tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC January 17, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PST
tonight on "all in" -- >> what john lewis is doing, he's pouting. he lost. it's like a spoiled child. >> team trump rebukes a civil rights icon. >> stand up. speak up. when you see something that is not right -- >> four days from inauguration, the growing crisis of legitimacy as the trump boycott grows. then -- >> i think he has to recognize that his words do have impact. >> why donald trump's ongoing alignment with vladimir putin has multiple continents on edge. plus, is the trump white house actually planning to kick reporters out? >> there are reporters every day going to work in the white house. >> well, that hasn't been determined, chuck. >> and an eruption of obamacare support across america. >> this is what democracy looks like. >> as donald trump floats a balloon when "all in" starts
right now. good evening from new york on this martin luther king jr. day. i'm chris hayes. there are now just four days until donald trump is sworn in as this nation's 45th president. right now, he is poised to enter office amid a swirling and growing tornado of controversy that at least for any other political figure would widely be seen as creating a major legitimacy crisis. trump, of course, will become president despite hillary clinton winning the popular vote. the widest margin of any losing candidate in american history. he will take office despite any assessment from the intelligence community that the russian government interrupted to boost his chances and what influence the russian government may holdover him. while most presidents have seen their popularity hit a high point right before they are sworn in, trump is at historic
lows. comparing to bill clinton's favorable rating of 66% and george w. bush's 62% and barack obama's nearly 80%, trump, by contrast, is sitting right now at just 40%. more than 20 points less than each of his three predecessors. trump is viewed unfavorably by a majority. 55% of adults nationwide. a majority compared to 18% unfavorable rating for barack obama before his inauguration. meanwhile, even before trump is sworn in, a resistance movement has taken shape against what republicans say is their top number one priority under the new president, that, of course, the repeal of the affordable care act with thousands pouring into the streets into the country into congressional offices this weekend to protest efforts to take away their health care. perhaps the starkest scene was in colorado. a republican congressman mike kaufman snuck out of a constituent event early. after more than 150 people showed up, many of them there to confront them over the repeal effort.
>> i am going to potentially lose my health insurance. i've had a pre-existing condition. i've had breast cancer. what's going to happen to me? i'm trying to get an answer and i can't even get in. >> as for trump, he engaged in public feuds. he also lashed out at john lewis tweeting, "congressman john lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart, not to mention crime-infested, rather than falsely complaining about the election results. all talk, talk, talk, no actions or results. sad." that would be this john lewis who helped lead the 1963 march on washington and had his skull fractured by state troopers after marching into selma, alabama, in 1965 and who described trump as an illegitimate president. >> i don't see the president-elect as a legitimate president.
i think the russians participated in having this man get elected and they have destroyed the candidacy of hillary clinton. i don't plan to attend the inauguration. it would be the first one that i miss since i've been in the congress. you cannot be at home with something that you feel is wrong. >> lewis' decision not to attend friday's inauguration and trump's response has spurred many of lewis' colleagues to follow suit. there are as of now at least 31 democratic lawmakers who have announced plans to boycott, including one, who i will speak to in just a moment. the question of the president's legitimacy is not a new one for trump, of course, a man who spent years questioning obama's legitimacy by pushing a false conspiracy theory known as birthism. yesterday, reince priebus said that obama should side with trump over lewis.
>> it's irresponsible for john lewis, as historic as he is, to have done this. the other piece is, chuck, that barack obama should step up as well and call it what it is. it's wrong what is happening. it's wrong how some of these democrats are treating president-elect trump. >> trump marked today's holiday at a meeting with martin luther king iii and pressed trump to make it easier for americans to vote. lewis, for his part, urged young african-american men to stand by their beliefs at an event honoring martin luther king jr. >> so i say to you, young men, you must have courage. you must be bold. and never, ever give up when you know that you are right. >> joining me now, democratic representative ted lieu of california says he will not attend and a member of the house democratic leadership who says he's undecided whether he'll be
there on friday. congressman lieu, let me start with you. can you give me your reasoning for not going? >> thank you, chris, for that question and it's an honor to be on your show with the hakeem jeffries. donald trump won the election but i cannot normalize his bigoted statements, he attacked gold star parents, john mccain, latinos and african-americans and now john lewis. do i stand with donald trump or john lewis? and i'm standing with john lewis. >> are you doing something that is toxic or destructive to american's basic institutional character when you're doing something like this? >> what makes america great is that unlike russia, we don't make people watch parades or ceremonies. keep in mind, nothing is happening in terms of vote casts or policies being enacted.
it's pageantry. can donald trump have a good idea? yes, he can. so when he withdraws the united states from the transpacific partnership, i will support it. but if he's got bad ideas, like creating a muslim-american registry, i'm going to fight like hell to oppose them. >> congressman jeffries, you have not announced what you'll be doing on inauguration day. how do you communicate what you're feeling as a member of congress and constitutional office by going or not going? >> well, the peaceful transfer of power is an important part of american democracy and very unique to the republic and something that we should respect. i don't think not attending the inauguration would be disrespecting that principle in this particular situation because john lewis is right, there's a cloud of illegitimacy around donald trump.
the russians interfered with his election. james comey and the fbi interfered with his election. he lost the popular vote. the majority of americans voted against him. every member is going to have to work -- >> why is that different than just whining because you lost? >> because, you know, the notion that a foreign power could have interfered with american democracy in a way that could have altered the results is a unique threat to the republic and that's a serious thing for each member to consider and to weigh. i'm going to spend the next day or so in the district speaking to people in brooklyn and queens. >> what's the equation? what are you balancing right now when you think about this? >> again, the principle of the peaceful transfer of power and the opportunity, quite frankly, to be in the presence of barack obama for the final time as the 44th president is the only good reason that any democrat may choose to attend.
but chris, the nerve -- and it's great to be on with ted. the nerve that folks on the other side of the aisle who declared war on barack obama on day one to lecture any democrat about presidential etiquette is just striking. >> congressman, first let me ask you this, congressman lieu, do you agree with hakeem jeffries, that it's a cloud of illegitimacy. do you believe him to be legitimate? >> there absolutely is a cloud of illegitimacy and donald trump can remove that cloud. he can release his tax returns so we'll know if he's got special interests in russia or business holdings in russia that we need to know about. on day one, donald trump is going to be a violation of the constitution, article 1, section 9, which says you can't have conflicts of interest. if he takes his vast global
business holdings and divest them or put them in blind trusts, he refuses not to. it's upon donald trump to remove this cloud of illegitimacy. >> that article, the emoluments clause, we should be clear, congressman jeffries, you talk about how republicans dealt with barack obama and there's that old drug -- anti-drug commercial where the dad asks his son where did you learn how to do this? he said, i learned it from you, dad. and they are saying, well, they were implacable opposition to barack obama and it kind of worked so maybe we should do that. >> the role of the majority is to govern. the role of the minority is to get back into the role of the majority. that said, we're not going to follow the irresponsible model set forth by the other side. >> there are 30 people who are going to boycott his inauguration. >> half didn't attend when barack obama was re-elected in 2012.
keep in mind, their obstruction came in the midst of two failed wars and the worst economy since the great depression. all we're saying is, donald trump has some issues that he has to work out. by the way, he was the leader of the birther movement. he perpetrated the racist line that barack obama wasn't born in the united states of america so he's got some things he's got to apologize for and deal with and then he has a bromance with donald trump and then attacks a civil rights icon. he's given us ever reason to say there are going to be some problems the day he's sworn in. >> congressman lieu, i thought some tweets would come from the president-elect when i saw chuck todd and congressman john lewis. >> the tweets from donald trump were completely inappropriate and shows one of the weaknesses of trump. instead of addressing the very real issues of legitimacy, he attacks the messenger. >> right. >> he attacks john lewis and his district, which is false, his
district is doing great. by attacking the messenger, it shows a sign of weakness and he's not addressing the very real legitimacy issues that he needs to clear up. >> congress men, thank you both for your time. we'll check back with you, congressman jeffries, to see if we'll see you there on friday. joining me now is michael steele. this is what is striking to me about the lewis thing, aside from the fact that anyone else would have taken a pass. you don't need to engage. >> right. >> but the tweets about he should spend more time helping and fixing his district falling apart, not to mention crime-infested, lewis represents buckhead and the downtown atlanta. the atlanta journal constitution, "atlanta to trump-wrong." he thinks john lewis is black, he associates blackness with falling apart inner cities and attacking for a fictional district.
>> that's it. i mean, it's the stereotype of the black congressman representing a black district that's got to be poorly uneducated, et cetera, et cetera. it speaks to this stereotype narrative that some have about black officials, black politicians, black leaders that they represent not prosperity and opportunity. >> right. >> and a way forward but rather represent the misaligned. it's so bs that it drives me up the wall when i hear this. not just with donald trump's tweets but in politics generally. i hear it from the right, i hear it from the left. these assumptions about black people, the black community as a
whole whenever there's a tragic event it's the first thing you hear about the person who was shot or killed was whether or not they had a criminal record. so it's this constant stereotyping of a people that after a while becomes too much. >> i hear you on that. that's something that i -- >> sorry. i'll get off my soapbox. >> it's something that is frustrating. i want to ask you about your reaction to watching john lewis, his comments, trump attacking him. i think trump attacking him ended up pushing a lot of members of congress to side with lewis. >> yes. >> if i'm choosing between john lewis and donald trump, this is not a tough one. what do you think of the 30-plus members skipping the inauguration. >> they can make it for personal, political or whatever reason. that's fine. i do think it is a bit much. i think there's a lot more drama around this. this was really unfortunate. i think donald trump should have
handled it better. as president of the united states, you should never punch down. the congressman expressed his own personal view. that's john lewis' choice. so you live with that. if i were in his shoes, what i would have advised the president-elect to do is say, look, i'm sorry you feel that way. i'd like to you come to the inauguration as my guest and if that's too much, let's you and i get together in the oval office after the inauguration and sit down and talk. >> that is a normal and gracious set of actions that one can take but at this point we know that's not the way he rolls. >> it's not how he rolls. right. >> he punching down, feuds, he thrives on beefs. it's going to be that on friday, on saturday, on sunday and monday. >> you know, you raise an interesting question, then, going forward. and that is, how much does the office of the presidency change the man or does the man change the office of the presidency? >> that's a great question. >> and i really think that's something that we will get a very strong inclination of over these first 100 days when he has
to deal with the congress that will turn less friendlier as the process unfolds with the supreme court nomination, with the citizenry that's on edge. not just those who are against him but those who are -- have an expectation level from him. >> yep. >> there's going to be a lot of things that the office of the presidency helps the man deal with and the question is whether or not donald trump will allow the office to do that or will he try to control it as we've seen so far. >> as very well put. michael steele, thank you for your thoughts. i appreciate it. >> you got it. i'll talk to john than chait about his new book and really remarkable images from this weekend as president-elect suggests his first concrete idea on what health care should look like under his administration. what he said after this two-minute break.
they want to repeal and run away. i think repeal and run is for cowards. >> senator elizabeth warren estimated 6,000 people showed up in boston yesterday. 6,000 people in support of the affordable care act. they rallied across the country this weekend in an attempt to pressure republicans against fully repealing obamacare, a move that could throw state health care systems into chaos and strip coverage for millions of americans and as uncertainty reigns and some cancer patients who credited the aca with saving their life as they wonder about this fight, the president-elect to highlight the core principles by which he would like to be judged for the success or failure of his version of health care. in an interview with "the washington post," we are going to have insurance for everybody. also promised to do so with, quote, much lower deductibles and don't worry about paying for it, according to trump. there was a philosophy that if you can't pay for it, you don't
get it. that's not going to happen with us. now, these new health care promises from trump actually sound a lot like his old ones. >> everybody's got to be covered. this is an unrepublican thing for me to say because a lot of times they say no, no, the lower 25% can't afford private. >> universal health care? >> i'm going to take care of everybody. much better than they've been taken care of now. >> what trump is saying sounds a lot like universal coverage which is wildly inconsistent and at odds with any republican alternative on the table and also important to note, in the face of trump's own actual plan, a thing they published on their own website during the campaign, health reform to make america great again, would cause almost 21 million people to lose their insurance coverage. perhaps this is why it didn't take long for trump's spokesman, sean spicer, to come out and say, trump's goal is to get access to health care, not necessarily make sure everyone has insurance.
which brings us back to this weekend's rallies and the fight to defend obamacare, something that has seemed to unify all the various wings of the democratic party and indeed the broader center-left. the rally in michigan with bernie sanders there appearing alongside chuck schumer, senator gary peters and gary stabenow. she's a democrat from michigan. the politics of this are fascinating because we all saw what happened in reverse seven years ago, eight years ago during the affordable care act. is the goal of democrats to essentially reverse engineer their own version of that kind of citizen pressure? >> well, first, chris, we missed you yesterday. it was bright sunshine and we had more than 8,000 people. we beat boston. i want that to be on the record. >> we will let the record reflect that.
>> please, yes. the truth of the matter is, i've always felt that once we put in place affordable health care, additional ability to see their doctor, take away the protection, give protections from insurance companies dropping you and so on, that it would be very difficult to go backwards on that, that we would only go forward. there's more we need to do. i strongly supported a public option for more competition. there's a lot more to do. but it's very difficult to go back because it's not political. for the 8,000 people in macomb county, let me just stress, macomb county that voted for donald trump, we had people there that voted for him, this agreement. i didn't mean that you were going to take away my health care from my family. so it's very personal for them and i think republicans are finally seeing what happens when you have to get beyond the rhetoric and actually do something that doesn't hurt people. >> macomb county is one of the
counties in michigan that was one of the things that provided the margin. >> right. >> you had trump voters at the rally? >> yes. >> really? >> what was interesting to me is that we were in warren, michigan, and outside, as i said, and we not only didn't have one protester, which we thought we might -- >> yeah. >> -- but we had people that came out to me and said i'm in a minimum wage job and i have health insurance. i thought donald trump was going to make things better but i didn't think he was going to take away my ability to see my doctor. so this is really personal. it's not political for people. and i think the republicans are in a very dangerous spot right now. >> senator, how do you understand -- i want to get to donald trump's comments in second. to follow up on this, this law has been so complicated, it has been so battle -- embattled from the beginning and suddenly now on the precipice of it possibly going away, there's a constituency that we haven't seen over the last eight years. >> well, first of all, republicans wanted to make sure -- i was in the room.
i was involved with this on the finance committee extensively and worked and worked and worked and they wanted to make sure to have a talking point not supported by republicans and then they've done everything to confuse people and rip it down. the truth of the matter is now, folks are seeing a difference. i talk to folks who have minimal health care without having high co-pays and a breast cancer survivor, existing condition now, no caps on the amount of services that she can get, treatments. i talked to a doctor treating children, literally saving their lives because he can really treat them and give them the care they need and people are finally saying, oh, wait a minute. that's not what we meant. we didn't realize that was part of the affordable care act. >> my question to you is, do you hold donald trump to his stated goals of essentially which sounds like universal coverage, lower deductibles, are those principles that you're going to
hold the president-elect to? >> well, i think the people are going to hold him to that. what's interesting, and you said it, that his nominee for health and human services put forward a plan to relationship apart medicare, cut a trillion dollars from medicare over ten years, relationship apart medicaid and the most conservative replacement for the affordable care act so donald trump will be held accountable by people. are we going to make sure that we are explaining that to people? you bet. but he's going to be held accountable by people when they lose the help that they're getting right now. >> tom price, nominee for hss, will be in that hearing and there will be interesting reporting on him that we'll be getting to on tomorrow's show. thank you for your time. >> absolutely. donald trump on the side of vladimir putin. his shocking statements that left american allies reeling, ahead.
an important update on the odd story over michael flynn's phone contact with russian's ambassador to the u.s., sergey kislyak. flynn had spoken on the phone with the russian ambassador on december 29th, the day that president obama announced a new round of u.s. sanctions against russian in response that russia hacked and at the time no one had been talking about a call on the 28th. they were talking about a call on the 29th, the day that the sanctions were announced in several diplomats were kicked out of the country. spicer then had to come out
again and revise his dates and turns out the call did take place on the day sanctions were announced but, according to spicer, they didn't talk about sanctions. >> that call took place on the 29th of december at which time general flynn was asked whether or not he would help set up a call after the inauguration with president putin and then president trump. >> so the message from the trump transition was essentially nothing to see here, just pleasantries and logistics to punish russia over a pretty blatant of international norms. that was where we left it on friday. but shortly after we discussed that story on air, another report came out. this one saying that there had actually been not one, not two but five calls, five calls between flynn and the ambassador all on the same day that the sanctions were announced.
now, we don't know what was discussed in those five separate calls but the least charitable view of the situation does not look good for the trump administration or the country. and a new interview with the president-elect this week gives you every reason to take the least charitable view and that is next. and your head. new herbal essences let life in"
that he does not yet i think have a fuel appreciation and understanding of what the implications are of going down that road as well as making sure he understands what russia is doing. >> one of the reasons cia director john brennan doesn't understand the threat posed by russia, when you look at donald trump's stances, many of them align with russian's interests, particularly, vladimir putin's interests. that was on full display this weekend. >> do you stand up there among eastern europeans, there is a lot of fear of putin in his russia? >> sure. and i said a long time ago that nato had problems. it was obsolete because it was designed many, many years ago. number two, the country's weren't paying what they were supposed to pay. >> the response to fears about russia was to label the very organization that now is expected to protect those countries of russia as obsolete.
"nato is indeed a vestige of the past and we agree with that." and countries want their own identity and criticizing angela merkel calling her refugee policy a mistake. put into context what it means to have the president-elect say this about the eu and about nato particularly in this context. >> thanks, chris, for having me. i think these are relatively terrifying statements. what trump is doing is questioning the basic international western-led order that's existed since 1945. i mean, nato and this whole western alliance system is absolutely essential. that was the first half of the 21st century and we have two
world wars. the problem is, he says, well, i want these countries to spend more money on their own defense. they used to spend a lot of money on their own defense and we didn't spend anything and what happened is they all build up arms against each other and the end result is they go to war. it's terrifying. if you look at a situation, such as the germans, i can see the germans and eastern european states perfectly capable of building their own nuclear weapons if they didn't believe the u.s. would be there to protect them from russia. well, now they start to take steps to think that way and maybe one of them buildings nuclear weapons and another and before you know it you're in a different world that's a lot scarier than the world we have today. i know trump thinks nato is obsolete but i would argue i don't want the experiment of finding out what happens when we don't have nato because we've seen that show before. >> the point you're making about russia, whatever you believe about trump's campaign and the russian's hacking of the dnc server, trump's views on these
things align perfectly with what putin's views are. he thinks the nato is obsolete, the eu is a bad idea and undermine institutions that he believes threaten russian interests so they are on the same page. whether through good faith or bad faith. >> that's true. they are on the same page. will say, the one thing that gives me some hope and trepidation, it's not clear that any of his nominees are necessarily on the same page with him. we saw last week, rex tillerson, mike mattis, pompeo reaffirming the importance of nato. they are not necessarily all on the same page. what that does tell you is that we have an incoherence in policy coming in. it's okay to have different actors with those positions but then you need a strong president who can actually take the time
to sit down and give direction and move a vision. and it doesn't seem like he's going to have that patience to do that at all. >> what does that incoherent -- the u.s. is a cornerstone of this sort of post world war ii order for good or for bad and there's lots of things to critique about it, we should be clear. what is it like to have incoherence at the highest levels of government that is essentially that cornerstone? >> well, i think what we're going to see is essentially an nsc working on it is own, sort of white house staff, very ideological right wing as we saw with some of these calls that mike flynn was making to the russian ambassador and then a pentagon acting very independently. a state department that's incredibly weak and an intelligence community trying to leak things to essentially halt the craziness of the nsc and it's going to be chaos. that's what we're most likely going to see.
if you look at the track record at the white house, trump's team has put a whole bunch of people around who are ideological. obviously flynn and the things he's tweeted on, mattis, he's got a lot of ability to do things on his own as a secretary of defense. he can move a lot of assets around. unless trump tells him differently, i think what you're going to have with mattis is somebody who's essentially at the same time we're pulling away from nato via trump, maybe pulling closer to our defense commitments. >> leon goldenberg, i appreciate your time. coming up, why something so simple for the president-elect. and a key update on the inauguration. that's thing 1 and thing 2 right after this break.
transfer of power but also the biggest show in washington, d.c., much like the opening ceremony's olympics, inauguration comes every four years and planning has been under way for months. tom barrack has repeatedly promised a sensual affair. >> you don't need celebrities, you don't need a dialogue. you just need to sit and inhale. i encourage everybody to show up and inhale it. i promise you, it's spiritual and sensual. >> inhale. that's quite a preview. i'm not quite sure what he means by inhaling the sensual. they are having a really hard time getting celebrities. a band that sounds like bruce springsteen will not be playing at the inauguration. that's next in thing 2. a bruce springsteen tribute band is the latest to cancel their performance at the inauguration. they were supposed to play at
inauguration. they were supposed to play at the garden state gala this thursday, a gig which should be clear was booked back in 2013. but today, three days before the party, they canceled out of respect for bruce springsteen and the e street band, the real one, that decision coming just days after jennifer holliday apologized to the lgbt community and dropped out of the concert at the lincoln memorial on thursday. those still performing is jon voight and 3 doors down. lee greenwood, toby keith. but will it be central?
okay. a small story from this weekend that highlighted one of the problems of covering the trump administration. as a reporter, you should be skeptical always of anyone in power. but there are basic logistical facts, like scheduling, for instance, when and where will the president be tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. that you generally come to trust. that is not the case with the trump administration. in wake of trump's twitter attacks on john lewis on saturday, abc news reported citing multiple sources that the president-elect would visit the african-american cultural museum in washington, d.c., in observance of martin luther king day. that would make sense, some good pr. but here's story two. buzzfeed reaches out to the smithsonian museum who said there was no plans for trump to visit today. "while someone from trump's office had been in touch with the museum, at one point i just know there isn't a visit.
other spokespeople for the museum said there was no visit." and then "senior sources initially said trump would visit the museum but abc has learned the visit was removed from his calendar d to scheduling issues and not fully planned out." as buzzfeed found here, just relying on basic scheduling details is the most basic and mundane facts. now team trump is thinking about kicking reporters out of the white house. we'll talk more about that, next.
whether you want to go 50 feet to the eob and have for the first few weeks or the first month or so the press conferences where you can fit three to four times the amount of people, it's about more access. >> so this is not about the office space or any of that business? >> this is about quadrupling the amount of reporters that can cover our press conferences. >> but there will still be reporters every day going to work in the white house? >> well, that hasn't been determined, chuck. >> interesting. trump's incoming chief of staff reince priebus could not say if the press would retain space in the white house.
that change was sparked by a report by esquire that according to three senior officials on the transition team, a plan to evict the press corps from the white house is under serious considering. they are the opposition party, a senior official says, i want them out of the building. we are taking back the press room. last week, at trump's first news conference in nearly six months, we got a preview giving access to friendly organizations like breitbart over publications that print an unfavorable story. >> since you're attacking us, can you give us a question? mr. president-elect -- >> go ahead. >> since you are attacking our news organization. >> not you. not you. your organization is terrible. i'm not going to give you a question. >> can you state categorically -- >> you are fake news. go ahead. >> all of the problems that we've seen throughout the media over the course of the election, what reforms do you recommend for this here? >> i don't recommend reforms. i recommend people that are --
have some moral compass. >> joining me is author of the brand-new book out tomorrow, "audacity" and we'll talk about that in a moment. i want to get to the book. first, this idea of this sort of war on the press. >> right. >> i think it sort of psychs some people out in the press. you do your job on a first level order and the chips may fall where they may. >> trump keeps doing things that you don't know how it's going to play out. you don't know if we'll look back and say this was the first step towards some putin-esque strong man move where the world is transformed or if it's an incremental of the old nixonian. my guess is the latter. because they need the mainstream press.
they are at or under 40% now. they can't just talk to people who like breitbart and fox news and get anything like the support that they need. that's my guess. but it's creepy enough that you have to be on your toes, too. >> and what you saw there, one of the phenomena that existed before trump and a big subtext of the book of "audacity" is the deep structure of american politics at this moment. so you write this book. >> uh-huh. >> and here's my own feeling. i've gone through periods of feeling different ways about barack obama but i think over the course of the past year a lot of americans were like, this guy is pretty good. approval rating is up. you look back and start listing out all of the things that he got done, the iran deal, whether you like them or not, very consequential. and then trump happened and it's like, were the critics all along about the politics of barack obama? is this going to be undone? is he going to be this historical footnote because donald trump is going to erase it all?
>> barack obama did much more than most people think but the flip side of that is most people don't know what he did. so trump wins and the response is it's all going to be gone. the reason they think that is they don't know how much he did, how broad and how deep it is and how hard it will be to reverse and i go through every issue and say this is what's going to happy think going forward. some will be easy to reverse. the taxes on the rich, he rose taxes on the rich. people forget that. he did more than bill clinton. he mostly canceled out the reagan effect and that's going to swing back the other way. >> they will get their taxes. >> they are going to get that done obamacare, they are finding out already, very, very hard to undo. we don't know what's going to happen. if they do undo it, they are going to face a huge backlash.
but i don't think they are going to be able to do that. >> so there's an interesting argument that you make in the book that i haven't quite thought about. he rises to prominence and people say he's all flash and style over substance. >> right. >> he's young, he's very good at giving speeches and you basically said in some ways the eight years of his presidency has been the reverse, that it's been grinding and workmanlike, good on substance but not on style. >> that's one of the ironies. people accused him of flash and communication and inspiration but it was really the opposite. he was the substance guy. he was in there working on the issues and often getting no credit for leveraging huge political change. there was so much going on behind the scenes and out of sight than you realize. that's the case he tried to make. >> what do you stay to people -- there are critics on both the right and left that say, you
know, the election of trump and particularly the idea that there are places in the country, huge swaths of the country that haven't seen the country up close, that even when the recovery happened, the annihilation of home wealth over the foreclosures, that this was ultimately a kind of verdict on some core part of the president's ability to sort of recreate medical class prosperity. >> i couldn't disagree with you more. first of all, the economy was worse four years ago, a lot worse four years ago. >> in 2012? >> in 2012. obama wins clearly. his ratings were higher. this was a personal verdict on hillary clinton. she lost despite, not because of her association. it was the damage she had from the clinton post-presidency, the damage she had from the campaign against bernie sanders, her own mistakes and people out there just thinking she was a crook. i mean, i don't think it was about obama at all. >> do you think -- do you think democrats -- i talked to someone the other day who made this interesting point to me. my colleague chris matthews made
this point. he said the reagan legacy project started after reagan. >> right. >> so during the years of reagan, they said he was a good president. it was afterwards that they decided we needed to name every last structure after reagan. do you think democrats will do the same with barack obama? >> the reagan cult is creepy and dangerous and you had years and years and years in which republicans said what would reagan do? let's find some minor writing that reagan might have said. >> right. >> what was right in 1980 is right forever. that's bad. >> right. >> but they should value obama's presidency. they should see it as a model to emulate and defend. >> jonathan chait, the book is called "audacity," fascinating and provocative. thanks for your time tonight. >> thank you, chris. that's "all in" this evening. a reminder, at 11:00 p.m., "the obama years with brian williams."
"the rachel maddow show" starts right now. >> thank you, my friend. we know that it didn't end well. what we forget sometimes is that it did not start well. richard nixon was elected in 1968, re-elected in 1972. that meant that his inauguration day for a second term was in january 1973. it was his inauguration date, january 20th, '73. almost spooky to look back at that day now because of the way we know the way that term ended up. his inauguration day was 42 degrees that day, a stiff wind blowing. there he was getting sworn in along with spear rowing a knew.