tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC March 17, 2016 12:00am-1:01am PDT
marcus, francesca chambers. that does it for me and "hardball" tonight. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. tonight on "all in" -- ♪ it goes on and on and on and on ♪ >> hillary clinton celebrates her biggest night yet. >> we are moving closer to securing the democratic party nomination and winning this election in november. >> while chaos reigns on the republican side with threats from the front-runner. >> i don't think you can say that we don't get it automatically. i think it would be -- i think you'd have riots. i think you'd have riots. >> senator elizabeth warren joins me to discuss both races and the major story out of the white house today. >> i am nominating chief judge merrick brian garland to join the supreme court. then we'll look at trump's war on the media. >> some really disgusting people
back there. >> and speak with one of the few elected leaders openly calling him a racist. new york mayor bill de blasio. plus the two elections last night that proved the power of black lives matter. when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. and somehow amidst the most turbulent election cycle of recent memory the past 24 hours have been, perhaps, the most frenzies bringing into sharp relief the very different directions that america's two major political parties are currently headed. on the one hand, we have a democratic party that while confronting significant internal disputes over its principles, policy, and future is working out those differences through a fairly straightforward process. and on the other hand, a republican party in complete chaos, both on the campaign trail, and in washington, hurdling toward total institutional collapse and
threatening to take the rest of the country with it. last night was the biggest one yet for hillary clinton whose path to the democratic nomination is now clearer than ever. she won five big states over bernie sanders giving her a bigger delegate lead than president obama held at any point in his 2008 contest with her. >> let's stand with everyone who believes america's best days are ahead of us. for all of our challenges, i've never had more faith in our future and if we work together, if we go forward in this campaign, if we win in november, i know our future will be brighter tomorrow than yesterday. >> having steadily picked up pledged delegates since iowa, clinton now needs to win just 35% of the remainder of pledged delegates to clinch the nomination. sanders on the other hand would need 65% of all the remaining delegates a feat his campaign maintains is possible given the states yet to come on the primary calendar.
this morning in washington the man both of them are running to succeed now at his highest approval rating in almost three years fulfilled his role in another process in society. president obama nominated merrick garland the 63-year-old chief judge of the d.c. circuit court to fill the vacancy left by the late justice antonin scalia. as recently as last friday, republican senator orrin hatch said president obama could easily name him calling garland a fine man adding the president, "probably won't do that because this appointment is about the election so i'm pretty sure he'll name someone the liberal democratic base wants." president obama called on the republican-led senate to do its part in the constitutional process. >> to suggest that someone who has served his country with honor and dignity with a distinguished track record of delivering justice for the american people, might be treated as one republican leader stated as a political pinata,
that can't be right. >> republicans on capitol hill like their party at large responded by thrashing around norm defying maximalism. as he did within hours of scalia's sudden death, mitch mcconnell wasted no time in rejecting outright the president's prerogative. >> let's let the american people decide. the senate will appropriately revisit the matter when it considers the qualifications of the nominee the next president nominates. >> several at-risk senate republicans who will be up for election, including susan collins, kelly ayotte, even judiciary chair chuck grassley have all said they'd be open to meeting with garland. now lawmakers are reportedly talking behind the scenes about confirming him in a lake duck session if hillary clinton wins the presidency.
refusing to hear a holding on the nominee takes the gop's congressional dysfunction to new lows, it pales in comparison to the state of crisis in the republican primary. donald trump won four out of five of the state contests held last night. more than doubling his lead over ted cruz and forcing marco rubio, who lost his home state of florida, to drop out of the race. trump now needs to win 55% of the remaining delegates to secure the nomination, difficult but distinctly possible. cruz needs 80% and john kasich needs a mathematically impossible 106% even after winning ohio last night. those odds explain why kasich is openly banking on a contested convention and cruz praising marco rubio after months of trying to tear him down. >> it is unlikely that anybody is going to achieve enough delegates to avoid a convention. they're going to look at somebody who could actually be president of the united states who has a record. >> marco is a good man, ran an honorable, a strong campaign, but marco rubio's supporters,
we're welcoming them to join us. we've seen that happening all across the country, marco supporters coming to join us. >> according to politico, conservatives including eric erickson is meeting tomorrow to discuss a potential third-party run against donald trump. the gop's perpetual white knight, current speaker paul ryan, after initially declining to rule it out, ryan said in a statement he wouldn't accept the nomination. don't forget, that's exactly what he said about being speaker of the house. look where he is now. as donald trump's lead in the delegate count continues to expand so does his control over the republican party, itself. after trump warned of riots in the case of a contested convention this morning implicitly threatening violence to make sure he gets his way, rnc spokesman sean spicer actually came to his defense. >> i think you'd have riots. i think you'd have riots. i'm representing a tremendous,
many, many millions of people. >> i assume he's speaking figuratively. if we go into convention, whoever gets 1,237 delegates become the nominee. >> a trump surrogate if they -- today after trump dropped out of next monday's republican debate, the rnc and fox news decided to, well, cancel it altogether sending a clear signal to the current front-runner, yes, mr. trump, right away mr. trump. i spoke earlier to elizabeth warren, a democrat from massachusetts, and i started by asking what she makes of the response to president obama's supreme court nomination. >> one of the most solemn undertakings that we have in government is filling a vacancy on the united states supreme court. the president has just completed his constitutional duty. article 2 section 2. he has nominated someone to fill that vacancy. and now what we want is for the
republicans to join us in doing the job that the senate is supposed to do. hold our hearings and have a vote. give our advice and consent on this nominee. it's pretty straightforward. it's there in the constitution. what we're asking for is do your job. >> do you think there's a relationship between -- i mean, we're seeing the republican party in some ways come apart at the seams through this nomination process. the primary that's happening. the folks that you work with, your colleagues represent essentially the establishment to the extent there is one, their elected leaders. do you see a relationship between the behavior of your colleagues who are senators and what's happening in this primary? >> so, look, what they're doing right now at the supreme court is completely unprecedented. there's never been anything like this in history. but i have to say, the republicans in the senate have been building this for a long time because they have truly
given in to the extremists in the party. remember that right after president obama was re-elected in 2012 by 5 million votes that the response of republicans in the senate was to try to block him from filling any of three vacancies on the d.c. circuit court of appeals, second most important court in the united states. tried to block him from filling any vacancy on the nlrb. why? so they could shut down the nlrb because thaw wouldn't have a quorum. tried to keep him from naming anyone to the environmental protection agency as secretary of labor. to the consumer financial protection bureau. why? because they were trying to hold those as vacant so they could shut down parts of government. and when you've given into your extremists like that, when the whole animating of energy, of the united states senate, is in effect to try to deny the legitimacy of the president who was democratically elected, the legitimacy of what's called for
in the constitution means they really have just gone the extremist route, and let's face it, trump is the natural consequence of that. so i think all these pieces are weaving together and they've all hit this high point now or low point with trump as the presidential nominee and senate republicans having picked this position that says, we're not going to even hold hearings and a vote on a vacancy in the united states supreme court basically for a year. this is really pretty stunning. >> and when you put the two together, you have the last nominee that this party nominated, mitt romney, calling the current front-runner essentially a charlatan, a fraud, a con artist, possibly a threat to the republic and at the same time his party saying we must preserve this seat, so said charleton fraud con artist may be able to fill it in the
future. >> exactly. and look how mitt romney plays into all of this. the kinds of things i was talking about, where the senate republicans said, we don't want anyone for the next four years in the d.c. circuit court of appeals, we don't want anyone over at the nlrb because we just want to shut it down. where was mitt romney then? where were the supposedly cooler heads of the republican party at that point? the answer is, they were in bed with the extremists. >> right. >> and now look what they've got on their hands. >> are you someone who is scared by donald trump? do you find what's happening around his rallies, around his rhetoric deeply worrisome, scary? >> i take donald trump very seriously.
what he is promoting is a form of hate that is virulent and bad for this country. my view on it is this. it's time for all of us to speak out. everybody. to say no to the donald. we cannot have a man like this as a serious candidate for president and have him threatening to take over the white house. this is not a reality show. this is real life and this is our country and when we're talking about president of the united states, we got to take a deep breath here and get really serious. not donald trump. >> you've been very careful about your relationship to the primary on the democratic side. you have not endorsed either candidate.
my sense is you don't really love talking about it but i would feel remiss if i didn't ask you about it. a lot of people are asking if you will endorse, if you have plans to endorse before the convention, and what your current thinking is on the race. >> let me say one thing about it. as you call it my relationship to the primary. the way i think of it, i've been cheering them on because i am really proud to be a democrat and this primary has made me prouder. even prouder to be a democrat. why? because our candidates are out there talking about the issues. our candidates are out there debating the very best way to make sure that our young people can get an education without being crushed by debt. our candidates are out there talking about trade deals that leave workers in the dirt and saying that we're not going to support that kind of thing anymore. our candidates are out there talking about how we get more money into rebuilding infrastructure, roads and bridges so that we have better jobs not overseas but right here in america.
our candidates are having the kind of debate that we should be having in a democracy. it makes me proud, and i got to tell you, it makes clear the difference between democrats and, boy, that show that's going on over on the republican side. so right now, i tell you what my timeline is, i like what we're doing on the democratic side and i think it's what we ought to be doing. >> all right. as always, senator elizabeth warren. i appreciate it. >> good to talk to you. still a come a chilling message from the republican front-runner as he took the stage from his victory speech last night. donald trump's escalating fight with the media is next. plus breaking news stemming from the violent scene at last week's donald trump rally. later on the heels of a hillary clinton sweep last night, new york city mayor bill de blasio on his candidate's path forward and candid remarks on donald trump's, quote, racist appeal. we needed 30 new hires for our call center.
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for a presidential candidate. they were also voting for delegates like the actual people, the delegates who are tied to a candidate who are going to actually go to the convention to, you know, support, say, donald trump or ted cruz. and the assumption being that if you vote for donald trump, you vote for his delegates. you vote for ted cruz, you just vote for his delegates. but last night, for trump in illinois, that didn't happen. as dave wasserman, cook political report first noted tweeting, "interesting gop result in illinois' sixth district. two trump-bound delegates named barbara kois and paul minch won but a third named robby fakroddin lost." trump's delegate, nabi fakroddin received almost 5,000 less votes than trump's other two delegates in that very same district costing him the third spot and donald trump a delegate to take at the convention. today wasserman notes trump supporters' apparent diversion to foreign-sounding names ended up potentially costing him three of the state's 69 delegates.
you can get any large pizza with up to five toppings pile on your favorites with up to five toppings for just $9.99 better ingredients. better pizza. papajohns.com all right. we have an update on the violence that broke out at a trump rally last wednesday when an apparent trump supporter violently smashed a protester in the face when being escorted out of the trump rally. the cumberland county north carolina sheriff said he has disciplined five deputies following a professional standards investigation with three deputies demoted in rank for their actions following that
assault. because while the protester after being attack ended up on the floor surrounded by sheriffs deputies, the alleged assailant just walked away and he was not arrested until the following day. he even took time after the rally to give an interview saying he liked, quote, clocking the hell out of that big mouth. trump, himself, last night he took the stage for a standard election night event, a press conference in front of a row of american flags in the donald j. trump grand ballroom in trump's mar-a-lago estate in florida. trump didn't take a question from the press. not a single one. what trump did do is position his campaign manager corey lewandowski in a prominent spot just to his side behind him in full view of the cameras, even offering lewandowski a personal shout-out. >> corey, good job, corey. good job. >> trump's decision to publicly thank lewandowski last night was striking since lewandowski is literally the subject of criminal complaint filed last
week by now former breitbart conservative reporter michelle fields who claims lewandowski grabbed her tightly by the arm, leaving bruises by her arm. a report in politico about lewandowski, at a previous job lewandowski called a female the "c" word. following a part earn, one of the reporters who that piece was denied entry into his rally last night. trump has lambasted the media as scum, nasty people, among harsh attacks. keep an eye on how lewandowski to the left of trump reacts as trump unleashes his latest assault on members of the fourth estate.
>> lies, deceit, viciousness, disgusting reporters, horrible people. sure, some are nice. some are nice. some really disgusting people back there. >> seemed to enjoy that, didn't he? joining me now, olivia, political director at daily beast. and joel. olivia, you covered this campaign. lewandowski in a radio interview basically saying the idea we back list is preposterous, of course we don't do that. why don't you say that is. >> i'd like to know why i have not been granted press credentials to donald trump's events since november i'm one of the reporters who has not been permitted to entering. i have to go in with the public. it's an inconvenience. the idea they're not blacklisting the media, not retaliating against people who covered him critically and accurately is totally
ridiculous. >> a "new york times" reporter in iowa had written a piece about the ground operation, critical of the ground operation there and found himself essentially blacklisted at an event as well. joel, you wrote a piece for the columbia journalism review about concerns about trump. you know, let me play devil's advocate. every campaign tries to essentially intimidate and cajole and seduce reporters in some combination. why is trump any different? >> well, the difference is that trump, himself, is a media outlet. he has such a huge following on social media, 6.8 million followers on twitter, he can control his message in a way that's unprecedented. he doesn't need the press in the same way. he can treat journalists with disdain, contempt, he can call them names, have them man handled at his events and still gets precisely the coverage he wants. >> what do you think the press should do about that? >> the problem is he has gamed the system. the fundamental difference is the power between the media and the candidate has shifted. that is why trump is behaving
the way he does and this is part of a global dynamic. everywhere in the world, committee to protect journalists, we're primarily a frontline organization, we're concerned when journalists working in conflict zones and repressive societies. everywhere in the world those in power are treating the press in this way, in this aggressive way because they don't need journalists in the way they once did. >> you know, olivia, it strikes me the press right now is doing exactly what the republican establishment did, a collective action problem, right? people want to book donald trump because he rates well. he's also the story right now on the republican side. from a news value perspective, there's no question about that. and so everyone's competing with
each other and if the daily beast gets kicked out of the thing, that's one less thing to deal with. how the republican establishment tried to deal with him until they came up to find this needed a collective solution, it was too late. >> exactly. i think, you know, the thing is it's not just the power dynamic has shifted with donald trump. i also think it doesn't matter how we cover him, it's not as if the networks or print journalists are saying, oh, donald trump is so great and this coverage is terrific for him. the coverage has been critical since he announced his campaign nine months ago. the difference here is his supporters just don't care. nothing is getting through to them. nothing is making them change their mind about him. so it's not that he's his own media outlet that is undeniably true. every candidate in their own way is with their own twitter account and social media in general. nothing can take donald trump down so far, no story has been able to shift the narrative here. no story has been able to make his supporters reconsider. that's very different. normally what happens is a candidate gets critical press then they suffer in the polls.
>> right. >> their support goes to someone else. we see this happen with carly fiorina, ben carson, or last cycle with every other candidate that surged whether it was michele bachmann or herman cain. we're not seeing it this time because trump is so different and i think really it's that trump has been a public figure so long, a tabloid fixture. there's nothing people don't already know about him. there's no new information the media can introduce for the most part that is going to make anyone see him in a new light. he's like hillary clinton in that way. people are set in stone about how they feel about him. >> people talk about him as a sort of authoritarian, inclination. said one of the things we do when we win we're going to open up the libel laws, when the "washington post" writes a hit piece, we can sue them, win money, instead of no chance of winning because they're totally protected. >> this is his fantasy. i do think it appeals to a lot of his followers. they, like him, have a certain contempt for the press. >> everyone does. >> well, you know, everyone does.
>> often it's hard to blame them. >> unless you live in a repressive society and then that's when you need the press. that's what people are forgetting here. >> i would remiss if i didn't show this graph from "the new york times" about the earned media as it's called that he has gotten in his campaign which is just astounding. it's much larger than all the other candidates combined. and to olivia's point, important thing, as people talk about that, people i encounter day-to-day who think this is a cause for his rise, donald trump is 29 points under water in national favorability studies right now. no one running for president at this point has never been a nominee this low. it's not that it's not impacting the way people think about him but not impacting the 40% of the republican electorate that keep voting for him. thanks for being with me. >> thank you. ahead new york city mayor bill de blasio, the big wins last night for hillary clinton and donald trump and what that means for the race. and there were two massive upsets in last night's results thanks in part to the black lives matter movement. that story is next.
perhaps the most shocking result to come out of last night's primaries didn't come from the national presidential contest but at the local level. two incumbent prosecutors were not only challenged in democratic primary contests, they were ultimately denied another term by voters. now, it is incredibly rare for an incumbent prosecutor to face a challenge. 95% of incumbent prosecutors win re-election and 85% run unopposed in general elections.
the two incumbents who lost last night were each associated with miley controversial cases. cuyahoga county, ohio, which includes the city of cleveland, timothy mcginty did not seek criminal charges against police officers involved in the shooting death of 12-year-old tamir rice. he lost last night to democratic primary challenger michael o'malley. and in illinois, cook county states attorney anita alvarez also lost her bid for re-election. alvarez was under fire after waiting 400 days before charging the police officer who shot 17-year-old laquan mcdonald in chicago with first-degree murder. she finally announced the charges just hours before this video of the shooting was finally released to the public after a court order. alvarez faced a democratic primary challenge from a woman who used to work for her in the state's attorney's office. kim foxx, her challenger, now the odds-on favorite to be the next state's attorney for cook county has a pretty incredible personal story. she drew up in the notorious public housing development, survived sexual abuse and endured homelessness and last
night defeated alvarez by a whopping 30 points telling supporters her victory was about turning the page. id was in chicago last night and got a chance to speak to miss fox ahead of her primary win. it's fair to say you grew up in and come from a community that's quite -- in chicago. you grew up in public housing. you, yourself, have been a victim of crime, yourself. you have experience as a prosecutor in the same office. you said you want to get rid of the tough on crime boogeyman which is crazy talk for a prosecutor. no prosecutor talks that way. >> yeah. i mean -- >> what are you doing? >> historically, prosecutors talk in this, like, counting on the table, i'm going to lock up people for as long as i possibly can and really try to scare people to vote for you. what we've seen, the data has born out those policies have a disproportionate impact on poor communities, largely poor communities of color. it's destabilizing. what we've done, we haven't
dealt with crime and violence but dealt with people with low offenses. they're going back to the exact same neighborhoods lacking in resources, employment, mental health, public health and that is where the issues of crimes rise. >> people can point to the crime statistics chicago and nationally and say violent crime has fallen to 30, 40-year lows in certain places. in chicago, it's higher than other places per capita, still much lower than it was in 1992 or 1998 or 2004. maybe it's working and you're going to screw it up? >> it's not working. if you go to neighborhoods on the west side, south sides of chicago and you look at those -- the decimation. you find crime is lower, the concentration, pockets of crime are in those areas, we've sent people to prison not for violent crimes but nonviolent offenses. we've done a good job of a country for incarcerating people for low level drug offenses, have not done a stellar job of causing with the issues that are a root problem. >> kim foxx faces a republican
challenger in november. watch my full interview with her on allinwithchris.com. next the most hated man in american politics and hometown mayor. i'll talk to new york city mayor bill de blasio. stick around. time hiring and not enough time in my kitchen. (announcer) need to hire fast? go to ziprecruiter.com and post your job to over 100 of the web's leading job boards with a single click. then simply select the best candidates from one easy to review list. you put up one post and the next day you have all these candidates. makes my job a lot easier. (announcer) over 400,000 businesses have already used ziprecruiter. and now you can use ziprecruiter for free. go to ziprecruiter.com/offer99
hillary clinton ran the table last night as she picked up wins in ohio, florida, illinois, north carolina, and missouri. with those victories clinton took a step closer to securing the democratic nomination but despite being at a serious disadvantage with clinton significantly adding to her delegate lead last night, bernie sanders vows to continue his political revolution all way to the democratic national convention this summer in philadelphia. saying, "with more than half the delegates yet to be chosen," which is true "and the calendar that favors us in the weeks and months to come, we remain confident our campaign is on the
path to win the nomination." whatever the outcome of the nominee, the center of gravity of the national democratic party has moved significantly to the left not only his bill clinton was president but in some ways since president obama took office just eight years ago. one prominent democratic politician who sees that as welcome news, i'd imagine, new york mayor bill de blasio. joining me now is new york city mayor and hillary clinton supporter bill de blasio. mayor, always a pleasure to have you stop by. >> thank you, chris. >> so your wife said something that caught my eye about conversations with your kids about this primary. >> uh-huh. >> and it has been striking to me literally the biggest democratic divide of any democratic divide, democrat or republican, race, anything, is the generational divide. under 30, sanders is winning 71-29. 60 or over, clinton, it's the inverse. what do you make of that? >> i think young people have experienced life during and after the great recession and, you know, having been born to parents who are the great
depression generation, i can see an interesting resonance when i talk to my kids. they are exceedingly concerned about money. they're scared to death of college debt. they do not think opportunity is easy to come by. there's a sobriety and a sharpness to a lot of members of this generation because they were born into overt economic unfairness. well, different reality than the great depression, but the result is the same. a really sharp progressive impulse and a dissatisfaction with the status quo that is visceral. i do think, to your previous point, the democratic party is moving to the left. i think the country is moving to the left. i think the next generation is already there. and i am very happy about those realities. the democratic party of the dlc days, democratic leadership council days, unfortunately was part of the problem and that impulse has to be weeded out of the party and it's happening now and a lot of that is coming from the next generation. >> that is a better answer than they're naive idealists which is
the answer i hear a lot. people think sure, generationally you think these things then you get knocked around by life. >> i think they're sober and realistic. i think it's based on lived experience. by the way, do you know a lot of people who would say, 40s, 50s, 60s say the next generation is going to have to better than me? that's the key concept of the american dream. i know, i know for a fact that the numbers say the next generation will have it worse than we had it and will face much deeper challenges and much more economic unfairness and much more stratification of wealth. they're reacting very logically and saying this doesn't work, we're not going to continue this. >> there was a moment in the debate when clinton and sanders were asked if donald trump is a racist and they both gave answers that basically said, yes, but did not say the words, donald trump is a racist. you tweeted this.
"i didn't realize this was a question. behaves like a racist, speaks like a racist, of course, real donald trump is a racist." should they have just said that? >> it's, look, i get why people hesitate to make such a sharp accusation. >> yeah. it's like that word has this sort of status where you -- it's like who are you to say this, right? >> there's that reality and, look, i understand it's something you should say when you're sure. i'm sure because i saw what he said about mexicans. i saw when he said about muslims. about the ku klux klan. when presented with the question whether he'd accept support from the ku klux klan, white supremacist groups, david duke, he hesitated. if you have to hesitate on that question, you qualify right there for being a racist. but it's on top of that, i said the way he's using his racial appeal is extraordinarily cynical. we talk a lot lately about dog whistles and coded language. he's gone way past that to overt language. i think, therefore, we have to use overt language and call him the racist he is. >> look, i grew up in new york
city, i grew up in the bronx in the '80s. basically every day it was like donald trump was on the cover of the tabloid. i'd wait for the bus, catch the bus to school. donald trump, leona helmsley. reverend al sharpton. what do you make of this watching this person who came up through this city? has this always been there, the ad he took out, we need to bring back the death penalty, father's accusations of racial discrimination, his developments, or is this something new? >> when you go back to the central park 5 who were later exonerated, you're right, you can see the germ of this, you can see the origins because there, too, he was making a racial appeal. maybe more coated but still a racial appeal. i would say in the years since, we got see him as a reality tv star and sort of self-promoter and not necessarily dangerous and not scheming in this way, well, what's happened in the
last few months, maybe it was latent, call it whatever you want but it's perfectly plain now. i called it protofascism. >> i noticed. >> look at the combination. xenophobia, racism, encouraging violence among his supporters, militarism. he didn't get a lot of attention the other day when he said let's go into the middle east, clean out isis, we'll be back really quickly, you know, was his framing. we've heard that from militarist leaders for generations, the boys will be home by christmas. so all the component parts are there. when i see that, i know my history well enough to say i take that very, very seriously. the good news is i don't think the majority of american voters believe in those ideas are going to find them acceptable. the voting pool he's dealt with so far is not just republican, with some independents and crossover voters thrown in. it happens to be very conservative often militant
republican. well, where this is going is to a whole lot of open-minded people. >> yep. >> i think hillary clinton fairs a lot better when we get to that playing field. >> we are probably going to see that. mayor bill de blasio of new york city. always a pleasure. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. >> my pleasure. >> we'll be right back. stay with us. when a moment turns romantic why pause to take a pill? or stop to find a bathroom? cialis for daily use is approved to treat both erectile dysfunction and the urinary symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently, day or night. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, or adempas for pulmonary hypertension, as it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache.
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today president obama called the bluff on senate republicans who have refused to consider any supreme court nominee by nominating someone that many of those republicans have previously admitted is eminently qualified to serve on the supreme court. merrick garland chief judge of the highly respected and influential u.s. court of appeals, district of columbia circuit. not the nominee liberal activists might hope for or fight for. rather, president obama seems to think garland is the person that has the best shot of actually getting confirmed. >> over my seven years as president, conversations with senators from both party, i asked their views on qualified supreme court nominees, this includes the previous two seats that i had to fill. the one name that has come up repeatedly from republicans and
democrats, alike, is merrick garland. >> garland worked as a federal prosecutor during george h.w. bush's administration, held a top post in the justice department overseeing the oklahoma city bombing investigation during bill clinton's presidency. in his current position he happens to be a tough feeder of law clerks to the supreme court, his clerks are getting jobs at the supreme court at a high rate, informal, telling measure of how highly regarded he is. there are already cracks in the stance of republicans. suggestion by senator orrin hatch and senate republicans they might consider garland's nomination during the lame duck session if republicans lose the presidential election. after all, senator hatch heaped this praise on garland during his 1997 confirmation to the d.c. court of appeals. >> based solely on his qualifies, i support the nomination of mr. garland and encourage my colleagues to do the same. to my knowledge, no one, absolutely no one, disputes the following. merrick garland is highly qualified to sit on the d.c.
circuit. his intelligence and his scholarship cannot be questioned. >> nearly 20 years later judge garland makes a pretty compelling nominee for the supreme court. >> fidelity to the constitution of the law has been the cornerstone of my professional life. and it is the hallmark of the kind of judge i have tried to be for the past 18 years. >> just ahead, senator dick durbin of the senate judiciary committee.
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joining me now, senator dick durbin of illinois, assistant democratic leader, member of the judiciary committee. well, senator, i guess here's what i really want to know from you. if the cameras were off, just talking you and me, you had to bet money, what are the odds this is going to happen? >> i think the odds are 50/50, and understand we're starting from a position where senator mcconnell announced there would be no hearing, there will be no vote and wouldn't even meet with the man. yet even today about six republican senators have volunteered that they'd be willing to meet with him. i think they're realizing this position that they're being saddled with by senator mcconnell is hard to explain back home. they're not being fair and they're certainly not living up to the historic precedent of the senate which has never, never refused a hearing to a presidential nominee. >> here's my question. what is the plan to maintain the pressure? because it seems to me that right now, the day the president announces the pressure is
probably at its most intense, it is at most front of mind for voters and for the news as well. if they wait this period out, a month, two months, how do you keep them honest? >> well, i can tell you 2/3 of the american people think senate republicans are being unfair, that they aren't doing their job, they aren't living up to their constitutional responsibility. they're going to hear that at home. i don't think a lot of them want to live with that. many of them believe we should go through a hearing. they're saying it quietly, but now i believe they're going to have a chance to step up and at least say i'll meet with the man. that's fair thing to do. >> are they saying -- you say they're saying that quietly. are they saying that to you? are you having conversations with your republican colleagues? >> i'm talking to some of my republican colleagues. we're kind of reading between the lines. when senator grassley says well, we called together the republicans on judiciary committee, some were reluctant to sign the letter say we're not going to neat with these people, tells me a lot are having second
thoughts. >> i saw a number of reactions today of disappointment. people feeling that judge garland who is acclaimed and respected and obviously has tremendous experience, is a judge whose both judicial philosophy particularly on criminal defense is perhaps not as in line with what liberals would like to see and who is at the older end of the scale in which presidents tend to make these nominations. is this essentially a compromise before the negotiations start? >> no. i think what the president set out to do is to look through the potential nominees and find the person, the most solid candidate he could find, so it became difficult, if not impossible, for republicans to argue he wasn't qualified or ready for the job. and merrick garland, he found that person. now those who are hoping that we're going to have a person
very liberal or very this or very that, you know, that isn't the way this works. you know, the president is going to propound to the republican majority in the senate a nominee which he believes will serve this country well and has been praised by republicans in the past. in fact, a majority of republicans voted for him the last time he was on the floor of the senate. so he is a solid nominee with solid legal credentials. >> one of the sentiments i've seen expressed, you're seeing this gamed out on both sides. liberals say fine, double down, you're about to nominate donald trump, we're going to win the white house and the senate, then we'll nominate some 25-year-old that you hate and put that person on the bench. >> lindsey graham said that in the senate judiciary committee. >> i know. >> he said first to my republican friends, we just set a precedent, if this happens to us, we can't complain. secondly, i wish they'd go ahead and let the president send somebody. it's going to be a more moderate person than someone sent by hillary clinton. >> here's what i find
fascinating. you can see them now attempting to sort of have it both ways which is i've seen some people including if i'm not mistaken chuck grassley open the door to the possibility of a lame duck confirmation which is to say we're going to delay until election day but if we lose that bet and you guys win, then very quickly we'll confirm this nominee so that we forestall the possibility of a new democratic president nominating someone else. what's your reaction to that? >> i can tell you i think my senate republican colleagues are too clever by half. first they want to wait for a new president then they want to wait for a lame duck. the more they talk, the deeper they get into it. the american people, two out of three, believe this nominee from the president deserves a hearing and a vote. two out of three. including about a majority of the republicans feel that way. so let's face facts here. the senate republicans are floundering at this point. senator mcconnell put them on a strategy which is impossible to defend. many of them have to go back home and explain it and it's becoming more and more difficult.
>> all right. senator dick durbin, thanks for taking the time to come on the show. appreciate it. >> thanks, chris. >> that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" begins "the rachel maddow show" begins right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, chris. thanks, my friend. >> you bet. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. we knew this day would come. we didn't not know exactly when. as recently as yesterday there are people paid to talk for a living that were assuring us this day would definitely not come today but it's come today. the time has, in fact, arrived. and my friends, we must now gather together to poof marco rubio. we started with 17, 17. 17 people all got in over the course of last spring and summer. nobody got out until september 11th when the first one we got to poof was rick perry. ten days later we got to poof scott walker. then we went almost another two months without being able to poof anyone until finally