tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC January 17, 2014 12:00am-1:01am PST
petraeus at the time used the word extremist, not terrorist, to mean part of a terrorist organization. it was his and the organization's word choice, not rice's. >> third, they tracked the talking points. she did what the cia told her to say. she didn't mention al qaeda because they made a point to take it out of the talking points. they, the agency, chose to take it out. so somebody out there owes miss rice an apology, don't you think? don't you think. that's "hardball." "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. >> good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. the subpoenas are here. we don't know all of the details yet, but the next chapter of the chris christie bridge scandal started today. >> i want to assure the people of new jersey of one thing.
i was born here, i was raised here, i'm raising my family here, and this is where i intend to spend the rest of my life. and whatever tests they put in front of me, i will meet those tests because i'm doing it on your behalf. >> as chris christie struck a tone of defiance in new jersey, lawmakers on capitol hill were investigating his house of cards. the port authority responding to questions from senator jay rockefeller had a clear message, david wildstein did it. and bill baroni is not so great either. the letter charges the lane changes were directed by mr. wildstein. as for mr. baroni's testimony -- >> this traffic here -- >> no, i understand. >> was flowing into the bridge. >> the port authority claims they had nothing to do with it. >> excellent point. >> it's a convenient narrative
since both have resigned in disgrace. back in trenton, both sides are lawyering up. assemble democrats have hired the guy who put blagojevich behind bars. and today christie announced he would be hiring an entire legal team headed by a former federal prosecutor under rudy guiliani, currently representing chevron in a multibillion dollar pollution case. the flurry of lawyers, a sign of things to come. here come the subpoenas. the assembly's special committee indicated today that 20 subpoenas would be issued from the assembly for 17 individuals and three organizations. then the new jersey state senate began its investigation today. >> senator weinberg. >> state senator loretta weinberg said she planned to ask for documents from three other
christie officials. but first, the man we've been asking questions about from the beginning, david sampson. >> four hours later, wildstein wrote sampson was helping us to retaliate. sampson is one of christie's closest advisers. >> he's a pillar of the new jersey political establishment. he has an enormous amount of respect, democrat and republican. >> next on weinberg's list, regina egea, christie's brand new chief of staff. we know at the very least, egea was aware officials were angry about the traffic jam. >> regina egea, who has been selected to be the chief of staff, she's forwarded that memo as well. >> next, william pat schuber, another christie appointee and
former jersey politician. he was sent a letter with governor cc, inquiring about the closure on september 19th. weinberg said he vows to investigate, then nothing. if the last round of subpoenas produced time for traffic problems, they are the children -- just imagine what this latest round will bring. >> joining me now john wisniewsky. i understand you are not going to disclose who has been subpoenaed until they've been served, which makes sense. but explain the logic by which the committee decided who to subpoena. >> there was a lot of material the committee received from the subpoenas to wildstein baroni and others. we saw on your screen some of the e-mails that we looked at, but all of those e-mails have connections to other people and
other individuals, or the people in those e-mails have bosses or people they report to. so we need to get to the bottom of a very simple question. what possessed bridget kelly to say it's time for traffic problems in fort lee. we need to know what was the conversation before it. you saw that e-mail. you had to have had a conversation before to understand what it meant. >> yep. >> what was that conversation, and who was it with? that's what we're going to try to find out. >> we talked about david sampson, he appears in the batch of e-mails in the first round of subpoenas. he's incredibly powerful and well respected person in new jersey politics, the chair of the entire port authority. i read reports and heard from people there was pressure not to subpoena david sampson. was there pressure not to subpoena david sampson? >> i received no pressure on david sampson one way or another, but he's an individual
we need to look at. clearly, the response that's in the e-mails, that he was going to help retaliate, that pat foye, the executive director's playing in traffic. if this was a regular traffic study and somebody stopped it by mistake, i don't think you have that kind of response. it was an angry response. >> in the e-mails, whether he knew or not, he was fighting along with them. >> yes. >> i want to bring in michael powell who's been covering this closely. michael, i'm going to direct this to you because i understand why you won't be commenting on things that have not been disclosed. politicker nj have acquired a list of named that are the subject of subpoena. talk about kevin o'dowd's role. >> he is the chief of staff. right? he's also the man who is about to become, by the way, the next attorney general, seemingly, until his name was pulled back. i mean, this is a powerful man
within this. and pulls that circle very close to the governor. >> this is a very important point, the governor in his press conference in responding to this, i believe, said he had two direct reports. there were only two people that talked to governor christie and that kevin o'dowd is one of them. another one of them is charlie mckenna, i believe, the chief counsel. he's also in this politicker nj story, reported to be the subject of a subpoena. so you're now dealing with the two people that talked to the governor directly. >> yes. and it's always been hard to believe that you would have had a deputy chief of staff in a close-knit circle, who's doing this all on her own. she's not talking to the governor -- she's -- this will be very interesting. >> so here's what i do, if i'm chris christie. right now. i just lawyer up.
i'm a life-long lawyer. i was in corporate law before -- u.s. attorney. i know how to fight battles legally. had a pretty good record in terms of getting convictions. although some of those cases were very dodgy. are you prepared for a drawn-out legal process in which every single inch of ground is fought, contested, appealed, and you can't get anywhere? >> we're prepared. that's why we brought in special counsel. that's why we prepared ourselves legally to have the kind of backup that we need. but it's curious that on one hand, we have the governor lawyering up, perhaps for a very protracted battle and on the other hand saying he wants to cooperate for all appropriate inquiries. if the governor wants to get to the truth, he ought to cooperate. one of the thing that stands out here is the lack of curiosity. when he was first made aware that there potentially was an issue, he gave his staff 60 minutes to come clean. i mean, that's a lot of people to talk to and a lot of people that could be missing. then when he fires bridget kelly
or has somebody in his office fire bridget kelly, no conversation about why. >> every single person who read that e-mail on the day that it game in my "new york times" alert on my phone, your first thought, whoa whoa whoa, if in fact, you had nothing to do with it, how did this come about? and what it suggested to me, i didn't want to be seen with tampering with witnesses, et cetera. when you say you're prepared for a protracted legal battle, are you expecting one? >> i'm hoping that we don't have one. this is about public trust. and public trust was destroyed here because of somebody in the governor's administration. >> you're a democrat and you want to get back at chris christie for his presidential ambitions, come on. >> this started out as an
investigation into the operations of the port authority. while we were doing that, they closed lanes out of fort lee. we see this e-mail from pat foye, saying it's violates operations, let's look at that. we follow it piece by piece, and when we look up, we're in the governor's office. we didn't want to be there. >> why not just subpoena the governor? >> well, i think it's premature. we know bridget kelly sent the e-mail to david wildstein. those are two people, why would you send this and how did you know what it meant? but there are other people we need to talk to first before we can make any conclusions. we don't want to jump to conclusions. we just want the answers. >> you're not ruling it out? >> we're not ruling it out and we're not ruling it. piece by piece and step by step. >> the person they brought in, i covered him long ago and far away when he was a deputy mayor for rudy giuliani and he was a hard ball politician. yeah, i would think, and he's a
good attorney, by the way. but he's a good attorney if you're in trouble. and i would assume that he's bringing in a good, tough attorney, because he feels like he's in trouble at some level. >> can i ask just one final sort of ignorant question about the legal process. i watched everything play out with david wildstein. he pled the fifth. you referred him to the prosecutor to find him in contempt. if the jurisdiction is challenged, if your ability to subpoena someone is challenged, where does that go? >> they tried that. before wildstein came to court that day, he went to court earlier in the morning and the judge said, we don't have the ability to tell the legislature what they can look into. >> that's a key part of this. this is not something the courts have ruled once. it's not something they have purview over?
>> the constitution gives us this authority. they're not going to get in the middle of it. there are other issues they could get involved in, but not whether or not we could do this inquiry. >> arcane details in legal battles can be boring, but they are fascinating and we're going to see a big one. john wisniewsky and michael powell from "new york times," thank you both. >> thank you. coming up as the subpoenas fly, chris christie tries to redirect attention to hurricane sandy. but what happened to 900 of his state's residents yesterday isn't good news for him either. i will explain. next.
it's an exciting day in the bridge scandal saga as subpoenas are being leaked and promised all over new jersey. doesn't it make you wish you had the power to subpoena a bunch of people yourself? tonight i grant you that power. if you could subpoena anyone in american politics, who would it be and why? tweet your answers or post at facebook.com. i'll share some of your answers later in the show. so stay tuned.
with 20 subpoenas going out to just about anyone in chris christie's inner circle, the jersey governor tried to get back some of that old spirit of sandy magic today. >> tonight, i will govern with the spirit of sandy. ♪ >> the jersey shore is open. >> word is spreading. >> because we're stronger than the storm. >> you bet we are. ♪ >> the new jersey governor was out on his first non-state house public appearance since it
became national news his staff ordered traffic jams that backed up george washington bridge for four days. showing the core he showed in the aftermath of sandy that endeared him to so many jersey voters. >> in my government are going to be focused on getting the job done for all of you. that's what you pay us for. that's what you re-elected me to do. >> the official purpose of today's appearance was to announce that $817 million of sandy funds had been given to people in need. but as we said time and again, there's a lot less to the sandy recovery effort than it appears. the fact that according to the ocean county planning board, around 26,000 people were still displaced a year after the storm, including andrea kasmatis who was on our show in november. she wrote the american nightmare. she's living in a trailer with her family staring at, her words here, an empty vacant lot where
their home used to be. if christie wanted to channel outrage, he could have done something to get sandy aid to the people who lost their chance for aid yesterday. you heard me correctly. all because of an arcane bit of paperwork that needed to be submitted in order for applicants to move forward. the problem, some municipalities, particularly in black and latino areas, didn't know the letter needed to be submitted. a public interest law firm got its hands on. if you do not provide a substantial damage letter, the piece of paperwork missing, for your damaged property by january 15th, 2014, your application will be moved to the waiting list. depending on availability of funds, may or may not qualify for funding going forward. what we know so far about these 900 people is not going to help these people we brought you earlier this week. on average, black residents were denied sandy relief almost 40% of the time.
latinos, 19% of the time, and white residents, 14% of the time. joining me now is steve sweeney, a democrat. senator, what grade would you give senator christie on sandy recovery? >> well, obviously it's not a passing grade right now, because there's too many people that are struggling to get their lives back in order. everyone looked at this storm as an unbelievable devastation that hit the state, and we knew it would take time, but a year and a half in, you have 8,000 people on a waiting list. they don't know if they're number one or number 8,000. this is not right, nor is it fair. >> you've introduced or pledged to introduce legislation that would be a sandy bill of rights essentially. what would be in there and why are you doing it? >> basically it's about transparency. knowing where you are on the waiting list. if you got rejected, why? ensuring that the communications
are in multiple languages. and we're doing it for one reason. there's too many people waiting too long to get answers. again, a year and a half. we knew this wasn't going to be quick, but now, year and a half later, people can't seem to get answers. now you have another requirement that just came. there's a letter that's required for people that right now, it looks like 900 people might lose their opportunity to get funding because they didn't get a letter. we gave money out beforehand without the letter. new york state, new york city doesn't require it. it's just another hurdle when people are trying to figure things out. so what the sandy bill of rights will do is create opportunities for people to understand what's going on in much more simpler terms and know where they are on the list, know why they've been denied. so they can go back, if there's a foul-up governmentally. >> there's a lot of scrutiny on the governor right now, the bridge scandal, a lot of
scrutiny on the behavior of his office in terms of punishing enemies and rewarding allies. you've been called a christie craft by fellow democrats. the mayor of jersey city has basically accused of you being a co-conspirator with chris christie in stonewalling a piece of legislation his city needed, as political retribution. what do you say to that? >> it's ridiculous. i'm a big person when it comes to pension. i'm the chairman of a pension fund. when we took on benefit reform, it was my agenda from 2006 that christie took on. what the mayor was looking to do was take $4 million out of the most underfunded pension fund in the state and put it in his general budget. i'm all for pension reform, but the money needed to go back into the budget -- i mean back into the pension, not his budget. we were 41% funded in this pension fund.
as someone actually cares about people getting that promise that they're going to get that pension at the end of their career, i couldn't sit back and see someone take $4 million away from a pension fund that's 41% funded. it's not right. >> so i want to make sure i'm clear because this hasn't been in the press. you're saying categorically, you're denying that any treatment of that legislation had anything to do with political retribution for the mayor's failure to endorse chris christie? >> absolutely. and the mayor failed to communicate with me. he called me the morning of the day the agenda was going on, mentioned the bill to me. i said we had two more sessions. we would address it. but the mayor chose to make statements that weren't needed because that wasn't what it was about. the mayor said there was too much drama surrounding the legislation. i didn't create the drama.
i focused on the legislation. and what he was trying to do was not fair to the workers in that city. he was going to allow more money to go away from that pension system, when honestly, when you're at a 41% pension funding formula, that's scary. >> one of the things that has been alleged in the wake of the bridge scandal is that it is part of a larger pattern in which the christie administration has punished enemies and rewarded friends. are you confident that democrats in the state, who have allied themselves to chris christie can withstand the scrutiny that will come about what kind of rewards have been sent their way? >> listen, absolutely. you know, since, you know, you hear these comparisons with me because i did benefit reform, which was actually something i started in 2006. look, i blocked the supreme court nominees now for three and a half years. we fight where we don't agree. but we do have an obligation to the people of this state to find
areas of compromise to get things done, chris. new jersey is a state with a lot of problems. and for me to do what they're doing in washington, where, you know, just do everything you can to stop the president from getting anything done, i'm not doing that. i refuse to do that. i'm going to stand for what i believe. and the things i don't believe in, we're going to fight. you know, we just had a major battle over marriage equality in the state of new jersey. the minimum wage -- >> a bunch of fights and a bunch of possible agreements coming up. state senator steve sweeney the so much. back in 2011, gawker dug up this amazing document called a plan for putting the gop on tv news. they found it in the richard nixon presidential library and handwritten in the margins, basically a very good idea, written by roger ailes, fox news president roger ailes, who is the subject of a controversial new book. i'll be talking to the author next.
roger ailes. >> and unauthorized biography of fox news president roger ailes is out this week, and as you might expect, it's caused quite a stir. one of the most fascinating reactions to this book comes to lindsay graham. he wants you to know the provocative new biography does not tell the whole story. he feels so strongly about this, he's coming forward to tell his
own roger ailes story and in doing so, reveals just how powerful a man roger ailes is. in the new biography, gabriel sherman reports ailes said, quote, if you were president, he would send navy seals to the border. i would make it a requirement you would have to kill an illegal immigrant coming into the country. he says ailes supports immigration reform. but it's not just his gut instinct at work here. graham reports having personally met with roger ailes on this issue, quote, i met with him three to four times in person, talked to him a lot. graham also reveals that unnamed others met and lobbied on the issue in hopes of toning down what mr. graham described as vocal opposition on fox. graham concludes, the tone was different in the debate, and noto one-sided. it wasn't amnesty every 15 minutes.
think about this. this is a united states senator, served in congress, arguably among the most well known members of the republican caucus. he's going to roger ailes to beg his indulgence. that's just a glimpse of the enormous power of this one individual who oversees a media empire that produces a billion dollars in profits a year, is watched by millions of people, and has completely changed the way american media works, from this building to the "new york times" and everyone in one. joining me is the author of that biography. the graham story is fascinating because there's a question here about, does the gop, is fox a mouthpiece for the gop, or is the gop a mouthpiece for fox? this relationship is fascinating. >> yeah. the idea that a u.s. senator is essentially flacking for a news executive is unprecedented in
american culture. i think what it shows is that fox has surpassed the gop has representing the brand of the party. and ailes private views are detrimental to the fortune of the party. you now have a senator saying, no, that's not what we really stand for. but in private, when the cameras aren't on, this is what ailes says behind closed doors. graham wants his caucus to know, we can't go down this road. i've told the fox chief we need to moderate. >> i work in cable news now. it's an incredibly stressful high pressure environment. it's like a campaign. people say all sorts of things all the time. i shutter to think in our editorial meetings, a book like this. how much can we trust that this is not cherry-picked? that this is not basically
finding people who have an axe to grind, et cetera? >> two things. i spent two years on the reporting, talked to more than 600 people. time and again, what the big reveal of this book is that roger ailes is more extreme than the most extreme people on his network. these are his beliefs. he's entitled to those beliefs. but for many years, he's been able to obscure his true agenda because he's had a whole circle of public relations advisers, mercenary pr apparatus that would suppress leaks. for the first time we see the who the man is that is running this network. >> here's the question about fox, the question that you want to answer, why does it work? again, i do this every day. it's really hard. thank you out there, watching, great. but it's hard. it's a behemoth. why does it work? >> one simple answer. roger ailes. he starts in everything with the network starts with him. it is a completion reflection of his world. he has two meetings a day, where
he comes in, monologues about the news, gives his take on the headlines and that radiates through the building, from the daytime news shows to the pundits at night. everything works together. it's one cohesive package. at other networks, shows do their own thing. different points of view. fox, even with different hosts, it's essentially one 24-hour product that's packaged by roger ailes. >> so this is key. because there's two ways thinking about fox and the role it plays in america. one is someone would discover a market for conservatives. and ailes happened to be the person. the other, there's something about roger ailes that he has some visceral gut connection to what that viewership wants to see that makes it work. >> exactly. and this has been a testament to his talent, that his career spans four decades going back to his work for richard nixon in 1968 as a television adviser. he developed a deep understanding of the frustrations and the resentments of the white middle class audience who felt left behind by
the upheavals of the '60s. he uses that to relate stories on a visceral level. that's why fox works. because roger ailes understands that better than anyone else. >> i also thing one of the thing that comes through in the book and other reporting on this. if you were to characterize the modern gop and particularly a certain part of the gop, the 1%, it's a combination of a tremendous amount of power and privilege with a genuine feeling that they are besieged, that they are surrounded, that everyone is out to get them. you put those two things together, you get something near the core of the dna of the gop -- >> i think to unpack that a little bit, roger ailes has been a bridge between the business country club republicans and the populace blue collar democrats. the white catholic conservative voters.
his political hero was george h.w. bush. he ran his media campaign in '88. took a country club republican like george h.w. bush, and he made him into a fire-breathing, flag-waving conservative. he hammered dukakis as soft on crime, weak on foreign policy. we put that hilarious ad with dukakis in the tank. he made george bush popular with the middle class. it works because it brings that coalition together. >> populism -- good, effective, motivating populism is much harder than it was. >> yes. >> gabriel sherman, author of "the loudest voice in the room," thank you. >> coming up, another way to screw people who don't have photo i.d.'s. that story is next. i was having trouble
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supreme court where, if i may speak metaphorically, i believe john roberts court took out a knife and plunged it into the voting rights soft underbelly and grabbed the dying body across the streets on to the steps of the capital building and left it there with a note to congress, saying, it would be a shame if this law were to die. that was my reaction. they told our notoriously dysfunctional congress to revive it. today he introduced legislation that would reestablish a formula to determine which states must be cleared by the federal government before they change their election laws. the roberts court ruled that the old formula was unconstitutional because it was based on criteria established in the 1960s, striking down the heart of the most important civil rights law enacted, signed by lyndon johnson in 1965 in response to efforts in the south to keep blacks from voting.
the new legislation, proposed today would subject a state to preclearance, if it has committed five or more voting rights violations over the last 15 years. one of the people behind this is jim sensenbrenner. but to win gop support this time, the bill was written so that voter i.d. laws, not be included as one of the five violations that can trigger preclearance. and as currently drafted the new law would only apply to four states. none of them are north carolina, which has undertaken the most sweeping attack on voting rights in the nation. still, this is forward progress from the state of affairs just yesterday. we're going to see from the republican members of congress, which side they are on. one of them announced, he was so taken with voter i.d. laws, he wants to expand the franchise. he introduced a bill that food
stamps recipients display i.d. to get their food stamps. even though fraud is at historic low and need remains extremely high. the real impact of this bill would be to make it harder for the people at the bottom of the economic ladder to get food stamps they desperately needs. david vitter knows that. it is, no matter how he spins it in future, on a bug. hillary clinton hasn't
hillary clinton hasn't exactly been flying under the radar. >> clearly when you look at the democratic potential nominees, she's leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else. >> "time" magazine asking if she's a shoe in for 2016. >> can anyone stop hillary? >> can anyone stop hillary? >> this shows hillary clinton and, can anyone stop hillary? >> the job of a person who designs magazine covers to get that magazine cover on television. so person who designed that cover, mission accomplished. cover of "time" magazine fueling continued speculation about hillary clinton's political future, every single day until she declares she's running for president. some say she's not made up her mind yet and i believe them.
hillary clinton has not made up her mind. but what's remarkable watching this whole thing unfold, it doesn't really matter what hillary clinton wants. because as in a greek tragedy, the fates have ordained what she's supposed to do, the chorus are lifting her up and are walking her towards the podium where she'll make her announcement. hillary clinton may be thinking about what she wants to do, but every day the circle of people who are invested in hillary clinton 2016 grows bigger and bigger, donors, the media, the list gets longer and longer. imagine for a moment a bride a few months before her wedding, the caterer is booked, the invitations are sent out, and she says, i don't know if i want to get married. sorry, the deposits are down.
and hillary clinton right here in this moment, about to audition to be the most powerful person in the world, but she's lost control over the single most important decision she will make in her life. howard -- >> what do you think of the theory? >> should i start? >> yes. >> i don't think she's the puppet or victim of the fates. i don't go with your greek analogy. >> you think she wants this and this is all -- >> i don't usually say this kind of thing, but what the heck? i've known hillary for 30 years and she's not the puppet of anybody's fate. she made a deal with bill clinton a long time ago, speaking of marriage, get married, she lost washington, she left the business in chicago, a law firm that she was going to go to. instead she turned south and
joined up about bill clinton. but i felt about her from the beginning that she believes in her own leadership ability, her own service to the country, and i don't think there's any doubt in my mind that if she runs, and i think she will, it will be because she wants to, not because she was painted into a corner to do it. >> here's why i don't think that's the case. because there is -- i guess here's my point. were it to be the case that she woke up tomorrow and decided she didn't want to run, i think it would be really hard not to. i really think that. i think it matters, the infrastructure is being built. it matters people are going to say to you, you're the best candidate, we don't have anyone else who's very good. what are you going to do to the country? there's momentum that gathers around these decisions particularly with the network of people they're associated with that overdetermines -- >> this is a network she and her husband built. >> that's right. >> she has the power and presumably she'll have the power to direct that network behind an heir apparent if that's what she wanted to do. to me, it's more, even if she
doesn't want to run, not that there's a super structure that's been built, it's that she's been building to this her whole life, it's been handed to her on a silver platter, how do you say no to your one last chance? >> that's a great point. it reminds me of your metaphor, when someone is about to get married. they decide to get married because they went through so much with that guy, or that woman. been through so much together, even though this relationship is terrible, we're going to get married. >> i think that's a similar dynamic. this is something you work for your whole life. you built this. i also think she feels she earned this. >> i just think in the world of democratic politics, i think there's a discounting of the possibility she could lose frankly. i think there's a bizarre overconfidence.
[ all speak at once ] >> they're related in this sense. this is someone who has had a remarkable career in american politics, that has had way more ups and downs than your average career. some of the most brutally difficult moments from a person can experience. i think about my private life being splashed across anywhere. i don't think anyone would want that. the idea that all of it was building towards the moment in which she runs again and doesn't win, that also seems tragic to me. >> well, it's bizarre there's such a sense of, have we learned nothing? that we're all talking about her as the inevitable nominee. that "time" cover -- >> "people" ran the same cover. >> i don't think she's inevitable. i'm in the camp that she may have a difficult time in 2016 because there's this push for a new face, fresh blood, the party wanting someone who's much more progressive and her record is not very progressive, per se.
in some senses, you can make the case, some of the interventions were progressive in that they were humanitarian in scope, but there were underlying reasons for that besides humanitarian. so i think while she's clearly going to be a strong contender, the notion that she's inevitable is a dangerous one for her team to adopt again. >> i agree with that. i don't think she's inevitable, but that will not stop her, i think, from running. because i've not met anybody in politics with more inner strength as a person than hillary clinton has. take my word for it. >> i absolutely believe that. >> and i also believe she thinks she has more to offer the american people as a leader, and i think she will try it, whether she decides it's risky or not. she's taken lots of risks in her life. >> i want to go back to where competition might come from in the democratic party, right after we take this break.
earlier in the show, we asked you if you could subpoena anyone in american politics, who would it be? got a ton of answers like janice from facebook says president bush and dick cheney to explain the advantages of the iraq war. wayne says i would like to subpoena darryl issa because there's so much abuse of power he has to answer for. >> we're back. we use this board to compare car insurance rates side by side, so you get the same coverage, often for less. [ rattling ] that's one smart board. what else does it do -- reverse gravity? [ chuckles ] split atoms? [ whoooosh! ] hey, how is that atom-splitting thing going? [ rattling ] [ electronic whistling ] oh! [ zap! ] a smarter way to shop around.
>> we're back. we're discussing the question posed by "time" magazine's latest cover story, can anyone stop hillary? brian schweitzer thinks he can. he believes he could be a viable contender in 2016, running as an alternative of the left but as a rejection of the obama presidency. when asked, is there a single thing president obama has done that you consider a positive achievement? he paused, then said, my mother told me, if you can't think of anything nice to say about someone, you shouldn't say anything.
>> i could generate good things george w. bush did, those are small, but -- i mean, what are you doing? this makes me think this is someone who is not serious about pursuing -- >> or it's someone who spends too much time reading a white male group of bloggers. the same people who thought jim webb would be the hope of the democratic party years ago, they love these macho, red state populace, but they have very little appeal to -- >> i think it is that, i agree with you there. but i think there's something else here, which is the fact that with hillary standing astride this whole thing, with her seeming inevitability, with the fact that she does represent, not only the present, but the past, there's room out
there for some kind of new voice and new approach. and all schweitzer is doing is -- >> right. the point about that -- >> he's making the point that hey, there's got to be something other than hillary out there. >> i agree. but the point as a descriptive matter, 84% of liberal democrats -- the job approval rating for president obama. that's who votes in democratic primary. >> he's on the corner trying to get attention. >> nor is there any great hunger in the democratic party for a pro gun, pro death penalty -- >> exactly. that's not what people are looking for. i have a different theory about guys who throw their hat in the ring. i think they have no intention of becoming president of the united states. it's become a business to run for president of the united states. you say the most insane things. you get on tv. >> that's more effective on the right. >> the republican primary, i
agree with you on the republican side. >> but there's still that sliver in our part too. and there's nothing more than the republicans love than a democrat who will criticize barack obama. >> i don't want to skew his motivation. he's a smart guy, able politician, he won big in a republican state. he's had a lot of good policies. >> but for him to say that, that's not a smart thing to say. if you're a serious candidate, you don't say something like that, not now. if this was a period of time during george w. bush's low point when republicans started to criticize him and his policies, that would be different. >> but if it is the case that the obama presidency is such a failure that the way to win the democratic primary in 2016 is to distance yourself from the president, there is no way that
nomination is worth anything because you're not going to be president of the united states. because if the obama presidency is that much of a failure, a democrat will not be collected in 2016. >> and i think the person with the best mix to take what's good about the obama presidency and marry it with things going forward, she knows how to do it. she's going to get attacked on benghazi and various things, but certainly in a democratic primary, she can portray herself as someone who was loyal to the president, who has her own ideas, who comes from her own policy shop in the clinton world. don't forget you have the clinton foundation -- >> let's say this. we are now, this is going to be a post citizens united world. >> for sure. >> money, networks, who in the 1% people know and how deep those pockets are, that is going to be massive three determinative here. that's the reason hillary clinton is the front-runner.
because no person in politics is as hooked up with those people as the clintons. >> right. >> there could be some kooky guy out there that will decide that. >> there's a case for the foster freeze effect, which is that post citizen united, a few eccentric billionaires could decide to back people and you may get a race that's turned upside down by it. thank you. that's "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. >> if i ever had to be on time, not sure what i would do. thanks to you at home for joining us. boy there's a lot going on. right now at this hour, across the state of new jersey, the