither donald trump nor hillary clinton -- >> which, by the way, with as a parent, i do not hope my kids aspire to be president. >> it seems like sort of a miserable -- >> but that walkback, that horse doesn't even remember being in
the barn. it's way too late for that. >> you can't call backsies on that. and in some ways, there's two things happening here. to the extent there's a connection to whatever ideological case democrats are making, it is along this axis of bigotry, divisiveness, that is the kind of one place, thematically, they're able to kind of link it all together, where it's trump saying all these outlandish and terrible and offensive things, but also connecting to a party they want to paint as being intolerant. >> and are big part of tim kains message has been rooted in incluestivity. you remember that his roll out was in miami, where he was campaigning both in english and spanish, since he is fluent in spanish. and when you think about virginia in particular, this debate is here in farmville, i expect him to acknowledge this as the epicenter of virginia's civil rights movements, when you think, back to school segregation. and part of his legacy as the mayor of richmond and as the
mayor of virginia was around racial reconciliation. and he'll use that also as a point of contrast, for the trump/pence ticket. >> that's the obama coalition broader case to make. >> and i think that on the other side, you've got mike pence, who's most recent burst of publicity prior to becoming vice president was signing a religious freedom restoration act law in secret, in the middle of the night, the week before the final four, two blocks from ncaa headquarters. >> that's true. and we should note, that was a precursor to legacy that was in the midst of a bunch of governor jan brewer famously not signing it. he did sign, then in north carolina, the republicans up is down the ticket, governor, senate, and then the presidential -- they're getting killed by that bill, getti ting hosed by it. >> but having talked to people in the trump campaign, i don't think that they're going to spend that much time going after
tim kaine. and i think he might, tim kaine, try to litigate some of pence's policies, but i think more likely, we're goi to see the two trying to hold the other accountable for the nominees in their party, which is going to make for a probably miserable debate. >> what about the foundation, what about the -- >> and the trustworthiness, showing a slim majority of americans do not find hillary clinton -- >> but the reality is, people always say, people vote for the top of the ticket. that's why they want to make the debate about clinton and trump, because nobody really is going to go out, on election day, and vote for mike pence or -- >> at the same time, the last two vice presidential debates have been great. the first one was joe biden and sarah palin. the last time was joe biden literally laughing at paul ryan and reinjecting the word malarkey into the american political discourse. i hope, like mckay, i hope it doesn't come down to, your lady's a crook, your guy is crazy. >> but what distinguished 2012, right, what was interesting about that, here you had paul ryan sitting there, the offer of the ryan budget, which in some
ways became the platform of the rnc and what mitt romney was. so biden had the -- he kind of had the offer of the thing in front of him, in a way that you do not have with mike pence. because that -- whatever you think about mike pence, he is not donald trump. >> and paul ryan was actually kind of the icon of the conservatism that had been ascended during the 2012 era, right. donald trump -- trumpism has very little to do with mike pence, except that he's now kind of reluctantly championing it. >> but not reluctantly, right? >> the thing is, mike pence is not -- there's nothing in mike pence's record that you can say, this is a perfect example of donald trump's problems. >> which is why they're going to steer it back to donald trump. >> mckay coppins, sabrina siddiqui, and charles pierce, thank you all for your time tonight. our coverage from longwood university, right here from farmville, virginia, with continues right after this break.
all right. that's going to do it for us, for the 6:00 p.m. edition of "all in with chris hayes," here on the campus of longwood university in beautiful farmville, virginia. my colleague, chris matthews, will pick it up with "hardball" next, and after that, special live coverage, including the one and only vp debate tonight at 9:00 p.m. then we will be back on the air with chris for some special late-night action. last question here, special vp trivia, who wants vp trivia?
anyone? everyone's been asking you too-easy question. who was james buchanan's vp? no one knows. john r. breckenridge. that'll do it for us. we'll see you later. >> that's great. will this be the counterattack? let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews live from longwood, university, in farmville, virginia. and here we are, here we are, in fact, 30 miles from appomattox courthouse, where general lee surrendered to general grant, thereby ending a civil war that cost the lives of 600,000 americans. well, tonight, we're here at longwood university for a battle in a political conflict between two very different points of view. it's the vice presidential deet