tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC July 1, 2015 12:00am-1:01am PDT
fella up in new hampshire. and if it makes you dizzy it's because these two states and their political cultures are actually in a battle with each other. and that's hardball for now. thanks for being with us. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on all in. >> i am proud to announce my candidacy for the republican nomination for president of the united states of america. >> 14 candidates and counting. >> you're gonna get what i think whether you like it or not. >> chris christie is in, but did he already miss his shot? and can he get past donald trump in the polls? then, a brawl in south carolina over the confederate flag. tonight, why the resistance we're seeing to taking down the flag today is much different than what we've seen before. plus, given the latest evidence that president obama is reaganing -- >> you may be witnessing history here. >> --i'll ask if hilary clinton can take advantage. and as marriage equality sweeps the nation, how the winners of
the culture wars should treat the losers. >> if i become president, i just want to remind people that please don't complain if i were to put a nativity scene out during christmas. >> all in starts right now. ♪ >> good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. four years after the donor class was begging him to run for president against barack obama, less than two years after he won reelection by a landslide in his home state, new jersey governor chris christie officially entered the 2016 race today at what may be the low point of his entire political career. announcing his run before a friendly crowd at his high school alma mater, where the former class president claims he ran in different circles than classmate david wildstein, the one-time appointee indicted in the bridgegate scandal. christie tried to position himself as a straight-talking outsider with crossover appeal. >> i am not running for president of the united states as a surrogate for being elected prom king of america.
i am not looking to be the most popular guy who looks in your eyes every day and tries to figure out what you want to hear, say it, and then turn around and do something else. when i stand up on a stage like this in front of all of you, there is one thing you will know for sure -- i mean what i say and i say what i mean and that's what america needs right now. >> but the former front-runner has a long way to go to recover the stature and support he once enjoyed. christie's approval rating in new jersey has dropped to its lowest point ever. just 30% approve of how he's doing as governor compared to 55% who disapprove. in the latest survey of the republican presidential field, he's polling at just 2%. well behind the likes of mike huckabee, ben carson, and donald trump. and christie is second only to trump in the number or percentage of republican primary voters who say they could not imagine voting for him. 55% versus trump's 66%. but those aren't the only problems for christie, who's now the 14th republican candidate to
announce. he's lagging behind in the money race, according to politico. now expected to raise just a fraction of what his top opponents will rake in. and with a few candidates already consolidating support in some of the early primary states, christie's betting on new hampshire to give him a chance to come back. he's spending the whole week there, sticking around through the july 4th holiday, and at this hour, he just wrapped up the first of several town halls. but even if the voters remain ambivalent to christie, there's at least once person who's celebrating his announcement today. msnbc's own joy reid who drew him in our 2016 fantasy candidate draft. >> joy reid, we come to you. joy, you got george pataki, you got jim webb, you got rick perry. your call? >> blandest ticket ever. >> we still got hrc on the board. >> yes, and i'm believing on god for 19. >> 19. >> ready for hilary. hrc on the board. hrc. no. christie! >> chris christie. from the shadow of the george washington bridge comes the pugnacious politician from
piscataway. he loves the cowboys, springsteen, and telling people to shut up. >> sit down and shut up. >> he's stronger than the storm, but is he born to run? >> shut up. >> he's new jersey governor chris christie. >> i think that's my favorite one we've seen so far. chris christie. >> you know what? i feel like yelling at a teacher. >> all right, joining me now, steve kornacki, host of up here on msnbc and our resident expert on all things new jersey. so much to parse here. why the high school? i mean, a, i think it's a little weird to declare in your high school, but also there's of course the wildstein connection, which is something you would imagine he wants to kind of distance himself from as much as possible, but that seemed incidental to him today. >> well, in a way that's where it all started. i mean, it sort of explains why he's doing this right now with the whole political world telling him, you know, you're not going to win. the bridge thing has destroyed you. you have no chance. why are you going forward with this? i mean, this is sort of a textbook illustration of the kind of guy -- this is not uncommon in politics who -- i mean, he's had his eyes on this kind of a moment, this kind of
an opportunity his whole life, starting in high school. he was a student politician in high school. he was the class president at the university of delaware. he moved up through the county ranks in new jersey. he caught a lot if breaks along the way. but he always was sort of eyeing how can i maneuver myself, how can i position myself basically for political glory? and a couple years ago, it all opened up for him, as you said at the top there. this was the guy to beat just two, three years ago. and i think he looks at that and he's like, well i'm not going to go down without a fight right now. >> right. well you were tweeting earlier today during the announcements a fascinating sort of trajectory of his biography saying he had been down and out in politics before he became governor and kind of worked his way back in which maybe gave him the idea that you know, don't count me out. >> yeah, and where does the confidence come from? one thing about chris christie is he certainly doesn't lack for confidence. and where it comes from is 18 years ago in 1997 basically on this same day in 1997 his political obituary was written. he was in his mid-30s, he had lost county office in new jersey, he held the job, he alienated everybody, he got thrown out, he came dead last in the primary, he ran for the state legislature, came in dead last.
it looked like he was going absolutely nowhere. and he caught the break of a lifetime. what he did was in the 2000 presidential campaign, he became a big fundraiser for george w. bush, his legal counsel in new jersey, raised big money. when that election ended, bush made him the u.s. attorney for new jersey. it was a very controversial pick. he used that job as u.s. attorney over the next eight years to do one high profile corruption bust after another, become one of the most visible and popular people in new jersey to the point where in 2009 he's able to run for governor, get elected, he had a few of those youtube moments in 2010, and here we are. >> and a key point there about the fact that the way that he got his way back in was to be a bundler essentially. which is -- when you think about christie it's not high on the resume he gives for himself. but he was a ringmaker. he was a big corporate lawyer and he knew enough people to get checks into bush's pocket. >> absolutely, and he was very smart along the way, too, in new jersey when he was u.s. attorney. he wanted to run for governor in 2005, but he learned lessons from his earlier failure.
he said i don't want to go too soon. so he said i'll run if you all endorse me right now. he didn't have unanimity so he waite til 2009, and a lot of people are saying look, christie missed his opening in 2012, he should have run against obama. they were begging him to run. the reason he didn't was that was the lesson he learned from his entire career before that. he had been punished for being impatient earlier in his career, he had been rewarded for being patient in the middle of it, so faced with that decision he said better to wait til 2016. >> and there's a theme i've seen which is that the lesson of obama 2008 is when the moment comes, seize it. i remember the discussion around obama in 2006 and 2007 was the guy literally just got here. there is no plausible way he can run for president. yes he's popular, yes there's desire for him, but he can't do it. it's just too early. and he defied that, he ran, and you're seeing now with bobby jindal and christie what happens
to rising stars who wait past their turn. >> i don't want to oversell this but one thing that also keeps him going is he is looking at that debate stage. he's thinking that first debate on fox, he's thinking about the youtube moment. he can turn it around on the moderator. one thing i've been told by people who are fairly close to christie is he is really looking forward to being on the debate stage specifically with donald trump. i think what he has in mind is people are saying how are these candidates going to handle trump? i think what christie has in mind is that he can shut up donald trump. >> the hilarious thing is that you would not have predicted this a year and a half ago. that donald trump is running for president, he is polling ahead of chris christie and taking up oxygen as the straight talk blunt, outspoken truth teller in the race that chris christie is now staring at the back of trump in the file line to get to the white house nomination.
>> i'm just picturing the scene if trump is up there on stage. hey jeb bush, you're a wimp. and they don't know what to do. if christie is able to knock him down on that stage, he'll be doing the party a big favor and you think of newt gingrich in 2012. the whole campaign is over, he's asked a question to the south carolina debate about an open marriage. he manages to turn that around, he jumps 30 points in the polls in 3 days. so i think that's what christie is thinking, i can still win this thing. funny things happen with these moments. >> steve kornacki is going to stick with us. the rationale christie is presenting for his campaign centers on his tenure as new jersey governor. he ran for office pledging to bring an economic revival for the state. today he offered his record as evidence he can get stuff done. the state of new jersey's fiscal health tells a very different story. according to one study, new jersey's pension system is the most underfunded of all 50 states. its credit was just downgraded for the ninth time under governor christie.
and there's his claim that he successfully worked across the aisle with new jersey democrats. one of those democrats is here with us now. state senator ray lesniak. if the sale is, i can work across the aisle, what do you want to tell america? >> first of all, don't include me in that bunch. i have not worked with him, because he has taken bad policies. what he's done, his straight talking is straight talking to get his republican support in the presidential primary. he cut women's health. i mean, tests for cancer, birth control, because he wanted to be planned parenthood. he wanted to do something against planned parenthood. he turned down $170 million of food stamps from the federal government. $170 million of food stamps for children who go hungry. he does all these things to get his presidential aspirations. meanwhile, the state is left in the lurch. >> the state's finances, it strikes me, are going to be a problem for him, specifically in
the republican primary. this is something that conservative writers have focused on. there was a big cover story in, i think it was "the weekly standard," the "national review," about how new jersey's finances are a wreck. he'll have to go to explain to the voters, republican primary voters, why the state's been downgraded nine time and why its pension funds is underfunded? >> and you've got to think about the broader implications of bridgegate. when these governors from different states come and run for president, they'll give you the best version of, hey, we've turned everything around in my state, but people say, look, this says you didn't, this statistic says you didn't. ultimately, the question is, will they get the benefit of the doubt from the influential people in the party. and there are so many influential people who look at christie and say, bridgegate, the trial will start on the eve of the new hampshire caucuses. do we want this guy with this baggage to be our nominee. they're the guys that start using that stuff about the credit downgrade to take him down. >> have we word the last of bridgegate, or will we hear more about it?
>> david sampson is still hanging out there. we haven't seen the end of it. there will be more and more and more things that come out. but the killer for him is his fiscal record. the fact that our economy lags behind the rest of the nation. he really hasn't done a good job for the people of the state of new jersey, and that's going to be brought out by his republican opponents. >> in some way, jersey has been the kind of anti-texas. when perry ran, perry got to say, look at all the job growth and gdp growth. and there were lots of way to parse those numbers in terms of how growth was coming from. but in terms of gdp growth, it ranks near the bottom. it has had one of the most sloggish recovery of any of the 50 states. >> and his cornerstone achievement, pension reform, has fallen apart. he's lied, he's not making the payments that are due, and ultimately will go bankrupt. >> this is the ultimate irony of christie. his big message was, new jersey has elected a series of cowards
who are unwilling to make the hard choices and look people in the eyes and say, no, you'll take less money and short the pension fund. >> that was the defining feature! that was the whole thing. people forget that the theme of tough talking and taking on the teacher's union was all about this central policy issue, which was getting the pension finances right. and here he is, you know, a term and a half in, and the pension finances are still a mess. >> and don't forget, the way he got that pension thing -- senator lesniak, he brought democrats on board with this. he brought -- one of the sort of dirty secrets of chris christie's governorship, how does he succeed as a governor in a blue state getting something like that through. there's a big democratic boss that basically runs south jersey, and chris christie made an alliance with that guy and chris christie got all those democrats onboard and that's how he got pension reform through. >> do you think his skills as a retail politician, which i think are quite good.
>> amongst the best. >> right, you would say this? descriptively, he's very good at working a room, very good at working crowds. i find his kind of blustery "shut up" thing unappealing. i think some people find it appealing. but even when he's not doing that, he's very good handling himself in front of a crowd. >> he says, i'm going to get the job done. ross perot, do you remember him? he says, i'm going to go in there and fix everything. that's his message, i'm going to get it done. the confidence he exudes is going to serve him well. but when they look at his record, that's when it's going to all fall apart. >> there's also a little bit of this -- people have been making these regional points about how jersey he is and how particularly kind of new york metro area. when you talk about the imagine confrontation, which is a hilarious thing to imagine, that is very much a metro new york kind of schtick. >> take a look at the earlier state. and there's a tacit acknowledgement from the christie people, that's not going to go over well in iowa. >> but a lot of work. >> now he wants to be president
of the new hampshire, basically. but you look at new hampshire, this really is, it is so different, the electorate is so different than the national republican electorate. this is a state that's had legal gay marriage for five years. the average republican will say, i don't have a problem with it. we're independents. political independents. these are suburbanites from southern new hampshire. they flood the primary. this is a state, i think of john mccain back in 2007, his campaign was given up for dead. he did the town halls in new hampshire and came back. i can see christie making a move in new hampshire. what i can't see is what happens next. >> that's the blueprint for his strategy. steve kornacki and state senator, ray lesniak, thank you both. up next, the president's wonderful, remarkable, all around good week. and the outrage over the colors of the white house. and thanks to buzzfeed, ted cruz gets animated. >> one of the great exchanges between homer and lisa. but, dad, i'm a vegetarian! i don't eat animals. but lisa, animals are so
delicious. ready for the ball. here it comes. here you go. good catch! perfect! alright, now for the best part. lets see your pour. ooo....let's get those in the bowl these are way to good to waste right?! ohhhh......yeah let's go for it, around the bowl annnddd... share what you love with who you love. kellogg's frosted flakes they'rrrr grreat! good catch, dad! and now try new kellogg's frosted flakes with energy clusters!
an actual fight about the symbolic fight over the confederate flag is coming up. first, big news out of the white house. senior administration official tells nbc news, we will formally announce tomorrow that the united states and cuba has reached even agreement to reestablish formal diplomatic relations and open embassies in each other's capitals. president obama and secretary of state kerry are expected to make the official announcement tomorrow. that is very big fuse. of course, cuban american relations are a hot-button issue for some candidates running for republican nomination. for instance, ted cruz, the texan senator of cuban heritage has called president obama's outreach to cuba a tragic mistake. now, buzz feed released the following video of senator ted cruz auditioning for "the simpsons." >> smithers, release the hounds. excellent. hidiliy ho, neighbor.
president obama is up in the polls after a week both supporters and detractors would agree was a monumental week for his legacy. the approval rating for the president's job performance is now at 50%, the first time in more than two years it's hit that point, and that compares to approval ratings of 50% or above
for both president clinton and president reagan, at this point in their respective second terms. president george w. bush, however, hovered at about 30% approval rating by this time in his tenure. today, president obama spoke about his political capital and said that yesterday's announcement of executive action to make millions of more americans eligible for overtime pay is just one example of how he intends to use it. >> you know, the list is long and my instructions to my team and my instructions to myself have always been that we are going to squeeze every last ounce of progress that we can make when i have the privilege -- as long as i have the privilege of holding this office. >> today, presidential candidate hillary clinton quickly endorsed the administration's move on overtime pay, another indication of the possibility of a seamless trajectory of the clinton/obama coalition. it is difficult at this point to honestly rate the obama
presidency as a failed presidency, though many will try. >> the truth is, we're at the end of an era of failed leadership. >> and obviously, he is failing as a chief executive. >> and the truth is, with all due respect, he is an utter and complete failure. >> president obama has been a failure, not because he was only in the senate for four years, he's been a failure because his ideas are bad. >> i started to talk about all the failures of the current administration, but i figured that was too depressing. >> joining me now, former secretary of labor, robert reich, whose film "inequality for all," available on netflix, itunes, dvd, and on demand. robert, let me first start with this overtime announcement, which is in the grand scheme of things, relatively smile, but a huge amount of workers, about 5 million who could be affected by it. your reaction to that announcement by the white house? >> it's a big deal, chris. the old overtime threshold was about $24,000 over that, if you were earning -- even if you were
a salaried worker, an hourly worker, it independent matter. you didn't get overtime. now the threshold is up a to $56,600. that means you have millions of workers coming in, getting time and a half for overtime. that's a lot more money in people's pockets. that's going to help the economy and help the middle class. >> you know, it strikes me that it was very interesting to me that the -- that hillary clinton sort of endorsed this, right after president obama did it. not because you would expect she would or wouldn't, but in terms of where the politics of this moment are, i'm curious, you know, you survived some of the early clinton battles. you were the kind of progressive lefty in this cabinet that had a lot of kind of centrist elc types. how do you read the politics of now, this moment and this upcoming election, versus, say, 20 years? >> i think the politics have shifted dramatically. there's something of a realignment going on, chris. i think that economic populism is now coming into the fore. not just in the democratic party, but you're hearing
republicans at least using the phrases, like crony capitalism. not because they believe those phrases, but because those phrases actually get huge enthusiasm from voters of whatever persuasion. a lot of people are very upset about all of the wealth and income and power going to the top in this country. >> you know, nick compasori in "the times" had a great response to this. there's something interesting happening with the donor class, specifically the democratic side. he says that hillary clinton faces a more liberal democratic fund-raising landscape, democrats now get far less money from wall street, military contractors, health care companies, and other industries that for decades ladle out cash more evenly to both parties, according to a "new york times" analysis. you've seen a kind of polarization among the donor class that in some senses might be somewhat liberating for the eventual democratic nominee. >> it is liberating. and it's hugely different from the 1990s, when bill clinton
triangulated in part, he could do it, because wall street and corporate america were giving so much money to the democrats. now, wall street and corporate america, big corporations, are giving almost all their money to republicans, and where are the democrats getting their money from? from environmentalists, from very, very wealthy individuals, who are in favor of gay rights, or the environment. a lot of women now are economically much more powerful, and women's groups like emily's list. labor is actually more powerful than it was, although labor continues to shrink, a lot of money is available from labor. so hillary clinton is moving to the left in ways that bill clinton never even dreamt of doing. >> yeah, this point also about the kind of rise of the ideological donor strikes me as an interesting point, too, about what you were just saying, lots of people who care about gay rights or care about the environment. in the kind of post-citizens united super pac area, the kind of person that is bundling
checks to be a bush ranger or a pioneer or to be a clinton fund-raiser tends to be very transactional. and the kind of person writing a $50 million check tend to be much more ideological. it's one of the things that strikes me that's shaping the contours of this race particularly on the democratic side. >> i think that's right. and a lot of people on the right say, don't criticize the koch brothers, because you have billionaires on the left doing the same thing the koch brothers are doing. but it is a big difference. a lot of the billionaires on the right, what they're doing, they don't want regulations or government intervention, because they want to build up their fortunes even bigger than they were before. but a lot of the billionaires on the left are really in it because they believe in the environment or they believe in gay rights or they believe in women's rights or they believe in equal protection of the laws. they are in it not for themselves, but they're in it for the cause. that makes a huge difference. >> robert reich, thank you very much. >> thanks, chris. much more ahead, but first in or ongoing effort to bring you the latest from all the top
candidates running for president, let's check in on the man currently polling as the number two republican just about an hour ago in new hampshire. >> when i heard paul wright -- and i like paul wright, as a person. but when i heard mitt romney chose paul wright, i mean, what he's known for is killing entitlements. i said, that election's over. now, it's really over, because mitt choked in the last month, let's face it. he choked like a dog. i don't know what happened to him. but that was not a pretty picture to watch. i'm not a choker. he choked like a dog. e your home and auto insurance through progressive, you'll save a bundle! [ laughs ] jamie. right. make a bad bundle joke a buck goes in the jar. i guess that's just how the cookie bundles. now, you're gonna have two bundles of joy! i'm not pregnant. i'm gonna go. [ tapping, cash register dings ] there you go.
this is america! how many of you people want to pay for your neighbor's mortgage that has an extra bathroom and can't pay their bills? >> i don't remember a clarion call that says that franny and freddie are a disaster. >> is there no responsibility at all from the borrower, if they buy a house that they can't afford, who do you want to pay for the house that they decided to buy? they signed their name? >> do you remember during the mortgage crisis of 2008 and 2009, when certain quarters looked to blame homeowners for the crisis, making the argument t loans they couldn't pay back, therefore they had to be held to account and to face punishment for their bad decisions. even though, of course, the banks were the ones who made the bad loans in the first place.
well, right now, we're seeing the exact same thing play out in europe. greece borrowed more money from international banking interests than they could afford to pay back. and they're being punished because they can't pay back their loans. even though those banking interests, the northern europeans, were outright enablers of greek excess, aggressively sought to provide loans to greece during the bubble era. and here's the thing. what was true in our own financial crisis is also true in greece. every loan is a two-way transaction. a person decides to borrow money and a person decides to lend it. and sometimes, you lend out money that doesn't get paid back. that's the risk you take as a lender. in fact, that's why you get interest. and when a loan goes bust, you write down your losses and move on. no, no, no. but instead what we've seen in europe are demands from the banking interests that have ground greece into misery and brought it to the brink of outright disaster. around series of austerity measures and spending cuts demanded by its creditors, greece has seen a 25% decline in gdp, roughly equivalent to our
own great depression. a quarter of the country is unemployed. the country has so many mounting debts, it hasn't even been able to pay for medicine since last year. so if you're a greek cancer patient looking for chemo, take it up with the german banks. and under the creditors' demands, greece will still have unsustainable debt for at least another 15 years. well, greek people have had enough. tonight, greece defaulted on one of its loan payments and this week the country will hold a referendum on whether to accept the creditor's continued austerity proposals or to default on their loans, opening the possibility that greece would be shut out of the eurozone. thousands of people rallied in athens urging greeks to vote no on the creditors' demands. thousands of people rallied tonight urging greeks to vote yes on the creditors' demands. and the fact is, there is no easy answer for greece or for europe at this point. was one thing is quite clear. what is being done to greece
isn't about morality or fairness. it is, at this point, a sadistic exercise in sheer will to power by banking interest who is want to make an example of greece and its people the same way a loan shark does with a tire iron to the knees. it is morally monstrous and they should be ashamed. why pause to take a pill? and why stop what you're doing to find a bathroom? with cialis for daily use, you don't have to plan around either. it's the only daily tablet approved to treat erectile dysfunction so you can be ready anytime the moment is right. plus cialis treats the frustrating 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 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. to avoid long-term injury, get medical help right away for an erection lasting more than four hours.
the ku klux klan is planning a rally in south carolina in support of the confederate flag, and if they exist, to take the flag down, it may not even be there by the time those people rally. the massive shift in position of southern opinion leaderses over the past 12 days crystalized with president obama's eulogy of reverend clementa pinckney, was something the president noted again today. >> it was, i think, a reflection on the consistent challenge of
race in this country and how we can find a path towards a better way. >> yesterday, as about 30 people protested the confederate flag at the statehouse grounds, another group of counterprotesters began driving by in their trucks, often displaying both the american flag and the confederate battle flag. and one of those confederate flag supporters decided to confront the crowd. >> take it down! [ bleep ]! take it -- [ bleep ] >> no, no, no! no! arrest him! arrest him! arrest that man! >> that man, nicholas thompson, was, indeed, arrested for disorderly conduct, according to
wis-tv. we now know that just one day after governor nikki haley called on state lawmakers to take the confederate flag down, the local kkk requested permission to rally outside the statehouse. one of the group's leaders promised a peaceful rally. and the group's grand dragon lives just 20 miles from the statehouse and that's where we've be holding a cross-lighting. 15 years ago, south carolinians were debating moving that flag from the capitol dome to the place it now stands. joining me now, kevin alexander gray, co-author of "killing trayvon." kevin, you've been around the capitol and in south carolina for a long time and watched this debate play out. compare what's happening now with the klan rally planned to the massive broad support and rallies that were for the flag back in 2000 and 2001. >> well, you know what, the young people are actually taking a lead on some of the protests that are going on at the statehouse, and white people are
taking the lead on some of the protests that are going on at the statehouse, opposed to the flag. now, no doubt, the people that support the flag are going to be out. i just drove by the capitol. they're out tonight. but i think it's a good movement experience for young people. i think at the end of this whole process, it's a step toward trying to dismantle some of the symbols of racism and white supremacy in the state. and the state and the city, columbia, south carolina, knows that taking that flag down is good for business. when they first took the flag off the dome and they moved on to the statehouse grounds, as a compromise, many of the people that supported the compromise on the republican side said, off the dome and in your face. so i'm supportive of it coming down and i want to see the legislative process work out. >> yeah, well, what's so interesting, i was just looking at some footage. a bunch of footage of this fight in 2000 and 2001. and it is really striking to see
hundreds and hundreds of white south carolinians going to these rallies, in support of the flag in that period of time, all holding the battle flag. and you realize the breadth and depth of the support for the flag. when you compare that to now, it seems like there's been a fairly significant change in the opinion or the number of people that are willing to really make this an issue. >> absolutely. and back in the late 90s and 2000, you had a lot of legislators in that statehouse that supported keeping that flag up, that were ardent supporters of the confederacy, like glen mcconnell, who's now the president of charleston. it was a really tough time. the naacp was strong back then, although they said that they weren't for the compromise. and of course, the boycott went on. but i think it was a little bit meaner. we went and burnt the flag on confederate memorial day in the year 2000 and we were surrounded by people with confederate flags singing dixey and telling us we
were going to go to hillbilly heaven. and he had a long ladder and climbed up the flagpole and set the flag on fire. and of course they arrested him and he kept going back, and they finally got a restraining order against him. it's not a new fight. and i would suspect that sherman or somebody under sherman might have been the first person to burn that flag. and an anti-war activist in the '60s burnt the flag after the -- i think it was the one-year anniversary of the orangeburg massacre. so, of course, bree has energized a lot of young people. >> bree newson, who took that flag down. we saw yesterday that these standoffs can get heated. when you burned that flag and you had people singing dixie and telling you you were going to go to hillbilly heaven, were you in personal fear? did you worry about violence against yourself? >> well, i had a vest on, but i really wasn't worried about
anybody doing anything really crazy. if they blocked off the streets, they surrounded -- had me surrounded by police, but, you know, anybody -- anything could happen. but, no, i think we wanted to make the point, just like you're saying now, unless you deal with this and deal with it forthrightly, it can get out of hand. and you're not going to make people support an assemble that they don't support. and you can't make them pay taxes to support the maintenance of all these monuments. and it can get out of hand. >> kevin alexander gray, who's been witnessing this battle in south carolina for decades. that may, finally, this chapter of which, might be coming to an end very soon. thank you very much. up next, the backlash and the basking in friday's historic ruling on same-sex marriage. >> i did not have a chance to comment on how good the white house looked in rainbow colors. that made it a really good week.
in a week of firsts come news of another hugely step forward in our culture. misty copeland just became the first african-american principled female dancer in the history of the american ballet theater. she'd already made history last week, when she stepped out as the lead in "swan lake" at the met. today made history again when she got the promotion of a lifetime. >> i'm just so honored, so extremely honored to be a appraisal dancer, to be an african-american, and to be in this position. >> one of the most famous and celebrated ballerinas in the world today, misty copeland was raised by a single mother, at times lived in a motel, and at age 13, she began her ballet studies in san pedro, california, and was sun labeled a prodigy. when she joined the american ballet theater 14 years ago, she was the only african-american ballerina there. now, she's the principal ballerina, the first in the company's 75-year history, and another part of this being a
after friday's momentous supreme court ruling, striking down same-sex marriage bans across the country, we showed you this iconic image, the white house lit up in rainbow colors to mark the occasion. the seen outfront was festive and jubilant, while supporters celebrating the white house lit up in celebration of gay pride. but not everyone saw it that way. >> i was a bit surprised to see the white house doing a victory lap, using actual white house property. on friday. the people's house was illuminated in rainbow colors to celebrate the gay marriage decision. now, what about all the americans who believe that a re-definition of america is not the job of the supreme court. i mean, what's next? a banner going down saying, liberalism is good? it was wrong and insulting to light up the white house like that.
>> for some opponents of same-sex marriage, the decision to light up the white house in rainbow colors amounted to the co-opting of a building meant to be a symbol for all americans, sort of like when cobra took over the white house in the terrible 2013 film, "g.i. joe: retaliation." >> the cobra revolution has begun. >> we've all watched a massive cultural shift take place during the obama presidency, one that has intensified in recent days as confederate battle flags have come down, as gay pride flags are being waved ever more proudly, and for the victors, there's a real question around how to relate for the losers in the culture war, the american who is feel left behind as their culture changes around them. when we come back, we'll talk about that. stay with us.
when the president lit up the white house the other night with rainbow colors, i guess that's his prerogative. if i become president, i just want to remind people that please don't complain if i were to put a nativity scene out during christmas and say, you know, if it's my house, i get to do with it what i wish, despite what other people around the country may feel about it. >> joining me now, evan wolson, founder and president of freedom to marry, and msnbc contributor, howard dean, former vermont governor, former chair of the
democratic national committee. evan, let me start with you. first of all, you've been in this battle as long as anyway. one of the first people to really work on marriage as a civil rights issue. you guys have announced your -- freedom to marry is having a going out of because party next week? >> we prefer to think of it as a celebration of how far we have come, but then we will head into wind down. >> it's interesting. it never happens, an organization says, we exist to achieve "x," and they achieve "x," and now they're like, well, we're done. so how do you understand how the victors in this particular cultural battle should think about the people who are still opposed to them? >> i think we should approach those people in the same way we began approaching the american people when we didn't yet have a majority. we need to approach them with respect and engage in the real questions they have, take those questions seriously, and give them information they need and the time to absorb it, and they will move, as the majority of americans have moved.
when people understand that this is about real people, when they understand who gay people really are in their lives, in their neighborhoods, in their communities, in their workplace, when they understand the shared values of love and commitment and respect, they move. and most people will move and they will continue to move. one of the most important things, chris, we have now won the freedom to marry in the law across the country, but the marriage conversation is only just coming to many parts of the country. and we now have the opportunity to use that extraordinary, powerful language and visibility that marriage brings to shared values, to move hearts and minds, in the places where we haven't yet won people over. and we will win them over. >> howard, you saw this up close. you had one of the earliest most brutal marriage battles in your state, when you were governor. the battle over civil unions in vermont. >> right. >> it was really -- it got very nasty. it was very difficult to navigate politically.
you, at that point, were not a supporter of same-sex marriage. you did support the civil union bill. and i imagine you had to do a lot of back and forth with people, who thought this was madness or some sort of biblical, horrible fate that was befalling vermont. and i'm curious how you think about what that conversation looks like. >> well, the real battle was that we couldn't have gotten anything through at all, if we'd insisted on marriage at the time. so, this bill actually was designed by a republican chair of the judiciary committee, an openly gay -- the only openly gay, i think, at the time of the judiciary invented civil unions, who was the right to everything, except to call the union marriage. and it provoked a huge bb lash, even in a very progressive state. the feelings were very, very harsh. i actually think, two years later, interestingly, after i won that re-election, i went on to run for president.
and two years later, there was an open seat for governor and neither party even brought it up. nobody talked about repealing it. the thing is, evan's right. when you get used to people on their own terms, suddenly, all the differences go away. look, everybody knows someone who's gay. they may think they don't, but they do. and what changes like this encourage people, as the gay community has been doing for years, to say who they are. and once you say who you are, people will take you on your own terms. and that's what happened in vermont. it only took two years. >> in some ways, evan, what has happened on -- and we just saw polling out, i think, today, which showed approval of the supreme court's decision which looked very similar to the approval of gay marriage, more broadly, which is 55 points plus, a solid majority. in some ways, it's a testament to approaching people that are not in your camp, with a certain degree of charity and faith they can be persuaded, because in some ways, it really has worked out quite well on this specific issue.
>> that's exactly right. and the strategy that freedom to marry followed along was exactly that. we said, we are going to -- we trust that people will move and we, it's our job to engage them. my mantra for years and years and years is, there's no marriage without engagement. we have to engage people and give them what they need in order to rise. at the same time, we also had to fight political battles and legal battles. we had to do the hard work that was real of closing the deal. but the way we built and moved and the way we ultimately succeeded was by working to engage people and move people and create the climate that would encourage political leaders and judges to do the right thing. you know, the legal arguments, the political arguments were always clear. it was getting people, whether it be ordinary americans or decision makers, to have the courage and the empathy to connect the command of the constitution, to real gay people. and that was the lift we had to make. >> howard, do you think the
democratic party, liberals more broadly, progressives, are doing a good job at reaching out past the coalition they have, as opposed to mobilizing the people that already agree with them. i remember that quote you had about wanting to be the candidate of guys with confederate flags and pickup trucks, a sort of metaphorical point about getting outside of who we already have in the tent. do you think we're doing a good job of that? >> not as well as we could. but the times are very, very difficult, very, very polarized. there are those in politics who seek to demonize the opposition and polarize them. and it's not helpful to the country. when i said that, and i don't regret saying that, because i meant it and i mean it today, you know, people who wear those confederate flags, yes, some of them are racist. some of them are not. some of them are afraid. they're afraid of the rapid changes that are happening in society. but as i said at the time, people like that need health insurance for their kids just like everybody else does.
and we have to find the common ground as well as push for the social change. >> evan wilson, howard dean, thank you gentleman both. that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. >> good evening, chris. thanks. thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. four years ago, chris christie was definitely going to be the republican nominee for president of the united states. this was a national poll done by zogby in march 2011. new jersey governor chris christie so dominated the republican field of 2012 that he garners twice as many votes as his nearest competitor. that was zogby in march of 2011. later that month, a poll of how all the possible nominees would match up against president obama in 2012, chris christie wasn't even running at the time, but still running ahead of most republicans, including the ones that really were running. two months later, a national ra