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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  September 2, 2022 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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and it is available tomorrow on you to. and on that note, i wish all of you a very good night. from all of our colleagues across the networks of nbc news thanks estate of lee with this, i will see that in aurora. >>, -- ,,,,,. it it. now, they are saying that's a historical context, in part, inspired biden to deliver this address, at that venue, on this
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evening, just ten weeks from the midterm elections, as mike just noted. last month, the president of the group of historians, presidents do this from time to time, understandable, they want a little perspective, and that group of historians who, met with the president in the white house warned him, america's democracy is teetering. just think, for the first time in the history of this nation, a president disrupted the peaceful transfer of power. nothing like it had happened since the cannons fired at fort sumter. that same individual, who interrupted that peaceful transfer of power, led to the bloodshed there. but one of the autocrat, leading extreme movement, that threatens violence, and promises to overthrow the next election if that autocrat, aspiring autocrat, does not
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pass. tonight, the united states president, joseph biden, will out his vision for how to safeguard, and defend, american self governance against its enemies the fish. will be the continued battle for the soul done for the president's 2020 campaign the. launch in the wake of a shocking display by white nationalists in charlottesville virginia fires moments ago. let's hear from the president, in just a moment. >> ♪ ♪ ♪ >> my fellow americans. please, if you could have a seat.
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thank you. i speak to you tonight from sacred ground in america. independents all, and philadelphia, pennsylvania. this is where america made its declaration of independence to the world. more than a few centuries ago, with an idea that is unique among nations. that in america, where all are created equal, this is where the united states constitution was written, and debated. this is where we set in motion the most extraordinary experiment of self governance that the world has ever known. with three simple words, we, the people, we, the people. these two documents that is a
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quality for democracy. barack upon which this nation is built. it is becoming the greatest nation on earth. they're why, for more than two centuries, america has been a beacon to the world. as i stand here tonight, with quality, and democracy, we do ourselves know favorite to pretend otherwise. tonight, i come to this place where it began, to keep it plainly as we can to the nation. about the threats we face, about the power we have in our own hands to make these threats. it is what they lie in front of us as we choose it. you must never forget, we, the people, are the true areas of the americans experiment that began more than two centuries ago. we the people have, burning inside of each of us, the flame of liberty that was lit, here, and independents all. a flame that lit our way to abolition.
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a civil war, a suffrage, a great depression, civil rights, and that sacred flame still burns. now, on our time, it is more prosperous. three, and just. that is a work of the presidency that, i believe in, with my whole soul. but first, we must be honest with each other, and with ourselves. too much of what is happening in our country today is not normal. donald trump, and the maga republicans, represented extremism, that threatens the very foundations of our
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republic. now, i want to be very clear. -- >> [applause] >> not every republican, not even the majority of republicans, are maga republicans. not every republican embraces their extreme ideology. i know, because i have been able to work with these mainstream republicans. but, there is no question, the republican party today is dominated, driven, and intimidated by donald trump, and the maga republicans. that is a threat to this
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country. these are hard things. i am an american president. not a president of red america, or blue america. but of all america. now, i believe it is my duty to level with you, to tell the truth, no matter how difficult, no matter how painful. but here, in my view, is what is true. they do not respect the constitution. they do not believe in the rule of law. they do not recognize the will of the people. they refused to accept the results of a free election, and are working, right now, as i speak, and state, after state but inciting elections in america, two pointers, and cronies, and empower election designers, and undermine democracy itself. maga forces are determined to take this country backwards. backwards, to an america, and there is no right to choose, no right to privacy. no right to contraception. no right to marry who you love.
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they promote authoritarian laser and then as they fanned the flames of political violence, as a threat to our personal rights, is in pursuit of justice, and there is a very soul of this country. it is an assault on january 6th, brutally attacking law enforcement. not as insurrectionists, but placing a dagger at the throat of democracy. but, they're looked at its patriots. they can see our maga failure to stop a peaceful transfer of power, after a 2020 election, as preparation for the 2022, and 2024 elections. they are tried, with everything,
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last time, to nullify the voice of 81 million people. this time, they are determined to succeed in thwarting the will of the people. that is why, respected conservatives like federal circuit court judge, michael luttig has called trump, and the extreme maga republicans, a clear, and present danger to our democracy. while the threat to american democracy is real, i want to say, as clearly as we can, we are not powerless in the face
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of these threats. we are not by standards in this ongoing attack on democracy. there are far more americans, for every background of belief, who reject the extreme, maga ideology, for those who accepted it. folks -- [applause] it is within our power, within our hands, yours, and mine, to a stop this assault on american democracy. i believe that america is at an inflection point. one of those moments that
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determine the shape of everything that is to come after. and, now, america must choose. to move forward, or to move backwards. to build a future, or obsess about the past, to be a nation of hope, and unity, and optimism for, a nation of fear, division, and of darkness. maga republicans have made their choice. they embrace anger at, they thrive on chaos, they love not in the light of truth, but in the shadow of lies. but together, they can choose a different path. they can choose a better path. forwards, and into the future. it is building, dreaming, and hoping, and they are on that path, moving ahead. i know this nation. i know you, the american people. i know your courage. i know your hearts. and, i know our history. this is a nation that honors our constitution. we do not reject it. this is a nation that believes in the rule of law. we do not repudiate it. this is a nation that respects
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free, and fair elections. we honor the will of the people. we do not deny it. [applause] this is a nation that rejects violence as a political tool. we do not encourage violence. we are still an america that believes and honesty, and decency. and, respect for others. patriots, liberty, justice for all, hope, possibilities, we are still, at our core, a democracy. and yet, history tells us, blind loyalty to one single leader, and a willingness to engage in political violence, is fatal to democracy. for a long time, we told ourselves, american democracy is guaranteed, but it is not. we need to defend it, protect it, stand up for it, each, and every one of us. that is why, tonight, i am asking our nation to come together, to unite behind the single purpose of defending our democracy, regardless of your ideology. we are all called, but duty, and conscience, to confront extremist, super fourth of their own pursuit of power,
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above all else. democrats, independents, mainstream republicans, and are more committed to saving american democracy, or maga republicans to destroy an american democracy. we, the people, will not let anyone, or anything, terraces
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part. today, there are dangers around us that we cannot allow to prevail. and there was more and more talk about violence. it is unacceptable political tool in this country. it is not. it is going to say this, plain and simple, with political violence in america, period, none, ever. there's brutal attacks on january the 6th. we've seen election officials, poll workers, volunteers, of both parties, subject to intimidation, and death threats.
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can you believe it? fbi agents, just doing their job, facing threats, to their own lives, from their own fellow citizens. on top of that, the republic figures, today, yesterday, predicting, and all but calling for mass violence, and rioting in the streets. this is inflammatory. it is dangerous. it is against the rule of law. we, the people, must say they are not who they are. we can't be pro insurrectionists, and pro-american. they are incompatible. we cannot allow violence to be normalized in this country. it is wrong. we have to reject political violence with all of the moral clarity, and conviction, this nation can muster. now. we can't let the integrity of our elections be undermined, and that is a path with chaos. now, we know the politics can be fierce, and nasty, i get it. i believe in the give and take of politics. and disagreement, debate, and
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dissent. we are a big, complicated country. but, democracy in duress only if, we, the people, respect the guardrails of the republic, only if, we, the people, except the results of free, and fair elections. only if, we have the people, see the politics not as total war, but mediation of our differences. democracy cannot survive when there is only two outcomes believed an election. either they win, or they were cheated. that is where the maga republicans are today. [applause] they do not understand what every patriotic american knows. you cannot love your country only when you win. it is fundamental. [applause] american democracy only works, only, if we choose to respect the rule of law, and the institutions that were set up in this chamber, behind me. only if we respect our legitimate, political differences. i will not stand by and watch. i will not. the will of the american people, being overturned by wild conspiracy theories, and baseless evidence for claims of fraud.
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i will not stand by to watch elections in this country, stolen by people who, simply, refused to accept that they lost. [applause] i will not stand by and watch the most fundamental freedom in this country, the freedom to vote, and have their vote counted to, be taken from you, and the american people. look -- as your president, i will defend our democracy with every fiber of my being. and, i am asking every american to join me. throughout our history, america has often made the greatest progress, coming out of some of our darkest moments, like you are hearing with that bull horn. i believe we can, and must, do that again. and, we are. maga republicans look at american, see carnage, and darkness, and despair. they spread fear, and lies. lies, told for profit, and for power. but, i see a different america. in america with an unlimited
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future. in america, that is about to take off. i hope you see it as well. just look around. i believe we can lift america from the deaths of covid, so we pass the largest economic recovery package since franklin delano roosevelt, and today, america's economy is faster, stronger, than any other advanced nation in the world. and we have more to go. i believe we can build a better america. so, we passed the biggest infrastructure developments since dwight d. eisenhower. now, we have embarked on a decade of rebuilding the nations roads, bridges, highways, ports, water systems, high-speed internet, and railroads. [applause] i believe we can make america safer.
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we pass the most significant gun safety law since president clinton. i believe that we can go from being the highest cost of prescriptions in the world, to prescription health care affordable, passing the most significant health care since president bomb of signed the affordable care act. i believe that we could create a clean, energy future, and save the planet. as we pass the most important climate initiative ever, ever, ever. [applause] the cynics, and the
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critics, tell us nothing can be done, but they are wrong. there is not a single thing that america cannot do, not a single thing before our capacity, and we do it together. it is no matter how long the progress must be done. look, i know the last few years have been tough. but, today, covid no longer controls our lives i. more americans are working than ever. they should be opened. millions of americans have been lifted out of poverty. millions of veterans exposed to toxic burn pits, now get what they deserve for their families, in compensation. american manufacturing has come
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alive, across the heartland. the future will be made in america. no matter what the white supremacists, and the extremists, say. i made a bet on you, the american people, and that bet is paying off, proving, in darkness, the darkness of charlottesville, covid, gun violence, and insurrection, we can see the light. the light is no visible. light will guide us forward. not only inwards, but inactions. actions for you, for your children, four grandchildren, for america. even in this moment, with all of the challenges that we face, i've never been more optimistic for america's future, and not because of who you are, and we can end cancer as we know it, mark my words. we can create millions of new
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jobs, and clean energy economy. we are going to think big, we are going to make the 21st century another american century. the world needs us to. that is where they need to focus their energy. that is not in the visit culture war, is not the politics of grievance, and with a future that we build together. the maga republicans believe, to succeed, everyone else have to fail. they believe in america, not how i believe about america. i believe americas big enough for all of us to succeed. that is the nation that we are building. a nation where no one is left
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behind. i ran for president, because i believe we are in a battle for the soul of this nation. i still believe that to be true. i believe the sole is the breath, the life, and the essence of who we are. the soul of what makes us, us, the soul of america, is defined by the sacred proposition that are all created equal in the image of god. all are entitled to be treated with decency, dignity, and respect, that all deserve justice, and the lives of prosperity, and consequence. democracy, democracy, must be defended, well democracy makes all things possible. it is up to us, democracy began, and will be preserved, in we the peoples habits of the heart. in our character. optimism that is tested, it yet and duress, courage that digs deep when we need it. half of the, that fuels democracy, the willingness to see each other, not as enemies, but as fellow americans. look, our democracy is not
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perfect. it never has been. now, we are standing with the folks you hear on the other side there. they are entitled to be outrageous. this is a democracy. it's about history, and common sense. good manners is nothing that they have ever suffered from. but, history, and common sense tell us, opportunity, liberty, and justice for all, are most likely to come to pass in a democracy. we have never fully realize the aspirations on those stories
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that have been opened a little bit wider up to, include more people, that have been excluded before. my fellow americans, america is an idea. a most powerful idea, in the most history of the world, and it beats in the hearts of the people in this country. it beats in all of our hearts. the unites america. it is the american cream. the idea that america guarantees that everyone be treated with dignity. it gives no safe harbor, it instills and everyone the belief that, no matter where you start in life, there is nothing you can't achieve. that is who we are. that is what we stand for. that is what we believe. and, precisely, that is what we are doing. opening doors, creating possibilities, focusing on the future. and, we are only just beginning. [applause] our task is to make our nation free, and fair. just, and strong. noble, and whole.
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this work, is the work of democracy. the work of this generation. it is the work of our time, for all-time. we cannot afford to leave anyone on the sidelines. put the. if we do our duty, in 2022, and beyond, ages still to come will say we, all of us here, we kept the faith. we preserved democracy. we heeded our word. we didn't heed our worst instincts, but our better angels. we proved, for all of its imperfections, america is still a beacon to the world. and ideal to be realized. a promise to be kept. there is nothing more important, nothing more sacred, nothing more american. that is who they are. that is what we must always be. i have no doubt, none, that this is who we will be. it will come together as a nation that we can cure the emergency. that for the next 200 years, we will have what we had for the
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past 200 years. the greatest nation on the face of the earth. we just need to remember who we are. we are the united states of america. the united states of america. may god protect our nation, and may god protect all of those who stand watch over democracy. god bless you all. democracy. thank you. president, concluding his speech about 25 minutes with, a very striking image, all of it, really, the sort of scenery, of course. the american flag behind him, the red lights, the marines, standing guard. the heckler, yelling from a bullhorn, the police sirens, although the president, at one point, pointed to the heckler saying, that is what democracy is about. of course they have a right to yell into the street. it was the most pointed language about the faction of american politics devoted to both the ex president and, his
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authoritarian vision of rule, and ruin, that has been offered by joe biden in the time that he has been either a candidate, or the president. he talked about the guardrails of the constitution, about maga republicans not believing in the constitution, that they had a vision that they won, or they were cheated. that for them to succeed, everyone else would have to fail. they talked about a kind of coalition of those of goodwill, coming together to unite, and defend democracy, and the soul of america. for some reaction, let's turn to someone whose job was to monitor the nation's national security with many of, shortly after 9/11. of course, we created a new huge governmental agency to protect the homeland. a strange coinage at the time, but it hasn't or, the department of homeland security.
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well dhs focus on external threats, in the wake of 9/11, they are now dealing with a rise in domestic extremism. in fact, the president, at one point, talk about political violence with the threats coming within the u.s.. as they started to mention. my next guest used to run with homeland security, it's good to have you here. >> thanks chris. he served in the cabinet of the obama administration, what did you think of the speech? >> that speech, which i will call the soul of the nation speech was vintage joe biden. you could tell he believes, with the core of his being, that he believes and what he said. i would not be surprised if it was his idea, would not be surprised if he wrote much of it himself, i would not be surprised if he was sitting at his desk drawer for sometime, and he's been waiting for the right moment to keep it. his poll numbers are off a little bit, in the wake of mar-a-lago, and the wake of the attack of the fbi field office. i believe that president biden felt like he had an obligation to give that speech. i felt it was notable that he mentioned donald trump by name, which often verily does. i thought it was notable that
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he can off the bat. >> i think it's notable that he called out maga republicans for not telling the truth, for not respecting the constitution, the rule of law, or the will of the people. it was a direct and blunt speech. i also thought to myself, as you give a speech like that, you have to not walk a narrow path, calling out the dangerous to our democracy, also being an optimist. giving him a doom and gloom americans don't want to hear. they want to hear from their leader an optimistic tone but also honesty about the dangers we face. i thought the president did a good job of walking that line. >> i want to hone in on something about political violence and i know our producers are going through to see if they can cut some tape. he was straight on about
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political violence. violence as unacceptable political tool has no place in american life. he said that the ex president, and i'm not gonna play the sound, the ex president talked about offering full pardons to people involved in the january 6th insurrection. quite a contrast on this, day the ex president saying these people who engaged in a violent insurrection on my behalf, should i be reelected, will receive apologies and full pardons. this president looking into the camera and saying political violence of all kinds is condemnable. >> chris, if i were an office today as secretary of homeland security, it might be my number one concern that brewing just below the surface is a very large degree of unrest and a temptation toward violence. there are polls out that
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suggest that large percentages of americans are prepared to resort to violence if they feel that the election was stolen. there are large percentages of americans who ascribe to the qanon theory. this is brewing just below the surface. with the attack on the fbi, with the rhetoric, this president obviously feels an obligation that i think the president should feel, to take on this issue, call out the violence, call out the attacks on the institutions of his government, something that the last president ran away from, frankly, and went in the opposite direction. and so i think our president tonight assumed the role that you should, in times like this, by being honest, calling out the potential for violent, deploying it, condemning it, and getting so many of us who are in the middle to really begin to think hard about this issue and where we are going as a country. but this is a problem that the domestic unrest the lies just below the surface, that could boil over it any moment, like it did just a couple of weeks ago, and certainly on january 6th, is something that we
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cannot look away from. we have to take it on directly. >> let me play a portion of the speech president biden just gave in the city of philadelphia. >> this is a nation that rejects violence as a political tool. we do not encourage violence. we are still an america that deal believes in honesty and decency and respect for others. justice for all, possibilities. we are still at our core a democracy. [applause] and yet history tells us that blind loyalty to a single leader and a willingness to engage in political violence is fatal to democracy. for a long time, we have told ourselves that american democracy is guaranteed.
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but it's not. we have to defend it, protect it, stand up for it, each and every one of us. that is why tonight i am asking our nation to come together, unite behind a single purpose of defending our democracy, regardless of your ideology. >> that last part there was the sort of rhetorical thrust to the speech was just to isolate this faction, this minority faction, i think we would all agree, and minority faction in american life that wants to end democracy as we know. it >> a large minority. >> which is a tricky thing. i think in this case maybe tens of millions of people, who here is your message what way? how do you think he walked that line? >> i think that his remarks were directed at those americans who are independents, who are republicans but not maga republicans, not prone to go down this rabbit hole. the corollary to that speech, in my view, is to call out those public officials, those of us with a microphone and a public voice, to be responsible in our rhetoric.
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people really do listen to their leaders. those in office, those not in office, in our rhetoric we have the ability to make unacceptable behavior acceptable. a corollary to that is the thought that public officials, public figures on tv, like yourself, who hold office, have the responsibility to be reasonable in their rhetoric because you do make violence inevitable of you stir up this kind of hatred and suspicion. >> very true.
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jeh johnson, very good to have you here. i'm gonna go back to independents hall in philadelphia where we watch the president giving a speech on the threats facing the nation. mike, tell us about the importance that jeh johnson was just talking about, a vintage biden speech and something he wanted to give, feel strongly about. the impetus for tonight's address? >> i really thought this was a fascinating bit of presidential stagecraft and rhetoric. in this most american of settings the building where the founding documents of this country were written, joe biden, president biden talked about the american he knows and at one point even in an explicit way tried to separate what he said was the vast majority of the american people with a distinct minority, albeit a potent one, which is essentially un-american. for joe biden, who somebody i
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have covered a long time, that's quite a statement. somebody over the course of the rear he has been criticized for his relationships with republicans and even some democrats who consider his views to be objectionable. as i was preparing for this speech and trying to white house officials and others i thought it was an interesting insight from jeff knows bomb who left the white house as a speech writer but who was writing speeches for this president since 2008. he said biden is not naive. he said his speech would not drive a statement to the heart of trumpism. but he was increasingly dismayed by the fact that republicans elected republicans were still very clearly under the thumb of donald trump. you heard the president for the second time in three days refer to his longtime friend from the
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senate, lindsey graham, again, as biden put it tonight, predicting, perhaps even encouraging violence in the streets should the prosecution, for instance, on the former president go ahead. so what the president did tonight was very plainly, as he said, beginning his speech, put that stark contrast before the american people but ended in that joe biden in his optimist way, his optimism for the future of the country, building on successes, he laid them out, the legislative wins, and then put the choice before the voters saying we need to do our daughters duty in the months ahead to preserve this democracy. >> okay, mike, thank you so much for that. it wasn't my name that lindsey graham shouted out, fascinatingly history of those two men. mike reilly, former assistant u.s. attorney, elie mystal, justice correspondent for the nation. it's good to have you here. the sort of wedge approach. that is the key point here. popular front coalition, in defense of american democracy against it's an emmy's but. how effectively do you think he did that?
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but >> well, i think he made the choice very stark and clear. he did two things in his speech, and one was to say i am not talking about all republicans i am talking about margot republicans and making that distinction because what he was saying is those who oppose rights in those who oppose the rule of law, those who believe in the big lie that there is election of fraud and therefore want to win when they lost and violently take over the country is actually what we are
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fighting against. i think that is a recognition that there is a majority of the country that understands that is wrong and bad. at the same time, i found it fascinating that while he made references to race, he made references to equality, to the fight for abolition, in part of that speech, but so much of the big lie was driven by white ethnonationalism. when we are talking about white supremacy we are talking about what has driven the lie, which is the fear of the fact that we are a plural democracy. >> he did use the term white supremacy once toward the end. >> i don't know who, it's not all republicans, just maga republicans, i'm sure there are some white supremacists who will vote with wipers supremacists who don't think they are white supremacists and are happy that biden didn't call them a white supremacist. this has not been a really great bet where he says to the heckler that man that person on the other side is entitled to be outrageous. that, to me, that is the difference between biden and trump. that is the difference between
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me and ginni thomas. that is a difference between democrats and republicans. republicans right now would have that heckler be beaten. they would say -- >> i don't know all republicans, but trump certainly has a record for. that >> lindsey graham would be like okay boss. that's how they are at this point. when biden says that heckler is entitled to be outrageous, how can you hear that, understand what he meant? you heard the whole time that guy was yelling into a megaphone. how can you hear biden say that and not understand about the critical difference between both parties? >> it was an interesting moment, because it was democracy in action. definitely the definition of a free society, where you can get a bullhorn. maya wiley, elie must all, coming up next, michael beschloss joins me next.
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by the sacred proposition that all are created equal, in the image of gutted, that all are entitled to be treated with decency and respect, that all deserve justice and a shot at lives of prosperity in consequence and that democracy must be defended, for democracy makes all these things possible. >> president joe biden just delivered an argument on behalf of american democracy. the speech is a response to the acute threat donald trump and what he calls maga republicans contribute to the future of the american experience meant as they openly plot a new coup. what a group of historians warn him of the dangerous moment for the future of democracy. this moment the most perils of modern history of democratic governance. comparisons made to before the election where abraham lincoln warned that has divided against itself cannot stand. -- when resistance joining world
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war ii. presidential historian was in that president meeting with biden and joins me now. michael, it struck me that much of the rhetoric there was familiar sort of the corpus of the american creed, city on a hill, but that specific purpose that it was called towards, which is defending american democracy against its enemies, was rather unique. i wonder if you could think of a precedent here, an analog in other presidential rhetoric. >> i can. you mentioned this meeting with historians had with president biden a couple of weeks ago. i was there was outside people, and by the, way just so this doesn't seem to secretive and furtive the seminars are ones that the presidents have had at least back to george h. w. bush, bush 41, and i have been at most of them, with the exception of donald trump
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during the trump years i did not ever go to the white house by my own design. here is a case, what we talked about was, just as you just mentioned, 1860. someone who is in a historian like you, you know all this. 1860 this country was in big jeopardy. it was splitting apart. a house divided. slavery or non slavery. and lincoln cast the election of 1860 by saying the house can't stand, half labor have free, we have to choose. 1940 when franklin roosevelt was running for a third term, just as you just mentioned, roosevelt didn't say the paramount issue this year is the minimum wage, although that was pretty important, or whether texans get an oil
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depletion allowance or something like this. he said look, these are all important, but what is really at stake at this moment is whether our children are going to get to live in an american democracy, especially with hitler and the fascists looming in europe and marching. so i said, and the others said i am happy to be transparent about it to president biden. this is like 1860. this is like 1940. you have to talk about the large issue in the room, and just as lincoln gave the house divided speech, just as roosevelt gave a speech on the state of the union about the four freedoms, as you well know, 1941, here is the time when president biden has chosen. by the way we didn't help him write this speech. i didn't give political vies
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nor did any of us. good thing, it would be pretty sad, because we're not afraid to do that. but the point is that he realized that this is an historic moment. what you heard, i think, comes out of that. >> it strikes me, also, michael, i wonder, to follow up on that, and we talked about this before, the trajectory of his understanding of where things are. i think there was some hope, i think that he had, i didn't have a ton of it, that that part of american politics would be vanquished and smolder out. the ex president might be sidelined. of course now there is tremendous peril. we are facing down the barrel of a constitutional crisis pennsylvania, arizona, right there, frankly, in front of your face. i wonder how much that is caught him by surprise or forced him to reassess his priorities. >> i think he would have hoped that it didn't happen, but i think all of us now see that
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this was not just trumpism. if trump got off the stage tomorrow, and that may happen for all sorts of reasons, this movement will still be there that is against the rule of law and against free elections. from my point of view, against public safety. those are the elements of a democracy. what biden is saying is there are two big movements in this country. one is it's mine, i want to defend this democracy, and the other is not in favor of those things and you may lose them if you vote for them. >> i want you to stay with me. i also want to bring in claire mccaskill, maya wylie and elie elie mystal. let me play this bit. clare, i want to get your response to it. there is a bit of will here one t talk about donald trump. this is the biden talking about the maga threat so take a listen to this. it's at the top of the speech. in it he talks about the president of the united states
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and the maga republicans, the threat they represent. i think it's an interesting line to walk for any president. of course the basket of deplorables haunts all this rhetoric. take a listen to's rhetoric. i want to get your response to the. it >> too much of what is happening in our country today is not normal. donald trump and the maga republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic. i want to be very clear, very clear and upfront [applause], not even a majority of republicans are maga republicans. not every republican is based on extreme ideology. i know, because i have been able to work with these mainstream republicans. but there is no question, the republican party today is dominated, driven, and intimidated by donald trump and the maga republicans. that is a threat to this country. >> what do you think of those
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about that, claire? >> it's pretty clear to me, chris, that they have made a decision that they want to isolate the 30 to 35% of americans that are all in with donald trump and it is not unusual to see in all of the polling, across the board, that about 25% of the republican self-identified republicans are not with donald trump. they don't think he was a good president. they don't want him to run again. that is who joe biden is making the play for here. if he solidifies the majority of independent voters in this country and peels off anywhere
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from ten to 20% of self-identified republicans, the democrats will have comfortable majorities, not just in the midterms but in the white house in 2024. that's what this speech was about. i thought the most important contrast to the speech was what happened today. at the beginning of the day you had donald trump saying he was going to pardon everyone who committed political violence against capitol police officers and desecrating the capital on january 6th. at the end of the day, you had joe biden saying, we have to reject that kind of violence. it has no place in this country. it was quite a contrast. >> it's a good point, and on that, on the electoral math, clearly that is what hangs over us. we have seen improved political standing among independents from the president. we've seen democrats doing better, particularly in the
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post ops, and not just in the polling which i think all of us have been burned by enough times that we are very skeptical. oh so and so was up eight points in august, now. in special elections where actually place. as we saw in alaska of all places. something is clearly going on. i guess my question is, this polling that nbc news did, threats to democracy at the top of the list. just how effective a political motivated you think it is? >> i think it is critically important when people know what is going to impact their daily lives. that is what political violence is. what january 6th represented was these boots on the ground, the footsoldiers that we're showing up for donald trump in planned formation, the same people right now that the republican lawmaker called out in arizona to be vigilantes in order to guard ballot boxes. from what? that's voter intimidation designed to make it scarier to do that. that is gillespie, texas, where we have three county election folks actually quitting because of the threat of violence
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against them. just as we saw with black women in georgia. this is actually something that is real, that people feel, and that is relevant to their daily lives, not just to some political rhetoric about democracy. >> part of what i want to say is that i welcome people to look at what black people have experienced in this country in the last 200 years. biden said tonight that political violence is never the answer. well political violence has always been the answer from white supremacists when they don't get their way. if we go back to 1860, as michael beschloss just did, and then he won the election. white supremacists rejected that. they called themselves democrats them, they call themselves maga republicans now. but white receptionists rejected the results of the election in 1860 and started a war. so i go back to biden's speech which was generally great to call these people out. but when he says he will not stand by and watch as elections
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are stolen and watches peoples voting rights are taken, well, what does he mean by that? because those rights are being taken. >> clare, what do you think about the prospects now for these midterms, given everything that we have seen over the last summer which, i think, has been head snapping in some ways because the kicks seem very big. the structural factors, the history, the gas prices, all of it. we are on your terrain right now. well how do you see it? >> i think it's a jump off. i think anybody who is watching tonight needs to realize that there is lots of people that need to volunteer, and there's lots of people that need to drive five or $10 to give to their favorite candidate. it is not a done deal. i will say this. i talked to a lot of people in the state that is pretty darn
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red, and women of america are on fire about the dobbs decision. they are not going to take it sitting down. i think you are seeing that in many ways already. it is my guest that you will see a big time first in november. >> one of the striking moments in this dovetails perfectly, the president talked about jobs today, michigan republicans on a basically ministerial cam this board blocking 1 million petitions for a state vote on abortion rights. blocking it. talk about a tell. here you have both issues coming together. the democracy issue, which is these functionaries on a state board protection only brought blocking 1 million petitions in violation of what state lawyers, and at the same time, to
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claire's point, they don't want it on the ballot. folks elected, michael beschloss, thank you for letting your as but expertise as well as claire mccaskill and elie mystal. appreciate you both being here. this is all for tonight. alex wagner tonight starts right now. good evening, alex. w. good evening, chris. great coverage as always. we're excited to have a live interview tonight with the newest democrat elected to congress, last night mary peltola defeated sarah palin in the alaska election for the election, we will have the latestve coming up. and donald trump lawyers faced off with the department of justice tonight. we start tonight withwi a stark warning from the president of the united states. >> too much of what is happening in our country today is not normal. donald trump and the maga republicans represent an extremismes that threatens the