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tv   The Place for Politics 2016  MSNBC  March 17, 2016 11:00am-12:01pm PDT

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hi, everybody. i'm thomas roberts today on msnbc live. march madness is under way, yes in college basketball too. just about an hour from now. president obama's nomination pick heads to the hearing. republicans refuse to play ball and some progressive groups are still weighing whether to embrace them at all. elsewhere on the hill, rich snyder, facing a fiery congressional hearing over who is to blame over the water crisis in flint. >> let me be clear, this is a failure on government at all levels. local, state and federal officials. we all failed the families of flint. >> governor snyder -- plausible deniability only works when it's plausible. >> and as a new group of
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conservatives scramble to stop donald trump at all costs. the prodigal son returns. marco rubio back to work on the hill. and telling the twin sities pioneer press that ted cruz is the only conservative left in the race. and moments ago, news that south carolina senator, lindsey graham, will throw his support behind senator cruz. plus, paul ryan pushing back and puts to bed once again, calls for him to jump into the race. >> i saw boehner last night and i told him to knock it off. you know, it's not going to be me. it should be somebody running for president. let's just put this thing to rest and move on. >> first, breaking news over president obama's supreme court nominee. chief judge merrick garland will meet with senator leahy. he will also meet with harry reid later today.
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and the white house released this picture of garland and the president meeting on march 9th. meanwhile, democrats are mounting a full-court press calling on republicans to hold a vote earlier today. and democrats stood outside the supreme court telling republicans to, quote, do your job, and tying republicans to donald trump. >> if republicans continue to stand in the way and refuse to do their job, it will only be because they want donald trump to pick the next nominee. >> hear some of the chuckling there in the background. luke russer following the latest in capitol hill. luke, the white house wants the fight with the right but it doesn't mean the senate republicans need to respond. so what are the expectationes from the meetings today? >> well, these are the meetings that usually follow a routine course of action. the supreme court nominee selected by the president and moving forward.
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they would then go over to the republican side and talk to the head of the judiciary committee. in this case, chuck grassley. these meetings rpt happening. the reason why is that the republicans said look, we are going back to what we said after justice scalia died. we want to have the american people make this decision. it is not the person. we might like judge garland now. we may have liked him in the past. it's our principle. take a listen to what judge mcconnell said about this. >> we think the people have a voice in this instance and the president does not. so we act as a check and balance. >> senator reid of nevada has been very forceful saying this is a huge breach of protocol. you may not like that president obama is a president and gets to make the selection but he has over 200 days left in his presidency. not to mention that every single nominee in recent history has at
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least had a meeting with the judiciary committee and hearing before the judiciary committee. a lot of conservatives bring up how he is not grate killed off a nomination years ago. the different between what bjork and mcconnell are doing, they say, at least have the decency to vote him down on the floor. they don't even want to do that. i've heard that mcconnell believes the backlash he would take from conservatives is worse th than the beating on the editorial page or the beating in the mainstream media. >> there was a 237-day gap in there before anthony kennedy was confirmed. that was the third for president reagan for justice kennedy. the average is 73 days between a justice's departure and a new one being sworn in. so have there been any late morning or early afternoon developments about any other senate republicans willing to at
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least take a meeting with garland? >> we've heard that a moderate senator collins of maine is open to the meeting, expect senator ayotte of new hampshire as well as kirk in illinois. a lot of these republican senators that represent blue state or purple states who are up for reelection and they read the polls, the ones we put out, nbc news washington journal poll, and they should at least get a hearing or be heard, so expect them to play a little politics. but mcconnell is aligning himself with the base, not with the moderates up for election. >> luke ross ert from capitol hill. thank you, luke. emotions were running high as michigan's governor and epa official answer tough questions about their involvement in the water contamination in flint. the governor tried to take some of the blame.
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>> let me be blunt. this is a failure of government at all levels. local, state and federal officials. we all failed the families of flint. >> meanwhile, epa's geina mccarthy placing blame squarely on the state. there are no signs of slowing down and republicans are calling on mccarthy to do the very same thing. >> nobody's going to believe that you have the opportunity, you had the presence, you had the authority, you had the backing of the federal government, and you did not act when you had the chance. and if you're going to do the courageous thing, you too should step down. >> nbc's stephanie gosk is covering this for us. she was one of many who made the trip to capitol hill to watch today's hearings. >> how old are your kids? >> 15 and 5. >> what is it like for you right now as a mom living in flint?
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>> horrible. i can't go nowhere with my kids acti acting -- they are acting -- and i don't know if it is the water and what can i do to change it. >> what about the lifestyle? what can you do to get by everyday? >> getting water everyday. who says we're not going to run out of bottled water? we can't support -- we got buy bottled water either with food stamps. i don't have an income. >> so a daily worry for you? >> hearing from a flint mom with a 5 and 15-year-old. joining me from capitol hill is aaron dunigan from a flint michigan church. 'or, you have family as well, a young daughter. tell me about her age and health, what you notice as a parent? >> my daughter is 20 months old. and every christmas of her life she spent in the hospital so far. this past christmas we were there for eight days.
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she had had knew moan why and rsv, which is the cousin to legionnaire's disease. since that day, as of two weeks ago, we went back. she has urinary tract infection as well as yeast infection. which is indirect things from the water. so my daughter and our family is tremendously affected by what is going on in the city of flint. >> pastor, i want to place more harsh critics and words out of what came out of the senate today. and cummings talking to snyder about who is at fault here. take a look. >> republicans are definitely trying to blame everything on the epa. so let me say this. i agree that epa should have done more. they should have rushed in sooner to rescue the people of michigan from governor snyder's vindictive administration and
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utter incompetence tenat every level. >> pastor, do you agree with that? should this fall on the epa? is that where the ire of flint should go or should this stop with the governor and the emergency manager that he had in place with the water crisis? >> i was in there when they was speaking those words. i believe this is shared weight and both parties should take full responsibility and not continue to point the finger at each other. but work together in getting these pipes changed out. not tomorrow, not the next day, but now. i think that is the most important part. not the pointing of the fingers. both parties are wrong. epa and the governor's office and the governor himself, they both need to take responsibility. i didn't hear the epa say they were sorry that they had any wrongdoing in it at all. i don't think that's right. i think they should both take responsibilities of what is happening in my city. >> pastor, you talk about your 20-month-old daughter. has anyone looked you squarely
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in the eye to apologize for what your child is going through? >> nobody. in fact, i've been insulted even more as i sit in that hearing and to hear governor snyder say once again that he has to live with this for the rest of his life. no, you don't have to live with it for the rest of your life. we have to live with it for the rest of our life. for me to tell my daughter when she gets old enough that she may have disabilities or whatever because of something that happened years and years ago. that's what living with it for the rest of your life is. you're not living in it when you good home to your $2.5 million mansion, when you have $10,000 kicks for your wife. living it is having to wash, bathe, eat with bottled water on a daily basis. come to flint and try living with it there. >> pastor aaron dunigan. pastor, thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> coming up, my colleague chris jansing interviewing jason, chairman of the committee.
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hoping to hear on flint today. the congressman travels to flint tomorrow. we will talk more about the fight over president obama's supreme court nominee. we will see judge merrick garland meeting with senator leahy on capitol hill. interviewing holder about the nomination, she asked about the criticism from liberal groups about the president not nominating a progressive or -- >> i think he put before the senate a person who i think is without question qualified and should be confirmed. people are talking about meetings and things like that. i'm beyond that. i think those should happen as matter of course. i think the focus should be on a confirmation of a very qualified judge. >> so holder also said this is really about a political battle that exists between republicans and democrats. i want to bring into the conversation democratic senator richard blumenthal, a member of
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the judiciary committee and former attorney general. good to see you. >> good to see you, thank you. >> so republicans not wanting to budge about their position on the nominee and consideration of it with hearings. and we have senator mcconnell telling judge garland on the phone yesterday he won't be meeting with him. what's the concrete plan to get the nomination through? >> more of what we have been doing. highlighting the impeccable credentials that judge garland has. his commitment to the rule of law. not ideology. he aught to be a perfect candidate for the republicans. but most important, a perfect candidate for the american people. and that's where we're going to go with, not only the republicans who are at risk, the incumbents who face hard races. luke russert termed very well what is at stake here politically. the majority leader seems to have made a judge amount that he is more afraid of the right wing
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backlash than the backing of the american people more broadly. but i think that can change when his at-risk incumbents come to him and say, not only are we going to meet with him, but we think there should be a hearing and vote. that's what the american people want when they say do your job. >> and orrin hatch, originally giving an interview, and saying he liked merrick garland and predicted the president with nominate him because he would not soothe the liberal democratic base. but this is what orrin hatch had to say this morning about how the democrats are handling everything. he was on npr's morning addition. take a listen. >> i might had that if the shoe was turned and if this was reversed and democrats were in the position we are, they would not allow the republican nominee for the supreme court during an election that's half way over. i mean, let's face it. they would not go with that. so for them to act holier than
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thou is just holier than thou. >> do you think he has a point there? senator hatch also raised the possibility of getting it through the lame duck session in the fall. but that would depend on who won the presidential election. as he said, if the shoe was on the other foot and political roles were reversed, could you not say that modern day democrats would stall too? >> not only honestly, but unequivocally and emphatically, can i say from myself and my colleagues that we would push for a hearing and a vote. not to say how we would vote. i'm known merrick garland for many years. i admire his judicial record. i, too, am a former prosecutor. i, too, was a law clerk on the supreme court. but i'm not taking anything for granted. i'm go to be asking tough questions. and that's our job, to advise and consent. but it say let's put off the advising an consent together lame duck session or after the election, very likely means that
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there will be no replacement for justice scalia and we will have an eight-member court subject to 4-4 votes that will hamstring the law for at least this term and well into next term. and that is a disservice to our democracy and it damages the court. i have great respect for the court. but the trust and credibility of the united states supreme court really is at stake here. if the shoe were on our foot, we would march forward. and i hope that continuing cracks in the republican blockade will indicate that they will relent in this absolutely untenable, unsustainable position. >> senator richard blumenthal. sir, great to see you. thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> coming up, chris jansing will speak with senator patrick lachey. we expect momentarily that senator will hold his meeting with judge garland. so we will have on senator leahy to talk about his reaction to
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that meeting. still ahead, brand new reporting from the washington post about a secret meeting with elected republicans to stop donald trump. this is more establishment republicans appear to be backing senator ted cruz. do the, anybody but trump forces have a strategy in and former apprentice contestant, am rosa. is it becoming a better professor by being a more adventurous student? is it one day giving your daughter the opportunity she deserves? is it finally witnessing all the artistic wonders of the natural world? whatever your definition of success is, helping you pursue it, is ours. t-i-a-a. jay knows how to keep nice shorts, dad...g. this is what the pros wear. uhhh... that's why he starts his day with those two scoops
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you said some very questionable things, like maybe, punch him in the face. or something like that. what i'm trying to get at is -- >> yeah, i didn't say that, bill. he's walking out like big high-fives, smiling, laughing, like to punch him in the face, i'll tell you that. >> we have donald trump wednesday night denying he ever
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said he would like to see someone punched in the face. and republicans tired of these antics and looking to derail the trump candidacy, have a new supporter. we have msnbc news confirming that lindsey graham is now backing ted cruz. he was an original supporter of jeb bush. now we are finding out he will back cruz and begin to raise money for him too. it is a big switch. as he was this former bush supporter who would open up on the road for jeb bush and now he is trying to put aside that testy relationship that he previously had with the texas senator getting behind his campaign. in fact, the anti-trump sentiment may be the biggest bipartisan thing about the senate. take a look at this. senator warren talking with chris hayes last night. >> it is time for all of us to speak out. republicans, democrat, independent, libertarian, vegetarian, everybody, to say no
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to the donald. we cannot have a man like there as a serious candidate for president and have him threatening to take over the white house. >> so mainly trump is giving members of his party a little bit of anxiety now as he gets much closer to the magic number of 1237 delegates to secure the nomination. in fact, the washington post reports that a secretive meeting of elective republicans and movement conservatives was held this morning in washington it discuss how to detail trump's nomination. robert costa is the author of that piece for the post and joins us now from washington. bob, it's good to have you with me. this is big news. we have just in the last 30 minutes about senator graham throwing support behind ted cruz. is this anti-trump effort you have reported snowballing and let's just talk about what that means. is that only going to help donald trump as we have seen so far? >> good to join you. there are two elements of the anti-trump brigade that are emerging as key players at the moment. that's the establishment who is
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starting to come around the idea of backing senator ted cruz, a hard-liner who for many years has not been very close those in party elite. now seeing him as the best chance of stopping donald trump. the other is the movement right. cpac crowd. tea party people. they think they have to do something. if they can't beat trump now to stop him on the convention floor or think about matching a third party bid. that's what i was covering this morning. a meeting, movement activist and bench back congressman. >> real quick, i want to show everybody the meeting we talked about, taking place on capitol hill with judge merrick garland coming to see democratic senator pat leahy. he will be a guest of chris jansing coming up in the 4:00 p.m. hour. this th is video of him arriving for the meeting. this is live of him coming down the hallway.
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pat leahy's office is on the right side, i believe, and going behind closed doors. right there, shaking hands. one of the democratic senators showing this gracious public support. we know there are certain members of the republican party that have spoken to him on the phone. not so much willing to take these face-to-face meetings or talk about the potential of any type of hearing to move forward with his nomination. but pat leahy getting support. we heard richard blumenthal talking about what he feels about moving forward with trying to see something happen with this nomination especially with the hearing and not waiting for any type of lame duck session. coming up after the fall election. so bob, i just wanted to get that in quickly so everybody could know how things are moving forward with judge garland on the hill. but let's get back to your reporting about this. you mentioned that cpac was a part of this meeting. donald trump skipped going to cpac this year. they expected him to come. but talk about who primarily was at this meeting, what elected officials are a part of this
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strategy. and did they really come up with a clear path that doesn't back fire on them? because so far, all these conservative pacs have spent millions of dollars and it has done nothing to stop him. >> according to attendees, who spoke to him as they came out of the session, at the army and navy club here in washington, the mood was down beat. a sense there can't be much done at this point in the race because we are nearing the convention. so many primaries have been held. but they went over strategies, having a third party bid. could you get on a ballot by using other parties around the country like the constitution party. or a reformed party and using that to have a conservative candidate take those ballot slots. by this point there's a lot of frustration on the right that not enough's been done and the best chance of stopping trump from get together threshold he needs for the nomination. >> let's talk about marco rubio. we have video of him returning to work. his top aide tweeting out shots of that return. and rubio talked to supporters
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on a fphone call, tape gotten b pioneer press. he didn't endorse either texas senator ted cruz or ohio governor john kasich the two other remaining candidates but rubio praised cruz the only conservative left in the race. is this maybe the beginning after unity ticket between a cruz and rubio with an endorsement coming shortly from senator rubio ted cruz's way? >> i'm not so sure cruz will put rubio on the ticket. but cruz is the best position candidate. john kasich and the ohio governor had a big win in his home state but he is struggling to pick up significant delegates. and you see cruz regardless of all of his unpopularity from the shut down, he is becoming someone the establishment is reconciling with. >> bob costa, robert, great to see you, buddy. thank you. >> thank you. >> so omarosa manigault, former contestant on "the apprentice" is with us.
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hello. >> good to see you. >> so john kasich has been firing off tweets today calling trump's convention riots unacceptable and complicit acceptance of violence. does donald trump mean to suggest such a thing and intimidate people about chaos at convention to secure the nomination? >> you know what i think needs to really happen is for us to take a close look at the rise and these outbreaks at trump's different rallies. to the money that's being raised by the establishment and all these anti-trump folks. you have seen a rise in these professional protesters who come to bring a rise out of trump when he is at his rallies. they are trying to cut back room deals to stop donald trump from getting the nomination. that quite frankly is not going to work. >> we know that donald trump has started to focus his attention
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on the general election. using instagram for a smear ad against secretary clinton showing her out of context, barking like a dog and vladimir puton laughing. do you think that's presidential? >> you know, i listen to people talking about what's presidential and what's not. and whether or not donald trump will be a statesman and whether he is prepared. i have to tell you that having known him for more than a decade, i can tell you that he is more than prepared to lead this country. he has a vision for this nation. and he has the skill and know with all to do that. he has to do that in an environment where people are not trying to constantly undermine who he is and what he is about. when you look closely at the different ads coming his way, and you know on tuesday, half of all of the ads by the gop were anti-trump ads. so when you ask me about whether or not he is presidential, or if he is ready to take the realms, he is. and his opponents will try to mute the voices of the voters. but the voters are spoken.
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they want donald trump has the republican nominee and they will not be stopped by the back room underhanded dealings. >> so you say you have known donald trump for the last ten years. you have known the clint yons longer as you worked in the white house. . >> i have. 20 years. >> i spent the early years on the road covering the primary states. and a lot of people i spoke to, this is anecdotal, said they are switching parties to support trump to face hillary clinton in an election and help her chances. part after greater calculation. you stated that you had hillary tattooed on your arm. >> i said there was a time when i did. i have been a democrat my whole life. now i'm a trumplican. a trumplican is a person who seees a need -- >> stand by. senator rubio speaking to reporters. his return to capitol hill today. let's take a listen. >> be damaging to the conservative movement -- >> would you consider being cruz's vice president? >> no, i'm not going to be anybody vice president.
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i'm not interested in being vice president. i don't mean that in a disrespectful way. i'm not going to be vice president. i'm not running for governor of florida. i'm finishing my term in senate the next 10 months. we will work hard. i have things to achieve. and i will be a private citizen in january. >> and you won't file in this april or may for this seat? >> no, no, i'm not running for reelection in the senate. i will finish my term here and then be a private citizen. >> what about this still fracture get to summertime and a lot of chatter over the past 48 hours about a contested convention. paul ryan saying today he is boning up on the rules in case it gets to that. do you think that that -- >> i don't know, my campaign barely ended 48 hours ago. i haven't thought through that. it is not anything we're planning on or -- if you go into the convention and no one has the requisite number of delegates, then there are rules that account for it. but it is not some part of our calculation or anything. we ran a race i'm very proud of from a messaging perspective. and it is just not what the
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electorate wanted. >> senator, what do you make of donald trump's comments that he might insight -- >> off the screen -- >> my head phones. >> oh, guys come on -- i mean, at this point, it is like daily occurrence. you know. of stuff that he says. there isn't going to be any riots. you know, it is a very unusual political year. people will write books about this year. there will be a lot of political scholarship on what is exactly happening. but i don't think riots will be part of it. >> will you write a book? >> about this election? >> i'm not planning on it. but you never know. guys are making movies out of their books. >> what about the supreme court nominee -- >> i just started yesterday. i'm not in the middle of it, i just started yesterday. my position remains the same. i don't see the point of it. i know enough about his record to not support him.
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i didn't think we should move forward on a nominee. i would say that if it was a republican president. number two, even if this was the third year of this president's term, this is not someone i would support. >> you meeting with him, courtesy call meeting? >> i would be more than happy to talk to anybody but i wouldn't change my position. >> senator, when you look back at the campaign, two questions. one, what do you think went wrong? and two, you wanted to take this or your campaign, kept open the option of going to the convention and fighting it out. why do you choose not to do that? >> a couple points. number one within no one ever gets into an election saying can't wait to get to the convention. you want it win the delegates and unite the party. that the ideal outcome. it doesn't appear to be headed there except after tuesday night. perhaps trump gained enough delegates it move closer in that direction. there is still an open question about whether he gets to 1237 and we will see as it plays out. i don't think that's the ideal outcome for party.
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in the ideal work you have a nominee. and it gives you a stronger position in the election. i don't believe donald trump will be able to do that. that's my opinion. >> post mort em on your campaign, and the volatility gravitated toward trump, you said the right message but you weren't on the winning end this time around. >> right you see what happened. people got hurt in 2007 and 2008. this massive economic downturn. you think about most americans, number one investment is their home. it took bath. . millions of americans struggling financially. the change in economic have been destructive. many jobs are either gone or don't pay enough in the middle class, or are replace bade machine or sent overseas. so my argument was yes these things are really happening but there is also opportunities created and we should embrace those. and that's not just a -- that's
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just an message people wanted to hear or really caught on. i understood that we could run a campaign based on you know speaking to people's frustration, anger and getting them angrier and more frustrated but i continue to believe that these disrupgss in our economy while incredibly painful also provide opportunities. that's why i focus so much on vocational training p. that's what we need to do to transition people in the middle of the second upheaval. >> politically, it is not something that necessarily cut through in a year where someone like donald trump so far has been able to capture that frustration and that anger and exacerbate it in a way that's helped with voters. >> you been fist to cuffs with donald trump? >> i said, not because politically, we almost won virginia after that. beat ted cruz of that. i don't think it reflected well with me. i already addressed that. >> what about the immigration issue? >> it was a factor. at the end of the day, this th
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is a 17-person field and i was one of the last four standing. running every major political figure in the national level ran for president. i'm proud of how far we got. it just wasn't far enough. it was a factor but at the end of the day if you look at how we performed in many places, i don't think that's the reason i'm not still in the race. >> would you foresee another run for office in the future? would you rule out future political -- >> i mean, a guy that just got here. i'm not running for governor or for reelection of the senate. ynd beyond that, who knows. >> so then we have tape turn around of marco rubio back to work on capitol hill and addressing questions from reporters. saying he is not going to be anyone's vice president. he expects to be a private citizen come january because he hasn't sent in paperwork to run for his seat in florida once again. he doesn't accept the idea of any type of riots based on
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donald trump's words coming up at the convention in cleveland. and also talking about merrick garland saying he is not someone he would support typically but is happy to talk to anyone if he called. he also made up the point or made out the point that his campaign barely ended 48 hours ago. roughly after 8 wi:20 tuesday nt after losing to donald trump that marco rubio suspended his campaign. saying today he is proud of the messaging of the campaign they ran but not something that electorate was interested in. omarosa is standing by. you used to be a hillary supporters. now a donald trump supporter. >> before we do that, it's very interesting to see rubio back on the hill and seeing him back to work. he said he wouldn't be interested in being a vp candidate. it is very difficult for any candidate wh loses florida to do anything sufficiently in the general. i'm glad he recognizes that and glad to see him back to work. but i also believe that moving
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forward, that we have to find a way to bring civility back to this election and make sure this party is working together instead of against donald trump or working to bring donald trump down. if there is unity in this party, you can see them moving forward in the fall. >> you talk about unity and civility. you talk about protesters at donald trump's rally. what he was talking about is republican on republican violence. trump supporters coming out and trying to harm the supporters of other people. so this would be in party -- >> let's be clear about his statement. because we are -- >> let's be clear. >> you could do see a lot of things. what donald said is if voters who truly put their trust into this process and voted for a candidate and went out to the polls, if they were robbed by some back room deals being cut right now then you will see people who are upset, very, very vocal. i don't believe the will of the people should be ignored nor
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squash bid dealings by the establishment. that's exactly what he said. now you are deducting he is trying to promote riots, that's ridiculous. >> no, no, not promote riots. >> what he is saying is there needs to be a process that is transparent -- >> no one else brought that up -- >> he needs a process that is transparent. all of these secret meetings you report on every single day, what do you think they discuss in secret meetings? ways to undermine voters. voters that have spoken. they want donald trump. you cannot negotiate away the will of the people. >> no be with you make a great point about what the will of the people has been so far. the momentum getting to 1237 delegates right now is behind the trump campaign. >> he will get there. >> if he doesn't make it to that number and there is an issue with not making that benchmark that's when things become tricky. >> he will get there. >> with unbalanced delegate, becoming available, for any type of second ballot or third ballot which makes this certainly very
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interesting. and one other point i want to get to -- >> please. >> mother jones wrote a piece about you that said you like to identify yourself as a trump surrogate. >> i have never identified as a trump surrogate. donald trump has one spokesperson. her name is katrina. you have had her on this show many, many, many times. and the full staff for donald trump is listed on his website. i have been a friend of donald trump for more than a decade and always identified myself in the trump campaign has said that. there is only one spokesperson. that is katrina. i won't take anything away from her. but i will stand up and speak out for my friend and go against those trying to undermine him. that's when you know you are doing something big when on tuesday of the election they are writing about you and not about the five states that were voting. i must be doing something right, thomas, when i have detractors coming after me instead of focussing on what the people were doing, and that's voting
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for donald trump to be the republican nominee. >> trump supporter, omarosa manigault, always great to have you on. >> thank you. >> be sure to watch tomorrow at 7:00 eastern on msnbc. coming up, did president obama tell donors that bernie sanders is done and time to get behind hillary clinton? we will ask sanders supporter about a stunning new report. just a few moments away. stick around. ongs to the fast. and to help you accelerate, we've created a new company. one totally focused on what's next for your business. accelerating innovation. accelerating next. hewlett packard enterprise. whewhat does it look like?ss, is it becoming a better professor by being a more adventurous student? is it one day giving your daughter the opportunity she deserves? is it finally witnessing all the artistic wonders
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i think my message to them is don't let politics get in the way of doing your job. >> we have josh earnest moments
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ago at white house press briefing urging republicans to hold a vote on judge garland. roughly at the same time we have fresh video just around of judge garland meeting with senator patrick leahy. that is the beginning of the face-to-face meeting for lawmakers no are this judge in hopes of getting a confirmation hearing and a vote. and it also comes at a time when this supreme court showdown is evolving into a political battle. mcconnell says his belief is that the next president should weight in on this vacancy. but harry reid cast the republicans position as part after quote, big lie. >> we have seen this big lie resurface in the last 24 hours as president obama nominated merrick garland in the supreme court. republicans are slamming the door on a good man. simply why? because president obama nominated him. that's how they've treated him over his entire presidency.
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>> so joining me now is attorney robby cap lin who argued before the supreme court who struck down the marriage act and helped legalize marriage equality as a way as you worked with eedie windsor when it comes to respect for what it means to be married in this country. it is great to see you, robby. as i was reading up on you, i foupd this one that called you the uber gay rights litigator. i like that title for you. i thought that was a funny way. uber gay rights litigator. >> well, i pick on uber. >> yes. so that makes sense. someone liberal groups are behind, why do you think there are such head winds for someone who be considered a consensus nominee at this time? >> well i'm an politician. and i don't work in the senate. but given the fact that this candidate, this nominee is one of the most qualified nominees ever to be nominated to the
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supreme court, i think you have to think that there is something beyond who he is that's involved here. you heard the prior guest use the word civility. in returning civility back to the presidential campaign. i agree with her but i think we need to return civility back to the senate and the senators need to do what they've always done in the past which is consider candidates nominated by the president. hopefully confirm a candidate. hard to think there is any possible objective argument against this candidate. and get the supreme court back working with a nine-judge full roster of supreme court justices. >> so robby, when it comes to looking down the heritage of how certain justices have been replaced by other justices, you can kind of see the fit. ideal logically thinking of how elaina kagan came to be or sotomayor. garland may not be the right fit
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for scalia's position. do you agree or disagree? >> i don't think it is fit. the president has the duty to nominate someone and whoever is president at the time has that duty. i believe the senate has the obligation to give that candidate serious consideration and particularly with a candidate like this. merrick garland is one of new york times mentioned this yesterday about being a feeder judge. which means you send your clerks to them to clerk at the supreme court. he is the third highest feeder judge of all time. he sent three law clerks to clerk for the office. no one could be better qualified to do this job. >> justice scalia's diversity test, he doesn't fit the bill. and part of a piece on the blog wrote about this. in his humor and descent on this, scalia complained that the court consisted of only harvard or yale educated lawyers and all but one justice grew up in
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coastal states and that none was an evangelical christian. they were either catholic or jewish. he doesn't fit scalia's diversity test. >> he has the illinois thing going for him. not from the coastal areas. but in the greater scheme of things, do you think that there could have been a more diverse candidate sent up that might have a better opportunity of getting through what we're seeing on the hill? and the obstruction that exists there? >> yeah. i think -- no. the short answer is no. i think when it comes to the supreme court, there is only nine people who have the privilege and honor supreme court justices. a president should look at their qualifications and experience and how good of a justice they will be. and i haven't heard a single criticism of judge garland because he is, by all accounts, superbly well qualified. it is not about, just as justice
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scalia would have certain litness tests, other people will have litness tests. the litness test here is qualifications. president obama has done a superb job. >> one funny story arguing in front of justice scalia? anything to share? >> not really. i certainly argued a case in front of him. he had a little bit aftof a bac and forth. but there weren't too many fireworks. he asked smart questions. that shows the importance of needing to have nine judges on this court. the number nine is an odd number for a reason. you need to have that ninth vote to make the decision in the case. >> right now we have pending things, 4-4. we can't make moves. attorney general robby cap lin. thank you. coming up, president obama talking about bernie sanders out of the race. more ahead for you. am i seeing double? no ma'am. our at&t 'buy one get one free' makes it easier for your
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fresh off her super tuesday
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sweep, hillary clinton is set to be in arizona next week. this as not confirmed reports surface that president obama asked donors to coalesce around the front-runner. meanwhile, bernie sanders and his campaign are hashing out a new strategy to put him back in the game. how do his campaign advisors plan to narrow the widening delegate gap by courting the very super delegates that they once railed against? right now clinton leads sanders by more than 700 delegates counting those super delegates but if we take a look at the map of the next states, the sanders camp believes that he can sweep these. we have 149 delegates at stake in arizona primary and caucuses in idaho and utah next week. alaska, washington and hawaii vote next saturday. the sanders campaign believe they can win all of those six states. hillary clinton has a new ad with gabby giffords who nearly lost her life in a mass shooting in 2011. >> we have a gun violence
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problem. so i'm voting for hillary clinton. she's tough. she will stand up to the gun lobby. she will fight to make our families safer. it matters. >> former state senator turner of ohio is a bernie sanders supporter and joins me now. senator sanders, good to have you with me. >> thanks. >> first we have the white house press secretary josh earnest just react together new york times piece that president obama has told donors to unite behind hillary clinton. take a listen. >> president obama made a case that would be familiar to all of you. which is, that as democrats move through this competitive primary process, we need to be mindful of the fact that our success in
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november in electing a democratic president, will depend on the commitment and ability of the democratic party to come together behind our nominee. >> nina, what do you make of that? does he have a point of unification and it needs to happen now? >> thomas, certainly i know of the president or no other democrat would insinuate we should deny the rest of the voters in the country the opportunity to have a choice. so i'm not reading it that way. senator bernie sanders is in this race. he is in this race to win it. he is not going anywhere. so folks need to strap in. because we're going all wait to the convention. >> as we look at the map, there are 2,383 delegates needed to secure the nomination. percentage wise, hillary clinton only needs 35% of the remaining delegates to make that. sanders needs 65%. so is that undoable? is that just too much of an uphill climb for the sanders camp?
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>> it's not, thomas. yes it is an uphill climb but it is not insurmountable. we can do it. the states next tuesday and the tuesday after that, and don't forget california in june, so we believe we have a great strategy to make sure that senator sanders has the pledged delegates he needs to become the nominee in june. >> so you think that there really should be a battle all the way to the convention and show these candidates fighting back and forth only to set them up to potentially go against the gop bulldozer that is donald trump. is that a problem? >> tom, this is not about -- we make this about individuals. if we make this about the sector senator sanders, but this should really be about the people and what people want. and no one in this country should be denied an opportunity to have choice as we go through this. so this is not about the parties. this is about the people. and that is the reason why senator sanders is running.
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he is 10 months into this race, thomas, as we know, he doesn't have a national profile. he has one now but didn't have one before this. he hasn't been running for president for eight years. he certainly is making a strong impact in this race. he is bringing out our millennials, independents in very strong numberes. those are the very groups that democrats need to win. whether we are running against mr. trump or any other republican. senator sanders is not going anywhere. we are in it to win it. so people better strap up. >> what about that powerful ad? we have gabby giffords talking about hillary clinton taking on the gun lobby. basically saying that bernie sanders can't and doesn't have the steam to do it. >> i have great respect for the congress lady but look, sanders has a d minus rating with the nra. he support the doing away with the loop holes. he supports the ban on the assault weapons. he is strong. and another thing about it, he can be that bridge between those
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states an those folks who don't necessarily see thing in the same way that some other democrats do. so senator bernie sanders is a very strong candidate, very strong contender. as he said in his last debate, he will put his record side by side with the secretary any day of the week. >> former state senator nina turner, who i think i called senator sanders off the top. >> you did, thomas. >> good to be back in the studio. >> we look alike, i know. >> throwing me off. nina, thank you. see bernie sanders tonight on rachel maddow. yes, i'm back in the studio. see you back at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow. kate picks up an interview next from arizona with jan brewer. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics.
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theand the kids always eat sky their vegetables.e. because the salad there is always served with the original hidden valley ranch.


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