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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  March 17, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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reporters to credit him for being a top four finisher in the republican presidential race, which if you think about it is almost enough to get you a medal. >> at the end of the day it was a 17 person field and i was one of the last four standing in a field that ran basically every political figure that ran for president. >> i was one of four still standing. marco rubio did indeed place in the top four in the republican party primary. that is awesome for him. as i said, though, not a man to be humbled by what he just went through. that does it for us tonight. one of the top 18 programs airing on basic cable at 9:00 p.m. check your local listings. we'll see you again tomorrow. now it's time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. >> wouldn't you like to have a job that included something called recess? >> yes. not since fifth grade. >> why don't we try that. i don't know 1:30 every day
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recess. >> i would settle for lunch. if we could have lunch and recess, i would take it. >> me too. thank you. as predicted right here republicans are finally using abraham lincoln against donald trump. >> a new group of conservatives scrambled to stop donald trump at all costs. >> paul ryan acknowledging that the convention could be open in cleveland. >> to even address or hint to violence is unacceptable. if he can do it without riots in the streets the other candidates can do it as well. >> any effort to help anybody but the republican nominee helps hillary clinton. >> we are going all the way to cleveland. >> it was an explosive hearing at times. >> i agree that the epa should have done more. >> it was also an emotional one on capitol hill. >> they should have rushed in sooner to rescue the people of michigan. >> as both michigan governor
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rick snyder. >> you had the authority and backing of the federal government. >> investigating the lead painted water in michigan. >> the president's nominee for the supreme court made his first visit to capitol hill today. >> i cannot imagine in he senator standing up and saying i'm not going do my duty. >> i'm not going to change my position. >> i used to make a living identifying absurdity. i'm hearing a lot of it today. the most powerful republican in government who is second in line in the line of succession for the presidency the speaker of the house paul ryan insisted today he will not become a candidate for president if the republicans have a contested convention, but he will be the most powerful person at that convention. paul ryan will be the chairman of the republican convention. he will be the master of the convention rules and the
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interpreter of the convention rules. the convention parmt tear will work for him. paul ryan is clearly not buying donald trump's idea that whoever shows up at that convention with the most delegates, even if it's not a majority, should just get the nomination automatically. >> nothing's changed other than the perception that there's more likely to become an open convention than we thought before. so we're getting our minds around the idea that this could very well become a reality and therefore those of us involved in the convention need to respect that. >> need to respect that. that is a message aimed directly at the republican front-runner who respects nothing. that is the chairman of the convention saying that the rules of the convention enforced by him will determine what happens at the convention, not the wishful thinking of donald trump. >> my goal is to be dispassionate and to be switzerland, to be neutral and
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dispassionate and to make sure the rule of law prevails and make sure that the delegates make their decision however the rules require them to do that. >> republicans trying to stop trump today finally started ecoing what i've been saying for days about how abraham lincoln got the republican presidential nomination. >> in 1860 abraham lincoln it took him three ballots. >> eric was part of a stop trump meeting in washington today. >> we find donald trump and hillary clinton both unacceptable and want to call for a unity ticket in the republican party now. to have the parties that have dropped out to hold their delegates so donald trump can't
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get to the 1237 delegates and after the first ballot try to shape the party without trump. >> the group released a statement saying we believe the issue of donald trump is greater than an issue of party, it's an issue of character that all americans most confront. we call for a unity ticket that unites the republican party. marco rubio, the former golden boy, announced today that he will not be on that ticket or any ticket because after failing to unite republicans in his home state to support his candidacy for president he plans to quit politics. >> i'm not going to be anybody's vice president. i'm not interested in being vice president. no mean that in a disrespectful way. i'm not running for governor of florida. i'm going to finish out my term in the senate over the next ten months. we're going to work hard here and we have some things we want to achieve and i'll be a private citizen in january. >> the last time the republicans went into a convention without a
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nominee locked in place was 1976 when ronald reagan tried to snatch the convention away. the master mind of the reagan strategy was charlie black who this week signed on to john kasich's campaign. charlie black told chuck todd that the kasich campaign hopes to follow the abraham lincoln model and grab the nomination on the third ballot. >> john kasich would have a very good chance to win in an open competitive convention that went more than a couple of ballots and that's the strategy he's going to win some more primaries too. if you add this up it could be that trump goes in with about 40% and you have 35% for either kasich or were for rubio or uncommitted, which gives you a chance for a mainstream ke
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conservative against two outliers to win. >> joining us now is stewart stevens. columnist for the daily beast and former strategist and joy read national correspondent who has been out on that campaign trail everywhere and charlie pierce writer at large. these scenarios sound crazy to anyone who doesn't know the history of contested conventions. anything can happen there. >> that is correct and i think that we're getting another civics lesson is as much as we do not elect the president of the united states with our popular votes, we just decide which go to the elect ral college, in these primaries your vote does not determine who the nominee is, it decides which delegates go to a certain candidate and they will vote at the convention according to whatever rules the chairman of the convention decides are the rules that year and that is how the nominee is chosen. hump re was imposed on the
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democratic electorate. he didn't run in a primary. it's the system, folks. it's the same way and it's been for a very long time. >> stewart, you were there four years ago at the republican convention where your candidate had it locked up, none of this was ever an issue. i assume the rules weren't that important because there wasn't anything contention in that florida convention, but this time with the charlie blacks moving in we've got a real game going on here if donald trump doesn't show up with the majority. >> yeah, listen i've been fascinated by this. i wrote a novel coming out in june about a brokered convention because it's a fascinating study and a human hot box of emotions. i think it's going to be tough for donald trump to get to 1,237 and what you're seeing is a
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resistance to donald trump because he'll be a disaster ele elect rally and there's these issues that bother people across the board. what i think is going to be fascinating here is the stress test that this puts these candidates under. this is a period where they're going to be watched very carefully and in many ways it's going to be like the recount period back in 2000 where these candidates are going to be under tremendous unnatural pressures and you have to see how they handle it. now so far i'd say donald trump's not doing a very good job, but in some ways i suppose it's an opportunity for the guy to step up and be bigger, but he usually doesn't do very well in those moments. >> let's listen to what eric said today about what this means for the party. >> i think that if donald trump becomes the republican nominee, the republican party ceases to
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be the party that i was a representative of so there is going to have to be the ground work for a new political party in the country that represents people who typically have been republican voters in the past. >> charlie pierce, the united states did perfectly okay up until about the 1850s without a republican party existing. might we be on the verge of a return to that condition? >> first of all, in honor of saint patrick's day i would like to say something which is who is eric when he's at home. what kind of power broker are we dealing with here. if stewart stevens has a novel coming out this summer, i want him picking the rest of my bracket. third, i don't know. honestly i don't know whether it would be good or bad for paul ryan to preside over a
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convention where they push donald trump out of the nomination. i have no idea what the republican party is going to look like in a month yet alone when the convention rolls around. >> but this is one of those situations where the republicans have no good choice. if donald trump shows up there without enough delegates to secure the nomination, then he's showing up as the weakest nominee they've seen against gerald ford and possibly weaker because he may well show up with fewer delegates. so what do you do, do you go forward with this inexperienced candidate who is the weakest nominee you maybe have ever had or do you come up with some other result? >> the party is already split. ever since the emerge answer of the tea party there have been two republican parties operating under the same umbrella, but having come from cleveland i can tell you there will be no overtime for any police officers in that city. there is already a sense of real
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nervousness about what will happen. you've had donald trump essentially threatens riots if he doesn't get his way. parties have a self interest. of course they want to prevent this person who is just little more of a vulgarian. it's ironic that eric is standing up for sort of the integrity of the republican party, but they have a self interest of preventing themselves from being destroyed by somebody who is going to march into the convention without the support of anyone there. people who come to the convention are partisans. they're the republican establishment. they're going to sit there and watch donald trump become the nominee. they're going to fight it. the republican party has to live with the convention of allowing and helping to create donald trump. >> stewart, with paul ryan as the most important non-candidate going to that convention, he's already taken a number of
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stances against donald trump, against things donald trump has said. he came out as soon as donald trump said ban muslims from the country. paul ryan was against that. he was against donald trump's hes tans about rejecting white extremist. with paul ryan in that position, with this party where it is, do you see it the way i do that there is no good choice, there is no choice that everybody can just cheer about when they leave cleveland? >> listen, i've been using the guns of august analogy, the book about the sort of world war i. i'll be happy if we can avoid killing each other. my goal here is straightforward. i don't want donald trump to be the nominee of the republican party. i think he's a horrible person.
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he represents i think a dark side of the american spirit in so many ways and i think it would be an absolute disaster for the party and for the country for him to represent a major party. so how we get there i'm less concerned about than getting there. that to me is the essential goal. >> you see this as a moral matter as well as a political matter? >> absolutely. listen, donald trump is a bigot. this is a party -- let's see how far we've wandered here. george bush 39 is the person who signed the american for disabilities act. now we have someone out there mocking people with disabilities. we have someone accusing george bush 41 of being a war criminal. this is just -- talking about our neighbors to the south as rapist. it is absolutely a moral question. >> we're going to have to take a
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break here. when we come back, he has written the must read of the day about the big problem republicans have with white voters. there just aren't enough of them. i can get over 60 sheets of drywall into my mercedes-benz metris. to get 60 sheets of drywall into my van, i invented the fold-o-matic 5000. my metris also holds over 2,500 pounds of payload. hauling 2,500 pounds in my small van is no problem. i just divide and conquer. hauls more, stows more, tows more and fits in your garage. the mid-size metris from mercedes-benz. vans. born to run. ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪ ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪
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today paul ryan, who will be the chairman of the republican national convention, krcriticiz the republican front-runner for the nomination for saying there will be riots if he doesn't get that nomination. >> nobody should say such things because to even address or hint to violence is unacceptable. >> we'll be right back. they say when mr. clean saw all the
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when donald trump looks out at his rally audiences, once they've forcibly removed the proteste protesters, he sees a sea of white. trump audiences are the only aud ens that we've seen that are writer than the people attending the republican conventions, but donald trump and the republican party have a serious problem with white voters. as stuart stevens points out there aren't enough white voters for the gop to win. in 1980 ronald reagan won 56% of white voters and won a land slide victory of 44 states in 2012 mitt romney won 59% of whites and lost with 24 states. we're back with stuart stevens for more on this. also joined by eugene robinson.
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stuart, whenever i read your stuff you do your homework and the math. and none of us know how to do math around here. i was quite struck by that. i did not realize that mitt romney got a larger percentage of the white vote than ronald reagan got. what else don't republicans know about the math of the white vote and winning national elections? >> well, i think one of the myths out there is just a lot of white voters weren't motivated as they were for ronald reagan, when in fact a higher percentage for white voters not only voted for mitt romney, but a higher percentage turned out for mitt romney. look, this is what i call the
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lost tribes of the amazon theory. if we go up the river far enough, they will come to the edge and vote for us. they're not there. the country's changing and you have to build a party that will be able to get a coalition of white and non-white voters. mitt romney was able to get 17% non-white voters. to win consistently you're going to have to get that up to north of 25%. >> and gene, in stuart's piece he points out where the electal college begins as soon as you stop voting on election day it's pretty well guaranteed that the democrats are going to start the night with 240 elect ral votes because there's these 16 states they always win. the republicans can guarantee they will start the night with only 103 elect ral votes.
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so there's -- there's the republicans starting off the night only like 28 electoral votes short of winning the presidency and republicans are out there now thinking that donald trump is somehow going to create this gigantic turnout of voters who have never been there before who are going to change that math. >> that's not going to happen. it doesn't happen and smart republicans like stuart have realized this for some time. they can do math at the rnc and you saw in the post-romney autopsy a version of this basically. the party has to expand its appeal to african-americans, to latinos, the countries biggest minority group, to asian americans. all those groups as you saw on the graphic went heavily for
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barack obama. if the party were to nominate someone like donald trump, assuming the republican party didn't just add om miez, it would solidify this sort of new american coalition relationship with the democratic party and it would be a long, long, long, winter for republicans. >> and stuart, making a move in the right directions here politically hasn't been easy for the republicans in the last four years. they tried initially to do something on immigration reform. that got shot down by the right wing of the republican party. what else could they have tried to do to try to gain some ground here with non-white voters? >> well, look, let's just step back. you have two -- a 74-year-old white guy and a 60 something
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year old white women. on the republican side you had two cuban americans, an african-american, a woman, there was a much more diverse group running. so that in itself is a start. but it's not just policy, though policy is part of it. it's being able to reach out to these voters with a sense that you care about these voters. and that's the thing about donald trump. it's not that donald trump is some tough stance on immigration per se that's killing any chances that republicans are going to have. i mean, that's not a particularly positive factor, but it's when he calls mexicans rapists and he talks about muslims in terms that are not american. we don't have a religious test in america. when he talks about, this horrible language that he uses about dipping bullets in pigs
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and shooting muslims, we don't do this in america. there is something about this that is foundmentally hateful to different groups. it sends a terribly wrong signal and we're that person to be the nominee of the party i think it would have devastating elect ralal consequences. >> you know, i mean i think that stuart is right, but it is policy too. i mean, i think the republican party really does need to think about how to -- how to design and yes modify policies that appeal to minority voters and the party just doesn't do that. the party sort of sticks with a very sort of standard reagan tax cut, deregulation ideology,
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which is fine for small owners and people like that that they're trying to appeal to, but doesn't say a lot to average minority voters. it really doesn't connect with them. so in a state like my home state of south carolina you have republican figures like the governor and the senator tim scott who people like and rin te end african-americans are not going to vote for because they don't like the policies. >> thank you both for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. >> good to be here. >> thank you. coming up, president obama is now getting involved or may be getting involved in the democratic primary.
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"the new york times" reports today, quote president obama told a group last friday that bernie sanders is nearing a point where his campaign against hillary clinton will come to an end and the party must soon come together to back her. the president's comments were sum yar rised last week and the comments were later confirmed by a white house. all of those sources remain
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anonymous. today he said this. >> 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 november in electing a democratic president will depend on the commitment and ability of the democratic party to come together behind our nominee. the president did not indicator specify a preference in the race. >> the times report does say, quote, president obama stressed he was not endorsing either
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candidate. joining us now is the national affairs correspondent for the nation magazine and co author of people get ready, the fight against a jobless economy and a citizenless economy and the aut author about barack obama and the clintons. >> joy, you're the expert. what do you make of this story. >> he knows hillary clinton better than he knows bernie sanders. he's closer to hillary clinton. if you talk to obama people, particularly obama people who didn't sign on with the hillary clinton campaign for one reason or another, you will still hear the sense that hillary clinton is the most likely nominee. she's the long standing of the two, and the party is much more behind her. i talked to an obama person today who essentially said look at a certain point the party has to start focusing on things like voter registration and mobilization and if the
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coordinated campaign can't get started and hillary clinton is focusing on bernie sanders then she's not doing that important party building. i think there is a sense and i would not be surprised if president obama would -- if he could make a public declaration, would make it for hillary clinton. >> just so happens bernie sanders was here in the last hour with rachel maddow. let's listen to what he said about this. >> i don't want to speculate on what he said or what he didn't say. i've heard there's been some push back from the white house kind of indicating that he didn't say that. when only half of the american people have participated in the political process, when some of the largest states in this country, people in those states have not been able to voice their opinion on who should be the democratic nominee, i think it's absurd for anybody to suggest that those people not have a right to cast a vote. >> john, you're reaction? >> well, i'd start off by saying
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that i have enough respect for barack obama to -- and his political skills to be pretty sure that he would not make a major statement about the 2016 presidential race to a bunch of donors in austin, texas. if he wants to send a sfiignal, this is a very skilled political figure and he can do it much more direct than this. so what we have a situation where i think he went to meet with a group of folks, they talked about a lot of politics and as joy points out i think he walked through some political scenarios, i'm sure all that happened, but one thing to remember is the democratic party in the last number of election cycles where they won the presidency in an open year had contests that went on into may and june. barack obama is familiar with that reality and then turned around and did a very good job of winning the presidency. that happened in 1992.
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bill clinton was still wrestling with jerry brown well into may. what i think we need to understand is the process that's going on right now is very, very healthy for the democratic party. it is great that the democratic party is having debates and is having people get mobilized and come to rallies and by comparison to the republicans, i think the democratic race looks very vibrant and very encouraging. so i don't see why people would want to dial that down so that all anybody talks about is what donald trump or somebody that doesn't like donald trump is doing. >> joy, that's i think a great point is that imagine where the democrats would be right now if their primaries were already over.
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the trump domination of the news cycle has been just overwhelming for everyone involved in dealing with it like us as well as the public. without what's going on on the democratic side, without the debates they're having, what would the public know about what the democrats' positions are. >> i think one of the issues for hillary clinton is that she has been saying in rallies if she could just start getting to trump it would be a good thing, but they does have the reality that she did take the primary all the way to june when she was running in the democratic primary against senator barack obama. there had been a lot more contests in the bag and she was a lot closer than bernie sanders is. his mathematical distance from her is greater just as a statistical matter than hers was, but the idea, yes, there's been a lot less excitement generated on the democratic side of turnout because the republican race has dominated things. but i think the other argument that you're hearing again and i'm telling you what i heard speaking to an obama person is that the problem is when barack obama was the leader, he was registering voters along the way
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and he was carrying this sort of movement behind him and so was hillary clinton. that isn't happening so much now and i think that's why people are getting nervous. >> thank you both for very much for joining us tonight. really appreciate it. >> thank you. >> thank you. up next, michigan governor faces an angry congressional hearing. everyone was angry in that hearing about the poisoning in the water and children in flint, michigan. pet moments are beautiful, unless you have allergies. then your eyes may see it differently. only flonase is approved to relieve both itchy, watery eyes and congestion. no other nasal allergy spray can say that. when we breathe in allergens our bodies react by
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essential here in washington too. inefficient bur krats at the epa allowed this continue unnecessarily. i'm glad to be sitting with the administer from the epa because all of us most be held accountable. >> so the governor blames the bureaucrats at the epa for allowing his mistake to continue, the very same epa that the republicans want to cut funding for or abolish in their wildest dreams. here is the how she replied. >> looking back on flint from day one the state provided our regional office with confusing, incomplete and absolutely incorrect information. their interactions with us were misleading and contentious and
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as a result epa staff had insufficient information to understand the potential scope of the lead problem until more than a year after to water supply was switched. >> predictably the republicans on the economy tried to blame the epa, which is their way of blaming president obama and the democrats on the committee tried to keep the blame focussed on the republicans in michigan whose decisions poisoned the water and the children in flint. >> when things got rough for you and your administration started being investigated, you got michigan to pay your legal fees. governor do you admit here today that you have asked the people of michigan for more than $1 million to pay for your criminal and civil defense fees. >> yes. >> it makes me sick to think you found a way to have the state of michigan pay over $1 million in legal fees, yet you thought so
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little of the people in flint that you could not be bothered to ask the legislator for money to switch them over to clean water. you cannot be trusted and i got to tell you you need to resign. >> joining us now mayor of lansing michigan. he ran against governor snyder in 2010. mr. mayor, when you consider the million dollars in legal fees versus the thousands of dollars maybe $36,000 a year it would have cost to make the clean water choice in flint, it's just a stunning comparison there. >> there were so many mistakes along the way and when you hear the governor say he takes responsibility, but it's these other people's fault that's a little disheartening. the mayor of flint is worked triple time. she's been incredible trying to address this problem. the people have been without
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good water coming up on two years. they've been using bottled water for three months. very difficult to take care of your family. they're told it's okay to bathe with it, but some people have rashes. it's time to fix the problem. the governor hasn't pulled up behind the mayor because he no longer has power. he had total power when this crisis happened. he had taken the place of the city council and the mayor, but he has yet to really support the new mayor of flint who deserves his support to get real help to the citizens of flint. this was a man made crisis, but it's a crisis nonetheless. it's a disaster for the people of flint and they deserve disaster relief and they don't have it to this day. do this day they're using bottled water. where is the help he promises, but the led is still there. they haven't gotten the lead out. i don't see the plan to get the lead out and they're not supporting the mayor's plan to get the lead out.
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>> let's listen to what the representative said to the governor about exactly what they are trying to do to help people now. >> tell me the constituents that you responded to based on that report. >> the constituents? we're out to talk to every person in flint. >> you're talking to them? your response to date to know who is effected why your report and then to talk to them. >> not maybe. it's to go to their homes to have aun opportunity to ask woud you like a filter or water test. how can we help support you? >> mr. mayor, it's amazing that he thinks the people in flint would just like to have a little filter to stick on to that poisoned water to take care of them. >> they made this switch almost two years ago. they put these people in peril. these are people with elderly parents and young kids. they were lied to by the government and then you're asking them what would they
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like? what they would like is what every american takes for granted which is clean, safe water. that's what they'd like and that's what they deserve. there's a lot of things that have come out of this testimony. i think it's great that congress is demanding accountability and transparency. it's more than closing the barn door because this effects a lot of communities around the country so i help that congress will keep digging, but we have to keep the pressure on locally. i'm doing what i can to help the mayor of flint, but they need resources. they need the state should pay for it. the state has a huge surplus which they stole from governments and they're going to have to use the surplus to fix the problem they created. if you pay it, you buy it. he should stop trying to blame other people and step up and fix the problem and get the lead out in flint. >> thanks for joining us.
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>> thanks. coming up, this senator says what he's been hearing from republican senators about the supreme court reminds him of the stuff he used to write for saturday night live. ? 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. and i'm still struggling with my diabetes. i do my best to manage. but it's hard to keep up with it. your body and your diabetes change over time. your treatment plan may too. know your options. once-daily toujeo®
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48 years ago, march 16th, 1968, senator robert "f" kennedy announced he was entering the race for the democratic presidential nomination posing to a challenge to johnson and to the democratic senator mccathy who was the first to announce his canadasy that year. >> i do not run for the candidacy to oppose any man, but to propose new policies.
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i previously communicated this decision to president johnson and late last night my brother senator kennedy traveled to wisconsin to communicate my decision to senator mccarthy. i make clear through my brother to the senator that my candidacy would not be an opposition to his, but in harmony. >> senator robert kennedy's campaign lasted less than three months. it ended when he was assassin e assassinated here in los angeles on june 5th, 1968. but not every insurance company understands the life behind it. ♪ those who have served our nation have earned the very best service in return. ♪ usaa. we know what it means to serve. get an auto insurance quote and
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his parents the nonprofit organization was born. now once a month super ewan and his super volunteers distribute food, clothes and basic necessities to the homeless. last year his short film was one of 15 chosen for the white house student festival whose theme was the impact of giving back. the website, little things, recently caught up with super ewan. >> after i put on my cape, i go into the dining room and i make a sandwich and start filling out the bag with candy, apples and chips. >> this is the packet for my friends and i call them super friends because i don't like to call them homeless. >> i wish more kids could be like him. if i had a son or daughter, i would like my kid to be just
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today at a senate judiciary committee hearing to consider all business, senator al franken said this. >> supreme court nominees have gotten hearings for the last 100 years since 1916. you can't say i want the people to decide, wait for the next president, oh, wait a minute, if we lose the election, then we'll vote for this guy. then we'll have this. will you at least admit to me that is condititradictorycontra. >> i was in your shoes i would be saying that's wonderful, at least we're going to vote for this nominee one way or the other. >> no, it's -- it's double talk. don't you see that as double talk? don't you see that though? doesn't anyone here see that? i guess not. i guess not. >> and charlie pierce is back
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with us. and charlie, senator franken went on to say that what the republicans were saying reminded him of stuff he used to write at saturday night live. >> that was the al franken from his old job that you don't see very much in the senate. he's been a real work horse and not a show pony there. >> he raised a challenge to the senators when he said what about -- why don't you just do absolutely nothing. let's listen to that. >> you could be the ropeadope senate and not do anything. here's what the constitution says. provides only that the congress must be in session at least once a year. is that what you guys want? the congress shall assemble at least once in every year and
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such meetings shall begin at noon on the third day of january. the american people are looking at this and seeing what this is. this is obstruction. >> charlie i've seen a lot of senate hearings and i haven't seen any moments like that. >> no, that was a good one. what bothers me about this thing is that the president is free to nominate anybody he wants and he's done that. the senate is free not to do anything about it. but what the republicans seem to want is they want to not do anything about it, but pay no political price for that. and i'm sorry, they can't have both of those. they cannot -- they cannot -- they cannot not have hearings on this nooecminee, but they can't hide behind some fanciful constitution of the mind and
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they can't say we'll let the people decide on it because the people decided in 2012 who was going to nominate supreme court justices between january he is certainly not my preference, senator cruz is not. then the fight is on, as obama's pr