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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  February 26, 2020 9:00am-10:00am PST

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was abducted and murdered in 1955. his death is one of the events that sparked the civil rights movement in this community. they're hoping it can be signed into law by the end of february in honor of black history month. that wraps up this hour of msnbc live. "andrea mitchell reports" starts right now. >> and right now on "andrea mitchell reports," king for a day, south carolina's most powerful democrat in the state crowns joe biden as the former vice president tries to halt bernie sanders' winning streak. >> i know his heart. i know who he is. i know what he is. >> if you send me out of south carolina with a victory, there will be no stopping us. southern brawl, bernie sanders getting the front-runner treatment and with it an onslaught from the rest of the field. >> imagine spending the better part of 2020 with bernie sanders versus donald trump. >> i will tell you, pete, what
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the american people want, and, joe, want the american people want, they don't want candidates to be running to billionaires for huge amounts of funding. >> bernie hasn't passed much of anything. >> i do not think this is the best person to lead the ticket. >> bernie will lose to donald trump. and not if but when. federal health officials prepare to brief the president today on the spread of the coronavirus sounding the alarm even as the white house tries to downplay the risk. >> we fully expect we will see more cases here in the united states. we have to be mentally prepared and also as a government prepared. >> you may ask about the coronavirus which is very well under control in our country. we have very few people with it. and good day, everyone, i'm
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andrea mitchell in washington. jobe trying to fight his way back after weak showings in the first early states. rebounding in south carolina and rewarded with the important endorsement of jim clyburn before saturday's primary. biden is still well behind front-runner bernie sanders in delegates and money. sanders has been campaigning in super tuesday states that vote next week while the former vice president remains locked down in south carolina to prevent another loss. sanders, despite his popular strength, defending whether a democratic socialist can defeat donald trump. >> if you look at battleground states like michigan, wisconsin and pennsylvania, polling just -- >> the polls aren't the election. >> i beat trump. if you want to beat trump,
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important but now i'm just not so sure he
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has the fight left in him to do it. he's not willing to get in the mud with donald trump and that person was worried about the fact that bernie sanders was also going to be the nominee. there are a lot of people who are older african-americans who are established as democrats who are worried about the title of socialists. they don't understand the nuances between a democratic socialist and cuba's communism. african-american voters are very, very eager to have their say in south carolina and bernie sanders has made a good effort of trying to get young african-american voters to vote for him and those numbers are going up. i had a woman told me that our lives need radical change and bernie sanders is offering that. >> sanders has been ahead, jim messina. bernie sanders really took a lot of incoming on the stage last night. but he has some big advantages going forward. look at that rally he had the other night in texas, saturday night in texas. he's been in california a lot. he's been in virginia. i think tonight he's going to north carolina. he's been able to cut loose and
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go to other states. he doesn't need south carolina as a victory as much as obviously joe biden does. >> you're right. joe biden has to win on saturday to continue in this race. and bernie has something else going to his advantage which is money. he and michael bloomberg are the only people on the air in some of these super tuesday states that are going to decide, 40% of voters and delegates are going to be given here on super tuesday. and as you know, andrea, half of the voters on super tuesday are going to vote early. that's why last night's debate was so important for joe biden, but every day people are voting and right now in some of these super tuesday states they're just seeing ads from mayor bloomberg and from bernie sanders. and speaking of mayor bloomberg, he was trying to make the point that he helped secure the house by contributing to 40 of those freshman democrats who turned red states.
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let's show what happened, let's call it a slip last night. >> they talk about 40 democrats, 21 of those were people that i spent $100 million to help elect. all of the new democrats that came in, put nancy pelosi in charge and gave the congress the ability to control this president, i got that. >> i bought, i got them. if you're the billionaire on the stage being attacked by sanders, we'll talk about that in a moment, not so cool to say you bought those -- >> not at all. that's a tricky moment. he caught himself. people still got it. but people know what the game is and everybody knows a guy who's spent a half a billion dollars on his race who did spend $100 million on his -- on the
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2018 cycle, yeah, he's buying stuff. we get it. the question for the democrats and bernie sanders has already made it clear, i don't want your money if i'm the nominee. well, i can just tell you, bernie, that's kind of dumb. if a guy wants to spend up to billion dollars to help you get elected, you take the money. and that's the problem that doesn't translate for a lot of democrats around the country is we need everything on the table to defeat donald trump. this is not going to be an easy race even with the best candidate at the top of the ticket. so i think what you see with bloomberg is doing a two-step, i want to be the nominee, i will be the nominee because i'm willing to do all of these things. if i'm not, i'm going to help the party. the resistance to that from the bernie folks should be more of a turnoff than they realize. voters are like, well, you're going to lose then. if you don't want to take the resources from someone like, you know, michael bloomberg, why would we make that investment?
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we can't generate that kind of money in the campaign so far. so it creates a little dicey moment for -- for sanders as much as it does for michael bloomberg. >> michael bloomberg did so much better last night than he did before. >> yes. >> could not have been worse. he did a lot better. was it a mistake for him to try to say, look, in a general election, i can win moderate republicans, in a primary debate where you have warren and sanders and others who don't want to hear about moderate -- >> they don't want to hear about it, but he's speaking truth. it's the only way you're going to defeat donald trump. you've got to go for that center right as much as you go for the center left. >> and jim messina, looking forward, how do you see this shaping up as you go into super tuesday, biden doesn't have the money, sanders has money and populism and enthusiasm in a lot of these states. let's say that nobody gets out, that everybody has enough online
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money to keep going or limping forward into super tuesday, does it become totally bernie or who is the second person, if there's a second or third person in the race? >> that's the question. they've got to get some candidates out of this race in the next few days, probably right after super tuesday. this race has to come down to bernie sanders and one other alternative. i think that's what super tuesday is going to do for the party. they're going to start to weed out some of these candidates who had really good runs but just can't, you know, afford to stay in this race. money is the oxygen of american politics as michael points out and some of these candidates just aren't going to be to sustain it. it's why biden needs a victory this weekend. it's why bernie is on tv right now and it's why bloomberg is starting to move. 70% of voters say the most important issue in this primary is who can beat donald trump, and that's what voters are trying to figure out.
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>> jim, very briefly, if mike bloomberg can't show a better ability on the debate stage or in retail politics to handle, you know, his downside, is he one of those players going forward after super tuesday? >> look, i would rather have $500 million of tv ads than one good debate. and that's his appeal, right. every night on tv, i'm sitting in california, and all you see are michael bloomberg ads on tv. >> that's an answer to that question, indeed. jim messina, i would rather have $5 million. mike memoli, yamiche alcindor, jim messina, michael steele, thank you all so much. can president trump contain fears about coronavirus after rallying the markets yesterday l and the new cases around the world. and any other uncertainties. because when you're with fidelity, a partner who makes sure every step is clear, there's nothing to stop you from moving forward.
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president trump will speak to reporters tonight at 6:00
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eastern. i'm not sure we know the format yet, whether it's just a couple of questions, but he's going to be discussing the coronavirus one day after he tried to reassure the markets and the public about the disease and that backfired. >> you may ask about the coronavirus which is very well under control in our country. the people are getting better. they're all getting better. >> we have contained this, we have contained this, i won't say airtight, but pretty close to airtight. we've done a good job in the united states, hats off to our public health people. >> well, the markets didn't like that at all. the president and his chief economic adviser trying to project a rosy scenario at the same time the professionals, the health experts, the scientists at the cdc, were saying it was not a question of if the epidemic gets to the u.s. but when. and that americans should be prepared for disruption in their daily lives. more than 81,000 cases, 2,700
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deaths so far worldwide at the time we got on the air. more being reported every day. richard engle is in singapore where nearly 100 cases have been reported but more than half of those patients have recovered. philip ruck philip rucker joins us, and also with us dr. ezekiel emanuel a former senior adviser to the obama white house. welcome all. richard, first to you there. ground zero, really, singapore, of course, and china and other asian countries where it all started, now in singapore, what are you hearing, how is it spreading? >> reporter: so we came here because there is a lab where they're working very closely to try and isolate this virus to figure out its weaknesses.
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i went to a lab earlier today and spoke with one of the top viralgists in the world and they have -- they have it and they are trying to break down its genetic code to see what works to kill it and they have some promising leads but nothing yet. and the doctor told me that it is going to become a pandemic. you cannot bluff your way through this. you can't market your way through this. you can't tell people everything is going to be all right when the people who are working very directly with this virus say that it is a matter of time before it spreads. what she told me what was most unique about this virus, and she's worked on viruses for the past 20 years in front-line experiences, is that it is so
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contagious. it is not the end of days virus. it is not going to kill us all. 98% of people get better. 98% of them often have mild symptoms. but that is still 2%, roughly, that die when they get this and generally it is the elderly or people who have pre-existing medical conditions. and that, if you spread it out over the entire possibly infected population, could be a very large number of casualties. she thinks this is going to become a pandemic. we also talked about where it came from and that is -- that is important, that is important in this information age because if you look online, there are a lot of rumors, especially now. there are a lot of people going to google trying to figure out where this came from and one of the big conspiracy theories out there that this was some secretive chinese weapon or a
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biological weapon that was put out there or escaped. she actually worked in the facility in wuhan that is often pointed to as a potential culprit for a place where this virus was allegedly being made. she said that is absolutely not the case. she's very convinced that it came from bats, about 90% sure, it was from bat to human in an illegal wildlife market in wuhan, china. so let's hear a little bit of what she had to say. we went into a cage and saw some of the bats that they are working on and conducting research to try and figure out how the transmission happened and what can be done to find the vulnerabilities in this coronavirus. >> you don't think this was some biological weapon? >> i do not. i don't think it was either intentional or accidental. this virus came from the wildlife. >> it came from bats?
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>> most likely came from bats, yes. >> and came from bats in this wildlife market? >> yes. >> and that was pretty extraordinary with your reporting now, dr. ezekiel emanuel, what have we learned about the mortality. the mortality rate that i heard from the world health organization was generally about 2.5% to 3%. this is not ebola, but the transmission is different. tell us having experience with the other kind of disease. >> you're 100% connect. this isn't sars where we had a 10% mortality or ebola, 50%, 60%. this is closer to seasonal flu. given the world statistics now, it's between 2.5% and 3%. remember, those world statistics
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probably ignore many more cases that are so mild. so even if you say dilute that number by five fold or tenfold, you're down to about .5% mortality rate which is higher than seasonal flu. so it's very different. on the other hand, it's very trance missable and that's what we're seeing when we have these hot spots popping up in iran, italy and other places where no one has been to china but now you're getting transmission, person-to-person, and that seems to be very easily one person transmits it to about 2.5 to 3 people and then they transmit it. and that's actually the serious problem is, as your correspondent mentioned, widespread transmission with a
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low death rate is still a high number. i think we all in america need to be well aware, we still have a very low number of cases. there are no cases, for example, in philadelphia, no cases in pennsylvania. this is going to get worse before it gets better and i think we need to be prepared for that. and it's been quite clean that the white house has been very slow in preparing or even recognizing this as a problem. i somehow think maybe they thought closing the border to people from china would do it. at best, its delayed the entry into the united states. it's certainly not going to prevent it. >> and on that exact point, philip rucker, you've done so much reporting for your book very stable genius on the president's responses. we saw the president in india trying to reassure the markets as well as larry kudlow, his economic adviser, and it backfired because the cdc was telling a more accurate
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forecast. plus, they've cut the cdc budget. they're on the hill today getting slammed by that. the budget proposal has been cut. chuck schumer says we need another 8 billion, not the proposed 2.5. but science has been downgraded in this administration that the markets can't really believe what they're hearing. >> that's right, andrea, and that's one of the challenges for this president right now if in fact the coronavirus does expand and become a global pandemic as many of the experts fear is only a matter of time. you have a president here who's been at war with science inside the government, at war with facts who regularly exaggerate rates, manipulates the data and truth in his public presentations and this is a moment where precision is warranted and needed and necessary. the american people and the world, really, are going to be looking to the president to hear truthful accounts of what's happening, what they should do,
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what they should be fearful of. and if everything is okay, then they should hear that too. it's a president who's not equipped for this moment given his track record and the way he's been so loose with facts and information and the way he's discredited the scientists within the government, sought to diminish their power, sought to cut their budgets and cast them out. >> philip rucker, richard engle in singapore, dr. ezekiel emanuel in philadelphia, thanks to all of you. of course the president will be getting a briefing today and will be speaking to reporters and coming up next, declaring warren. will elizabeth warren's attack against mike bloomberg save her campaign? ♪ if you have moderate to severe psoriasis, little things can become your big moment. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable.
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senator elizabeth warren was relentless in attacking former mayor mike bloomberg last night. in one exchange, warren ripped into bloomberg over nondisclosure agreements signed by women who worked for his
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company. >> if he says there's nothing to hide here, then sign a release and let those women -- >> what the senator did suggest was that we release these women from the nondisclosure agreement. i did that two days later and my company has said we will not use nondisclosure agreements ever again. i don't know what else she wants us to do. we're following exactly what she asked to do and the trouble is, with this senator, enough is never enough. >> joining me now from south carolina, josh lederman, ali vitali, political reporter at the warren campaign event in south carolina. ali, first to you, a lot of people today questioning warren's strategy here. she's going into super tuesday, she's not trying to slow down bernie sanders. there was one attack on sanders, but for the most part, she continues to hammer mike
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bloomberg who's not going to drop out. he has the money to keep going through super tuesday. with her not having won any of these big states so far, why keep going after bloomberg and not after the front-runner? >> reporter: and that's a question that i asked her after the last debate and then again last night. she feels comfortable in this strategy because for the warren campaign, they think there's no matter foil for elizabeth warren than michael bloomberg. obviously there's no love lost between them. you saw how easy it was for her to go after him. on the bernie sanders front, that's a more complicated situation. they call each other friends. but there's the policy underpinnings of both of their campaigns. we saw elizabeth warren last night do something that i've never seen her do before on the campaign which is make a contrast between herself and bernie sanders saying that she thinks she will be the better president because of an argument she's been making about how efficient she'll be in acting
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the progressive agenda that they share. bernie sanders didn't come back at her with anything in that moment showing that it's a complicated relationship for both of them because if they're going to go after each other, they have to do it in a very specific way. no broad sides because their policy is very similar. they have to go at each other for a specific thing. for elizabeth warren, that thing is efficiency. >> you are very precise, careful, insightful in your analysis there. because they call each other friends. i think they've been political rivals in a lot of ways for the same constituency and going forward, it makes sense, as you described it. but, you know, josh lederman, it seems that bloomberg, he was prepared for it, but in some ways not. it's hard to withstand the kind of barrage that was coming at him. >> it's difficult if you're in that position to defend yourself when you're saying i never said these comments and bloomberg has said under oath in a lawsuit that he didn't make those comments. elizabeth warren says that he
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did and so how do you push back against that? elizabeth warren was not in the room for those comments, neither was i. mike bloomberg was. and this woman was who does say that he said that. but the bloomberg campaign feels like he did make some improvements in last night over the way he answered this before in that he was not dismissive as much as he was in the first debate where he brushed this off as some inappropriate jokes he's made. last night he said, look, people were bothered by this. if they were bothered, then i'm sorry. and they felt that was a better image for him to project. >> and just to give you an idea of how prepared he is to go the long distance, they've put out a note that they're going to produce a new ad airing tomorrow on coronavirus and on the lack of preparation of this white house and how he would be best prepared to handle a crisis like that which plays to the management experience, not such a great debate talking point.
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josh lederman and ali vitali, thanks for joining us from the field. coming up, don't forget us. the message to first lady laura bush from the afghan women about what they were facing before the reforms that the bush administration promoted. is that all about to change? we'll talk to laura bush's former chief of staff right here on "andrea mitchell reports" coming up next. we made usaa insurance for members like kate. a former army medic, made of the flexibility to handle whatever monday has in store and tackle four things at once. so when her car got hit, she didn't worry.
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the taliban and the afghan government now are expected to sign an agreement saturday that could pave the way for a phased withdrawal of u.s. troops from afghanistan and the beginning of the end to american's longest war. but there are no guarantees in this deal for the afghan women. former chief of staff to first lady laura bush anita mcbride saying that it was one of the central tenants of engagement by the u.s. and the coalition countries in afghanistan. in 2008, laura bush spoke about meeting afghan women after her
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trip to kabul. >> i've met afghan women who are heroes of their generation. some risk their lives to teach in underground schools. others left their families and homes behind to pursue an education outside of their country. because of their courage and determination, their children will inherit the fortune of freedom and the fundamental right to be educated regardless of gender. >> will they? joining me now is john allen who was the commander of international forces in afghanistan, the nato forces and is at the brookings institution, and anita mcbride, former chief of staff to former first lady laura bush who was one of the architects of that program. thank you both so much. let me start with you, anita mcbride, because you saw on the ground what it was like and i saw it. i was on some of the trips with secretaries of state during that period, with condi rice, hillary
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clinton, john kerry. the coeducation at the american university in kabul, for instance, which has been a target of taliban fire in recent years, it meant so much when i met with those young women. some of them told me they had been disavowed by their families and villages for going to school with boys. >> right. and for participating in all sectors of their society yet they're amongst the most resilient and determined women you'll meet anywhere in the world because of what the price is that they have had to pay to get to that point, to be educated, to be able to move about freely in society. they don't want to go back. and this is one of the things they're scared about now and rightfully so. we know what the record is of the taliban and its treatment towards women. we know what the record is of women that have beaten all odds to be -- to function in that society and who do you want to believe at this point? >> john allen, you saw on the
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ground the cost, the horrific cost of this war. no question that we have to draw down, get out at some point. we can't create a democracy in afghanistan, but can we trust the afghan government who is still fighting over who won the election as negotiators, do you trust the taliban who have still be attacking as of recently? >> that's a complex question. and it's a complex answer. first, let me say, i'm honored to share this interview with anita who's work on empowering women is legendary. >> indeed. >> thank you. >> we have to trust the afghan government. we have to see them as a partner. we have to see them as the solution to this problem and there seems to be some ambivalence about where this
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government in kabul -- >> anita, while we straighten that feed out from the bookings institution, and i apologize to general allen, when the general -- retired general talks about ambivalence, i pick that up from mike pompeo yesterday, they're not saying that this is a red line, that they're going to do anything affirmatively to protect the status of women. >> i think also too it's a function of how americans are weary and i think the leadership in our government is reflecting that. this is a long retracted war, we understand that. we've paid a heavy price, americans have, our military has and we're still -- we're at a place where we would have hoped by this point that the afghans would have been able to do this
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all themselves. but because of these currents of terrorism, the regime of the taliban that are still fundamentally functioning in afghanistan and growing in their control, it's making it very hard. >> one of the things that's going to happen is the special envoy and others coming from the state department are going to be observing the signatures. but we the americans are not signatories. this is really between a fairly weak afghan central government and the taliban. and we don't know what they're putting in this draft agreement. >> that's right. and i think those are the things that we worry about more. what's not in the draft, we know they don't have -- the taliban doesn't have a great record of being willing to have intergovernment, interafghan conversations and that's going to make it difficult to believe
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that there's going to be a result that's lasting and binding. and they see us as the enemy. >> let me ask, john allen, we straightened out our connection. john allen, you were in the middle of saying that it's complex and we need to trust the afghan government. what about the situation on the ground as you see it? >> sure. well, look, again, we have to support the afghan government. they are our allies and what they've been able to achieve so much for the society has been a direct result of the cost of blood between the coalition, the united states and our afghan partners. we have to trust them, we have to support them. the united states needs to be in overwatch of this entire project. we can't turn this over and walk away. to anita's point, i was able to listen to the conversation. this agreement is a failed agreement. if we do not get from the taliban an absolute commitment that they will take care of the women of afghanistan. not according to the taliban standard but according to the
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standard that we have established for humanitarian care of that population. the women of afghanistan are not a marginal minority. they're half the population. the afghan women will say they hold up half the sky and there's no possibility of afghanistan moving forward if the women are not equal and acrocoparticipant the society going forward. i have zero confidence that the taliban will look after women and hold up women's rights and minority rights. we should remember what the taliban did during the darkness. and let's all remember who the hakanis are. they have more blood on their hands than almost any dimension of the taliban. they were the platform that facilitated into the soviet war
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which would take shape as al qaeda and osama bin laden. let's be clear who we're talking about. and i've had the opportunity to sit between traditional tribal parties and civil government and try to find a power-sharing arrangement and that's the important role that the united states has in this process, to say we've had a successful reduction in violence, i don't know how he measured that, and walk away from this process and leave it to, as you properly said, a weak taliban government -- or a weak afghan government, seeking to consolidate its capabilities and the taliban who find themselves with safe havens in pakistan, i think that's an abdication of our strategic leadership and we have to be involved in this process all along. >> and i asked secretary of state pompeo that question yesterday and did not get a response that indicated that this would be a red line and a demand by the u.s. we have to go. sorry for that interruption.
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thank you for your contribution. thanks to both. coming up, craig melvin in an interview with joe biden just days before the primary. stay with us. tix is proven to help you quit. with chantix you can keep smoking at first and ease into quitting so when the day arrives, you'll be more ready to kiss cigarettes goodbye. when you try to quit smoking, with or without chantix, you may have nicotine withdrawal symptoms. stop chantix and get help right away if you have changes in behavior or thinking, aggression, hostility, depressed mood, suicidal thoughts or actions, seizures, new or worse heart or blood vessel problems, sleepwalking, or life-threatening allergic and skin reactions. decrease alcohol use. use caution driving or operating machinery. tell your doctor if you've had mental health problems. the most common side effect is nausea. talk to your doctor about chantix.
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was going to be this revolution, americans aren't looking for revolution. they're looking for progress. they're looking for tell me how you're going to help me with my health care and make me safer. >> mr. vice president, some seem keen on a revolution. >> some do, but look at the numbers. we talk about the great increase in participation. he's not going to come anywhere near generating the kind of participation of young folks that barack did in 2008. there's no evidence of that yet. there's a lot of young people out there who are supportive of a more, i won't say rational, a more practical path to get i thinks done. >> joe biden just moments ago in the "today show" exclusive thanks to craig melvin. biden making the case against bernie sanders in south carolina. hours of biden secured that all important endorsement from jim clyburn, joining us here, ceo of the senate for american
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progress and susan page. biden seemed to be getting his mojo back last night. it was a woolly debate. >> tenth time is a charm. because biden was definitely had his best debate. he seem to have found his footing. the endorsement this morning from congressman clyburn i thought was powerful and personal and made the case for biden that he's someone that they know and he knows us, and that is the case that joe biden needs to make to win in south carolina on saturday. and to start gaining ground and stop the momentum that bernie sanders has. >> but how does he do enough before super tuesday? let's steven pause it with his endorsement he could come out with a double digit lead if steyer doesn't get too many votes. but then he has not been campaigning in super tuesday states. all the others have.
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>> yeah. the one advantage that the vice president has is he has 100% name i.d. he doesn't rely on advertising like a pete buttigieg or amy klobuchar who have to introduce themselves to a lot of voters. he has that issue. i mean, i think a real challenge for him to at this point it does seem that bloomberg is siphoning off votes from him rather than him from bloomberg. so i do think that momentum does build. if he does well in south carolina and remember, senator sanders had a 1.6% victory in new hampshire and was able to really capitalize on that as a profound victory. so i do think the issue for the vice president is this -- it's compressed but that compression may help him. >> because it's only three days, it may catapult him rather than having time for another -- >> yeah. i think you're actually on your way up when -- after a victory, but it depend an a lot, how he does, and he does have to win.
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>> we're going to have to leave it there. great to see you both. and of course you can see a lot more of craig melvin's interview with joe biden tomorrow morning on "today." and here on msnbc tomorrow at 11 eastern when craig anchors live from south carolina, his home state. is one's for you. is one's for you. the heroes who won't let your disease hold you back. you inspired us to make your humira experience even better with humira citrate-free. it has the same effectiveness you know and trust, but we removed the citrate buffers, there's less liquid, and a thinner needle, with less pain immediately following injection. if you haven't yet, talk to your doctor about humira citrate-free. and you can use your co-pay card to pay as little as $5 a month. humira can lower your ability to fight infections. serious and sometimes fatal infections, including tuberculosis, and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common
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us all week as we head into south carolina, chris jansing in new york. >> thank you. i am chris jansing. coronavirus is coming. the cdc says so, and today there are serious questions over whether the united states is prepared. this hour we've dedicated our entire show to this life or death crisis. on the same day the cdc warned can have could become a pandemic and that americans should plan now for what it calls possible severe disruption to every day life, president trump suggests everything is under control. even the economic adviser said everything is locked down title, contradicted what was said claiming there will be more cases in this country. >> you asked about the coronavirus which is very well under the control in our country. h