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tv   At This Hour With Berman and Bolduan  CNN  March 17, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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when i talk to you, i should talk in a very calm -- >> reporter: and sometimes she catches herself -- >> above all -- above all. >> speak softly and carry a big stick, so you can use the stick on people who say you're not speaking softly enough. >> what you got to do, first yell, in fact this phone isn't even plugged in. >> thank you so much for joining me today, i'm carol costello. i think you would have riots, i'm representing a tremendous, millions and millions of people. >> there's no question there would be a lot of turmoil. >> this guy is just crunching through the village. >> no one should be surprised
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that donald trump is trying to stir up riots. >> i think you would have problems like you have never seen before. >> hello, everyone, i'm kate bolduan. >> senate majority leader harry reid slammed the republican leadership and donald trump, tied them together in the strongest possible terms. senator reid says the republicans and what he calls it's shared searing hatred for obama, resulting in the conditions in which donald trump is now thriving. >> his vile rhetoric is embarrassing, his proposals are dangerous. republican establishment acts bewildered, but they should not be bewildered. republican leaders are responsible for his rise, for eight years they drained all the oxygen from a policy debate in 24 country by replacing
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thoughtful engagement in -- a four months before they knew who the nominee would be, republicans already pledged to block him or her, republican leaders created the drought conditions, donald trump has simply struck the match. >> harry reed went down a laundry lead of examples that he says shows the mindless behavior from republican leaders that allowed trump to rise. >> and there are battle lines being drawn within the republican party about the possibility of a contested convention, donald trump and ben carson who supports it now, donald trump used the word riots. influential conservatives right now are meeting today, there's a big conference call and among the things that may be up for discussion, a third party candidate. >> what the heck is going on?
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let's bring in errol lewis. cnn political commentator margaret hover, dana bash, and bob beckle, cnn political commentator, campaign manager, a guy who's run campaigns for democratic candidates let's just say for decades, bob. >> i was around for lincoln's second. >> i loved your work back then, it was really impressive. doug, let's discuss, let's start with harry reid, you worked on capitol hill, when harry reid was the senate majority leader at the time. you are also a party guy, what do you say to harry reid saying that it is republican leaders who are responsible for the rise of donald trump. >> sure, when i was on capitol hill and i think everybody in washington saw when barack obama came into the white house, there was a lot of hope, there was a lot of promise, he had 70%
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approval rating, but there wasn't a lot of phone calls from republicans to work with him on anythi anything. we saw that time and time again issue after issue. donald trump is a separate issue from how barack obama worked or didn't work with house republicans, while joe biden certainly worked with republicans from time to time. but what's happening now, the language we hear is inflammatory rhetoric responding from inflammatory rhetoric from donald trump. there's only one person who's talking about carrying people out on stretchers and paying medical bills for people who riot. no one but donald trump has this kind of rhetoric happening. >> that kind of dodge is the central issue to what harry reid
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just said, he said that republican leaders have s are responsible for the environment in which -- for the first time ever in your mind, may have a point. >> i love to agree with senator reid and so are most republicans. but i think it would be disingenuous and dishonest to look back in history, to look at the crowds that are beginning to emerge, especially the ones following sarah palin and not say there is some kind of continuity to the energy that sarah palin had, the energy that came in with 2010 with the tea party and sort of the captors who are calling the -- holding the republican congress hostage. there is a theme throughout that and those people are the same people who are saying no to whoever president obama wants to do. there is a theme on the right which frankly is a bit fringe and is the same cohort and
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constituency that is fueling donald trump's rise, it is fuelled by anger, and it is fueled by obstructionism and is fomenting not the better angels of our nature and our politics. >> dana, can you take us behind the scenes? you know harry reid very well, you've covered him for years. harry reid has like 12 layers of motives sometimes when he's doing something and going to speak publicly about something. >> they don't make them like that anymore. >> what is harry reid trying to do here? the timing the message, the method. because a lot of republican will take it as a point of pride to be slammed by harry reid. >> first of all, he's on his way out, but even before he was kind of unshackled by re-election or anything like that, he has always seen himself as the person who can and should lead the way on message. if you go back in time, for
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better or worse, he was the guy who stood on the senate floor and he later sort of admitted to me, kind of made up the idea that mitt romney may or may not have some bombshell in his taxes and he should release them. he is the guy who, i'm told behind the scenes and then in public started really going after the koch brothers and using them as the foil for the democrats, whether it worked for them or not. but you're right, he sees himself as the person who will set the rhetorical agenda, set the message and lead the way, he feels that way because it is his job, but also because he tends to not really care about getting out there further than maybe other people would. so on the democratic side, maybe he is the closest match for trump rhetorically in that way, i'm not saying he is trump at all. but that's the reason why. and i think it's also a signal that democrats need to and should start thinking
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rhetorically and message wise, about putting the democratic primary in their rear view mirror and looking more towards the general election and what they're going to do about donald trump. >> if it is going to be donald trump, you better take him seriously, don't underestimate him. the man who ran barack obama's campaign in 2008, he basically said be careful who you wish for. let's listen to david plouffe. >> he's unpredictable. he could win in a landslide. but as you see, he's bringing new people out, he does have appeal to blue collar voters and he'll run a very unorthodox campaign. that's very hard for the clinton campaign because he'll be in their face every day. >> you have run presidential campaigns, how would you now run a campaign against donald trump? >> i listened to my friend
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plouffe, and i listened to my friends who said that trump didn't have a chance in the primaries. if donald trump get this is nomination, he will be crushed, there's not a chance in hell that that's going to happen. harry reid was also tying trump to the republican party and therefore the senate seats that are up for election, the democrats want to get those seats and the closer he can draw to -- what's happened here is the people, and trump is the worst at this, he looks out at these massive crowds, all of which are white people, who are convinced that -- thinks that that's an american voter, but it's not, it's a small sliver of the republican primary electorate and it does not represent a majority of the
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voters. one last point, people have forgotten this, but barack obama for the first time in years went more positive than negative on his favorable rating as a president in his job rating. >> this week, that's right. >> errol, do you agree with that? do you think it would hold that donald trump will get crushed in a general? >> i think it's too early to say, the unpredictability and the ability to frustrate all of the highly paid consultants, his able to absorb as he did in florida, $15 million worth of negative advertising and still win the republican primaries. i think where harry reid is sort of pointing the way, and this is what you get with a wiley old guy like this, he's sort of pointed to some disturbances within the republican party about some wedge issues and trump is the ulg mat wtimate we
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issue. those republicans who are trying to get elected -- it makes it hard for the republican to get their message together, it's going to help with both the national campaign for president and all these individual senate races. this coming up next, who gets marco rubios delegates now, yes and why they could make all the difference in a contested, brokered, whatever you want to call it convention fight. plus in just a few moments, president obama's supreme court nominee heads to capitol hill, he will have some meetings, he will not have others, but there are some brand-new signs that at least some republicans may be softening at least some of their opposition to him.
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automatically, i think you would have riots. >> that eethat's donald trump s here on cnn. donald trump saying there would be riots, there could be, there may b there would be riots if the party would take the nomination from him with him being so far away, you take him literally? >> i do take him literally, because we have seen so much in him, talking about punching somebody in the face, carrying them out on stretchrs, it plays in the hands ultimately of democrats that will use all of this against him. not everybody said don't take donald trump seriously, i first said it on this program i think back in july when i wrote about it for the wall street journal, but democrats will go after donald trump full boor. we'll see, he's been so teflon if it has any effect, but they
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won't make the same effect we have. >> the idea of punching people in the nose and the idea of riots is an awful thing to consider. but we're talking about anger and the anger that is within some ranks of the republican party. won't some of that anger be justifiable if you're a donald trump supporter if your guy had the most delegates going into the convention and he was blocked? >> i remember being a college kid back in chicago in '68 supposedly as a marshall. i do remember when there was an establishment, there was a establishment of power brokers who forced hubert hoover -- that was over vietnam, it may not be as big as issue, but the anger that i see in the republican party supporters of donald trump is very similar to that, and it's not going to take much to get them to be stirred up. i'll tell you what's the key to
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it. i think it's the most dangerous thing, as our convention in '68 set us back two decades, i think this will set the republicans back at least two decades. >> dana, what does the rnc do about this, other than just wait, cross your fingers and close your eyes. >> other than get under the covers and wait for -- >> there's not a lot they can do, frankly, i mean there are some things, there are some rules that are meant to be broken, so to speak and that can be changed. but to bob's point, even that in the face of this incredible anger towards the establishment, towards institutions, towards washington, whatever you want to call it is dangerous, and they know that which is why -- in a way that really has angered a
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lot of the now former republican candidates for president. >> but it is very, very difficult. i think -- i know they're preparing for this, this being a contested convention, or open convention as anti-trump forces like to call it. so it is going to be very much a rules based thing, but again, rules are changeable, but it's -- not too much to make it look like it's rigged against trump. >> i would caution all of us to just be careful about drawing the 1968 comparisons too often to the 2016 republican convention, let's remember what happened in 1968, this was a very disruptive year in american history. this is the year that martin luther king is assassinated and bobby kennedy was assassinated. it really was broke er in a sen
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that there were people in the back room making decisions and there was an uprising from very honest and ernest democrats who really wanted to be part of the political process. what's happening in cleveland will be a very transparent process. the rnc will make sure. there would be problems if there were shenanigans in the back room. it is unlikely to be a contested convention, which is where you have open and transparent voters. >> you're talking about delegates, you're not talking about popular vote. >> let me do a dramatic reading from an rnc party official, hogueland, he's an rnc member, he saider roll, political parties choose their nominee, not the general public, contrary to popular belief. >> these people are supposed to get together and figure out have we met the rules that we have
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established well in advance, transparently published to select the nominee. if donald trump doesn't have 1,268 delegates, they don't have anything to do except to have another vote and that's what they're going to do. and to the extent that people are calling this a coup. we know there ee's a lot of subterfuge going on in different states. these are not wild eyed anarchists, those are people who run the local hardware store -- >> the fashions are fabulous. >> finally i would say that this is a guy who prides himself donald trump on being such a great deal maker, start dealing, somebody that wants to be the
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nominee, can go into whether it's the back room or an open ballroom, i've got cabinet members already, i've got a vice presidential ship. >> let me make a point about this, there is going to be a very important feeling at that convention, it's going to be a rules -- they have got the kind of powers that the others have, but i would be very, very careful to assume that the rules you see now are going to be the rules that are going to be on the floor of the convention, or at the minimum, they're going to be voted on on the floor of the convention. >> from my stand point, i could not be happier. >> this is bob beckel, over the moon enthusiastic right now. >> thanks so much for being with us. we're actually going to talk about this idea that the contested, brokered convention,
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he also used the word subterfuge, what kind of subterfuge, what is going on behind the scenes, we're going to speak to the guy who literally wrote the book on how to do this. >> it's like the convention, it's like the ohio state university. let's just leave it there. plugs fireworks on capitol hill, lawmakers ripping into michigan's governor for the toxic water crisis is that's still hitting flint, michigan, we're going to see how governor snyder responds to this. >> pretty soon, we will have men who strike their wives, saying, i'm sorry, dear, but there were failures at all levels. coverage. our new extended-range lte now reaches twice as far... ...and is 4 times better in buildings. see for yourself at slash coverage. unless you have allergies., then your eyes may see it differently. only flonase is approved to relieve both itchy, watery eyes
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a quiet day on the physical campaign trail, but twitter not quiet at all. donald trump is going after ted cruz calling him a liar who can't win. and saying that great news that fox news has can selled the additional debate. how many times can the same people ask the same question, i beat cruz in the debate. >> he set up a petition to force donald trump to debate him next week in new york city. joining us is bob bar, he is a ted krusz supporter. harry reid who's taking on urse, republican leadership and tying donald trump's rise to republican leadership and run thing really stuck out to meet when harry reid said this, i'm
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not as turned off by cruz because he stands for something, trump stands for nothing. >> it's an endorsement. do you accept the harry reid endorsement? >> i didn't know there was a question in there. certainly the scenario or the characterization that senator reid has illustrates one of those few times that i would have to agree with him. senator cruz has been trying repeatedly, both in the debates and on the campaign trail, to bring the republican campaign back to substance and of course donald trump has been doing his best to skirt away from that and keep it on personal attacks, personal insults, and that's why the field has narrowed to basically donald trump and ted cruz with governor kasich off to the side there, donald trump all of a sudden now does not want to
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debate. so what the republican party leadership ought to be doing but does not have the power to do, i don't think, but they ought to at least be trying to force donald trump back on to the debate stage if what he says is accurate and that is if he really is a republican. he isn't and that severely li t limits the for cruz or kasich to have any control over him. >> how do you force somebody out? >> it's very difficult to force somebody out who wants to stay in the race, it's mathematically impossible even if he won every delegate from now on for kasich to win the nomination in terms of delegates. >> his is impossible, yours is just bleak. >> i'm not saying that john
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kasich ought to drop out, i'm saying that he is not a real factor in terms of the substance of this campaign. but having him stay in the race certainly, you know, satisfies his people, it satisfies, i suspect his ego and it does make an additional, you know, problem for donald trump. but the real substance is the debate that we ought to be having between the two front-runners on the republican side and that is donald trump and ted cruz and donald trump obviously does not want that. it doesn't play to his strength. >> congressman do you think this is only about satisfying his ego that he's still in? >> i don't think it's only about that, but it's certainly something that even his strongest supporters with a straight face could deny that that is a part of donald trump and what he's trying to do now.
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he does indeed give voice to a number of people out there who are extremely frustrated, extremely angry, justifiably with the poor performance of the republican party over the last few years. he plays on it and he uses that for his own purposes, this whole issue of very coyly pretending not to really say or encourage people to violence, but, you know, this, i'm just saying that if we don't -- if we have the most delegates going into the convention, there might be violence, i'm not encouraging it, i'm just saying, that clearly plays into the scenario that people will take matters into their own hands and there could be more than just talk at the convention. >> bob bar, great to see you, thank you so much congressman for coming on. it has the potential to be one of the biggest slugfests in recent american history, so how
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stelara® helps keep my skin clearer. ask your doctor about stelara®. open, contested, brokered, the one and only convention, whatever you want to call it. this year's convention is gearing up to be a battle royal. >> 1237. it donald trump or ted cruz get that number, 1237 on the first ballot, it's game over, go home, they're the nominee. the question is what happens if that is not the case. joining us now to discuss that possibility is a man who literally wrote the book on the
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subject, it's called chaos, the outsider's guide to a contested republican national convention, he's also the political director for rand paul's 2016 presidential campaign. he is an unbound delegate for the u.s. virgin islands which all of a suggest makes him one of the most popular people on the earth right now. for purposes of this discussion, we're going to assume that no one wins on the first ballot. no one gets to 1237. we go to the second ballot right here, what the hell happens then? >> well, ul rk, ultimately it w the rules committee on the binding rules that -- the state level binding rules would become in effect so some states would remain valid for another ballot or two but a lot of states would be released. that's the critical ballot, because that's when momentum will be established.
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the first ballot will be the primaries and caucuses that took place across the country, in the second ballot, it's more in the hearts and minds of the actual delegates. >> take us to the hallways or back rooms or whatever on this second ballot. what is likely to be going on here. you say this all comes down to the rules, i don't think anybody is going to be talking about a rules committee more in the history of politics than this one. >> those 112 people are going to be awful importnt the week of the national convention. so they will look at the rules that are currently put forward, they will either amend them or down right change them or in some cases change them. those 112 people will likely vote on the rules, they whether put them forward in the national convention and the national convention will ratify those rules. if and when it gets to a second ballot, then it's likely that the national binding rule would be released and the state level binding rules would be in
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effect. and i think you would see a significant change one way or the other between the first ballot and the second ballot. in state conventions across the country, there will be delegates elected, right now when you allocate delegates based on these state contests, those specific delegates are largely elected in the state convention process, that will take place over the next couple of months. there are those who are supporters in name only. for donald trump, 662 delegates, those are people who have to vote for him on the first ballot. after that they can do whatever they want, depending on what the rules are in that state. that begs the question, he's not evening up here, there's a fourth guy, he's waving goodbye to this campaign. what happens to marco rubio's delegates. >> it's something else that's not defined in the rules.
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the national level rules would not be in effect but the state level rules would be in effect. it's important to keep in mind that very few of his delegates have actually been elected yet. in puerto rico, the delegates have been identified. in most states that he has delegates in, in iowa, illinois and georgia, what you'll have is you'll have a bunch of trump, cruz and kasich supporters running as rubio delegates in those state contests across the country. >> you are an unbound delegate, you are like this unicorn, this mythical man that everyone wants on their side right now. and will veriliy likely need on their side right now. >> i have talked to all three campaigns, i have friends on all three campaigns and they're very smart people on all three campaigns, they were the finalists, they ran the best campaigns with the best candidates for this particular
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election cycle and it's safe to say i have talked to all of them. >> ambassador john young, really appreciate your time helping us to understand this process of picking delegates. rick snyder on capitol hill facing tough questions about the flint water crisis as angry lawmakers, really angry calling for him to resign. you both have a
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a few months ago i told the american people i did not trade arms for hostages. my heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not. as the tower board reported -- >> reagan's address to the nation sticks a knife right through george bush's dreams. >> politically, he recognized could be devastating to his campaign. >> like a lot of americans i was appalled. iran contra really started me thinking, what's going on here? what are these people doing? and what is this doing to american democracy? >> there are reasons why it
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happened. there's no excuses. >> that was really the first time i thought about maybe running for the presidency, prior to that time, i had never given it a second thought. >> in this sunday's episode of race for the white house, it is 1987, as you heard there, the iran contra scandal has engulfed the white house, putting a dark cloud over then vice president george h.w. bush's dreams, and you saw there michael dukakis deciding to enter the ring. >> you just saw greg fuller featured in that episode. it's interesting to see that moment, craig, because people forget, that mike dukakis was a hit at some point in this race, this was a winnable race at some point for mike dukakis and you ended up blowing him out by full -- what people remember
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from that campaign, is the willie horton ad, all part of the soup right there, you were able to turn around what could have been a bad environment for george h.w. bush into a victory. >> it was certainly a hotly contested campaign. that segment took me back to sitting in the office of the vice president in the west wing, when he was briefed on the fact that money had actually been transferred to the contras it was right before the election and it just knocked the wind out of him. it was clearly that we had a very large problem on our hands and vice president bush was behind for a good portion of this time. so was it a tough race? it was a very tough race, it was fought hard by both sides and we had to distinguish the characteristics, the experience of vice president george bush from a very able governor michael due kkakdukakis. >> take us back to anothe
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moment, as john was pointing out, the image of michael dukakis on the tank, that he was panned for, the willie horton ad that everybody remembers, what do you remember thinking in those moments when it came out? >> i can remember one of our top advisers coming out and telling us that they had a picture of governor codukakis on a tank th was meant to show that he was tough on defense but the picture just didn't convey that. and we knew we had something that could be utilized to suggest that this was not really something that governor dukakis had a long record on. there was that same photograph of vice president george bush on a tank wearing a and he got the same kind of briefing. >> point here, the ads we were running and governor dukakis was
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running, their past, their backgrounds, what they would do as leader of the country. and i -- would first argue to say that, yes, some of the ads were tough. the vast majority of the ads were quite positive for we're looking, talked about education and the environment and other things. but, yeah, there were some -- there were some tough messages exchanged. >> you use the word distinguished. another d word that people apply to this campaign and it's define. that the bush campaign and atwater defined mike dukakis before he had a chance to really define himself. and i'm wondering, as you look at the campaign this year, if you think that the republicans running against donald trump and other folks running against donald trump missed an opportunity to try to define him, months ago. when he first got in the race. >> you know, i certainly thought a lot about this campaign. i'm not engaged in this campaign cycle. one thing is similar, i think. and that is that candidates oftentimes are doing polling. and the most powerful question i thought we asked was, you know,
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which candidate understands you, your concerns, your values. you know, who do you relate to? and that's what you want to see. you want to see people drawn to you. and in this campaign, with all the anger that's out there, and among a segment of the republican party, at least, it was very hard for anybody to break through. anybody who was a traditional or establishment candidate, as you have been reporting, to break through. and i think that the assumption that mr. trump was going to fail was obviously faulty and had people tried to define him and draw out his record sooner, the results might have been somewhat different. i actually think the electorate is going to learn a lot more about mr. trump. i don't see where he gains a lot of new supporters. because he's pretty well-established and pretty well-known. and that could make, as you were talking earlier, for a very different kind of convention. and i do want to remind you, if
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more delegates go to the convention who oppose the nomination of donald trump, they deserve to be heard too. and they may well be in a series of ballots to pick our nominee. >> greg fuller, thanks so much for being with us. appreciate it. you can see so much more of the political drama unfold in "race to the white house" this sunday at 9:00 p.m. on cnn. speaking of explosive election races, we're getting new information about a meeting under way right now. a conference called conservatives hoping to stop donald trump in his tracks. hear who is there, and what's the message. my belly pain and constipation? i've heard it all. eat more fiber. flax seeds. yogurt. get moving. keep moving. i know! try laxatives. been there, done that. my chronic constipation keeps coming back. i know. tell me something i don't know. vo: linzess works differently from laxatives. linzess treats adults with ibs with constipation or chronic constipation.
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on every level of government, including the federal government. just listen here to just some of the back and forth in this contentious hearing, still ongoing. >> this isn't about politics nor partisanship. i'm not going to point fingers or shift blame. there is plenty of that to share, and neither will help the people of flint. >> they should have rushed in sooner to rescue the people of michigan from governor snyder's vindictive administration and his utter incompetence at every level. >> deniability only works when it's plausible. and i'm not buying that you didn't know about any of this until october 2015. you were not in a medically induced coma for a year. and i've had about enough of your false contrition and your phony apologies. people who put dollars over the fundamental safety of the people do not belong in government. and you need to resign too,
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governor snyder. >> pretty soon, we will have men who strike their wives, saying "i'm sorry, dear, but there were failures at all levels." >> if you want to do the courageous thing, like you said to susan headman did, then you too should resign. >> you heard a lot of you should resigns there. let's bring in right now, let's discuss this with flint mayor karen weaver, joining us right now to discuss. so is mayor, thank you so much for joining us. a lot of the focus -- flint is still in crisis. it's still unfolding. the solution has not yet been really discovered on how to help everyone who has been inflicted by this crisis. a lot of the focus of this hearing has been who is to blame. the woman you have endorsed for president is hillary clinton. she says that among others, one of the people to blame is the governor, rick snyder. and she has joined the chorus of people saying he should resign.
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do you think he should resign now? >> you know what, this is what i have been watching, this hearing going on. and it's interesting that he is saying that he didn't know anything about it. i'm waiting to see. because if he knew, then that's what -- you know, he needs to be -- be responsible. and, you know, i want to go back to something you said. because we were talking about we don't know what to do about this. we know what to do about it. they need to give us the money so we can take care of our citizens. we need to get the money so we can get these new pipes. we need to get the money because our people deserve services and supports and resources. so we know what to do. and, you know, if you're going to claim responsibility, step up and give flint the money that we deserve to have as a result of what happened. >> false contrition and phony apologies. he was accused of that, the governor was. do you agree with that charge? >> do i -- false -- say it again, please. >> false contrition and phony
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apologies. >> well, you know what? that's a good one. because if you're really sorry, then, you know, one of the things i've been harping on, because right now he's still in office. if you're sorry, you do the right thing and give us what we need to have. you know, this is going to cost us -- we know $1 billion. when you look at the people, the kids impacted by this, the, seniors impacted by this, the people with compromised immune systems. when you look at the human cost, in addition to the infrastructure cost. if you're sorry, do the right thing. give us what we deserve. we need money. we need to fix this problem. and while -- right now there is, you know, apologies are going on and finger-pointing is going on. and we can't wait to see everybody that's responsible, because i know it's going to be more than one person. and everybody that is found to be accountable for this -- yes,


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