- The MSNBC host Chris Hayes on Tuesday predicted that the US was about to experience “two of the most remarkable, consequential years in the Republic’s history.”
- During a discussion at Business Insider’s IGNITION conference, the liberal political commentator argued that entering and living in the US without documentation was less dangerous than driving over the speed limit; that President Donald Trump’s positions on international trade were rooted in a “sincerely felt and long-held” worldview; and that Sen. Kamala Harris of California could be the next president.
The MSNBC host Chris Hayes on Tuesday predicted that the US would experience “two of the most remarkable, consequential years in the Republic’s history” in the second half of President Donald Trump’s first term.
During a wide-ranging discussion at Business Insider’s annual IGNITION conference, the liberal host of the nightly prime-time program “All In With Chris Hayes” made a host of arguments – also asserting that entering and living in the US without documentation was less dangerous than driving over the speed limit; that Trump’s positions on international trade were rooted in a “sincerely felt and long-held” worldview; and that Sen. Kamala Harris of California was underestimated as a presidential contender.
Hayes told Insider Inc. CEO Henry Blodget that it was reasonable for some Americans to believe that millions of people shouldn’t live in the country without documentation but that much of this sentiment “often emanates from a true lack of familiarity of the way the system works.”
The cable-news host said that if there was one area of agreement he had with Trump, it’s that “a posture of trade hawkishness against China is not at all crazy and not at all unjustified.” Hayes argued that the president’s positions on trade and support for tariffs were “sincerely felt and long held” and rooted in what Hayes described as a “deeply mercantilist” worldview that “everything is zero sum.”
But Hayes also said he didn’t trust the president to navigate complicated diplomacy with the world’s second-largest economy, the mishandling of which could lead to a cold war with China.
On 2020: Kamala Harris is ‘underpriced’
Many political pundits are asking whether the Democratic 2020 presidential nominee should be a centrist or a leftist. Hayes said that this was the wrong question in the Trump era and that “candidate quality” and “building broad and inclusive messages” were more important to most American voters than the candidate’s political ideology.
“I do think there’s a conventional wisdom that being too far to the left is a kind of dispositive attribute for a candidate, and I think ideological dispositive blockers are off the table,” he said. “There is no position, in an ideological fashion, that a candidate can take that would render them unelectable.”
Hayes wouldn’t predict who the 2020 nominee would be, but he said a bid by Harris – California’s former attorney general who said this week that she would decide whether to run in the next month – had been underestimated.
“If you asked me to place a $US100 bet based on the field and the candidate, I think Kamala Harris is underpriced,” he said.
Hayes also argued that conservatives were often hypocritical regarding political correctness – and that public discourse should be polite but not suffocating.
“No one thinks about ‘don’t criticise George H.W. Bush because he just died’ as an example of political correctness, but of course it is. It’s exactly the same sort of thing,” Hayes said, pointing to the criticism he received for evaluating the former president’s legacy shortly after his death on Friday.
You can watch Chris Hayes talk with Henry Blodget at IGNITION here:
- Read more from IGNITION:
- The ‘big squeeze’: Ray Dalio, founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, breaks down how the next financial meltdown will look different from the last
- The creator of the ‘Bloomberg for the trucking industry’ reveals why being based in a city in Tennessee played such a crucial role in his company’s success
- 8 key takeaways from Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget’s opening IGNITION keynote on ‘Better Capitalism’
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.