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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  April 25, 2019 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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we want to honor our friend and colleague andrea mitchell who joins me here in new york on this thursday. tonight, andrea will be receiving a lifetime achievement award for the women in washington jousrnalism award. congrats. flowers. >> oh, my god. >> i know you sustain your existence on m&m's. a pack for you. >> thank you so much. >> you are great man and a good friend. >> have a good show. >> thank you. right now on andrea mitchell report, northeast. j he's in. joe biden makes it official and describing the race as a fight for the soul of america. >> the core values of this nation are standing in the world, are very democracy,
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everything that's made america america is at stake. that's why today i'm announcing my candidacy for president of the united states. >> fresh off his announcement the former vice president just momentums ago. >> why are you the best choice nor democr for democrats? >> that will be for the democrats to decide. president trump challenges the power of balance as he tells past and present aides not to testify. >> we're witnessing contempt of congress, con tell ll mtempt of contempt for the american people. vladimir putin and kim jong-un meet for the first time presenting a united front against sanctions and denuclearization demands. >> for kim jong-un, the message to president trump, you know you're not my only friend in the
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world. good day. joe biden is officially in the race to replace donald trump. drawing battle lines with the president with a dramatic video excoriating trump for saying there was blame on both sides of the august 2017 white supremacist rally in charltville, georgia. >> in that moment, i knew the threat to this nation was unlike any i'd ever seen in my lifetime. the r -- we are in the battle for the soul of this nation. i believe history will look back and all he embraces as a moment in time. >> president trump quickly responding with a nasty nickname tweeting welcome to the race
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sleepi sle sleepy joe. i only hope you have the intelligence long in doubt to wage a great campaign. some see it as advantages by not talking about his biography but portraying himself as the strongest contender to take on donald trump. mike, first to you. this was a very unusual announcement video. now he's taken the amtrak. you were there when we got to wilmington. he's taking it directly to donald trump on values, on what kind of america people want to live in. is that the play to make his age
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and experience an advantage in saying he's the strongest contender to take on the president? >> that's right. we talked to biden campaign team. they view the strongest argument for joe biden as a candidate in this race is to raise the stakes of the election. to make clear the stakes of what would happen if donald trump is re-elected to a second term. what's interesting here is we remember a few weeks ago, we saw the scenes where it looked like joe biden was filming a video. perhaps more to talk about the issues. they made a decision late to go direct to camera and to take the fight immediately to trump. it was interesting. the former vice president is joining a very crowded race and when it was asked of him just at that chaotic scene in the train station about what his message is, he said this will be up to the voters. in the way they are framing this roll out is trying to make it
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clear he's the best candidate to beat donald trump. that video as about calling a fight for the soul of nation. next week he's going to talk about the middle class view for restoring the middle class dream and this ends with a rally in philadelphia just a short drive from here on may 18th where he'll talk about bridging the divides. he's going to lean into that and track not just the vocal minority but what he sees as a much wider swath of pragmatic voters that he can appeal to. >> how does he fit into this progressive, young, female campaign group of contenders? how does joe biden make a mark in that? >> it's tough. i think he showed the need to be tough himself. i thought that message was very
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thrilling. i thought it was great. i think the message to democrats is don't blow this one. you blew it in 2016. you lost the trump. nobody should have ever lost to trump. you could do it again. doebts go with having a lot of fun in next year and a half following the flavor of the month stuff. don't enjoy yourself. sober up. pick the best candidate to beat trump. nobody wants to be around the democratic party the day after losing to trump twice. nobody will be forgiven for that. shake yourselves up, sober up and pick the guy that can prevent this guy from staying in the white house for as he put it, eight years. >> former governor, form eer mayor, former district attorney, you're a co-supporter but this is the old fashioned way of raising money. not the digital, small donors. not the way bernie sanders has
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stacked up so much money. joe biden would have to raise $100,000 a day just to match what bernie has banked by the beginning of april. >> it's a formidable task. i think they will do well in mail. bernie raised $100,000 by the end of 2015 but hillary had 60,000. i think joe has the potential to raise a lot of money from small dono donors. i know chris knows what i'm talking about. in philadelphia there's a lot of high-rises old folks living in the high raises. they are okay financially but not all in money. if joe biden sends them a mail piece, they will be a $25 giver thr three or four times. don't count out because he hasn't been involved in aed mo earn campaign since 2012.
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don't count out the fact that joe biden can raise money in sna small doses too. he was on the ticket with barack obama who was the best of all small dollar fund raisers. >> i want to talk to shanna about what we saw last night. african-american women are key voting block but hillary clinton did not do as well as she needed to in states like pennsylvania. how does show biden speak to african-american women, many of whom may be upset about the 1994 crime bill, pop you lar ular at and then there's anita hill. >> i think joe biden can in the assume that all african-american women will tie him directly to barack obama. it's great you ask that question. yes we had a team at the she the
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people event in houston, texas. we got a group of black women together of three different ages, around 20, 40, 60. the older women responded to biden well. they do tie him to barack obama. that's a small focus group. the younger woman wasn't quite there yet. there was a little side eye. she said barack obama does not equal joe biden to me. he'll have to speak to my issues. i have to learn who he is. i'm not assuming anything. one, he cannot assume that just everybody who voted for barack obama is ready to vote for him and he's going to have to acknowledge that, as you said, there's a large voting block that brought democrats wins in 2018. brought doug jones win in 2017 in that special election in alabama and i think people will be watching. if he strikes it with the people in pittsburgh on monday. >> in fact, that is one of the challenges because we know he can speak to the people in
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pittsburgh. we have seen him in recent weeks speaking to firefighters and other people. that's his base. he's got to expand that base. the obama factor. president obama will not endorse at this point. he made it very clear today. his statement from his spokeswoman, president obama has long said selecting joe biden as his running mate in 2008 was one of the best decisions he ever made. he relied on his knowledge, insight and judgment throughout both campaigns. the two forged a special bond over the last ten years and remain close today. they were very close partners during the presidency. it's clear that president obama chose hillary clinton. said it was her turn, not joe bidens. he made that decision. a very painful decision back in 2016. >> he did. i think at this point it could backfire if the former president
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sought to endorse. what did hillary clinton have to contend with? she had to contend the label she was being anointed by party establishment. somehow the party establishment had rigged the race against bernie sanders. that would be the same fate met by joe biden if barack obama endorsed him this early. joe biden has all of those elements of the same pedigree coming into this in terms of his long experience serving on multiple committees and the senate. his 30 year career in congress. i think these are all things that will speak for him. the big question is whether once this race grinds on, he's going to also excite the party base on specific policy platform issues. i was surprised going back and reading the coverage that we don't know where he is on the number one issue animating the base, which is health care. all of these candidates have said they are for medicare for all. joe biden has taken a measured approach. we don't know where he is on the
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issue. yes to chris' point, there are many democrats who just want to pummel trump. they want to give him the boot. they think joe biden will be the guy. it will be the progressive base that calls him into account on these specific policy positions. >> we asked the folks at the train station today when he arrived, asked him about president obama and not endorsing. this is his response. >> why didn't president obama endorse you? >> i asked president obama not to endorse. whoever wins the nomination should win on their own merits. >> what was so striking about his announcement video today was focusing on charlottesville and draw the contrast with donald trump. i asked him about charlottesville when i sat down with him in 2018. >> you said you had not criticized him until after
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charlottesville. what crossed the line for you? >> it violated the dignity of the office, the essence of who we are as americans and it was a fundamental assault on the notion of how we deal with hate and how we deal with venomous people. >> chris matthews, that is what he is using, the video, to justify why someone who is 76 years old and running for president twice before and not gotten the nomination feels compelled, feels he's the person to take on president trump this time around. >> you go with the question about he and african-americans. delaware, wilmington is heavily african-american community. i can tell he has a great sort of one to one relationship with people of color. he is just very comfortable like bill clinton was and the way that bernie is, i don't think. a lot of people aren't.
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i think he has that rapport. he's confident he will get a chunk of the african-american vote. i think he's hoping to do something down in south carolina and the rest of the south especially. he knows he will have to fight for it. i think we'll end up, if biden wins the nomination, with a very new york time democratic ticket. i expect he would team up with someone of color, probably a woman. that means kamala harris is leading the fight there. biden-harris ticket makes perfect sense. it would appeal to a lot of people. every new idea has to be two-thirds old. joe would be the two-thirds old part. i think that's the way america transitions. it doesn't make these crazy jumps. franklin roosevelt ran as a moderate the first time he ran in '32. it will be a mix of biden and someone else. they can easily lose. i talked to somebody in pennsylvania who used know him.
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he's a republican in montgomery county. they are talking 45 states if it's bernie. the democrats can lose this war next time. they live in a double. that's been their big problem. a lot of people up in pennsylvania and places like that think democrats have been one hell of party the last few years and they weren't invited. that's my point. >> i wanted to also show president obama. that obama connection. obama in january of 2017 just before they left office giving the medal of freedom to joe biden. a very emotional moment. >> to know joe biden is to know that love without pretense, service without self-regard and live life fully. for the final time as president, i am pleased to award our nation's highest civilian honor, the presidential medal of freedom.
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>> the question now, shanna thomas, is whether those moments live on or this is an incredibly new landscape. this is a historic race and more diverse candidates than we have seen before. >> those diverse candidates have to speak to a really diverse democratic electorate. i think those moments are part of joe bind's histoden's histor. that's part of why he's pulling up at the top. all that stuff is fair. that's part of his history but the anita hill stuff is part of his history, the violence against women act is part of his history. the question a lot of younger,
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progressive voters will be asking as well as some of those voters chris is talking about is what are your policies now that carry on that and go forward. we cannot go back to 2008 or 2009 through 2017. that's done. what else have you got? he's going to have to answer that. that's what everybody has to answer. that's okay. it can't just be about that eight years of time. >> well, to that point what you saw last night was that elizabeth warren with her policy prescriptions were really getting through to that crowd in houston from what i could see. you were there. the audience really liked kamala harris. they were specific. they were interacting with the audience in ways that bernie sanders did not. >> i'm going to take this to my one woman focus group of my mother who is something old woman. >> i would trust her.
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>> she's from texas. went to that she the people event and the woman that spoke to her, she liked almost everybody there. i'm not going to say who she didn't like. the messages that elizabeth warren put out spoke to the issues she thinks is in the black issue and elizabeth warren is thinking through how can i create policies that will help these group people. my mom responded to kamala harris and amy klobuchar and elizabeth warren spoke in her. i will say that's the first name out of her mouth. >> john thnathan what about pret trump going after joe biden as sleepy joe and demeaning him on twitter about his intelligence. >> welcome to the race. this is not the first nickname that president trump has used for joe biden. i believe he's called him 1% joe
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which is what he pulled in the iowa caucus in 2008. the trump team has been waiting for this. they recognize that biden is strong in some of the states where the president won last time and is really counting on winning again. the rust belt states. we know what they are. it's michigan, wisconsin , pennsylvania and perhaps ohio. they will be competing for some of those same voters. the white working class voters who voted for barack obama in 2008. by 2016 were ready for something different and went for donald trump. biden has weaknesses in other areas and we'll see if he's the person to perhaps spark democratic turn out in places like milwaukee or cleveland or detroit. it could swing those states back. the fact the president has gone after him shows you he's taking his candidacy seriously. >> what about the bernie sanders factor? he has enough money to stay in
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it until the end. he arguably could go up against donald trump and compete for some of those rust belt state voters and some of those who wanted an outsider who were trump or sanders. we know there's a kcorrelation. >> i think that's true. bernie has a weakness as do a lot of our candidates. that is donald trump can deliver messages as well as anybody. donald trump knows he can't win on his own record. he's got to attack the democrat and make people hold their nose and vote for him for re-election. how's he going to do it? using the term democrat socialism. he said it in his state of the union address. he said it in many, many tweets. he's got impossible task characterizing joe biden as a democratic socialist. he has a much easiest task persuading people that bernie sanders, who calls himself a democratic socialist who isn't
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even a register democrat fits that bill. i think bernie brings a lot of strengths but a significant disability in he's easy for trump to typecast. >> chris matthews, what do you think about the shape of the democratic primary now. you suggested it earlier. there's a real possibility this larger field can stay in it. they all have great digital campaigns. all except joe biden coming into it. how does this thing get sorted out? >> i have a political memory which sdudisturbs me sometimes. i was working in press relations and i watched a group of people dancing in a circle. dancing with happiness because george mcgovern was going to be the nominee. they were so thrilled.
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they were going to enjoy this but they weren't thinking about november even then. they thought winning the convention was the whole game. i think sometimes the people, used say ndc. november doesn't count. november is when it counts. having all the fun of knocking off the center left and the democratic party. knocking off the establishment. wiping the p ing winning the primaries is not the name of the game. the name of the game is who will knock off trump. in the end, eight years of trump is held to pay. i think the democrats will never be forgiven if they lose it again. >> nbc white house correspondent
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kelly o'donnell is joining us from the white house. the title of senator has been fatal for the hopes of past candidates. >> reporter: one of the great challenges is the rich and dense record from capitol hill. he's already seen some of that. he's tried to address that. one of the challenges for biden is with his experience comes that long trail. he has a lot of the kills and the team to try to size up this current moment. you and i know what a retail politician he is. his ability to connect with people in a personal sense. that's something that is also a wear ri topic right now given
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some of the questions about some of his tactile sort of nature. the ability to look people in the eye and talk to them and to talk about issues that are relevant in their lives is something he will certainly work with. he has run before going all the way back to the '88 came pain and ran successfully as vice president twice along side barack obama. he has been in the fight and he has had a lot of time and expectation about his entrance into this race and the roll out will be judged in its own sort of 24 hours if it goes that long and it will be the day-to-day combat of the campaign trail and we'll have to see how he handles that and how he uses his experience. is it a new joe biden or a joe biden with all of the history that comes with it. >> heidi, you on the hill would see him all the time as well. this is a man who gets so involved in the details both
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domestic policy and foreign policy that hasn't been typical of this campaign with exception of elizabeth warren. >> that's why many believe he will draw the strongest contrast to trump on the stage. if you privately talk to republican strategist, who they do they most want to run against, it's bernie sanders. who do they least want to run against, joe biden. he will face something unlike any other candidate announced in the way of the republican side when ghehe gets into the race. they will want to try to magnify any slip ups early in the race in order to take him out. this is something first hand from talking to republican strategists. they have a mountain of research they don't want to put out on bernie until later. they are hoping he will be the
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nominee and biden low pressure n -- will not. it's the same liability hillary clinton had. >> what you're seeing here is live pictures. this is a street in delaware. joe biden just walking down the street. we'll talk to him in a few moments. this is joe biden on his home turf. looks to me like that may be his sister. i don't have a good enough shot. it does look to me like he's with a staff aide and another gentleman that he knows from wilmington and his sister who is very close to the family. joe biden has always gone back to wilmington. that's home. they have a place where dr. jill biden teaches in community college and taught throughout their eight years. jonathan. >> you can see his tactile nature now.
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he had his hands on the gentleman's arm there. >> let me just listen. >> how does it feel to be the front-runner? >> it's really early. the issue will be who not only who can win this but who is the best person to lead the country. that is what it will be all about. it's up to voters to decide that. >> there was some suspense in your decision. it took a couple of months to get there. is this about your view that the other 20 or so democrats don't have what it takes? >> no, no. it's about what i told you a long time ago. it's a long, long campaign. start this campaign back in january, february. kind of early, in my view. we are putting together a pretty good staff and capability and websites. hey, man. how you doing? how you doing, man? i'm going to go get some pizza. >> we'll see you inside, sir. >> how are you?
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>> that's classic joe biden. mike, if you can hear me. >> i can hear you. can you hear me? >> speak up a little bit. >> good to see you. >> this is classic joe biden. the plan was for us to have a chance to make chat with him as he stops for lunch here. it expanded to walk down the street. we're going to head into this pizza restaurant and watch a bit more of joe biden as he interacts with voters. this is his informally his first public event as a candidate. >> it's nice the finally meet you. good to see you. >> my dad played the sax. he said -- you can't carry a tune in the wheelbarrow. >> hi. sorry to interrupt you.
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hi. >> how are you? >> nice to meet you. >> pleasure to meet you. >> hey, guys. >> we made a pizza for you. >> joe 2020. it's not going to stop me to keep from coming. you guys want a picture? >> sure. >> johnny. >> you're the boss man. >> kind of. >> she's the boss man. >> i'm not. i'm not. >> i work for her. >> i've been married to him for too long. >> hey, guys. how are you? >> i'm fine. how are you? >> i'm doing good. >> that's my daughter. >> how are you? >> good. >> nice to meet you. >> nice to see you. >> same here. >> how are you? good to see you. >> i'm well.
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>> i heard that. i heard that. >> what a small world. >> how old are you? >> eight. >> you're getting old. >> something. it's on the house. >> no, no. i'll tell you what. i'd like to order pepperoni pizza to go. you eat all pepperroni? >> that's all right. coca-cola. >> pepsi, good? >> yes. >> i'm joking. we would love it. i like a pepsi too. >> diet coke for mouse. >> you have a message to president trump. he welcomed you in the race. >> everybody knows donald trump.
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we'll have plenty of time to talk about all this. i'll be available to you but i'm just coming home to get some pizza before i head up to philly later. >> you want the pizza here or to go? >> to go. buy them any pizza they want on me. >> on you? >> on me. >> they have to pay. >> let's go. let's go. come on, guys. >> what about the mueller report? the question of impeachment. obviously you want to beat him at the ballot box. >> sorry, let's go. >> thank you. >> well there you got it. the pizza photo op. joe biden and hometown pizza
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parlor with his sister val ordering a pepperoni to go and some pepsi. mike was there for all of this. rick, we're talking about joe biden with a long history and arguing with a video that he put up today that that makes him the right person to go up against donald trump rather than being a disadvantage in a young progressive field. >> i thought the video was a big fat fast ball over the center of the plate of what is important to america right now. he's saying, look, we're in a critical situation. we're in a kind of crisis. we have a president who could change the values that this country has been built on that we've all lived with for all of our lives. i thought the fact he went right at that was really interesting. he's also saying i'm the guy who can do that. part of his claim, his lame in a way is he doesn't need to get up to speed on how to be the president. on the first day in office, he
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has it under control. there are a lot of people who feel like the country is not in control and we need somebody who is actually, on day one, be president. >> he took trump on, head on in the announcement which a lot of the democratic candidates have been reluctant to do. literally first words are charlottesville, virginia. that's his opening line from that video. for a lot of americans that was the sort of darkest moment so far in a trump presidency. joe biden is trying to draw that contrast. he's very much saying me versus him. this is how we can go back to being the america we used to be. that can be an effective argument and one other democrats haven't touched. >> are they up to speed on getting a campaign staff together? he's late to get in. they are talking about going to the early states. it will be a pittsburgh rally on monday. he's got a lot of catch up to do. >> reporter: that's for sure. what they're doing is building
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the plane as it's taking off here. we're expecting to see some announcements as far as the staffing of the campaign today. we have seen some reports about the names of people who are being brought in. it's been clear just in the last few weeks they really engaged in a more serious discussion with some of the people recruiting. there's been confidence among the biden aides as i've been talking throughout this long process here, four months as other candidates were getting in the race, they also said they were confident they would have the opportunity to hire the talent they need to run the campaign. i'm keeping an eye out just in case he walks out of the pizza place here. the other point that's important here, you saw valerie biden, his sister. there's a lot of people who have said to the campaign they would only work for joe biden. as far as the staffing, that's one thing. you're seeing them being aagreesive on social media platforms today.
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it's important to have the grass roots appeal. >> we should point out that's at the home of the executive vice president of come karks our parent company of nbc. that will be hosted, co-hosted by governor rendel. you'll be one of the cohosts. hillary clinton did not win pennsylvania. ed rendell warned me on the air that tuesday election day, the turn out wasn't really working in her areas and he was getting worried about it. can joe biden go beyond pennsylvania, beyond michigan and wisconsin and make up the
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deficit in other areas where democrats have to win, if they'll win back the presidency from a formidable incumbent, donald trump? >> the map hasn't changed much since the '60s. the american political map is the democrats on the east and the left coast, california coast and northeast. the south is now going completely republican. the solid south is now republican. it just is. that probably includes florida most of the time. when you're really battling out, battling over a few states. because of the electoral college it will be battle over the northern industrial states. it will be. the democrats own california. they won by two and a half million. these are sweeps. they're not in danger. i'll get back to the fact that the matter, the democratic party has to be like the new york state party for years. it has to put together a lot of
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people of different identities and genders. the gerun the genders have to be represented. the days of having two white guys is over. biden can be one of those guys but the other part of the ticket, to balance it out and excite the african-american base in the south and the big cities, they'll have to be someone of color on the ticket. it has to be. i really think you have to have a woman on the ticket this time. i know that's identity politics and we shouldn't believe in it, but i think it matters now. biden knows that in his soul. he will have to pick someone to reach out the the other parts of the country. they can win arizona. they can win north carolina. there's no doubt they win georgia with the right ticket. you're right. they have to reach for three or four other states. they will start with the bait. a friend of mine from pittsburg said people don't mind being used but they mind very much being discarded. a lot of those people in the industrial states feel the elite democratic party on issues like
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abortion rights and immigration and the socialism thing have discarded them. they don't like that feeling. it's a party going on they weren't invited to. this guy is no elitist. there's nothing about him that says wealthy suburbs. i know that place. it went there, his son's funeral. i know that pizza, governor. he's a regular person. black and white, hanging out neighborhood place you go for lunch when you're working or not working. look how they come up to him. they wouldn't go up to john kerry that way or mitt romney or even hillary clinton. he's an approachable, street corner politician. i think that shows right here, live. >> putting together that coalition rgs you coalition, yuoung people will b
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important. can joe biden compete? >> absolutely. this is a name that americans know. i think that really helps joe biden. it's still early and americans want to see more of these candidates. that's what i hear from my friends who aren't in politics at all. it's important that all candidates are considered at this point. joe biden has an absolute place in this race but so do a lot of other women who have brought a lot of good ideas like elizabeth warren. it's a good time to kind of survey the crowd and see what the ideas and people are who are floating to the top. >> at the she the people forum in houston last night, elizabeth warren was one of the stand outs. we have a clip of some of what she and the others had to say. >> are we going to show up for people that we didn't actually believe in but because we were
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too afraid to do anything else? that's not who we are. that's now how we're going to do this. >> we need a president of these united states that understands we're nation of immigrants and instead of vilifying folks because he's trying to scapegoat folks to distract from the fact that he ain't done nothing. >> i actually was at the march on washington with dr. king back in 1963. >> that puts them in context. that's a little bit of what happened last night. it sounded from the coverage, from what we saw, from joe reid reported on late last night, it was quite an unusual forum. >> it's the fist orst forum tha focused on women of color and women in general. i think that it's really important that women of color
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and specifically black women are given the kind of, you know, value, that other voters have been given. if we look back to 2016, one of the many factors that contributed to hillary clinton's loss was an inability of that candidate to turn out the base and black women are a huge force in american politics. it's great to finally see candidates being forced to speak dre directly to those issues. we saw that some of them are much better at it than others. for that reason alone, elizabeth warren is someone to watch. kamala harris as well. i think bernie sanders has an issue if he wants to understand how to appeal to these voters. >> what about bernie sanders appeal and how he can appeal. he appeals to younger voters and not women of color and not people of color in general. that's no what he managed to do at all in 2016.
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>> right. hillary clinton just clobbered him on african-american voters. it wasn't even close. bernie does have a problem. i don't think he's confidentamf. he doesn't relate very well. it's a problem he's got to overcome. when you get into this southern primaries, you can get killed as he did in '16 if you don't get a chunk of that vote. i think it will be very hard for bernie to do it. that's his achilles heel. of the 20 candidates, every one of them has some sort of an achilles heel. if we're viewing this by the best campaigner, we cannot it now and give it to mayor pete. he's by far the best campaigner in the line up. >> those are the young stars that have broken out. beto o'rourke has kind of faded from the screens for a while. >> yeah. i was told by our correspondent
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down at the she the people event that he had a tough time answering some questions at that event and despite the fact he's a former congressman from texas didn't get the biggest applause by any means. i think we have a really, really long campaign here. i agree that mayor pete out of the gate as sucked up a lot of energy and people are interested in him. i think beto o'rourke will have to figure out what his lane is and what his message is. it's a little unclear right now. there are so many months, there's so many states, there's so many candidates, but if he can't figure out like a clear way to get in that lane, then if we're going the talk identity politics, then you have joe biden as older white man and he has name recognition and there are certain people who already like him and there's that. mayor pete is a younger white man, also gay and in some ways he's captured some attention.
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he's captured some energy that people are interested in. beto o'rourke is a failed senate candidate from texas who could have an interesting message but i'm not totally sure what that message is yet. i'm not counting him out though. i'm not counting anyone out. there's too many candidates. >> no one will make my predictions now. kamala harris and cory booker were putting out fund raising e-mails to their supporters. they said you have to start sending in the money because we have another guy in the race. jonathan, this is shaping up and also the dynamic with president trump, where people stand on impeachment and how they navigate that tough issue and the president so aggressively rejecting subpoenas saying he will go to is supreme court the fight impeachment which is not possible because the supreme court has nothing to do with congress's rights.
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really rejecting the whole idea of separation of powers. >> the president is rejecting congress's constitutional abilities to perform oversight over the executive branch. we wrote a story on this very issue. the white house has settled upon aides we have talked to have a clear strategy. they will just say no about everything. they will tie this up in courts. not just impeachment but the investigations the democratic control is trying to conduct into whether it's into security clearances. we have seen congress effort to get tax returns. the trump organization has sued elijah cummings to prevent their efforts to try to get the businesses financial records and they are trying to suggest they will fight the subpoena to don mcgahn, former white house counsel and other aides to prevent them from testifying. the people we have talked to said they don't have legal grounds to fight the subpoena
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but they can exert executive privilege even to those witnesses that cooperated with the mueller probe. it's the same tactic in the second half of the special counsel investigation where they stopped cooperating. they want to drag this out. they want to push it closer and closer 2020 so they is paint this as a political attempt by democrats to disrupt the election. >> the ability of the president helped by william barr, to brand this as the witch hunt and that it's case closed and it's all over when actually look at the mueller report is an incredibly detailed textbook laying out, at least 11 instances of possible obstruction of justice if the law -- if the justice department regulations and policies would allow any kind of prosecution of a sitting president. >> it's a narrative of obstruction chapter and verse
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about it. it's very powerful. i would say about this separation of powers issue that you both were chatting about, my attitude is bring it on. that's our system working. the executive branch thrusting up against the legislative branch. i like the chances of congress against an overwinning executive. he also believes the president of the united states cannot constitutionally commit obstruction of justice. i'd like to see the court reckon with that. >> the expectation in congress that these hearings are going to be blockbuster events, might be a bit exaggerated because robert mueller will come in and he is an institutionalist. he's by the book. he's going to not go beyond the parameters of his report. >> i think that's absolutely right. i think it's important that the
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congress performs its duty by bringing forth as much information straight to the american people as it can. i see this kind of ordeal is very much tied to the race for 2020 in the sense that we were talking earlier a moment ago about identity politics. i think it's important to pull back and recognize that there is a majority of the american population who is extremely upset with what's been going on for years now with the trump administration and so i don't think the question for 2020 is do we need a woman or a gay man or is it okay to have a white man. i think the larger question is, there's majority of american voters who feel disrespected and very concerned about the direction of the country. they feel threatened by this president, by the administration's policies. which of the 2020 candidates on the democratic side can actually appeal to that and give these voters a voice. i think that's why last night's
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forum again was so really interesting because the key is that these voters want to hear black women, especially. they want to hear -- >> hang on for a second. joe biden has come out. he's being asked questions. >> going on the shows and you'll hear a lot about it. >> do you have a message for the rest of the world? >> yes. america is coming back like we used to be. ethical, straight, telling the truth, supporting our allies. all of those good things. >> how you doing? good to see you. >> president too. >> where did you go? mouse, i'll catch you later. >> houw's your family?
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>> everybody's forit. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> okay. >> thank you. >> we love you. >> i so much. >> nice to see you. nice to see you. tell joe i said hello. >> i will, sir. >> by the way, he was so good. >> we love him, too. >> thank you. see you guys. >> joe biden with a reference, of course to his late son bo biden, who died of brain cancer and that, of course, was the compelling narrative of his family's decision not to run last time around. kelly o'donnell, i'm sorry that kelly isn't there, i wanted to congratulate kelly on 25 years with nbc news, i know she had to run to another assignment at the white house.
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but chris matthews, you and i both worked with kelly all these years and know her coverage of both joe biden and all of the others on capitol hill was stellar. joe biden is still talking. >> huh. >> that will be the story for two years. >> that will be the story of the campaign. chris matthews. >> i think that kelly is great. kelly has there upbeat personality. even you know unless the story is true and tragic, she has a smile on her face. she's truly an old style straight reporter. no politics from her at all. i have no idea what the politics are of anybody at msnbc news. i work at the network side of things, gex at others. i have to tell you, she is a spark. a spark of personality to work w. i tell you. she has done it for 25 years. who is it that said she still looks like she's still in college. hasn't left a mark on her. good for her. >> an amazing white house
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correspondent now. elyse jordan is with us, oh, association rick stranger, she is held up by our biden coverage. we wanted to talk also about some of the other new developments on the biden front. he's, his policies on foreign policy, he has been criticized for the vote in favor of the iraq war, yet he hand dig luger, his colleague -- dick luger, his colleague, questioning every issue. he has a long history there on foreign policy, which you know so well. >> i will lead up to it. i want to comment about the view we had of biden. biden is one of the best retail politicians in america. you saw that with him greeting people, talking about people that knew his parents, his son. those early states are retail states. right? iowa and new hampshire. the other thing about the map of this big field is somebody can win a primary with 15 or 20% of
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the vote in those early primaries. so if you already have that, that's a big advantage in the field of 20 people to go to your question, he is the person in the race who is the, that's standard of the post-cold war order that the u.s. set up that still should be functioning. >> that donald trump has tried to dismantle in every way possible. >> well, in fact, that's the very message he gave at the munich security conference, america is coming back. what he just said right now when he was asked by a foreign accented reporter. on somebody perhaps from the bbc. one of our british colleagues asking what's your message to the world? he says, america is back and we are going to be straight and we are going to sand with our allies. >> that has been the most dramatic contrast. joining us is said rick richmond, a former chair of the congressional black caucus. and joins us today with your words about joe biden.
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are you endorsing him today? i know are you a colleague and friend? >> i am a friend of his. i consider myself a close friend of him. i and nom endorsing him today. but today is a great day he enters the race. his word speaks at a lot of us. he is restoring the backbone and the middle class and those aspiring to get there and to unify the country. so it's a good day. i look forward to hearing and seeing more and participating more. >> how do you think he can appeal to minority voters and younger voters and to people who think perhaps he's had too many years in service and that that's a disadvantage with this very young, diverse group of candidates. >> reporter: well, i don't think any of our drem e demographics thingsr thinks that wisdom and experience is a bad thing, especially coming off what we have been in the white house now. i think if we are talking about his track record, i think he has to point to things that he's done. so remember.
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he was progressive before progressive was this new in thing. but if you look at the violence against women act. if you look at the fact he went up against the nra and band assault weapons, all of those things were progressive at the time. then he stood with president barack obama, they passed affordable care act to give 24 millions healthcare coverage. i think his body of work appeals to both young and old, black and white, gay and straight. it doesn't matter. i think that one thing i have learned in politics is that you can't govern if you can't win. i think that he is best suited to be president -- to beat president trump. >> thank you very much, congressman, this primary is getting more crowded than any in history. joinling me now elyse jordan, a former white house aide in the bush white house. let's talk about the way president trump went after joe biden today, what does that tell you from his nasty tweet?
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>> reporter: it was such a contrast to how joe biden launched his presidential bid in attacking donald trump for that very kind of behavior. and joe bind i think made an important contrast to other democrats in the field, by taking on directly the cruelty of donald trump and the degradation of america's character that has been disintegrating under donald trump's leadership. so by tweeting, donald trump only re-affirms and gives greater purpose to the concerns that joe wide valentinesed in his launch. >> and elyse, when you look at the republican incumbent, he has managed to campaign without, you know, keeping his base and without trying to reach out beyond his base. so how limiting is that in a general election campaign, despite all the advantages of incumbency and his enormous
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amount of money he's already raised? >> reporter: well, if the economy stays strong, i think donald trump could very well be on a glide path to re-election fortunately. people tend to vote with tear wallets. but if we see turnouts like in 2018 and you see suburban women who really decided that they were fed up with what donald trump was offering and we saw where districts turned blue because of women increased turnout, because of youth increased turnout. because of minorities increased turnout. >> that could be problematic for donald trump if he really does galvanize people to come out and vote against him. >> and mike in wilmington, obviously, the crowd there enjoying this retail talk with joe biden. is this the way he's going to campaign across iowa, new hampshire, south carolina? and the big states coming up much earlier as well, california moving up? >> reporter: it's interesting point, andrea, joe biden has
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made this point elsewhere, he campaigned somewhere in delaware, a small state. >> that kind of comfort level in this retail style campaigning will serve him well. the other thing i want to say, you covered him a long time as well. you can see the wheels turning, asking him to respond to president trump and talk about these issues. he wants to engage so far he is holdings himself back. he is recognizing it is a long campaign. it will be time to get in the frail. today is about the optics, showing him in his elements with friends, former colleagues here in delaware. >> thanks, to your solo work navigating the pizza shop. chris matthews, final thoughts in the last 45 seconds. >> i i think it's mathematics, if the democrats are smart, they'll get 60% of the vote. if they change it to revolution or anything like that, they're crazy, that's my thought. >> and chris when you talk about
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this field, just very briefly, who is the biggest challenger right now to the joe biden campaign? >> i think bernie sanders has a hard crust around him of voters, they will stick to him, especially the young voters, in my family are hard nosed bernie people. they tell if you he can hold 40, it makes it hard for someone to get 50. if he goes into milwaukee in the summer of 2020, he has the power to decide who the nominee is, if it's not him. bernie is the strongest going into the convention. i think he has the strength as a democratic koeshlist. if he can hold all game right there. it's formidable, his power right now. >> that does it for an unusual report. remember to follow the show online, on twitter.
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>> the word of the day is formidable. >> there you go. >> just ask chris. >> andrea, have yourself a great afternoon. >> i am stephanie ruhle, it's thursday, april 25th. let's get starter. >> how does it feel to be the front runner? >> it's early. this is going to be who, not only who can win this, who is the best person to read the country. it's january or february starting is kind of early in my opinion. we've put together i think a pretty good staff. after obama not endorsed. he doesn't want to mention, he says whoever wins the nomination to win it on their own merits. welcome to delaware. >> so why you? >> you clearly made this today about president trump. but you have to get through the primary first. why are you the best choice for