tv Deadline White House MSNBC July 31, 2019 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
new terrain, having to deal with the conditions of something new, we will see what happens. >> david gura, thank you. great talking to you. and that wraps up the hour for me. i will see you back here tomorrow at 5:00 a.m. eastern for "morning joe" first look and again 3:00 p.m. eastern. next is "deadline: white house" with nicolle wallace and in for nicolle wallace is steve kornacki. >> hi, everyone, it's 4:00 in new york. i'm steve kornacki, in for nicolle wallace when president trump is doing his best to wrestle the news cycle back from the 2020 candidates on what will be a second straight night of debating for them. trump today tweeting attacks on his potential democratic rivals. he's keeping his week-long controversy over race alive with pressure attacks on baltimore and taking shots at the rush investigation. this is as rumblings around impeachment grow louder. for democrats he might just be
offering himself up again as the perfect villain. joe biden is preparing to take center stage tonight and to make the case he's the best bet for the party to take out trump. biden, who is still out in front of the democratic field, according to the polls. he can expect some heat from his rivals on stage tonight. of course, we're anticipating that rematch between biden and senator kamala harris. by all accounts she bested him the last time around. there are also signs now biden himself is getting ready to come out swinging against some of those opponents this morning. he tweeted out a video attacking kamala harris and corey boy boon their health care policies. both getting tougher on the campaign trail in recent weeks. biden's campaign trail also coming after elizabeth warren and bernie sanders, the faces of the democratic party's progressive wing. at least a judge from that debate last night, they both offered fiery performances,
memorable moments that might be held up against biden's performance tonight. >> democrats win when we figure out what is right and we get out there and fight for it. i am not afraid. and for democrats to win, you can't be afraid either. we are the democrats. we're not about trying to take away health care from anyone. that's what the republicans are trying to do. >> second of all -- >> congressman -- >> i work the damn bill. >> i don't understand why anybody goes through all of the trouble for running for president of the united states just to talk about what we really can't do and shouldn't fight for. i don't get it. >> tonight joe biden will have to beat those performances from last night. of course he's going to face off on stage against kamala harris, cory booker and a handful of other rivals and biden's performance in this debate, it could shape the race in the weeks to come. a good performance, that could cement his position as the front-runner. but is biden as shaky as he
seemed to be the last time around? this race could be in for a shake-up. here to talk us all through it at the table, jonathan lemire, former director of communications for hillary clinton's campaign, eugene robinson and from detroit msnbc correspondent garrett haake. garrett, you're on the scene. we begin with you. it's all about the front-runner tonight, joe biden. we said that was a shaky performance last time out for him. is the consensus he can't afford another one? what is his campaign doing to make sure it doesn't happen again? >> his campaign is pointing out despite that shaky performance in most of the polling we see things are pretty much back where they were before the miami debate. joe biden is back out in front. he's got three, four people nipping at his heels or hanging 10, 12 points back. but they do say he will be better prepared. it was interesting listening to a number of biden advisers make
the case he was caught off guard in an unfair attack by kamala harris, which proved to them there will not be rules of engagement in this debate. he said he's very much ready to defend his record if need be and he very much wanted to, as he did the miami debate, keep the focus on donald trump. it's frankly for that reason, part of the reason why i think you're unlikely to see this much-talked about rematch between biden and kamala harris because i don't think it's necessarily in either of their best interest to go back at each other. biden made it very clear he wants to talk about donald trump. kamala made it clear she can take on joe biden. i expect both of them to engage biden up and kamala out to expand the appeal she yen generated in the last debate. >> jenna, i think there's a question a lot of viewers and democratic voters will ask watching that debate tonight when they watch joe biden. simply he will be 77 years old as the democratic nominee next
year if he gets the nomination. is he up to it? it was a basic question and he has a chance to answer it tonight. >> he does. we saw him in 2008, very effective against sarah palin. 2012, very capable against paul ryan. he's very capable of doing this. he was not his best last time. but which version of him will show up? >> can i ask you, the version of him last time, have you seen that version in the past or was that a new version of joe biden? >> i have seen that version in prep with joe biden, sure. i have seen the version in press sessions with him where he's not that focused and not ready for a big fight. presumably he will be tonight. but we will have to see. the temperatures of the race remain intact. his strength has proven to be pretty durable. but it's july. i know we're tired of hearing how early it is. we've been on it for seven
months. but it's not even until iowa doesn't really pay attention to the fall. these are prelim still. >> what do you expect -- go ahead. >> i just was going to say, that's interesting you have heard that sort of foggy joe biden. but has anybody ever heard joe biden say my time is up? >> no. >> no one in history has ever say my time is up. >> never. >> joe biden used to get on the train in washington, d.c. and you'd ask him a question and he would finish the answer as he was getting off in wilmington. that's joe biden. >> is that a guy who was overcoached by his team? is that a guy surrounded by people who believe in that caricature of biden, this guy can't finish a sentence without sticking his foot in his mouth? >> no, he had a bad night. >> also he had not done this since 2012. that was a long time ago.
that was ten years ago. >> and this is a really, really important night for him. >> politics is filled with stories of the bounce-back. the famous ones, reagan, mondale, obama in '12. >> if he comes out like gang busters and really effective tonight, you look at the polls already 30% and 40% of the party wants joe biden to be the nominee, right? and there will be others. so it's still biden and the others. so if he comes out like gang busters and really does it tonight, i think he goes higher. i think it's a great night for him. if he's the biden we saw last time again, i think that's really bad for him. two performances like that in a row. >> i agree. >> completely different. >> that would create a very, very interesting and sort of unprecedented situation. john, let me bring you in on this, from the white house's standpoint we mentioned the president today seems like he
wants in on the action. what is he doing today? >> we were surprised last night he sort of bit his tongue. no commentary on twitter during the debate. relatively restrained today. i don't think we expect that to happen tonight. he and his aides are focused on biden. they see him as the front-runner and that's who the general election will be. they're encouraged, their point of view, how wobbly biden has been at times, including the first debate. he certainly will be watching with keen interest. i suspect we will hear from him not just on twitter but a rally in cincinnati. not just aa rebuttal from the two nights the democrats controlled the news but also the first rally since the send her back chants at the north carolina event. i think there will be a lot of scrutinies what happens there. does he insight that rhetoric? does the crowd start on its own? does he stamp it down or bask in
it? certainly joe biden's adviser, yes, he had a bad night last time and he can't afford another one. his base is signaling he will be much more aggressive this evening. and expect to take fire. they think it might be more cory booker, and they're ready and ready to hit back. >> that is interesting too. you mentioned booker. garrett, let me bring you in. booker is telegraphing he will go after potentially biden here. i'm curious two things, first of all, booker is interesting to me. i covered him when he was running for newark mayor a long time ago but this doesn't seem stylistically as a natural fit for him. he made his name in politics, at least that i remember, not an attack guy. i wonder if he will pull that role off if he embraces it. but booker, harris, where else will the fire be coming for biden tonight? >> booker made so much of his campaign about love and to use the cliche here, he has to show
tough love tonight. he's telegraphing basically as you said to anyone that will listen that he wants to talk about his criminal record up against joe biden's. i asked booker about that last week and whether or not he would be willing and able to say that on the debate stage. he says yes. so i think booker is far more likely to try to essentially create that moment at biden's detriment. i also think the other person d that might sneak up on is julian castro. he has some skills with the knife, so to speak. he took on beto o'rouke and made his moment. but then it got overshadowed by the second debate. he too criticized biden on the issue of criminal justice reform and has proven he's not at all shy to take someone on to prove his point. i would be watching from that end of the stage to be the folks who go after biden most
directly. >> i love three-dimensional chess between harris, booker and biden. i think part of the reason why booker went after the vice president this last week was so he didn't have to do it on stage. so he didn't have to have -- i think people saw harris as sort of coming at biden out of nowhere. and that didn't sit well with some people. and by laying down the argument ahead of time, he doesn't have to have the moment where he's taking the vp on in a super tough way. >> you don't think he will? >> he has to follow up on that. you can't set up this fight -- >> it's like romney in '12 couldn't pull off the punch on stage and ruined his campaign. >> i love you remembered that. >> that was the line. >> i think booker lays down -- this is at cory's core. he believes deeply in these issues and it troubles him
deeply. and harris, i think booker going after biden helped harris some because it's taking some of the pressure off her. she's signaled things, i have heard her say this week, things like when asked about the vice president saying, joe biden has done so much for this country. so i think that she is more likely to take that kind of approach. less as hard. >> the other backtrack for this too, we have been talking about the black vote, the latest poll a couple days ago, quinnipiac, joe biden continued -- this is et best po the best poll he had so far with black voters. an outright majority. nobody else in double digits. more than 40 points ahead. bernie sanders actually running in second place. gene, after that first debate there was some movement i saw in polls with black voters towards kamala harris. if this was any indication, it disintegrated quickly. >> you saw voters in general
sort of filter back to biden after that first debate. african-american voters are really pr really pragmatic. they really want somebody who can win. it's not just familiarity with joe biden. a lot of it is calculation as to who can beat donald trump. and, you know, i talked to a lot of folks in my home state of south carolina, where biden's numbers among black voters are continuing to be real, really high and really, really solid. >> this is his best state of the early stage right now, not iowa, new hampshire, it's south carolina. >> it's south carolina. so now if a kamala harris or a cory booker were able to demonstrate as obama did in 2008 in iowa that they can win large numbers of white votes, that they possibly could win, maybe you would see people taking another look at them as
potential nominees. but right now for african-american voters, it's about biden. >> we talk on the democratic side all of these polls and there was another one a couple days ago that show biden, sanders, warren, harris in head-to-head matchups with trump. you keep seeing polls that show biden doing significantly better than the rest of the democratic field. biden will be up ten. the others might be up a point, two points, might be tied. but there's a significant difference. we're always can asking the question does that make democratic voters that much more electable and somebody they want to get behind? in terms of the white house and folks around trump look at that, trump's talking about it will be sleepy joe. that's the nickname he's trying to give him right now. do they look at the polls and are they nervous? >> there's a knowledge sleepy joe is not one of the best efforts. they call joe biden a few things but sleepy not one of them.
the president himself has been fixed on biden since '16, '17. there were a number of rallies where he suggested they had a fight out behind the barn. and he linked him to obama. what he's done is reverse so much of what his predecessor did. he feels like there's enough similarities there's enough of the same playbook to use biden the same as hillary clinton. they're trying to figure out with one of the other newer, fresh esh candidates in this case. biden also has the president's attention. as we know donald trump is so fixated on his political base. and part of that are those sort of white working class voters in the rust belt, in the states in pennsylvania, ohio, michigan and wisconsin that led him to flipping the states that crumble the blue wall and take the presidency and there's sans biden is the democrat who most likely to challenge him there. that also according to people around him explains why biden has his focus but as i was
saying earlier, there's encouragement in trump world they feel like biden hasn't looked that great yet, a strong performance tonight would go a long way to changing that perception perhaps. but if he stumbles again, i think you will see the president and people around him say he elevated biden as his election opponent because he thinks he can beat him. >> so it's not just democratic voters, they will look at biden to see how different it looks from last time around. garrett haake, i won't ask if anyone will be kneeling last night. nothing came of it. but thank you for talking down the rumors on that and for joining us today. we appreciate it. when we come back, the invisible presence looming over that debate stage. how democrats are making their case against donald trump that might be the most important factor to primary voters. and also we will look at
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we have got to get rid of donald trump. >> let's get real. tonight we debate but ultimately we have to beat donald trump. >> and a big part of how we do that is we do not play into donald trump's hands. >> we will deal with climate if and only if we win the presidency. if and only if we beat donald trump.
>> well, donald trump was not on stage at that debate last night but as "the washington post" points out, his presence was nonetheless ubiquitous, looming like a shadow over the party's contenders. at every turn the party is engaging in a public hand-wringing over how to best accomplish its central task, deny trump another victory in the electoral college. joining us at the able former aide to george w. bush and white house state department, elise jordan. the rest of the panel still here. jen, let me ask you about this, i thought that line we just played from warren was interesting last night. i wonder how this plays against democratic primary voters? she's coming under criticism of some more left voters and your critique basically amounts to aiding and abetting donald trump and his strategy, is that something democratic voters are sensitive to now?
>> i don't think it's hard for those who are inclined to support the moderate candidates. everybody who is not joe biden is happy to take on donald trump. everyone who doesn't have electability and ability to beat donald trump quality -- this is what i hear across the board. our vulnerability is we don't think we can beat him. kamala harris, i can take on joe biden. i can take on donald trump. elizabeth warren saying my strength is i make the moral argument, and i will make the moral argument i'm the one to take him on. i think that's what people are doing. i don't think it means you run the risk -- i think the voters are skeptical whothat warren wi win. but everybody is just trying to get themselves through the eye of the needle like who's the one that can really do this? >> from a candidate standpoint, if you've got doubt among
voters, can this person beat donald trump, you're not going on stage with him, you're on stage with nine other democrats, how can you use the occasion to convince voters, yeah, this is someone who can take out trump. >> so many candidates are trying to make the case they are electable and they can beat donald trump, it reminds me of the 2016 republican primary and it was the reverse and candidates were trying to prove they could beat hillary clinton. i think there's only so far this electability argument can go because you've got to have enough passion to drive voters out and to have super-charged turnout at the end of the day. but i think we're going to see that among democratic voters just because donald trump has become such a punching bag is is now to central to the argument why they need to win in 2020. >> and now a general poll asking about electability versus
compatibility, what's more important to you, best chance of beating trump, 58% there, agreement on the issues 39%. that's the old al davis thing from the oak aland raiders, jus win, baby. watching it last night i was struck, there are all of the arguments and all of these conversations democrats are having, democratic voters are having about the question of electability. it's interesting to me there's a challenge for some of the candidates who have electability arguments, how do you convey it in a way that doesn't make it sound like a political science film? i was listening to klobuchar talk in philadelphia about it and it fascinates but -- >> you're right about that. >> but that's a tricky balancing act. in some ways you want to be able to speak on a granular level she did but you need to make big, broad themes like that and sell yourself. there's some concern that people
will have too much of a purity test but overall polls have shown time and time again the primary focus is on who can beat donald trump? and joe biden with the name recognition and inevitable sense he's the most electable has given him this lead in the polls, which, of course, could change if he stumbles again tonight or down the road. i think for some of the second-tier candidates it does become a challenge there to make that case, where you have to prove you can beat donald trump but in order to get donald trump, you have to get through the primaries first. >> you're making the argument for then. >> that's the needle threading. you heard the candidates again in the lower tier making their electability arguments last night. you heard steve bullock say how many times, i'm the two-term governor of a red state that went for trump, i can win. ryan, every five minutes, i'm
from ohio. i'm from youngstown, ohio. i'm from ohio. and, you know, that's up against biden, who whatever the sort of conundrum of electability consists of, it's around him right now. >> is there a component of this too that lingers in the minds of a lot of democratic voters that biden would have won in '16? did they say that to themselves and therefore it conditions him to think he's the guy? >> i wonder, and jen, you would be better talking about this than even i would. but i kind of almost wonder if the elephant in the room is can a woman beat trump? and the electability argument with a woman specifically. you look at so many studies of voter behavior and how it quite frankly hurt female candidates in the united states. and we're not saying it but that's what we should be thinking about.
>> let me address that. i wrote a whole book about this. and i lived through that clinton campaign. so what i believe is if it's harder, it takes a longer time for voters to buy into women candidates, they need to prove themselves more. that's why it took a while for harris and warren to take off but they took off. if joe biden is the nominee, great, i will be super happy to support him. but i would have a great deal of faith in either warren or harris as the nominee because those women they land their mark, they do not screw up, they work really hard and they work really hard to convince people to come their way. a woman, this is all leading to a woman being the one to take him on but i think it takes longer for the voters to buy into that and feel comfortable. >> i wonder too if what you're describing there, the
atmosphere, psychology of the democratic college, 24, 25 candidates, i lost count. but once these primaries start, is this the situation where voters need somebody to emerge from one, two primaries and time to unite? time to get behind one? i remember john kerry won iowa in 2004 and he went from like 5% nationally to like 50% because democrats were like we just want to beat bush. we want to nominate. >> certainly now with 24 candidates people want to narrow down this field. it's exhausting to keep track of all of these candidates. and there's a limited amount you can sort of learn. you can really grasp from a debate where he's got 10 people on stage and each has a tiny window of time to make their case. when we get to the september debate, there will be substantially fewer candidates and maybe we can have them all there at once. then as it narrows down through the debate process, i think
people will start focusing. and, yes, whoever wins iowa is going to get a big boost. and whoever comes out of the first three primaries, if someone were able to sweep them, for example, i think that would pretty much be it. >> and you're right, by the fall, we may have a good old-fashioned one debate with 11 candidates and be on our way to a normal campaign. let's see where that plays out. after the break, a rising new worry for republicans going into 2020 and it's one of the worst today. and live your lives. that's why we redesigned humira. we wanted to make the experience better for you. now there's less pain immediately following injection. we've reduced the size of the needle and removed the citrate buffers. and it has the same effectiveness you know and trust. humira citrate-free is here. a little change can make a big difference.
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there's more of the 2020 than just the fight for the oval office. there are congressional races, important ones. republicans are trying to take back the house. they already have their work cut out for them. and this afternoon rising fears around the sudden burst of retirements. mike conway of texas the latest
to announce. he's a big one. he led the house intel's russia investigation on the republican side and "the texas tribune" notes his decision is some of a surprise to delegation insiders. conway was on track to take gop leadership of the house intelligence committee in the coming years. conway makes it five republican retirements in the last two weeks. he joins fellow texan pete olson, who serves in a toss-up district now. one of 13 women in the house, martha roby and rob bishop of utah. one senior member of congress told the hill this -- serving in the era of trump has few rewards. he's made an already hostile political environment worse. every day there's an indefensible tweet or comment to defend or explain. it is exhausting and often embarrassing, a senior member of the -- a republican member of congress said.
it means we would live under the tyranny of the freedom conference. i wonder if this conference is capable of governing? joining the conversation, here he is now, national post reporter robert acosta. susan brooks from indiana, she announced she was she was leaving and in one of her first acts she voted with the democrats on the resolution condemning donald trump wiea we or two ago. maybe she felt a little lit rated. is that what we are seeing there? are these republicans who figure they can't go against trump publicly or they lose in the primary, they don't want to sign up for what he's doing so they're leaving? >> there's real tension inside capitol hill talking to members on the phone, they're in recess, you get the sense from house republicans, mccarthy and others are trying to get republicans to
stay in the 2020 mix, run for re-election. the argument is we will paint the pictures of democrats as democratic socialists. we will try to say they're all to the left. that will be your path to re-election. we will give you something to talk about on prescription drugs later this year. but for some this is not enough. it's turbulence back in the districts with the rising resistance in the democratic party and suburban republicans unhappy with the gop's direction. >> elise, you think of some of the republicans who have taken steps to go against the president. justin amash, most recently, a man without a party. he left the republican party. he's independent if he runs for re-election, that could be a very difficult situation politically. we had jeff flake in the senate, bob corker in the senate, democrats said you're not doing enough and republican voters said you're going way too far and they pretty much found
themselves without a future. >> you look at the incumbents fleeing and you decide it's not worth it. is this what you sign up for if you want to go into politics to make a difference? it's not like you're disagreeing with someone's budget plan or even foreign policy. you have to defend somebody's racist remarks on a daily basis? you have to go against everything that is fundamental about american democracy that all men are created equal? of course they're not signing up. if you have a shred of a conscience, why would you want to put in the work to posture and uphold this broken hierarchy for donald trump? it simply would not work. >> especially if you're in the minority. it's a lot more fun, hair, to i be in the majority than the house minority. you have an effective speaker of
the house in nancy pelosi, who runs a tight ship. if you're there to do what you want to do and what you believe in, you're not going to get to do it. if you calculate that republicans are probably not going to take back the house, that may be a calculation some are making, then you're looking at another stretch of just kind of showing up for work. >> i'm happy to put up with all of his racism as long as i get my subcommittee in the house but the minute i'm in the minority, it's not worth it, i will leave. but none will say anything while they're there. >> absolutely. >> part of it too, john, is the president's behavior when faced with criticism from his open party, you just think of -- i can think of so many examples, i'm sure we all can, of past presidents. it's a normal thing. they will at some point alienate members on capitol hill. i remember david opie from wisconsin was saying things, bill clinton was probably
cursing him in private but bill clinton wasn't going in public saying you're the worst person in history. that's what trump will do to any republican who comes after him. i think the republicans are finding out voters will end up siding with trump. >> he stood out a handful of times. charles left for helsinki in the last week or so after the send her back chants but it's rare bh and he doesn't take the criticism sitting down. he lights them up on twitter. threatens to back their primary opponent. this is a president who has 80% approval rating within the republican party. you're finding incumbents who sold multiple terms, who should have a solid, safe constituency, finding those people evaporating because they're choosing donald trump over them. and they realize there's no reward taking the risk and criticizing the president. if they stick around, they will
not voice their conscience. they will make a practical decision to keep their mouth shut. or if they do go after him, they know they will face his wrath and walk away. >> robert, there seems to be a longer question here, a post-trump moment in our politics if he gets re-elected, but in some way the republican party will emerge from having donald trump as its leader but how altered permanently will it be because of folks just leaving because of his presence potentially and folks who stay who buy into this? >> that look down the horizon for many of these republicans is part of a calculation. i have spoken to republican lawmakers in the house. they say if democratic turnout in 2020 is exceedingly strong across the country, that means democrats could have a comeback in many of the state lectures that will be rewriting or redistricting some of the congressional districts across the country. and if you're already in a swing
distance or losing your patience being a lawmaker, the rise possibly of democratic state legislators nationwide makes it more of an issue for you to stay on and have to compete in districts that may be carved up. >> robert acosta, thank you for taking a few minutes. we appreciate that. coming up, the star of last night's debate, according to the icht net. who's dog is this? it's my special friend, antonio. his luxurious fur calms my nerves when i'm worried about moving into our new apartment. why don't we just ask geico for help with renters insurance?
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relief and remission has four levels of defenseremium gasoagainst gunk, wear, corrosion and friction. that helps keep your engine running like new. it's fuel for thought. >> we met earlier today. >> do you have a pet? >> do i have a pet? >> i have a cat. >> as for the all important primary, there was a winner. marianne williamson was apparently a huge hit on the web and there are numbers that back that up too. look at the glg trenoogle trend
she was the most-searched candidate in 40 states, only montana the holdout, apparently more interested in their own governor, steve bullock. williamson has a style of her own and evidently it is working. her campaign said today was the biggest day for donations since they launched and that could be thanks in part to team trump, which is now propping up williamson's performance. according to a report in "the new york times" today, in a number of standout moments like this from last night. >> this is part of the dark underbelly of american society. the racism, bigotry and entire conversation we're having here tonight, if you think he will deal with this dark-sided force of the collectized taker this president is bringing up in this country, then i'm afraid the democrats are going to see some very dark days. >> elise, i know you've been curious about marianne
williamson. you can find polls where she's polling better than a u.s. senator, people with very distinguished political resumes. she's not a front-runner by any means. what's your reaction to what you saw last night? >> last night marianne williamson spoke to i think the hunger people in the country have for wanting to see compassion and empathy and she was speaking about love. i think that was refreshing for a moment of just spiritual crisis in the country. but i feel like her answer to the young student journalist also embodies this political moment. she's saying oh, i have a cat. and leaning into the moment, but he died. and so it's just kind of this moment of political darkness that politicians can try to go back to normal but it's just never going to be normal again. >> is that the candidate who's not afraid to give up the heaar
truths? >> right. when she was talking about the flint water crisis -- not the cat. i'm sorry about the cat. >> you're talking about the cat, i'm sorry. >> her answer about the flint water crisis was a great answer. she said, this would not have happened in gross point, one of the ritziest suburbs of detroit. and it's an outrage people are still drinking bottled water and people responded to that. it was truth. >> as the dark psychic forces expand at t compos pond at the table, i think there's something about her authenticity. she spoke powerly about that and racism, there's a sense of compassion she had feeling there. she wasn't programmed at all clearly by any sort of consultant. but i also think she's someone who -- check her resume and check elise too, voice of skepticism about vaccines and so on. with a little further exploration dive into who she is and her resume, some of this
internet globe may fade. >> benefits of lack of scrutiny a front-runner might get. what about some of the other candidates. we're talking about marianne williamson. john delaney got a lot of air time. >> i'm trying to think if john delaney didn't get a lot of air time but we think he did. i guess because he was a sparring partner with elizabeth warren. i think the governor of montana had a good night. and this is somebody who got a lot of impressive things done with a very republican state. and in terms of whatever he's trying to achieve on that stage, some folks want to set themselves up to a good alternative to biden, if biden has another bad night. >> go ahead. >> i was going to say, i'm not sure bernie sanders had a great night. just because of the way things have been trending. he's been trending a bit down as warren has trended a bit up. i don't think i did anything to
sort of turn around those trend lines. >> the thing she was trying to do that was interesting, the first debate, she's the best in the world of connecting people's lives and policy. she's the best at that. she didn't really do that so much this time. it's like she was trying to get the moral high ground which i felt was a call to bernie supporters, right, to show i'm not just a person with a plan. like you can trust me to be as deeply committed to all of this as bernie. it was not as welcoming, i thought, to your average voter but i felt like she was going for the sanders' supporters. >> i and woderred watching them last night too, there's all of these series how sanders will play this, a lot of people have the view he's just in it until the convention no matter what. there's another view out there if warren finishes above him say in iowa and again in new hampshire, where they're both sort of next door neighbors and clearly warren has distanced herself at that point, that he drops out and endorses her? >> it's possible. that is definitely a belief held by many in democratic quarters,
bernie sanders will say with this, he's for himself more than party perhaps. but last night with the two of them on the stage together, there was some belief they will duke it out, fight for the progress gresi progressive on the stage. but instead they flfrpganked ofe others on the stage. that would be interesting and a scenario down the road. >> i argue elizabeth warren has nothing to gain by attacking bernie sanders when she's literally peeling off his voters at a rate he has to be hugely alarmed by right now. you look at going into the future, bernie sanders really didn't have the kind of moment that he had back in the primary debates in 2016, when he was up against really just hillary clinton. you had a bernie sanders whose only moment where he really sparked is when in his closing statement he said donald trump is a racist, he's a missoj in any event, he's a homophobe.
that is the old bernie that resonated that is the truth-teller you wanted to hear from and you didn't get that last night. >> i don't want to bring back flashbacks but this is an interesting thing i trying to figure out. sanders who was able to get i think 43% nationally in the popular vote in 2016, i know the field is much larger right now. but i think there were certain expectations about what he carried into this race from the last race. and maybe there's a sense now that that was overestimated, that was overstated. when you look back at what he was able to tap into running against hillary clinton. >> i would say he was the perfect person to go against hillary clinton which i did not see in the beginning. by the time we got to july of 2015, i understood that this was a pretty toxic matchup for us because, you know, he is anti-establishment, he was everything that she wasn't from having, you know, on her side a very effective -- as well as a
state department leader and on his side just somebody who has a very core belief that was very anti-establishment. so i think that he was sort of a perfect foil in that regard. and he was the only alternative, right? so of course his support is going to fall off in '20 when there were more alternatives, and i just don't know that, you know, in the end warren may end up besting him. she's been just, you know, chugging along. >> it's an interesting dynamic to of was. more on the debates including a bizarre mystery that is now finally been solved. we will explain it to you when we come back.
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well, it became a thing on social media during the debate last night. questions like this popping up all over twitter. does buttigieg have a dead bug on his face, what is that? well, here's what viewers were noticing, that mark on his forehead, then suddenly, mysteriously, it was gone. the candidate asked about it directly this morning in an interview. >> our best guess is that there were these little kind of gnats around. maybe i smooshed one and it got on my forehead. i didn't know about it until after. that's the thing about having something on your forehead. but hopefully it didn't distract from the message about what's at stake in this election. >> the old smooshed bug excuse, although i don't know what else it could be, john. but we didn't much about
buttigieg today. >> it's interesting that if that's the only headline he's getting, that's probably not the best debate. but he spoke very passionately including his commitment to withdraw all forces from afghanistan in his first year of office. and i think his momentum needs a stronger outing to go forward, even though he's raising a lot of money, it doesn't seem like there's much of a narrative. >> he has a lot of money, but everybody's got what they tried to achieve in the debate. but it wasn't a breakout performance, but we focus on the debates, the debates were all leading to iowa. so it does matter, like, what's he building there, what are all of these people building there. and he can have a good night one night, and julian castro can have a good night one night. it's going to get super narrow. >> and for those of us who wonder about the historical nature, this was the first squooshed bug to appear in a presidential debate since reuben
askew. completely making that up. it's never happened before. [ laughter ] they were nice enough to laugh. we'll be right back. liberty mutual customizesback. your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. i wish i could shake your hand. granted. only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ if you have moderate little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently.
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what would you like the power to do?® ♪ done all right. my thanks to jonathan, elise, jen, and eugene. that is going to do it for us this hour. i'm steve kornacki no matter what this teleprompter tells me. and "mtp daily" with chuck todd starts right now. arts right now ♪ well, if it's wednesday, welcome to "meet the press daily." and good evening, i'm chuck todd here in washington. after last night's rock em sock em free for all, the conditions could not get much better for joe biden. he's got a chance to refocus this intramural fight on the big prize, trump. biden also had a small