my thanks to basil, michelle and noah. that does it for this hour. i'm steve kornacki in for nicolle wallace. "mtp daily" with chuck todd starts right now. well, if it's tuesday, democrats are about to take the stage in detroit. but front and center is president trump and the firestorm over his racist tweets. plus tonight's fight isn't just between candidates. it's a high-stakes battle for the direction of the democratic party. progressive or pragmatic? and a confirmation controversy. the general tapped to be the nation's number two military
officer denying allegations of sexual misconduct. it's a big tuesday. welcome to it. it's "meet the press daily." good evening, i'm chuck todd here in washington. it's another hugely important night in presidential politics playing out against an unprecedented backdrop of presidential behavior. the democratic presidential field will debate the next two nights at a time the president of the united states is intentionally stoking racial hostilities in this country. the big question hanging over these two nights is this. how do they deal with this moment? we've heard some party leaders, including the dnc chairman, warn that the president is trying to distract them. in other words, be careful making this moment all about trump. don't take the bait. but today as if on cue the president threw a whole lot more chum into the water. here he is doubling down on his use of racist language, that congressman elijah cummings' urban baltimore district is a rat and rodent-infested mess.
>> people living in baltimore are very happy that i'm bringing out the fact that it's like living in hell. they're so happy that i pointed out the corrupt politics of baltimore. it's filthy dirty. it's so horrible. and they are happy as hell. the people of baltimore are very thankful. they have let us know by the thousands of people. >> can you be more specific on who has been reaching out to the white house and say you're doing great? >> a lot of people. many, many people. >> a new quinnipiac poll came out today saying 80% of blacks think you're racist? >> you know why, because the fake news doesn't report it properly. people like you. fake news does not report it properly. but if you look at what i've done for african-americans, it's more than almost all presidents. >> the dilemma facing democrats on that stage tonight and all over the country for that matter is the president is clearly itching for a fight. he's trying to distract and clearly signaling he thinks
stirring up more racial resentiment is better for him than less racial resentment. biden has called him dpikable, bernie sanders a grace, elizabeth warren disgusting, kamala harris said it was shameful and on and on and on. and there's new polling out showing that a majority of the country says this president is a racist. but as "time" magazine notes, many democrats argue that arguing with trump is on his turf. it's a big moment for democrats. how are they handling it? joining me is heidi przybyla, cornell belcher and bill kristol. cornell, one of the things i tried to do every second on sunday in different moments when talking with our local affiliates or on the show itself is reminding people why the president is so angry at elijah
cummings. this is so clearly a distraction tactic. yet, it is so hateful and so -- if you're advising a client tonight, what do you do? >> it's a tougher place than you might think because some of the people on the stage tonight, they have to have a break-through moment and define themselves and talk bm themselves because most americans don't know them. even for candidates like elizabeth warren, they don't know deeply who elizabeth warren is so her ability to talk about her policy proposals and dive into what she believes i think is hindered because you do have to respond to the president. you cannot let this sort of attack go unresponded to. now, hopefully i think they can walk and chew gum at the same time. i think they can hit the president but then pivot back to sort of what their policies and their plans are. >> let me play a little bit. this is what tom perez said to kasie hunt on sunday. >> what i say to everyone is don't allow donald trump to be distracted. that doesn't mean you don't stand up for civil rights, you don't stand up wihen one of our
own is attacked, but make sure that we understand what this is about. this is about distracting the american people from the task at hand. >> and yet, heidi, it is -- it is obviously he's trying to distract, but it's -- it's something at the core of some of our divide. >> that doesn't mean that you don't call it out. you have to call it out, because this is not only -- it may be appealing to the worst -- >> we're not talking about the corruption that elijah cummings -- >> but you will talk about the corruption. he may be trying to appeal to the worst instincts of his base but he's also upsetting a large portion of the democratic base. if you look at just raw numbers, there's more democrats than there are republicans in some of these states. if you fire them up by responding, which you have to do, and by the way circling back is not only talking about the other issues but it's circling back with a unifying message too. pointing out that this is a
tactic to divide the working class along racial lines. >> rashida tlaib who's been on the receiving ending of these racial attacks, she has this op-ed in "the washington post" and she essentially gets at sort of try to pivot. it is a remarkable time in our country's history when the president is hindering our desire for universal health care, lower prescription drug prices, equity in education a and -- with every tweet he tries to get us off track as we try to hold him and his administration accountable. so she's trying to walk and chew gum. she's trying to respond when he unfairly goes after her but she's also preaching don't get distracted. >> tom perez, this is distracting us from the task at hand. what's the task at hand? >> beating donald trump. >> yeah, beating donald trump. >> i have a feeling i know what your task is. >> i don't want to be too simple-minded but one of the main reasons to beat donald trump is not just because
democrats don't like his health care plan or don't like the tax cuts, he's an unbelievable force for divisiveness. >> he's ripping the country apart. >> if that's not key to the democratic message, then what is? the democrats have this that -- >> i can't agree with you more. i'm about to hug you on television. >> oh, my gosh. >> democrats argue this is a distraction. i think they're in the wrong place. >> this is the whole point of the election? >> this is it, right? division and racism isn't a secondary tier issue consideration. just like health care, just like college tuition, racism and division is a front and center issue, particularly for college educated white voters who are very uncomfortable with what's going on. this moderate swath of white voters are -- they now have skin in this racism game the way they historically have not. >> let's be realistic. heidi, the way the president is now portraying this divide in this country is, to follow up on
cornell's point, it's possible we're putting on the ballot -- we are putting our character on the ballot. do we want to be that country? or this country? >> that is exactly the opening part of joe biden's campaign. >> but you're right. with every one of these -- like that is what -- an i know there are some democrats who are afraid that contrast won't work because they'll argue that hillary clinton tried to make that contrast. i would argue we never saw president trump four years ago, we only had an idea of what it could be. >> and we had the 2018 midterm elections, which arguably there was no other animating factor in many of these states other than trump. you can look at michigan and what happened in 2016 versus what happened in 2018. what happened in 2018 was that the democrats ginned the turnout in places like wayne county. that's majority african-american that was way down in 2016. i'm not saying that african-americans are -- only
respond to this type of message, but it sure as heck is animating for them and upsetting and they're watching what's happening. in 2018, they had a great candidate as well in gretchen whitmore who ran more of a centrist campaign who did appeal on kitchen table issues, but in the backdrop, you had this sound, this noise of trump, which was also i think had to have been a big motivating factor in turnout. >> and in my district, northern virginia district, which flipped about 10, 12 points against an incumbent congresswoman, barbara comstock who was well liked, well respected, somebody decided we don't want universal health care, they were in the same place in 2018 as they were in 2016. they decided that some of them hoped for better for trump and were disappointed and turned against trump and wanted a democratic congress to check trump. they elected a moderate democratic congresswoman who
just today came out for impeachment. he she's back in the district. she's pretty well in touch. it's interesting to me that she came out for impeachment today. >> we've seen republicans cannot bring themselves to condemn what trump has been doing to elijah cummings. but one thing that has happened. we've had five republican retirements from the house. something is telling me that they're speaking with -- some of these folks. they're speaking with their feet. they're like i didn't sign up for this. >> f mor me, and i'm a partisan hack most of the time but i'm not partisan right now. if i'm long term looking at the republican brand, when you see college educated white voters who did not break for barack obama or hillary clinton all of a sudden breaking democrat in those suburbs, breaking democrat, long term this is disastrous for the republican party. long term this may be a realignment the likes of which we saw in '64 after lbj because all of a sudden democrats are
more competitive in more places with moderate and upscale white voters than they have been in a long, long time. >> it's interesting. i want to break out by race the racist question. is the president racist. it was a majority that said he was. among african-americans, 80-11. among white voters it was 46-50. i thought the white number was higher than i expected it to be, to be totally frank. the fact that it's already at 46%. >> just in crass political terms, if the democrats only lose the white vote by four points, they will win the presidential election by a landslide. so that's interesting. i actually think on that issue if you want to put it this political way, democrats are probably testing better than some of these controversial medicare for all. a lot of middle class voters will get nervous. >> and a majority, 54% of white college voters say he's racist so that's the big divide there. >> and republicans cannot win back a majority in the house
without white college educated voters. >> yes. >> that is their swing vote. they can't win any minority voters any more. and they can't seem to win them. >> that was the shift that we saw in some of these other special elections and the shift in the midterms as well. >> i want to close with one other comment. the president was claiming this wasn't strategy, which i want to talk about on the other side and saying is this worse if it wasn't strategy. take a listen. >> what's your political strategy here? because it seems to be causing -- these attacks seem to be causing a lot of division. >> what are you talking about with political strategy. with respect to elijah cummings? >> your attack against elijah cummings. >> there's no strategy. i have no strategy. there's zero strategy. all it is, is i'm pointing out facts. the most unsafe city in the country in america is baltimore. >> so i'm trying to figure out -- >> no strategy. >> if it's not a strategy, then his default position is racist.
like it's -- it is -- i don't know what's worse, if he's believing this or he believes his supporters believe this. and is there a difference? >> it's just what he's done his whole career. it's going -- tracing a line all the way back to birtherism. it's where he feels -- >> you can keep going back, don't forget the central park five. >> let's go further back then. >> it's the emotional side that he's appealing to. whether he's conscious of it or not conscious of it or it's a strategy or it's not a strategy -- >> we need to go back to 1974 when the federal government sued his organization. i'm sorry, we have to remember this has been his entire adult life. >> so you make my point. >> i know, sorry. but his entire adult life inform interacting with government has had using racial resentment as a way to succeed. >> so there's reporting now, just to finish this off, that even his staff is trying to warn him. and so this is kind of a moot conversation of whether it's
conscious or it's not conscious. it's what he does, and he's not going to stop doing it. >> do you believe that with the staff or do you believe that staff try to make themselves a little less unhirable? >> they would warn him but they know it wouldn't work so none of them are saying anything. so not one of them has the nerve to say, mr. president, you shouldn't do this. god forbid someone would say, mr. president, i'm going to resign if you keep doing this. >> maybe they could text their statement to somebody else to read to him. up ahead, what's the strategy going into the second round of debates? we'll talk to folks from the sanders and buttigieg camps. and later, progressive or pragmatism? what's the democratic party to do? the debate that's highlighting another 2020 challenge. other 20e liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. nice! but uh, what's up with your partner? oh! we just spend all day telling everyone how we customize car insurance
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outrageous racist remarks. >> our job is to bring people together, to improve life for all people, not to have a racist president who attacks people because they are african-americans. that is a disgrace. >> welcome back. that was two of the candidates who will be on tonight's debate stage reacting to president trump's racist tweets. while the president and racism won't be the only issue democrats on stage are confronting tonight, it may well be the first one. joining me now is nina turner, national co-chair of the bernie sanders campaign, a former ohio state senator. always good to see you, nina. >> you too, chuck. >> let me start with this. we were just having a fairly spirited discussion about the president and his racist tweets and what he's been doing. there's advice that says it's a distraction, don't get distracted. there's hadadvice that says, ye he's always trying to distract but this is part of the central problem he's creating in this country.
where does senator sanders see that play tonight in this debate? >> it's both and. we do have to deal beyond the bigotry and racism of president trump. i think the distraction becomes if that is the only focus. we've got to focus on the institutional and structural racism in this country that creates this environment and that donald trump is a manifestation of unfinished business. so the senator thinks you must call this president out but also from the policy side and the compassion side of this and the correct side of this, you have to have plans and a vision that takes us beyond just beyond president donald trump. >> when it comes to what he's doing in stirring this racial resentment that's out there, it just complicates everybody's messaging and it complicates -- you know, i heard senator
sanders there and he's trying to bring people together and that's always the message of what they're trying to do. >> yes. >> but at the same time there are people that want more fight on this. how much more fight do you think senator sanders wants to have on this when it comes to the president? >> i think for the senator, the fight is in, number one, defeating president donald trump so that we can get to the real issues. part of the real issues are the divisiveness that this president has created. the next president of the united states of america is not only going to have to deal with medicare for all or college for all or cancelling student debt, the next president of the united states is going to have to be a healer, if you will. probably something that none of the candidates are thinking about in a deep way. senator sanders thinks about this all the time. the policy position is one thing, but recognizing the danger and the disasters that this president has created in terms of how people feel. chuck, you're right, how we relate one to another and
whether or not we get beyond the divisive nature of this president and try to bring people together. but it is a both and. we just went to flint, chuck. brother danny glover and myself. to talk to those residents about the fact that they're still suffering of the part of that environmental suffering, whether it's flint with lead in the water or denmark, south carolina, or ames, iowa, at the hand of factory farms, the fact is do we have a president that can deal with the disparity within the disparity and at the same time bring this country back together and heal the land, so to speak. the president is going to have -- the next president of the united states will have to deal with that. >> as you know and i think you've been asked this question quite a few times today and yesterday and the day before, since senator sanders and elizabeth warren will be sharing this debate stage, they share a lot of positions, they share a lot of supporters. just today she endorsed the somebody who endorsed bernie
sanders four years ago. it's obvious you have similar positions, similar messaging. what should a voter that likes both sanders an warren, why is sanders the right call for the democratic nomination, and how does he make that case tonight? >> they should pick senator sanders because he is consistent. he has been on this journey, a journey for justice for a very long time. even before he was an elected official to this moment. who was standing on the picket lines with the verizon workers and marriott workers. who marched on canton, mississippi, with the nissan workers as they were trying to unionize with uaw. who has stood with the grassroots fight for 15 workers as they continue in this country to level that we need a living wage and force jeff bezos an disneyland to give our sisters and brothers who work for those two entities a living wage in this country of $15 an hour. as a u.s. senator, chuck, he's already gotten over 400,000
people in this country an increase in their wage. senator sanders is not new to this. i want the american people to understand that you will know a tree by the fruit that it bears, not just folks who come into this epiphany because they're running for president but somebody who's been on the justice journey for a long time and also who will nautica pit late, who has an anti-endorsement list. has a list of multimillion beai and billionaires -- he was polling in 2016 as the candidate that could go head-to-head with donald trump and defeat him and that's still the case. and he brings an energy, chuck. it's about who brings the energy and senator sanders brings that heat. >> i know it was very important to senator sanders to contrast himself with vice president biden the last debate. he doesn't get that opportunity this time. is that something that you feel like he can still do or is it much harder when that candidate
isn't on stage? >> i mean his vision for this country is the contrast. i mean you have in the vice president who stood up before million tie millionaires and billionaires and said nothing will fundamentally change for you. and you have senator sanders say if nothing changes for them, then nothing changes for the working poor and middle class so that contrast is there, chuck. it's there and it's going to continue to be one that we will draw throughout this campaign. >> nina turner, thank you for coming on, sharing your views and representing the campaign. i appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. joining me now from another part of the debate spin room is former pennsylvania democratic congressman, patrick murphy, announced yesterday that he's endorsing mayor pete buttigieg and today the campaign asked him to appear as a representative for him. congressman murphy, good to see you, sir. >> hey, chuck, great to see you too, pal. >> i read your op-ed. you make a case particularly
when it comes to the issue of foreign policy that, hey, and it's an interesting contrast you seem to make. a committee hearing, being in congress isn't the same as having actually served in a war zone and that gives you a lot of -- a lot of hope with buttigieg. but how does he stand out tonight, when tonight when he's had some struggles lately of sort of getting that national mojo back? >> chuck, you want to talk about mojo, look at what the finance reports show. he's number one of all 24 candidates. number one showing the big mo going into the debate tonight. >> what matters more, money or support? the polling numbers, he's the only one in the top tier that have been going down, not up. >> well, i would say to you, chuck, you have to let that momentum, now is the time for the voters to get to know him and spend the money that he
raised. let me tell you something, if you want to change washington, you have to change who you're sending to washington. when we're watching the debate tonight, and we all love politics and want the best democratic nominee to take back the white house. tonight when we go to bed there's 190,000 troops that are deployed overseas on our behalf. only one candidate in this race, mayor pete buttigieg is one that a decade ago was leading those men and women in afghanistan and actually called for a plan to bring him home for a national call for service, to make sure we repeal the aumf, to repeal and replace it because we can't have these endless wars going right now. that's the momentum with over 400,000 folks getting behind mayor pete today. >> in a recent poll, mayor pete had 0% support of african-americans. obviously you can't win a democratic nomination without a significant chunk of african-american support. the last debate happened just
after that shooting that took place in his city. how can he make the case tonight, look, race is going to come up. the president's racist tweets. it's obvious it will come up in conversation at some point tonight. how does mayor pete make the case that he's the guy to lead racial reconciliation? >> i think you saw on the last debate when mayor pete talked about accountability and he said we have to do better. the fact is this, chuck. what i saw when i was a freshman congressman, the first iraq vet elected to congress. when i came out for barack obama as a freshman, going against the establishment by the way in pennsylvania, coming out for barack obama when he was 40 points down to then senator clinton and he won and he's the underdog. i see those same characteristics of authenticity, of the urgency of now in mayor pete. i think you saw that with his
douglass plan that he put out. he's got a concrete plan to make african-americans' lives better, to address systemic racism in our communities and our cities. to address economic empowerment, not just a government program but to make sure they become entrepreneurs and let their kids and families succeed and live the american dream. that's the authentic leadership people are saying with mayor pete and that's why he's the one with momentum going into tonight. >> you got into politics, state of pennsylvania. pennsylvania perhaps one of the three most important states in the 2020 race, given that it was one of the reasons why president trump got into the white house. how did trump win pennsylvania in your opinion, and how does -- how does whether it's buttigieg as the nominee or the next democratic nominee beat him next time? >> you have to be fearless. you can't just throw jabs back, verbal jabs back. you have to get out in front of
folks. whether it's to cable news networks, whether it's to late-night tv, whether it's just showing up, that's 98% of success in life. i think that's what you're seeing. and mayor pete is going after it. you know, he was in shenandoah, iowa, with over 300 people at a sweltering area and people were there because they want to hear what he has to say, because he speaks truth to power. he's the one that says, listen, i have been part of the establishment for decades at washington, d.c. and i don't want to point fingers, but he's saying we need to come together as americans. it is about the democratic nomination and, yes, it is about beating donald trump, but it's also about our country and the values that we stand for. we don't stand for endless wars, chuck. we don't stand for kids dying in cages. we don't stand for people not having health care in the greatest country in the world. and that's why when you have a leader, a generational leader like mayor pete buttigieg
willing to put it out on the line. him and his husband saying let's get this country together and move it in the right direction. that's what you're seeing, that's what we're feeling and what you're going to see tonight. >> patrick murphy, you are an enthusiastic supporter of mayor pete. that's for sure. i'm serious. >> listen, he may have been navy, but i'm army. but he's what we need, chuck, you know that. >> all right. congressman, good to talk with you. thanks for coming on and sharing your views, i appreciate it. up next, 2020 won't just be a battle for the white house. there's the over house and that's creating a bit of drama for both parties right now. we'll have more on that, next. we'l l have more on that, next. m! mom! maria! maria ramirez... mcdonald's is committing 150 million dollars in tuition assistance, education, and career advising programs... prof: maria ramirez
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welcome back. tonight in 2020 vision it's been a bad week for both parties when it comes to the fight to control the house in 2020. four house republicans have announced their retirements in the last week alone and history tells us there could be more to come probably in the next four weeks. that party that's out of power often sees a spike in retirements the year after because members don't like doing the job. it's not fun being in the house minority. democrats have their own congressional concerns in 2020. it's not about retirements. instead the democratic congressional campaign committee is facing a massive upheaval amid uproar over a lack of diversity within the organization. six top staffers stepped down yesterday. illinois congresswoman and dccc
chair sherri buo bustos says sh heard staffers concerns and pledges to do better. it's a make-or-break tonight for the candidates on the debate stage and just how far will some go to give a spark to their candidacies? that's next. r candidacies? that's next. (groans) hmph... (food grunting menacingly) when the food you love doesn't love you back, stay smooth and fight heartburn fast with tums smoothies.
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well, i think right now i am watching. i think right now it will be sleepy joe. i think. i feel he'll limp across the line. that's what i think. so what i think doesn't mean anything, but i know the other people. i know him. i think he's off his game by a lot. but i think personally, i think it's going to be sleepy joe. >> welcome back. that was president trump today with his own prediction on the outcome of the democratic primary ahead of the first round of another debate doubleheader. whatever he says, you know the
candidates wish just don't say my name. tonight could be a battle between the progressives, senator bernie sanders and elizabeth warren but the two could end up on the same team as they face off against some of the pragmatists. let's bring back heidi, cornell and bill. heidi, let me start with warren v. bernie. nina turner gave us an idea of, okay, they're not going to take shots at each other, but how do you contrast bernie/warren and she went with who's been there forever. >> and i think that's going to be fascinating because even though warren is the johnny-come-lately or that's how they want to portray her, she's got the policy chops to fill in a lot of the blanks. whereas, bernie has been there forever and the seminal question to bernie is what have you gotten done of all of these progressive ideas? i'm sure that in some way that will be teased out as a contrast between the two. >> is there a bernie v. warren
moment tonight or does warren hug him to death? >> in politics, we always hear this as pollsters. well, i hate negatives. i hate when they go negative and attack each other. but you know what, chuck? attacks work. look at senator harris. >> she's in the game. >> she punched biden and her poll numbers went up, right? i know they say they hate it, but it's important. at some point if sanders thinks that warren really is in his lane, he's going to have to come at her. he is. >> warren has an opportunity here to sort of portray, and she's been very clever about this, portray bernie as the unelectable progressive. hey, i'm a capitalist. i believe in capitalism. that's been her subtle way of saying i'm the electable progressive. >> i think she's on the upswing and bernie is on the downswing sand she just needs to let that continue really. i think there's a lot of pressure on bernie. i think he's at some risk of falling out of the first tier
really. he'll stay in the first tier in the numbers but analytically it's hard to see what new votes bernie gets, whereas elizabeth warren can get a lot of bernie's votes. >> so and so who did endorse him four years ago is endorsing elizabeth warren. >> his core is really loyal, but we just don't know how big it is. >> we don't know that, to be honest. they seem sort of loyal but wasn't he supposed to have this unbelievable fund-raising? he was going to outraise everyone. he didn't. >> my famous little cross tab on bernie versus warren. the folks paying the most attention on the progressive ending are warren, bernie does best with those that pay the least amount of attention in the primary. >> they're still paying attention to the 2016 election. i said on "meet the press" months ago that i think they're going to be caught off guard by how much of 2016 that rise of bernie was wasn't really about bernie, it was anti-hillary. buttigieg and beto, both are
in the same -- buttigieg feels like he's where beto was the last debate and beto feels like he's where everybody else that's not named those top five are. >> this is where we have a danger of someone falling off the stage. one of these two. i am shocked by how beto sort of took off big and then sort of plummeted. i think -- >> he went down as fast as he went up. >> the "vanity fair" cover fed into a negative narrative about him in a way that i don't think they were expecting. >> i've always found when i'm on the cover of "vanity fair," it's very damaging. it's a good day or two. >> welcome to the new media world. welcome to the new media world. by the way, 20 years ago, that was exactly how you were supposed to roll out your new presidential campaign, right? it just shows you the old rules. >> look at the backdrop of where this is being held, though, in detroit. three out of four households there are african-american.
>> this is the debate where there's no diversity on stage tonight. gender diversity. >> this may be the curtain call for him in terms of showing -- >> who's him? >> buttigieg. whether he can appeal to african-american voters in a sincere, honest way that connects with them. >> really quickly, one of the things to that point, the criticism i hear and i think it's fair. if he couldn't deal with this policing and brutality and profiling issue in that small town, why on earth would we put him in charge of the country? >> and we keep looking to a president to try to deal with that. that's a fair point. let's talk about there's one new person on stage tonight, steve bullock. i think he's in the waiting for biden to collapse lane. there is to be the ones that are kind of hoping i hope biden has another bad night and then there's room for me. if biden doesn't have another bad night, i don't know where we go. i don't mean that of just
bullock, there's a whole bunch of people in that lane. >> i think they are well advised to position themselves there. i think more on one of them can contrast him or herself with warren or sanders. it's an obvious moment for bullock to say with all new respect to the senator from massachusetts and vermont, i come from montana. people in montana who fought hard in unions and employers provided health care, they don't want to lose their health care because you have some fanciful thing. they could do an effective mini harris/biden moment against the liberal senators. >> but are they any good at this? when julian castro decided to take down beto, beto didn't see it good. hickenlooper we thought would play that role and he struggled to break through the 10-person stage. >> in previous cycles bullock would be in terms of his resume and on paper the perfect democratic candidate. >> outsider. >> he's coming from a trump
state, a democratic governor. we like governors in a trump state. the question, though, for tonight i think will be fascinating is not so much bullock, but who emerges, if there is an opportunity for a moderate alternative to emerge to biden. there is so much pressure, so much expectation being built up on biden and that biden has to show and come back with vim and vigor tonight and have a good performance and not get punched. if he does, who is that? >> would you punch biden tonight with him not on stage or do you think that's too risky? >> i think it's risky. >> looking cowardly? >> it does because they can't defend themself. but i do think there is a place for if you are hickenlooper or ryan, you are thinking there's a place for a moderate sort of middle of the road white guy still in the democratic party. >> there's only room for one of them. >> there's room for one of them so there's a lot of pressure on.
if you're reyan, if you like jo biden, i'm joe biden 30 years younger. >> and it has to be tonight almost because the field is about to shrink. >> it's got to be tonight. so it's going to be fun. >> did anybody have anything on marianne williamson? >> no. >> could be the last time we see her on stage. >> i think she probably has a loyal following to keep her going f a long time. >> she'll be around. she'll be around. thank you very much, bill, cornell, heidi. be sure to stay with msnbc tonight and tomorrow. we'll bring you the expert analysis of the second democratic debate hosted by brian williams starting at 10:30 p.m. eastern time or so. you know how your remote button works. just the second it ends, you know where you want to be. up ahead, the sexual misconduct allegations against a top general seeking to become the next vice chair of the joint chiefs of staff. plus is president trump a modern-day george wallace? we'll let you decide. >> george corley wallace is the kind of man who evokes extreme
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the city is corrupt and a mess. reminding people a presidential campaign a half a century ago. in 1968, alabama governor an vowed segregationist george wallace was running for president and he built a campaign on racial resentment. he didn't have say it because everybody knew it. some have called the president a modern day george wallace. we're going to let you judge for yourself. >> i don't regard myself as a racist. the biggest racists in the world are those who call other people racists. >> i'm the least racist person there is anywhere in the world. far left media has spread terrible lies. >> call us extremists and want to say we are fascist. >> my opponent slanders you as deplorable and irredemable. >> a man who works each day for a living and pays taxes and holds the country together has been ignored. >> the forgotten men and women of the united states are
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what we saw in there today was a political spectacle, at the expense of an innocent victim who has never lied on anything who has a perfect and unblemished order and who general heighten stated in the evaluation he gave me my ethics and integrity are above reproach. can't say the same about him. >> that was army colonel kathy mets have toes r toeser who accused the man nominated to be the country's number two military officer of sexual conduct. during hess confirmation hearing today it, john hyten denied the allegations that he harassed and assaulted the colonel when she worked for him at u.s. strategic command. among the committee members offering support to hyten, martha mcsally who discussed her own sexual assault while in the military earlier this year. >> the truth is that general hyten is innocent of these
charges. sexual assault happens in the military. it just didn't happen in this case. courtney covers the pentagon and national security for us. she joins me now. the most jarring statement today was this unequivocal declaration of innocence from senator mcsally, obviously being the lead sound bite on this. can we definitively say that? >> well, she's privy to some information she haven't seen. last week, the armed services committee got a company of the osi, office of special investigation, this as air force criminal investigation into the allegations against general hyten. the members got not only the report but they got an extensive briefing on it. they were briefed by members of air force leadership and they had a closed-door sessioning with kathy mets have toeser who
accused him of this assault and a closed door with hearing with general height ten last week. senator mcsally is privy to a lot of information we don't have here. but you're right. this was a remarkable moment in this hearing because as a self-pro claimed victim of military sexual assault herself, senator mcsally gave a very passionate plea for general hyten saying in fact, and she also was -- she was very empathetic tick to the as you cooler and encouraged other potential victims to come forward and not to be afraid to report. it was a very you know emotional moment even general hyten's lip was quivering and you could see his wife sitting behind him, she was visibly shaken and emotional about it. >> it was interesting, it seems it wasn't just republican senators who seemed to have some belief that hyten is independent here. it seems that it was some democrats here that thought that
hyten, the investigation while it may not have cleared hyten didn't problem anything yet. >> that's the hard part about this. a case like this is there is the osi investigation didn't really problem one way or the other what happened here behind closed doors when only two people were there. what 2 did was say they don't have any evidence to prove that be this actually occurred and because of that, general hyten was never charged with any of these crimes. so you know, i think the most important and the most telling indication we have here of how these senators feel is the fact that after meeting with both colonel mets have toeser and general hyten they still went forward with the confirmation hearing today. it was not set till after they met with him. >> is there no plan b? some viewers will sit here and say there's got to be somebody that isn't accused of sexual assault they could pick, couldn't they set this aside? i'm running against the clock. >> you could also say that if in
fact he did not do anything and he was falsely accused, why should he be charged? >> also a fair point, too. anyway, the challenge of these stories, that's for sure. courtney kube by, thank you. >> that's all have i tonight. we'll be back tomorrow. more "meet the press" daily. post night one on the debate. "the beat with ari melber" starts right now tonight, a fact check on president trump's race-baiting plus his policies. the lawmaker who took on trump today joins us. let me tell you something had, a little msnbc housekeeping, "hardball" comes early because chris matthews joins to us preview this debate within this hour. then this other story we've been talking about all day, new trouble for trump's latest national security pick. we begin tonight right now with some facts. first, donald trump is very unpopular with black voters.