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tv   MSNBC Post Address Special  MSNBC  February 6, 2019 12:00am-1:01am PST

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> good evening. i'm chris matthews in new york. president trump billed tonight's state of the union speech as a call for unity, but after touting his own accomplishments, the president quickly turned calls to work together in a warning to democrats who now control the house. >> an economic miracle is taking place in the united states, and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations. [ applause ]
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if there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. it just doesn't work that way. >> well, after weeks of battling speaker nancy pelosi over funding for a border wall, the president tried to make a case for bipartisanship. >> victory is not winning for our party, victory is winning for our country. [ applause ] we must reject the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution and embrace the boundless potential of cooperation, compromise and the common good. [ applause ]
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>> but even on the heels of a five-week government shutdown, president trump made clear he has no intention of back down on his demand for money for his wall. in fact, he used speaker pelosi's own words that a wall is immoral. while once again invoking the threat of a caravan to make the case for his wall. >> i have ordered another 3,750 troops to our southern border to prepare for this tremendous onslaught. this is a moral issue. we have a moral duty to create an immigration system that protects the lives and jobs of our citizens. i want people to come into our country in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally. >> i'm joined bright now by democratic congressman ted liu of california, ben rhodes,
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former deputy national security adviser to president obama, joy reid, host of "a.m. joy" on msnbc and susan del percio, a republican strategist. i want to start with the congressman. i thought tonight might be an opportunity for trump to change course because most presidents when they lose a midterm, this was a wipeout for the republican party this november, they changed the way they were doing things so they can get re-elected. congressman, he didn't change anything. >> that's right, chris. i think one of the most surprising things that the president said was that he was somehow not going to work with us on legislation if we investigate him. >> yeah. >> that's not how it works. members of congress take an oath to the constitution. we have a duty to pass legislation and conduct oversight over the other two branches. we're not going to abdicate one for the other. >> did you tie together the idea what the president said tonight, in other words let's kill these investigations, especially the mueller one with the idea of whitaker, the acting attorney
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general recently said this thing is almost over. were they working together, do you think? we had a guest on today who thought they were working together, the president and whitaker, to squeeze down mueller. >> right. well, first of all, mueller's investigation is not partisan. he happens to be a republican who is investigating the republican president. and this friday the house judiciary committee, on which i sit, we're going to call in matt whitaker and question him under oath. i don't think he knew what he was really talking about. >> okay. >> when he said the mueller investigation was going to end any time soon because we saw with the roger stone tranche of evidence that they found, there's lots of issues there to go there and it doesn't seem like it's going to conclude any time soon. >> hang on there, congressman. let's go to joy reid on this. the president started out with a preamble tonight. >> yeah. >> like in the constitution. we're going to hold these truths to be self-evident. let's come together -- then enough of that. it's a moral issue. nancy pelosi can say it's moral. i can say that, too.
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we're fighting to the death. >> yeah, and he repeated twice in his preamble that the politics of resistance, resistance must end. i think that was sort of the setup to the speech, you must stop resisting my administration. that's part one. >> how about revenge? >> the revenge part is completely not on the table. what he's essentially saying is no legislating, nothing else happens until you stop investigating me. then he goes on to tie his becoming president to being essentially the only thing that stopped us from being, you know, engulfed in thermonuclear war with north korea. i mean, it was so grandiose and over the top. but then when he pivoted to the parts that were for the people he really governs, his base, it was brown scare, it was, you know, showing this family, this poor family that had this tragedy to illustrate how dangerous immigrants are and how we have to turn them back and how it's a matter of love of country to get rid of them and the wall and all that sort of stuff. then the hardcore abortion politics he delved into. this was essentially a rally speech. by the way, the gallery responded as if they were at a
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trump rally with all the hooting and hollering. that's why he wanted to do his speech. >> susan, i thought he was forming up his core. >> yeah. >> he may get above 40% for a couple of days. i'd say 43, 44 coming out of this. he made the pro-life case on the late term issue, which is very difficult for a lot of people. he loves legal immigration. that's new. but he made people feel good. they weren't really anti-brown, they were for legal brown, basically, to put it bluntly. what did you think of it? >> i think he hit all the notes he had to for his base, but i think it was a speech given out of fear, actually, because the only thing that this president has as he attempts to govern is he can threaten republican primaries. that's it. so he shores up his base so they stay with him. because this week mitch mcconnell knows, and he told the president i have 12 senators, republican senators who are
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against you using -- enacting an emergency act on the border. so i think he's cornered. i think he went right to his easy spot, which is the base, but the biggest thing is, and it's almost laughable, who knows what he's going to tweet in six hours. you can't take him at what he says. you can't negotiate with him. you can't take him in an address. >> and, chris, what was the -- >> i want to get to ben for one question. ben rhodes, thanks for joining us tonight. he seems to me he took a shot at obama, saying i'm the guy that saved our north korean policy. it was going in the dirt and i saved it. >> well, i mean, chris, first of all, he should have thanked obama for the economy he was bragging about. >> sure. >> most of the economic indicators he talked about, the job creation, the growth, started years before under obama. on north korea, i mean, this hypothetical war that he was talking about, i don't think there was any collision course headed towards war. in fact, the only thing that put us on a path towards escalation with north korea early in the
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trump administration was trump's own tweets, and, in fact, what we now know from our own intelligence community is even though he's been heaping praise on kim jong-un, even though he's had this initial summit and now preparing for a second summit, our own intelligence community finds no indication that north korea is giving up their nuclear weapons. so as with a lot of things trump says, you know, underneath the surface of boasting there is no there there underneath. >> let me go to congressman liu on this question of socialism because fortunately there is a world to look at. there is a lot of different laboratories of socialism. there is the northern europe version, which is democratic, and there's some horrendous versions that come out of the soviet union and the warsaw pack, then the latin american version with venezuela and cuba. i thought that was a pretty direct shot at bernie. at aoc. let's watch it for a second.
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>> here in the united states we are alarmed by the new calls to adopt socialism in our country. america was founded on liberty and independence and not government coercion, domination and control. we are born free and we will stay free. tonight we renew our resolve that america will never be a socialist country. [ cheers and applause ] >> congressman, that was for 2020, if i ever heard one. that's what they're going to make the election about next year. the democrats are turning socialist. they're just like maduro in venezuela. they're like the castro brothers, the bad castro brothers. you better look out. what do you think? >> i just want to remind the president and republicans that social security and medicare are
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socialist-type programs, and it's absolutely true, democrats want to expand social security and medicare. that's what we should be doing in our country. if the president wants to run on that, terrific. we will beat him at it. i think the president instead is going to revert back to the wall and the big scary caravans he keeps talking about. i just want to note that these scary caravans present themselves at our legal checkpoints. they don't end up in michigan, wisconsin or pennsylvania. >> perhaps the president's biggest applause line tonight was unintentional, as he tried to tout his administration's accomplishments for women. let's watch. >> no one has benefitted more from our thriving economy than women who have filled 58% of the newly created jobs last year. [ applause ]
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you weren't supposed to do that. thank you very much. thank you very much. all americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before. [ applause ] don't sit yet. you're going to like this.
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>> well, you know, joy, all those women dressed in white to make a point. here they are laughing because they've sort of turned the tables because they all have new jobs. >> correct. >> u.s. members of congress. >> he doesn't get it. donald trump is congratulating himself for all of the new women who have gotten jobs in the country while the women are congratulating themselves for having these new jobs in congress that are in large part because of the revulsion against donald trump's mistreatment of women. he just was so out of the joke, he didn't get it. he thought that they were applauding for him, clearly. and it's ironic that that is juxtaposed with his talk about coercion and control. in the same speech he reasserted he wants the government to have coercion and control over women's bodies. he completely missed the moment. he didn't get it. >> susan, what did you make of the night? i think it sort of appeals to republicans, not just the right-ring core. when you talk about socialism, republicans really don't like socialism. a lot of democrats, too. they think about it as economic
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control by the government completely and a degree of too much control over their lives. but also the abortion thing i think worked well in pennsylvania and places like that. he knew exactly who he was talking to, people who elected him. >> and acknowledging the veterans certainly worked for him, but i actually think the moment that will get most under the president's skin is when speaker pelosi was able to control her members by just putting up her hand just a little bit when they started to boo. >> the power. it just summed it up about how they respect her. >> yeah. >> and i think that's just going to be the thing that irks donald trump the most. >> congressman, was everybody's eyes tonight on the speaker? because it seemed the slightest little gesture of calm down, keep your cool seemed to work. >> the two best things about the state of the union tonight were that when you looked at congress, you saw the most diverse congress in u.s. history. >> yeah. >> first two native american women in congress. first two muslim american woman in congress.
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the youngest woman in the congress ever. the second best thing was to see speaker pelosi sitting behind donald trump looking down at him. >> thank you. please keep coming on our show, congressman ted liu of california. by the way, thank you so much for you, and also i think you're going to stick -- the panel is going to stick -- everybody else stays with us. coming up, the democratic response. stacey abrams says families hopes are being crushed by republican leadership. is that the message democrats will carry into 2020? president trump talked about building new coalitions and healing old wounds. those words ring pretty hollow coming on the same day he called chuck schumer a nasty s.o.b. and actually mocked the late senator john mccain, said he couldn't sell books. what's the point of talking like that? much more after the break.
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we're only one week from the next government shutdown. do you believe it? tonight president trump issued his warning. >> my administration has sent to congress a common sense proposal to end the crisis on the southern border. it includes humanitarian assistance, more law enforcement, drug detection at our ports, closing loopholes that enable child smuggling and plans for a new physical barrier or wall to secure the vast areas between our ports of entry. in the past, most of the people in this room voted for a wall. but the proper wall never got built. i will get it built. [ applause ] >> joining me right now is u.s. congressman ben ray lujan, democrat from new mexico and house assistant speaker. ben rhodes, joy reid and susan del percio are still with us.
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congressman, in sheer political terms, what is this president up to? where is he going with i'm going to build the wall, given all the hell we've been through for all these recent weeks. >> well, look, chris, even when the president announced the deal that we were opening up government a week ago on friday, he threatened a shutdown even then. i think he's just continuing to tee up this notion that he's going to declare an emergency, an emergency that, by the way, is rejected by a majority of members in the house and senate, democrats and republicans. that's got to be where he's going with this. >> well, the courts, do you think the republicans -- the republican court is partisan, but it's also conservative, and when it comes to the power of the executive, i don't know how anybody who is an american jurist is going to say, sure, do what you want, mr. president. it flies against -- except for the great depression and lincoln during world war ii with habeas corpus. the courts don't tend to be crazy in terms of what they let the president get away with. >> you're absolutely right.
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the president is the only one saying there is a crisis at the border. i was just there this weekend in brownsville, texas, where we had a voting rights hearing, chris. we had a chance to run around. i was running around the streets. bennie thompson, the chairman of the homeland security committee was there to talk to property owners who are adamantly against the notion of taking of their land. look, this is the president at his worse. rather then trying to stoke fear across america, he should step back, get a good night's sleep and in the morning say let's find a bipartisan approach to get this done. democrats want to work together. we've already put a strong modern plan on the table that is fueled by a willingness to work together. so, look, let's just get this done. i think the president should listen to everyone else, except for sean hannity, who he seems tunes into. >> well, it's hard to argue with that case. anyway, president trump tried to underscore his message on the wall by paint it as a class war. this is really going after angry voters.
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>> -- to defend our very dangerous southern border out of love and devotion to our fellow citizens and to our country. no issue better illustrates the divide between america's working class and america's political class than illegal immigration. wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards. [ applause ] >> susan, that's directly aimed at the white working class. >> absolutely. >> the leaders sitting in their nice apartments in the upper east side, living in gated communities wherever and they don't have to worry about the dangers that are posed, according to him, by illegal immigration. that's a class fight. >> yeah, but that same group, he completely ignored the shutdown and the 800,000 -- not just the
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800,000 furloughed workers but literally millions of people who had to wait on food lines to get -- >> you know the voters -- his voters don't really care about that. >> his voters. but you know what? some of his voters do because there are a lot of people who know someone who is affected by the government shutdown. >> why are his numbers the same all the time? my liberal and progressive friends chuckle at what they call the downturn in his numbers. his numbers are always the same. the number we've shown tonight, 38, i've seen the average at 41. our number at nbc is 43. 43 approve of everything this character is done. >> i don't think it's they approve of him, they really don't like the other side that much. we've become that bipartisan on both sides of the aisle. >> i agree. i think that might be it, but it is still 43. >> no matter what, it's still better than the alternative. when you ask the same voters, i wish he didn't tweet that much. all these other things. >> congressman, i think i saw the accumulation of his vote,
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the one he thinks he's got. >> that's right. >> he said something about abortion rights. fine. that's the right to life people. some people are very committed on that. the anti-immigrant, anti-brown, if you will. everybody knows what it's about. it's not about germans coming into the country or irish. it's about people, you know, people from mexico. people from latin america. >> yeah. >> and all the crazy, their hawkish language on iran. the hawkish language on venezuela. you can put it all together -- >> they're ticking it all off. >> he's building that support that doesn't change. >> in never changes. you're right. >> the evangelicals love that, moving the embassy. >> this part about immigration was straight steve bannon because it was this idea of making the case that illegal immigration is not -- it doesn't -- it doesn't make you weird on race if you're against it, it makes you for the working class. >> yeah. >> they've even tried to make this case to african-americans, you need to be anti-immigration, too. they're stealing.
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they're taking your jobs. >> he said that tonight. >> by the way, they visually made that case by having this angel family, the poor family that dealt with a loss. they're showing you literally the white working class that are victimized. they visually show it to you. nothing in this speech was designed to move you off of the fox news narrative of what america is. >> you also had the hispanic border guard, too. >> right. they're being very careful. the border guard is hispanic and the people he shows that are african-americans, well, they're people that we're letting out of prison. it's all designed to his -- >> he's no fool when it comes to electoral politics. i asked self-described socialist alexandria ocasio-cortez, aoc, as we all call her, about the president's venezuela reference. congressman lujan, i want you to react to this. let's listen. >> what did you make of the president's i thought very aggressive statement on venezuela tonight. he talked about being a socialist country and we're never going to be a socialist country.
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what do you think about the president and why he did that? >> i think he needs to do it because he feels like -- he feels himself losing on the issues. every single policy proposal that we have adopted and presented to the american public has been overwhelmingly popular, even some with a majority of republican voters supporting what we're talking about. >> congressman lujan, you're a socialist. you must like maduro down there. and he gets us into that. i don't even like that fight. he didn't talk about bringing the army down there. he's been talking about that lately. what did you make of that whole nexus, i don't like bernie sanders and i don't like maduro, they're the same bunch basically? >> well, again, the president is just doing everything he can to stoke fear, chris, what the president should have talked about tonight was his plans to militarize venezuela, to send
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u.s. troops down there, as opposed to what we have been describing, which is a diplomatic effort. by the way, if the president wants to help the venezuelan people that have been negatively impacted, how about all of the venezuelans that have fled this violent part of the country with some of these rulers and extend tps to them. extend a permanent protection for these people that are here in the united states that are looking for help. that's what the president ignored tonight. but, again, he's just speaking to his base and trying to spread fear across the country. >> ben, what do you make of this talk about troops? because we wouldn't be fighting the -- we'd be fighting the regime's army because they've got the army. i don't know what we're talking about, send troops, like they've been invited in. no, we'd be sending troops in to fight the venezuelan army. it's insane. your thoughts. you're the expert. >> that's exactly correct -- i'm sorry, ben rhodes. >> too many bens. go ahead, ben rhodes. >> no, i think the discussion of military options is crazy, chris.
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this is not grenada or even panama. this is a very large country in south america that has a military that has stuck by maduro. look, we all agree that maduro has been a corrupt leader. he's mismanaged that place, he's eviscerated democratic institutions, but the fact of the matter is u.s. troops going into venezuela is only going to make the situation worse. there is no basis for it. it's not like congress has authorized the use of military action inside of venezuela. what i see, chris, is what you see. what is the common thread? this is a president who does not speak up for democracy or human rights in saudi arabia when there is a brutal murder of a "washington post" journalist. he speaks up for it in venezuela because he thinks it serves his political interests here at home. he thinks it serves his political interests in florida. >> exactly. >> the reality is they made this big play in recognizing alternative government and they look feckless because maduro is still there, the military is still backing him. the question is what are they going to do about it? there is no military option, chris.
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>> it reminds me of the spanish civil war. we keep going back to the same patterns. the guy got elected. congressman ben ray lujan, thank you so much for coming on. ben rhodes, expert on everything, especially foreign policy. joy reid, my colleague. susan del percio, lonely republican. up next, a democrat delivers an inspiring democratic response. it was very impressive, i thought. let's talk about stacey abrams when we come back right after this. finding dental and vision insurance plans
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with healthmarkets. call the number on your screen now. we may come from different sides of the political aisle, but our joint commitment to the ideals of this nation cannot be negotiable. our most urgent work is to realize americans' dreams of today and tomorrow. to carve a path to independence and prosperity that can last a lifetime. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was stacey abrams, the 2018 democratic candidate for governor of georgia delivering tonight's national democratic response. abrams, the first african-american woman to deliver an official democratic response to a state of the union touted bipartisanship, also went after the president. here we go. >> making livelihoods of our federal workers a pawn for little games is a disgrace. the shutdown was a stunt engineered by the president of
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the united states, one that defied every tenant of fairness and abandoned not just our people but our values. so, even as i am very disappointed by the president's approach to our problems, i still don't want him to fail. but we need him to tell the truth and to respect his duties and respect the extraordinary diversity that defines america. >> she also talked about some of the big issues democrats will be talking about heading into 2020. here he goes. >> from now on, our leaders must be willing to tackle gun safety measures and face the crippling effects of educational loans. to support educators in what is necessary to unleash the power of america's greatest minds. our leaders refuse to expand medicaid, which could save rural hospitals, save economies and save lives. it is immoral to allow politicians to harm women and families to advance a political agenda. we affirmed marriage equality
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and yet the lgbtq community remains under attack. >> i'm joined right now by jayson johnson, politics editor at and yamiche alcindor, with the pbs news hour. i liked it. maybe because i like southern liberals. simpler than the northern liberals. they're too complicated up north. i liked the fact it was so basic and optimistic and happy, even. happy liberal. patriotic liberal. i wish the president would not fall. he's probably going to fail but i don't want him to fail. it was nuanced and i thought perfect. your thoughts? >> it was nuanced, but the optics were so striking here. you have president delivering the speech in the house chamber, women in all white showing the diversity of the democratic party. on the other side this largely white older male population that is the republican party. then you have stacey abrams, the first african-american woman to
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deliver a response to the state of the union. that's remarkable and something that we really need to pause and think about. then you have stacey abrams talking about the president needing to tell the truth. the fact is that the reason why washington is so hung up is because democrats and republicans can't even decide on the facts of the matter, because in a lot of ways the president makes up the facts and uses a lot of misleading statements. stacey abrams talked about voter suppression. she talked about the idea there was going to be gun right issues. she was someone laying out the platform of the democratic party. saying as a black woman, i'm not only interested in criminal justice, but all these other issues. it goes to the point that the democrats are finally starting to understand, they can't just talk about diversity, they actually have to have diversity and stacey abrams was the face of that tonight. >> you know what? i think she should run for governor again. everybody's talking about the senate. the trouble with the is in et is ideological. >> right. >> if you represent a purple or more conservative state, even a red state, you end up conflicting with the people. you can be a really good executive and run a state like that without a lot of
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ideological arguments. >> it's working for doug jones. >> we'll see how long that voting record hangs up. >> i spend the weekend talking to a lot of the abrams campaign team and how this speech was being put together. the thing that everybody knew and what she delivered tonight, pelosi picked he err in part because she's like, i need somebody people will listen to. okay, it's a democrat. no, they want to hear the story. >> well, she knows how to talk. >> she knows how to talk to regular people. even the kraut behind her. look, they started off the day by having willie's, local mexican food there. she didn't watch the speech. she chatted with people in the room. that's the kind of politician but real americans that the diplomats want to put forward. stacey did a fantastic job of mixing personality and policy. >> i liked the way she talked, referring to the president's shutdown as a stunt. you know, the way regular people talk, that was a stunt. it's not malicious, it's just the way anybody who is canny about what's going on can see what it was.
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and i just liked that, yamiche. apparently she wrote this -- this is her word by word, her own writing. so i thought -- >> i think stacey abrams, the thing that makes her a charismatic politician and also was the reason why she could run for governor and have the success she had, even though she lost the election, she's someone who can deliver a stick and a carrot with a smile on her face. she has this idea the president saying, look, i want you to just tell the truth. won't you please tell the truth, the way she delivered it -- >> i liked it. >> wasn't trying to argue or put down the president. just saying we want some answers. >> it's almost like why can't you be good? isn't there a play with that line in it? why can't you be good? >> it's a reasonable-it's a reasonable plea because that's what a lot of the middle of the road americans want, look, i may not like you. >> i was hoping it would shift tonight. he didn't shift. >> he didn't shift at all. chris, this is the other reason the speech sounded so good. remember, stacey abrams is a writer. she's written romance novels. she's written comedies.
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she had a way to communicate in a memorable way. don't put someone up there desperately clinging for their next opportunity to run for office, somebody who is going to deliver your message. >> it certainly beat the american gothic of chuck and nancy in the hallway. i thought it was very stiff. their words were all right. humanity came across. charm. upbeat. positive. we can win this thing, even though we're out of power and the country's going to like us when we win. jason johnson, thank you. yamiche, you're great. where are you, in washington? >> i'm in arlington. >> thank you for coming on tonight so late. >> thanks. up next, how will the democrats react to tonight from a policy perspective? we're going to get serious now. will they stand their ground? i don't know how they blow this thing up. how is the president going to get his wall when nancy pelosi calls that wall immoral and at
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committee, he doesn't even want the house senate committee, the conference to come up with anything. he doesn't have any hope for it. yet he didn't talk about his declaration of a national emergency tonight. what is the end game? we'll be right back.
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back to "hardball." in tonight's speech, the president continued his tough rhetoric on illegal immigration. let's watch a bit. >> as we speak, large organized caravans are on the march to the united states. we have just heard that mexican cities in order to remove the illegal immigrants from their communities are getting trucks and busses to bring them up to our country in areas where there is little border protection. i have ordered another 3,750
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troops to our southern border to prepare for this tremendous onslaught. this is a moral issue. >> i'm joined now by los angeles mayor eric garcetti. mr. mayor, thanks for coming on tonight. it's not so late out there in california. i was thinking all day what the president will do tonight. he's a smart politician. he got elected president in the electoral college. i thought he might do a course correction, which is what presidents do after he was smashed in a midterm, which he was. he didn't make any change. he doubled down. we hate the illegal immigrants and we're going to fight them. with the army. >> my grandfather was part of that greatest generation he highlighted so powerfully tonight. he was a mexican immigrant who came to this country as a baby in his mother's arms. ironically, he was a war refugee. he talked about the folks liberated from the concentration camps. i'm jewish on my mother's side. i don't think he gets how un-american his speech was.
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facing human rights abuses, facing war and violence and instead of liberating them, we're putting them in cages. this is a man who cares so little about border security, he was willing to shut down our government. our airports, our ports where we didn't have the intelligence we needed, he's been the greatest threat to our border security that i've seen in my lifetime. >> i wondered if there was a little addition to the trumpism tonight from the neocon crowd. and now they're talking about taking american army down to venezuela, which he's now equated with basically bernie sanders and ocasio-cortez. i mean, it's like he's identifying all his enemies into one big bag and talking about military action. >> it's a tough thing. >> on our border and down there. this is pretty right-wing stuff. >> to see his frustrations with aoc and pelosi outworking him. withdraw our troops from the battle of isis. this is a guy who gets it
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fundamentally wrong. we fought into world war ii against dictators and he's cozying up to them. we built nato and he's attacking them. this is somebody who has it really backwards. the idea he would take troops, put them on our border, i'm a veteran ourself. that's not what our army is there for. we are here to make sure we have a strong america focused on jobs and he fundamentally missed that the tonight. >> what would a soldier, say an enlisted guy or woman, do on the border? you can't shoot people coming in -- well, morally you wouldn't. your duty doesn't include putting your rifle up and say back across the border. you can't stop the people coming in illegally. i don't know what their duty would be, do you? >> the men and women who serve this nation serve it with a lot of pride. i served alongside them 12 1/2 years. you're absolutely right. in the past we were fighting against those big things, against fascism for democracy. this is a president who barely says that word, who invents boogie men.
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they're not there to protect the border. that's not their jurisdiction under our constitution. this is a president who needs to go back to school, understand what this country is about. stacey abrams gave the best state of the union address tonight. >> let me ask you one question. >> sure. >> trump says he doesn't have any faith in the house-senate conference trying to work out some finessing of this wall thing. he didn't talk about the declaration of a national emergency tonight. but he said wall, wall, wall. i mean, this is like an unstoppable object, meaning an immovable object. what's his end game? >> i was excited as a mayor to hear him finally talk about infrastructure, but it was 14 seconds with nothing specific. the only infrastructure i think he cares about is this wall. not clean water. not our roads. not the new york subway. nothing. he's obsessed and i think we're going to see him in court. >> he gave infrastructure about two sentences and then he gave
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like 20 minutes to the border. >> i'll be there this week to testify. we're going to get an infrastructure bill done. we'd love to work with him. >> i hope he gets something done. thank you, l.a. mayor, eric garcetti. still ahead, tonight's address was supposed to be about unity. how do you explain trump unloading on democratic and republican lawmakers. apparently he's going after john mccain again and joe biden calling him dumb. we're back after this.
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welcome back to "hardball" on state of the union night. democrats displayed a vast, actually wide variety of facial expressions while listening to president trump's state of the union speech. let's watch some of them. >> tonight i ask you to choose greatness. >> we are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world. not even close. >> -- has reached the lowest rate and the state of our union is strong. >> now is the time for congress to show the world that america is committed to ending illegal immigration. >> here in the united states, we are alarmed by the new calls to
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adopt socialism in our country. >> that was a direct shot by the president at bernie sanders. i'm joined now by former california democratic senator barbara boxer and daniel dale, the washington bureau chief for "the toronto star." thank you both. senator boxer, you're the woman i was looking -- '92 was the year you went to the senate. i'm thinking 100 people in white tonight. it was almost like the democratic party. your thoughts? >> oh, my thoughts. i was -- that was one of the highlights of the night. that and when trump finished. but -- i'm just kidding. i thought they were highlights. that was one of the them. and when the women realized in the -- in the audience there that trump just said women took over so many jobs, they turned it into something to celebrate the diversity in the democratic caucus. when i got to the house in the year that i met you, 1983 -- >> yeah.
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>> -- there were all of 23 women, that was it, and most of them got there because their husbands kicked the bucket. it was really fabulous -- >> they were the youngest group of women i've ever seen anywhere. >> i know. >> with all the influence and position they held. they all looked about 28 or 30 or 32 at the oldest. it was a young crowd of people. >> they're amazing. >> i want to go -- one more question, according to "the new york times," the president offered sears assessments at a private lunch. he called former vice president joe biden dumb and said chuck schumer was a nasty s.o.b. he didn't just attack democrats. "the new york times" says he told the story of what he considered john mccain's betrayal in voting against the obamacare repeal. he wrote a book and the book bombed. i got to go to daniel on this. i've never heard of somebody going after somebody who has passed away, quite an american hero at that, and making fun of his poor book sales. i mean, what is this about?
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petty? >> this is who he is. yes, he is petty. he doesn't let go. his instincts are not for unity, they're for the kind of retribution he said democrats should not pursue. he's never managed to let go mccain's criticism of him or the vote against obamacare repeal. he's also gone after the late conservative pundit charles krauthammer who is deceased in the last few weeks. he doesn't let go of vendettas. >> he said in his speech today i'm against revenge. he is clearly intent on a vendetta against dead people. >> i think he's america's leading vengeance advocate. he's fond of revenge. he says i punch back. i think what he made clear tonight when he said i don't want revenge, he meant he doesn't want democrats to exact revenge against him. he made clear he was talking about a very particular kind of revenge that does not apply to his own behavior. >> senator, what did you think of the democratic response tonight from stacey abrams from
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georgia? >> i shared your view of her. i think she's fantastic. and i interviewed her on my podcast, and she's just brilliant and has a story to tell. and she spoke to america's families. remember when bill clinton said "putting our families first?" that's what her speech was about. she reached the hearts and the minds, i think, of the american people. she talked about kitchen table issues that really impact people and america's values, whereas trump was all over the place. and if i could say, trump talking about unity is like jack the ripper talking about banning knives. i mean, no credibility at all. cursing chuck schumer two days ago, saying speaker pelosi didn't care about human trafficking. i mean, the man is vindictive
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and he's not very smart, to be honest. >> thank you, senator boxer. thank you, barbara boxer. we miss you but you're still here with us. thank you so much. i know you wish you were back in that chamber. i'll be back. daniel dale, please keep coming back. i'll be back here at 7:00 p.m. eastern. ari melber picks up our state of the union coverage right now after this break. finding dental and vision insurance plans
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evening, and welcome back to our special coverage of the "state of the union" and the democratic response. i'm ari melber with you live for the next hour along with several of our top analysts to break down this big night in politics. it is of course 1:00 a.m. on the east coast, 10:00 p.m. on the west coast. reaction obviously pouring in to trump's address tonight as the president tried to pivot from a low point of his presidency caving in on the shutdown to casting on these broader themes in a ceremonial address tonight. donald trump addressing a democratic house for the first time. stack with members eager to hold him accountable. the president lashing out and suggesting investigations of his administration would risk any economic move. >> an economic miracle is taking place in the united states, and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations. if there is going to be peace


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