tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC October 6, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PDT
>> as hurricane matthew approaches florida, today's massive announcement on climate change from the white house. "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. after mike pence managed to get through 90 minutes of last night's presidential debate without insulting a single woman's appearance or bragging that not paying taxes makes him smart, the nominee had managed to deliver a stylistically move although a substantively challenged debate. how would the famously thin
skinned donald trump react to clearly being outperformed by his running mate. he can't stand to be upstaged and that pence won overall but lost with trump. at a campaign event in nevada today trump complimented his running mate but added that trump deserves a lot of the credit. >> mike pence did an incredible job, and i'm getting a lot of credit because that's really my first so-called choice, that was my first hire, as we would say in las vegas. >> from trump's perspective the problem with pence's performance, pence didn't actually defend t donald trump prompting the observation that he threw donald trump under the bus. expecting a trump loss and running for president himself in 2020. pence was asked about just that today. >> third thing they're saying is you actually weren't trying to help trump last night. you already know hillary's going to win, so you were doing
everything you did for 20, governor. your 2020 campaign began last night, that's what they're saying, in the drive-by media, governor. >> it's -- you know, it is -- it's what we're used to. >> at a rally today in virginia, pence sought to shift the spotlight back to his running mate after soaking in plaudits from his supporters. >> some people think i won. but i'll leave that to others. you know, what i can tell you is from where i sat, donald trump won the debate. >> nice save, governor. the other politician on the stage last night, tim kaine, faced criticism for being too eager to interrupt, too slashing in his style early on, but as the debate went on, it became clear kaine's strategy, one he faithfully executed, was not to be likable but to spotlight trump's positions and awful statements for the people who
watched the debate, then force pence to try to defend them. when pence declined to do so, kaine passed. >> six times tonight i have said to governor pence, i can't imagine how you can defend your running mate's position on one issue after the next. and in all six cases he's refused to defend running mate >> don't put words in my mouth. >> and yet he is asking everybody to vote for somebody that he cannot defend. >> at a fund-raiser in d.c. clinton sought to hammer that reality home. >> and so when your own running mate won't defend the top of the ticket, i think that tells you everythin you need to know about who's qualified and temperamentally fit to be president. even mike pence doesn't think donald trump is. >> then there was pence's strategy of repeatedly denying that trump had said things that trump had, in fact, said, which set the stage for videos like
this one from the clinton campai. >> donald trump on the other hand didn't know that russia had invaded crimea. >> that's nonsense. >> he's not going to go into ukraine. you can mark it down. you can put it down. you can take it -- >> he's already there, isn't he? >> donald trump has said it. deportation force. they want to go house to house, school to school, business to business and kick out 16 million people. >> that's nonsense. >> your going to have a deportation force. >> donald trump and i would never support legislation that punished women. >> should the woman be punished? >> there has to be some form of punishment. >> well, he never said that. >> wouldn't you rather in a certain sense have japan have nuclear weapons? >> saudi arabia nuclear weapons? >> saudi arabia, absolutely. >> why not? at a rally in philadelphia kaine reflected on his debate experience. >> the debate was a little feisty. i mean, i got to admit. i am irish. the key part of that debate was
at some points i felt like both me and mike pence were debating donald trump. i was going after donald trump and mike pence was kind of going after trump with me. and i can't imagine that that made the donald too happy. so there may have been some interesting conversations about that today on the other side of the aisle. >> joining me now from las vegas, nevada, tonight, nbc news correspondent katy tur. and it seems to me the democrats have tried to spring another trap for donald trump trying to get under his skin that his own running mate is not defending him. i'm curious the kind of mood in trump world right now. >> you know, i have not heard that they're upset by governor pence's performance in any way or that they're worried that he might have upstaged donald trump. there was a lot of pushback to that reporting from the campaign. but what i can tell you was that before they were deciding on who was going to be donald trump's running mate, there was some concern about choosing somebody who would upstage donald trump,
somebody like newt gingrich or chris christie who is more of a politician, a more practiced politician, bombastic politicians who know a lot more about policy than donald trump does. so there is precedent for that feeling, but i'm not getting anything from the campaign about them feeling like governor pence did too good of a job last night. but what i do know is that they want to get donald trump better prepared for this next debate coming up on sunday. i was talking to aides last week, and they were talking about getting him a debate coach perhaps, also standing him behind a podium to see what that would be like. this next debate won't be behind a podium, but just to get him more used to that feeling. also finding a way to get underneath hillary clinton's skin in a way that she was able to get underneath donald trump's skin, taking her off her game and also pivoting to territory that's more comfortable for him. governor pence did all that decently, if you're going to look at just style and the way that he was able to compose himself during his debate last night.
donald trump did not do that, but i can tell you this, chris, i have asked the campaign multiple times this week what they're doing specifically for debate prep, they're just not answering the question. they've gone completely silent on this idea. he's had a pretty robust schedule. he has a campaign rally tomorrow or an event tomorrow in new hampshire. we're going to find out if he has anything else on friday or saturday, but remember before the first debate he had campaign rallies up until the days before and that seemed to hurt him because he didn't seem as prepared certainly as hillary clinton was. so we're not entirely sure how much debate prep donald trump is doing, but i can tell you the campaign did feel like he needed much more going into this second debate. >> all right, katy tur, thanks for that update from las vegas, nevada. joining me now, a political reporter from "the new york times" and editor and publisher of "the nation" which endorsed hillary clinton today. why progressives should vote for hillary clinton. here's the thing i found most
fascinating. donald trump such a maelstrom, the singular force and directs such attention, he so bizarrely fit into republican and modern conservative orthodoxy, in other ways he's a rejection of it. but then you forget that there's an entire republican party, there's literally thousands of people around the country governing at different levels that are not donald trump. this was kind of like what's going on in that world. a great line today, if pence was a designated survivor o the republican primary, a man held away from the carnage trump has inflicted in the republican party, its conventions, orthodox es and pieties. >> i don't think this country will be the same. i don't think either party will be the same after this election. it's an up-end the rules election. we saw last night an element of the republican party which has been descending, not ascending, even before donald trump -- >> that's interesting.
>> -- took this -- >> by that you mean social -- >> social conservatism. if you think what has roiled this election year, it has been populism, economic issues, the class divisions within parties, it has been economic insecurity and not the social issues which so animated the republican party. so we can talk all we want about preparation and this and that. last night we did see an extremist give really extremist positions a reassuring face. but the big issues facing i think this country and both parties, disruptive globalization, populist nagsablism and the end of party work. how they do it will be central to their future. >> i think that trump has shown that faith voters are not the faith voters we thought they were. >> right. >> you know, that faith, religiosity, social issues as they are normally constructed are not necessarily any more the main drivers of politics in that part of that party. they have the same appetite on
immigration, on populism and frankly on rage politics as the peer trumpista. you can't go back to that old model anymore. >> i remember in 2004 when the whole idea was the first evangelical president george w. bush, building america by tom edsel, there's a new rising evangelical base that would support this republican majority. my reminder last night was, look, donald trump, if he's elected president, there are going to be thousands of mike pence acolytes, people with those politics on social issues who will be in the government. >> yeah, but i'm also thinking we talk a lot about young people, millennials in this election, we see even younger evangelicals, an unwillingness to go with climate denialism and which mike pence is, too, and donald trump. we've seen an opening there. and we've seen, though not as clearly as we thought, republican party can no longer be the party of white sanctuary nationally.
>> they think they can abouty. >> they think they can be. the economic security in this country, the bad health outcomes, the end of the coal industry which is not due to hillary clinton but to fracking. so how we as a country come together to confront these challenges. donald trump i love we endorse hillary clinton. i say that only in the sense that when you see someone heading the republican party poking an eye in the chamber of commerce's eye and poking an eye at the orthodoxy of a failed, discredited foreign policy and economic establishment even while he has failed in a spectacular loser i think is important. >> this is what i find so interesting. there's this little seduction to the left. >> it's not left -- >> no, there is, there's a seduction for little parts of the left in donald trump precisely because he has in many respects the right enemies. >> we endorsed bernie sanders because he was about inclusivity.
donald trump is about bigotry and hate. [ many speaking at once ] >> there are voters on the trail who say my first vote was donald trump, my second choice was sandruss. >> i likeshaking up a discredited establishment. bernie sanders did that. >> here's the argument right here. the atlantic for the third time is endorsing. you've got the establishment you don't have a single fortune -- >> 500. >> -- ceo endorsing. you have every paper, the atlantic now weighing in, the atlantic magazine. the establishment has pretty much lined up against donald trump. >> and many of them -- >> isn't that a credit to the establishment? >> no. because the neoconliberal interventionalist talk which hillary clinton has amassed
around her is failed forays into i am the indispensable nation. >> so you endorse her. >> if you read it, it's about opening space for change. a very tough graph about hawkish foreign policy and it's incumbent upon us. >> here's when i find fascinating. hawkish foreign policy last night we saw mike pence whatever donald trump thinks about russia -- but that's the point is the base, all the people around them, they're all still the same people. so as soon as donald trump went off stage, mike pence sat down at the table and said basically yeah if we have to shoot down russian planes over syria, let's shoot down russian planes over syria. he was extraordinarily hawkish. >> the reason you see the party leaders behind trump is not that he's the presidential nominee, they think that if he's the president, it's them in the driver's seat. >> exactly. >> it's the foreign policy the usual -- >> they think they're going to get their trade deals. >> they think they're going to
get their way. >> yes. >> because he so often -- but i do think anything we can do to force a debate to shake up the establishment -- >> you're -- [ many speaking at once ] >> we have to defeat donald trump. >> sometimes establishment shaking involves figures like donald trump. thanks for being with me tonight. still ahead how donald trump's headline grabbing personality overshadows the larger problems in the republican party and how mike pence, governor of indiana, is a perfect reminder of that. did trump take advantage of a mistake in the tax code to pay no taxes after this loss.
>> when tim kaine kept hammering pence about donald trump's tax returns, it wasn't just about the tax returns. america has never in its history elevated someone to its highest office with less public service experience than donald trump. but trump, of course, does have a long business career, which is american public might be able to accurately judge as the entirety of his resume if he'd release his tax returns. "the new york times" revelation on trump's decades old tax return did shed some light on the subject. he declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns, a tax deduction so substantial it could have allowed him to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years. trump first responded to that news by saying he had brilliantly used the tax laws to his benefit. mike pence echoed that last night. it's actually the fault of -- wait for it -- hillary clinton. >> she complains about how i have used the tax laws of this country to may benefit.
then i ask a simple question. why didn't she ever try to change those laws so i couldn't use them? you know why? she could have changed the laws when she was in the united states senate, but she didn't. >> but, as noted by our next guest, it just so happens there was an egregious tax loophole in the 1990s created by accident which was closed by the job creation and workers assistance act of 2002 a bill that then senator hillary clinton voted for and president george w. bush signed and it's entirely possible that is the exact tax loophole donald trump may have used if he did indeed manage to avoid paying taxes for nearly two decades. joining me the man who wrote about that tax loophole today, josh barro. we should note we're speaking in the hypothetical because we don't actually know. >> we don't know. we've only seen the first page of this tax return. if we'd have seen the whole return, we could talk more concretely about what's in it.
>> how do you lose that much money? >> people haven't quite grasped how big this loss is. obviously $916 million is an enormous amount of money. but the provision he took, the net operating loss. when your business has losses that exceed all your income, you have a negative income. when you look at all the tax returns in the entire country in 1995, there was about $49 billion of that which means donald trump accounted for 2% of the net operating loss in the entire country. >> of the entire gdp of the u.s. >> right. >> all the different firms and places that are operating. >> it's just individual income tax, but yeah, anyone who has a business like trump's that's owned as an individual company. did he really have $900 million of his own to lose in these businesses that we know did do very badly, in fact, in the early 1990s, his casinos, his airlines. he had three casino bankruptcies. so he did lose a lot of money,
but there was this tax loophole. when you're like trump and you own this business and it goes bust and you lose money and the people who loaned you money also lose lots of money, normally those losses are split. the banks dot get paid back, they take part of the loss and yotake part. the part that is really yours, you get to write that off your taxes. but there was an error in the way a specific kind of business form was taxed that basically allowed if there was a loss where trump was out 100 million and the banks were out 800 million, he could have written off the entire 900 million off his taxes even though he really only lost 100 million. >> this is great. i love this. he could write off the bank's loss essentially on the loan. >> yeah. >> it was just a mistake in the tax code. >> it was a mistake in the tax code. as people started filing their taxes using this provision, the irs looked at this and said, this isn't right. there were years of litigation in the tax courts and it got to the supreme court in 2001 and the supreme court said the law does say this even though that's stupid. if you want to change it, you have to change the law. that's how we got this 2002 change.
but up until 2002 people, including potentially donald trump, could have used this provision to claim losses on their taxes -- >> that they didn't -- was not their loss. >> yeah. >> so what i love about this story, is, a, it's a sort of window into how complicated and screwed up the tax code can often be? >> right. >> but in this case, it was fixed. they realized it was kraedz and they fixed it. >> this is unusually bad. usually people with loss of income, this is a particularly egregious provision which is why it got fixed. nobody thought this was a good idea. it happened by accident. >> what i love about the story, this is like from two pages. the amount like eric trump and donald jr. have at various times sort of let the cat out of the bag that the real reason they're not releasing the tax returns is because it would we politically damaging. they've said as much. not just the audit. you get a sense how much information would be packed into these returns if we saw them. >> if what the returns said is
the story that donald trump has told public which i which is that he built this big empire, lost it, clawed his way back through his own genius and now making more money than ever, you would think he'd want to release the tax returns. but i suspect what they say is actually that this loophole is what they use. this isn't the only tax information that we've seen. we've seen this tax return -- tax information on him from nine different tax years going back to the 1970s. the highest income he ever reported was less than $120,000. that was back in 1977. we know of six years in which he reported no -- negative income. so the question for me if this was a real loss like mike pence said in the debate. >> he had a bad year. >> when did he make all that money? >> great point. >> we've not seen any tax return that says oh, donald trump made $200 million this year. >> that's a great point. josh barro, thanks for explaining that. >> sure. >> new battleground state
polling, how the seemingly unprecedented volatile campaign is falling into a familiar pattern. i'll explain, ahead. the first rule of being a viking. is that teamwork is important. remember to do the little things. help each other out. and the second rule of being a viking. there's more than one way to win. vikings: war of clans play free now. i'my bargain detergentgh a couldn't keep up.isaster. so, i switched to tide pods. they're super concentrated, so i get a better clean.
tide. number one rated. it's got to be tide the paris agreement alone won't solve the climate crisis, but this agreement will help delay or avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change. >> today president obama announced that enough nations have now signed on to the paris climate agreement for it to be implemented beginning in 30 days. the first of its kind global treaty requires each nation to set specific targets for carbon emission reduction, then report its progress publicly. it just so happens that earlier today the president was meeting
with fema officials to prepare for hurricane matthew, a massive storm that has already claimed 25 lives that made landfall yesterday. after moving through the caribbean, it is expected to hit or come dangerously close to the southeast coast of the united states where emergency evacuations are well under way. joining me now is bonnie schneider. what is the latest for the path of this storm? >> the track hasn't changed, chris, but we have a new position statement. right now the storm is still a category 3, it's weakened just slightly. the problem is the storm was likely to strengthen to a category 4 before it becomes very close if not making landfall somewhere near the space coast in florida. that's why we have hurricane warnings impacting 9 million americans at this hour. just incredible. the hurricane watch extends all the way along the georgia coast because we are anticipating those strong winds and really dangerous storm surge. the category 4 storm comes perilously close north of melbourne by the time right
around 2:00 on friday, but it's really going to ride the coastline whether it makes landfall or not. we're going to see really just dangerous conditions all across the southeast. the track eventually taking it further out to sea but may do a loop. that will be next week. we have to get through the next few days. the dangerous rainfall and flood threat that we're seeing from matthew we're likely to see especially here in south carolina where we could get ten inches of rain. that's one of the reasons we've seen these evacuations happen in the charleston area particularly in the low lying areas. look for the impact continuing right now in the bahamas with 15 feet of storm surge then as we get closer to the florida coast unfortunately that storm surge will build in and that's going to be a really dangerous threat as well as the winds coming through from savannah all the way to charleston. keep in mind this is a dangerous storm and may be catastrophic for florida. >> bone, thank you for that. nbc meteorologist bonnie schneider. mike pence comes off as the sensible voice of the republican ticket.
i am very underleveraged, i have a great company, tremendous income. the reason i say that is not in a bragadocious way. it's because it's about time that this country had somebody running it that has an idea about money. >> i have to tell you, i'm a small town boy from a place not too different from farmville. i grew up with a cornfield in my backward.
i dream of representing my home town in d.c., but i honestly never imagined i'd have an opportunity to be governor of the state that i love let alone be sitting at a table like this in this kind of a position. >> with his outside poll rising in personality and utter disinterest in politics donald trump breaks the mold for either party. not often that we get the running mate's views on a beauty queen tweeted out at 3:00 a.m. behaving like a reasonably competent politician with a decent grasp of policy and political norms. it's a low bar but appears to have made an image of e public. 53% said pence was more likable than tim kaine who took a much more combative approach. but if mike pence representing the kinder, gentler gop that party is as extreme and far right as it's ever been. it's pushing an agenda that's not especially popular with the american public.
a flurry of recent controversies have dimmed his hopes for re-election. in past months federal courts have struck down two of pence's key initiatives. in june a court blocked banning abortions based on fetal anomalies that mandated funerary services for aborted fetuses. think about that one for a second. just two days ago an appeals court halted pence's attempt to bar syrian refugees to be settled in indiana after he took federal money to do just that. then there was the indiana law that would have protected discrimination of business owners by lgbt americans. after sparking a backlash, pence signed a modified version of the bill into law. joining me now, congressman andre carson who is a democrat from indiana and knows congressman mike pence. i wanted to get your reaction. a lot of people think this is the first time they saw an
extended mike pence and i will say he has a very kind of avuncular sort of manner about him that's easy to watch. what kind of governor has he been? >> well, he hasn't been that popular. he and i worked together in congress. we went to lunch quite often. personally we have a pretty good relationship, but he's been unpopular in terms of his policies. and i think what you have seen as you referenced the freedom and restoration act. during that debacle, the height of the debacle, we were hosting -- we were hosting the ncaa tournament, and also it cost the city of indiapolver $60 million and lost opportunities to host future conventions. i think also one has to remember that governor pence voted against a minimum wage increase in 2007. and so i think that once one did submit deeper. he is likable personally, but i think his policies, he tends to
be a bit too dogmatic. so i was pleased to see tim kaine firing back and being aggressive in terms of refuting the governor's claims about mr. trump. >> there was a long extended part of the debate about abortion which is something that has not been foregrounded by the trump campaign. donald trump didn't mention abortion or life once in his rnc speech which i found remarkable. this governor has been, i would say, at the front edge of the anti-abortion movement across the country. is that a fair characterization? >> well, certainly i think he's been very pronounced in his statements and his actions. mr. pence is committed to his religious identity and principles and i respect that wholly. what we have to be concerned with, as some of my colleagues on the other side love to quote the founding fathers, as complicated as they were, the founding fathers wanted to get
away from a theocracy, and i think those of us who are elected officials and i think tim kaine outlined very clearly when he had to deal with an issue regarding the death penalty, as an elective representative, he had to put his religion aside and govern for the people. he recognized that he represents muslims, christians, jewish brothers and sisters, sikhs, hindus, nontheists even and he has to uphold the united states constitution and state constitution. so i think we have to be cautious of politicians who use their religiosity in a way that's dogmatic and an attempt to politicize and even proselytize to other people which to me is unacceptable. >> congressman andre carson of the great state of indiana. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> thing 1, thing 2 ahead. but first a funny thing happened at the trump rally in nevada tonight. i pronounce it nevada and that's
how you pronance it. do not pronounce it as nevada, people from nevada hate that. >> meth overdoses are surging in nevada. and you know what i said? you know what i said? i said when i came out here, i said, nobody says it the other way. it has to be nevada. and if you don't say it correctly, and it didn't happen to me, but it happened to a friend of mine, he was killed.
poorly or trump saying at a rally unstable hillary clinton lack the judgment, temperament and moral character needed to lead this country. the strategy was in full effect last night during the vice presidential debate. >> donald trump during his campaign has called mexicans rapists and criminal. he's called women slobs, pigs, dogs, disgusting. >> he says ours is an insult-driven campaign? did you all just hear that? ours is an insult-driven campaign? >> that was happening while donald trump was retweeting insults about tim kaine looking likeatman villain. the same with russian nnections, trump has repeatedly praised putin and the trump campaign chairman resigned after questions arose about his business ties with russia. donald trump tweeted hillary clinton is the one with connections. this morning the clear winning example, the constant interruptions by tim kaine should not have been allowed. mike pence won big. just take a wild guess as to what we're going to play as tonight's thing 2 in just 60
this morning donald trump praised his running mate's performance but offered up constructive criticism for the debate's moderator. the constant interruptions by tim kaine should not have been allowed. let that sink in as we go back in time exactly nine days ago. >> there's nothing crazy about not letting our companies bring their money back into their country. >> this is secretary clinton's two minutes. >> a million new jobs, i wrote about that. >> you called it the gold standard. >> i wrote about that -- >> so it is president obama's fault? is it president obama's fault? >> but in education -- >> you don't even have a plan. >> oh, i do. >> i did not do that. i do not say that. >> there is -- >> you're wrong. >> no, i'm not. >> didn't say it. >> women, men support that. >> not. >> donald supported the invasion of iraq. >> wrong. >> that is absolutely. >> wrong. >> proved over and over again. >> wrong, wrong, wrong.
fox news is no stranger to warranted critique over its racial politics. now the network finds itself facing an actual firestorm of controversy over a segment featuring one of its correspondent. the koerpt was dispatched to new york's chinatown to ostensibly discuss the 2016 election. but segment that aired had little to do with political discourse. instead it trotted out a host of tire and offensive asian stereotypes half edited together with movie clips. how much trolling, anti-asian racism can you pack into one news segment? more than i ever thought possible. >> am i supposed to bow to say hello? i like these watches.
are they hot? >> jcpenney. >> do you like donald trump? >> yes. hillary clinton basically is an extension of obama. >> who are you going to vote for? >> clinton's wife. >> clinton's wife has a name. what is it? >> oh, man. i forget it. >> snap out of it. >> this kind of shtick was played out and racist decades ago. today lawmakers and civil rights organizations are expressing anger over the segment. the asian american journalist association is demanding an apology from fox news. quote, it's 2016. we should be far beyond tired, racist stereotypes and targeting an ethnic group for humiliation and objectification on the basis of their race. sadly, fox news proves it has a long way to go in reporting on communities of color in a respectful and fair manner. interestingly enough, fox news has not defended the segment. in fact has not commented on the matter. as for the comment he commented
on what i don't think was meant to be a joke, as a political humorist and defended his segment my man on the street interviews are meant to be taken as tongue in cheek and i regret if anyone found offense. in completely and totally unrelated news, asian americans are the fastest growing racial group in the u.s. and could influence key battleground states in the election cycle. the asian american vote in presidential elections has gone from being solidly republican to being solidly democratic. in fact, new polling shows hillary clinton up 41 points among asian americans. in fact, that same survey found that asian americans are more than twice as likely to identify as democrats than republicans. and maybe, just maybe because they are completely repulsed by a political movement whose most high profile voices think it's hilarious to punk and humiliate their grandmothers. >> trump has been beating up on china. how does that make you feel?
were you really surprised? oh, this was a wonderful surprise. you know, at our age, not all surprises can be this good. you're not kidding. (female #1) remember peggy's surprise last month when frank died? so sudden; all the funeral expenses. they were not prepared. well, i'm not going to burden my family with my final expenses. -huh? -i called about the colonial penn program this morning. i'm alex trebek. if you're age 50 to 85, call about the colonial penn program now. your acceptance is guaranteed. you'll get free information about this whole life insurance plan that might surprise you in a good way, because it's easy to get and easy on your budget. coverage options for this plan start at $9.95 a month for women and men age 50 to 85. that's about 35 cents a day. and your acceptance is guaranteed. you can't be turned down for any medical reason. no health questions, no medical exam.
and here's the best surprise of all: once you're covered, your rate will never increase. it's locked in for life, guaranteed. so, what are you waiting for? you're right, i'm not getting any younger. i'm calling about the colonial penn program today. after this last piece of cake. (laughing) call now for your free information and free gift. (soft music) ♪ (colonial penn jingle) nine days since the first presidential debate, the polling has not look good for donald trump. hillary clinton has gained a point and a half while trump has lost a tenth of a point. over that same period of time
forecasting sites like fivethirtyeighth have taken her chance of winning at 70%. on its face the 2016 presidential contest has at times seemed unpredictable. that's largely because of the presence of donald trump and partly because hillary clinton is one of the most uniquely polarizing figures in american politics. but when you widen the aperture a bit, the general shape of things doesn't look that much different than 2008 and 2012. in 2008 it happened after sarah palin, then democrats gained the upper hand and obama pulled out a pretty sizable win. in 2012 it happened in october after which romney was seen as the consensus winner. that race remained pretty close into the final stretch with obama holding a consistent edge.
we saw tightening a few weeks ago when clinton had her worst week of polling after she referred to trump supporters as, quote, in a basket of deplorables and fell ill at the 9/11 memorial service. the question now will the basic fundamentals reassert themselves and does that mean democrats are on a glide path to victory? joining me now a former national press secretary for the democratic national committee and former deputy campaign manager for romney 2012 and an msnbc contributor. i remember listening to david pluth give interviews and he was unflappable. his whole thing was you guys are all freaking out. the fundamentals are the fundamentals. we know how many votes we need in each of these counties and swing states, we know what the composition of the electorate is. don't worry about it. that to me seemed unpersuasive then but maybe looks better now? >> yeah, well, i think he's
right. the fundamentals are the fundamentals. the map is the same and the math is the same. it's a much harder road for him to get 270, but more than that donald trump isn't doing what he needs to do. he hasn't invested in data and kate can tell you how much strong data program is going to help on election day, or on gotv or on field. now romney had 17% of the white vote in 2012 and he lost. because of the demographic changes in the country, trump would need 22% -- >> you mean a lead of 17%, above the -- >> yeah, i'm sorry. margin. >> if donald trump was getting 17% of the white vote we'd be looking at a 90-10 kind of election situation. just so people are clear on that. romney won white voters by 17 points. demographic change says that trump would have to win by 22%.
>> and he has 13%. so that's where my confidence in the fundamentals of this campaign are really high. and the biggest fundamental of this campaign that hasn't changed is donald trump makes every single day about donald trump, and if it's a referendum on donald trump, he's not going to win. >> hari's point about white voters, there's been so much emphasis on race and donald trump and race and the idea that he can essentially boost his performance along white voters perhaps at the expense of non-white voters by sort of embracing this line on immigration or the muslim ban. but romney, romney was -- did better than donald trump is currently doing among white voters which is pretty remarkable. >> well, that's the fundamental problem, and you're right, the fundamentals of the race are, as david pluth said, these battleground states are tough places for republicans to win. you know, in spite of some of
the mistakes that we made as a campaign in 2012, we did do most things correctly in terms of ground game in terms of get out the vote. and it's just hard. it's hard in most of these states for a republican to win. you don't have any margin for error. and donald trump seems to be going out of his way every single day to alienate exactly the kinds of voters that you need to get you over the threshold. the problem with his whole strategy is these so-called reagan democrats that crossed party lines back in the '80s, they've been voting republican for the last two decades. so those aren't new voters. those are the same voters that voted for john mccain and george w. bush and mitt romney. we had to have the politics of addition if we want to win that nationally, donald trump is failing that math. >> there's a more sophisticated version of that argument which is the david wasserman missing white voter thesis, which he wrote in 2012.
which he points out, and this is factually true, there are millions and millions of white noncollege voters who just don't vote. they're either not registered or they're registered and they don't vote. there was some sense that maybe trump would be the person to bring those voters sitting offline online and there's maybe some evidence in states like wisconsin or ohio where he is sort of overperforming where you would think he'd be that he is but it still doesn't look like it's going to be enough. >> yeah, i think that's right. the other problem is i do believe he's energizing voters in certain demographics, but the problem is he hasn't been vested in registration efforts or get out the vote efforts, so sort of these fallout voters or the sporadic voters who don't vote every cycle that you're talking about are going to need extra help getting registered and getting to the polls and he hasn't invested in those programs. so those showing up to cast votes for him will be much harder to do that makes the
challenge in swing states very difficult. >> just yesterday i was in farmville, virginia, which by the way, absolutely lovely place, longwood university, farmville, could not be a more lovely pristine idyllic college town. talking to obama veterans, my brother was field director for the state in '08 for obama, at the time making a strong play in virginia seemed a real stretch. we're two cycles later and in both virginia and colorado you have states that have seen stretches that are pretty solidly -- i mean, virginia's remarkably performing for hillary clinton in a way i wouldn't have predicted. that stacks the deck even more. >> what you see in places like virginia and colorado is that for every voter that you were talking about that maybe hasn't been energized to vote in the past that is, you know, working class white voter, that may be coming out for trump, there's one or two suburban white republican women like me who
have voted republican their entire life and can't stomach voting for a candidate like donald trump. and so again it's just the politics of basic math. if you're losing a voter or two or every voter you're bringing in, the math just doesn't add up. >> on top of that, there's this sort of ground game question which we're going to sort of get a sense of. hari, very quickly, do you think it's possible for hillary clinton to do something like, say, lose ohio and end up winning, say, north carolina? >> yeah. i do. and the thing is, she can do that. the fundamental here is that there are a ton of routes for her to get to 270. there's only one for donald trump. >> that would be fascinating, her losing ohio and winning north carolina. that's "all in" for this evening. the rachel maddow show starts right now. >> thanks, my friend. good to see you. thanks at home for joining us this hour. happy wednesday. we think of them as presidential
debates, but they were not presidential debates. there were seven of them in a row, all between the same two candidates. the first one was in late august and the whole string of all seven of them, they went right through mid-october. and these seven debates were held in seven different towns. by the end of it there was such a frenzy around these debates that tens of thousands of people were turning out in person to try to see them. in fact, in galesberg, illinois, at knox college, the crowds there were no thick on the site of the debate that organizers worried they weren't going to be able to get the candidates safely through the giant crowds and up on to the stage, at least in enough time to start on time. so they improvised a solution. they had the candidates at knox college, they had them evade the crowd and just mysteriously pop up on the back of the stage as a kind odrat