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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  February 27, 2020 5:00pm-6:00pm PST

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and that's not a good situation for him but more so for the country. there are times and events like the threat of the coronavirus when we need to trust what government health officials are saying. and that tluz the person at the top. this isn't about the crowd size at his inauguration. and that's "hardball" for now. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on a special edition of "all in" live from charleston, south carolina -- >> hello, charleston! >> two days from the democratic primary here, and things are getting intense. [ speaking simultaneously ] tonight, why that intensity is totally normal. >> these had the gall to go after my mother. >> then, the stock market plummets as we get new information about the administration's incompetent handling of the coronavirus. >> everybody happy with your 401(k)? plus, the stakes in this election -- >> there is an enormously important primary here in south
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carolina. >> with super tuesday right around the corner. >> i believe that we will win! i believe that we will win! >> "all in" live from charleston, south carolina starts right now. [ cheers and applause ] hello! hey, charleston! how are we doing? great to have you here. good evening. it's great to be here in south carolina. we are just of course two days away from the democratic primary right here in this state. i think it's safe to say it's an anxiety-inducing week for a lot of people. coronavirus of course is sort of implacably making its way around the globe, which also happens to coincide with donald trump being the president. so you have those two things together. it has also been i think i worrying week for some democrats. they've watched as what has been i think the messiest week of the primary so far, with the most interparty warfare. and i get why people are stressed out. people want to -- democrats want to beat donald trump and they're worried if democrats attack each
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other too much that's going to weaken the eventual nominee. but i would not worry too much about that for two reasons. okay? the first one is it's actually not that bad so far as primaries go. right? remember, just four years ago on the republican side we had the absolute weirdest, nastiest, grossest presidential primary that we have ever seen. >> try it. 202 -- >> donald trump today in lindsey graham's home state giving out lindsey graham's cell phone number. >> trump basically equated carson's childhood temper to the illness of a child molester. >> you're a child molester, there's no cure for that. >> my mom is the strongest woman i know. >> she -- >> my family -- >> donald trump alleges that my dad was involved in assassinatiassassinate ing jfk. >> what are you doing with lee harvey ozwald shortly before the
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death death? >> 2k078d, you're a sniffling coward and leave heidi the hell alone. >> this is the starntd operating procedure to disparage me -- >> spend a little more money on the commercials. >> and you know what they say about men with small hands. >> insults about everything including male anatomy. and i'm not kidding. >> he referred to my hands if they're small something else must be small. i guarantee you there's no problem. >> two days ago he said he would take his pants off and moon everybody. and that's fine. nobody reports that. he gets up and says that. and then he tells me oh, my language was a little bit rough. >> okay. so remember all that? remember that? and the person that won that primary did go on to become the president. now, obviously the messiness there revolved around donald trump. but even if you look at a non-trump primary like the one in 2008 between hillary clinton and barack obama, that was far nastier than i think people remember. >> he's very likeable. i agree with that.
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i don't think i'm that bad. zbl >> you're likeable enough, hillary. >> i appreciate that. >> enough with the speeches and the big rallies and then using tactics that are right out of karl rove's playbook. >> while i was working on those streets watching those folks see their jobs shift overseas you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board of walmart. >> now, i could stand up here and say let's just get everybody together, let's get unified, the sky will open, the light will come down, celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect. >> that was pretty messy. so it could be worse is one thing to keep in your mind, right? as you watch this, part of the primary season. but the second reason not to get too worried is in a weird way it's kind of what planners are actually for. they serve a purpose.
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one of the things they do is they serve to inoculate candidates against attacks in the general. we've been talking all week about viruss and vaccines and the way viruses work. the way vaccines work is you get a little tiny dose of the actual virus and you put that in your body and you build up antibodies so you can defend yourself against the virus when it comes. is in a lot of ways that's what a hard-fought primary does. you get stories like what bernie sanders thinks about fidel castro's literacy program or remember back in 2008 in the primary dominating all the cable networks and all the coverage the story about barack obama's long-time beloved pastor in chicago who said goddamn america from the pulpit? sean hannity is still talking about that, by the way. and then when these attacks get rolled out in a primary battle, as inevitably they do because everyone's emptying their chamber and dropping all their oppo, the candidates and
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campaigns have to figure out how to respond. you fight things out in the primary so you have a plan when you reach the general election. and also crucially it's probably better that voters first hear about this during the primary so they are not shocked by the news six days before the election. right? imagine jeremiah wright dropping a week before election day than that's probably a much different story. so you want to get that issue away from voters frond front of minds as early as possible. this is part of what primaries do. you get a little bit of nastiness and it prepares you for what's coming ahead. now, all that said, no one should be under any illusions about the difficulties that will inherent in the democratic primary because the core fact is this. democrats have a harder job than republicans do. there's two reasons for that, i think. one is of course the nature of the electoral college and geographic polarization in the united states in this moment. democrats can't do what the
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republicans have done, which is win the presidential election with fewer people actually voting for their candidate. that's not going to happen. republicans can do that. think about this. since 1992 there have been seven national elections. the republican candidate has won the popular vote in one of those seven. that was george w. bush's re-election bid in 2004. but of course a republican has been elected president three times. right? that's how donald trump won in 2016. in fact, there's a lot of people, and i think it's not crazy to assume that donald trump is likely to lose the popular vote again. certainly conceivable. it's much more a question of what's going to happen in the electoral college. so democrats have that working against them. it's a lot harder for democrats, as hillary clinton well knows, because they have to win more by bigger margins and they have to win in the right places. the second reason it's harder for democrats is because they have to bring an extremely diverse group of of people together into one group.
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there's two parties, two major parties in american life. there are two major political coalitions, right? and they are increasingly polarized and distant from each other ideologically and physically spatially. the republican coalition, it's basically a bunch of different kinds of white people. i'm exaggerating a bit obviously. there are all kinds of folks in the republican coalition. it's an enormous country. there's tens of millions of voters. but the overwhelming majority of the republican coalition in this day and age is white and christian. white men and white women. there are some young white people in the coalition. there are some old white people. there are some rich white people. there are some poor white people. there's college educated people. there's poorly educated people as the president called them. again, not just white people, right? this very state of course has a black republican representing it in the united states senate. but by and large, right? the overwhelming part of what
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that coalition is demographically, the democratic coalition is just everyone else. includes of course millions of white folks. it also includes black people and latino people and asian-american people. it includes muslims and it includes jews and it includes gay folks and straight folks, trans folks and cis folks. every way you can slice and dice an electorate, the democratic party has some big chunk of that. and it's hard to get those people to come together. it's just a difficult thing. that's why democrats have a harder political job. there are people who are experiencing american life, their perspective on what's going on in the country, from these wildly, wildly disparate and different points of views. democrats need to find a way to bring these people who all come from these wildly different leilife
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experiences into this one big group to achieve this victory, to achieve this political project. and it's hard to craft a message that binds all those people together. from all the different perspectives they have. barack obama was very good at this. right? he was the last successful person to win a presidential election with the current multiracial and multiethnic, multirelation coalition that is the democratic party. but it is a hard political project. that said, it is a vital and essential one. this is what the democratic party will look like in the foreseeable future. heck, it is what american democracy will look like into the foreseeable future. and there is no harder testing ground for durable multiracial political coalitions than the american south. right? which has been the graveyard of those political coalitions historically. the democratic party in the state of south carolina and throughout the south, right? the rest of the country but throughout the south.
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it is a multiracial party. it has to be. fundamentally and existentially it's a multiracial party. so the folks in this state and other states throughout the south they have a harder job on the other side. so if this process feels painful and it feels torturous and difficult and full of obstacles, it's because it has to be. i want to bring in someone who knows all about this. he's a pulitzer prize-winning columnist tort "washington post." he is also a native son of the great state of south carolina. eugene robinson. [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you. welcome to south carolina. >> it's wonderful to be here. it's a great place. you know, it's interesting because the way this primary calendar works is that you have sort of different demographic groups represented in different states. >> you do. >> and you find that this is that testing ground, right? this is the question everyone's
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looking at in the internals. how can this candidate appeal to these different sets of voters. >> exactly. >> and the answer is it's hard to do. >> it's really hard to do. so you had iowa and new hampshire where you essentially had no minorities. right? i mean, basically none in iowa. or you know, i've gone out to cover the iowa caucuses. back in 2008 reporters, a couple friends of mine and i would play a game at rallies and we'd try to find a non-white person at a rally. any candidate's rally in iowa. and we'd find one and it would turn out to be a tv producer from chicago. and new hampshire's like basically the same. so when we got to nevada, first time we had substantial numbers of latino voters, and we learned something. we learned that bernie sanders did very well with latino voters. >> he had figured something out.
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and to me what's interesting about that is him figuring that out, that is a him in the horse race sense but it's also a deeper thing about do you have the tools to do this in a broader sense. because that's part of what it does. >> it is. you have to think your way through the primary season and figure out what you need to do and so on saturday we get the first big indication from african-american voters. i mean, that's the ball game here in south carolina. 61% of the democratic vote last time around. potentially a bit more this time around. so we'll see what's on people's minds. who they like. >> it strikes me that when you go back to 2008, we were just talking about barack obama, that he's been the most successful at knitting this together. >> yes. mm-hmm. >> how much do you think the fact -- it's almost like he was designed in a lab. because here's a person who is
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the son of an imgrant father, an african-american who grows up in a white household in hawaii -- >> the physical embodiment of the entire coalition. which you could not design in a laboratory. >> that's right. >> and so -- >> he's got this really good talent. >> well, talent. he's unanimous first ballot politicians hall of fame. one of the best politicians who's ever been. but because he had these attributes, when jeremiah wright, you know, blew up he could give that speech about race and he could say he could no more disown reverend wright than he could his own white grandmother whom he had heard say racially insensitive things because he had this different sort of physical relationship with white people and black people that he could just
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himself coreporeally -- he did eventually disown reverend wright but that was a later incident. nobody like barack obama is in this race. >> maybe there's not going to be -- >> there's not going to be another one. everybody running this year and probably in future years is going to have to do it the hard way, is going to have to convince people who don't look like them, who don't have the experiences that they have that they do understand, that they -- that i'm with you too even though i might not look at it. >> there's two problems, satellite what makes it so hard is you have to do that. say, i was running for president. there's all kinds of experiences i don't have. and if i'm speaking to an all-black audience i have to sort of show that i understand where they're coming from and listening, right?
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but then to the extent you do that, right? there's also the loaded racial politics of oh, that person's in the bag for them. so then you have to stitch together something even greater than that so you can go out to the whole country and be like i'm going to speak -- i'm going look out for all of you. >> how do you do that? >> how do you do it? >> well, just take a few of the candidates we have now. if you look at bernie sanders, bernie sanders has a consistent message for the last 30 years, right? and so he sort of uses that in addition to some pretty significant organizational skills in terms of what he did in nevada, but it's his message. it's the same message for everybody basically that i'm a democratic socialist, this is the way we should -- we should reorganize things that would be better -- >> for everyone. >> for everyone except billionaires, as says. not the billionaires.
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and so that's bernie's method. you know, joe biden, as you saw in that clip when he was talking about beau biden, those are some of the most effective moments from joe biden i think because he is all empathy. it is a genuine empathy. he is genuinely empathetic to different kinds of people. and they understand that. they feel the genuineness of that empathy. >> that's a very interesting contrast. one of them is a sort of almost political, ideological message about unity, and one of them is a personal message. biden really does try to personalize how he can bring the coalition together because he puts front and center that he is empathetic. >> and that's important because we don't live just in the realm of -- >> policy. >> -- politics. right? we live lives. we deal with grief and suffering and perseverance and bravery and all those things that biden talks about in a way that a lot of politicians don't. >> it's a really good point.
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eugene robinson, it's fantastic to be here. >> thank you so much. [ applause ] >> all right. stick around. we're going to have the latest on this weekend's primary happening right here in south carolina. plus the other huge story unfolding tonight. what a whistle-blower is now saying about the administration's incompetent handling of the coronavirus. you do not want to miss that story, next. hey there! kelly clarkson! what're you doing on our sofa? what're you doing on your sofa? try wayfair. you got this! woah. yeah! let me try! all alright, get it! blow it up! that's what i'm talking about. except that's my seat, so. all right, so maybe after the movie let's talk about that bedroom of yours! when was she in our bedroom?
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[ applause ] the coronavirus story keeps getting worse by the day. this afternoon just after the stock markets closed down again, the dow more than 1,100 points, we got another struly d ltruly distressing story i've got to say. you might have heard last night there's a new patient diagnosed with the virus in northern california in solano county. and what made that patient different than the others in the u.s. is we don't know how that person contracted the virus. the person hadn't traveled to one of the affected areas. we don't know the source of exposure. well, tonight a government whistle-blower has come forward and the mystery of how this happened appears to possibly have been solved. listen to this. "the new york times" reporting that federal health employees interacted with americans qurntqurnt quarantined for possible exposure to the coronavirus without proper medical training or protective gear and then scattered into the general population. those health workers were sent
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to receive americans evacuated from china without proper training or gear that's according to the whistle-blower and then they came back to the general population. they were deployed to two military bases in california that housed those quarantined americans. one of those bases is called travis air force base. it's located in the same county that the new patient just popped up in in northern california. here with me now democratic senator chris van hollen of maryland. senator, i want to ask you about this latest reporting of this whistle-blower. what's your reaction to what you've learned about that? >> folks down in -- very -- youing situation right now because this administration seems to be doing with the coronavirus challenge as if it's a political problem instead of a health care crisis.
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and what we learned from this whistle-blower is you had these health care workers who'd been ex-pose but when the whistle-blower let people know what had happened so we could better protect the general public the whistle-blower was retaliated against by folks in the administration. so at the very time when we need to make sure people get full information, when people get the truth, you're having somebody being punished for telling the truth. and that is not the way you deal with a health care crisis like we face now. >> there's also reporting today that there has been a centralization of the messaging from the white house, that the vice president named to head up this task force will now control all the messaging and that dr. anthony fauci, who of course is a legendary public health figure, one of the country's leading experts on viruses, had told the associates that the white house had instructed him not to say anything else without clearance. and just for some precedent here, ron klain of course who was the ebola czar under obama
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said he was the response coordinator in 2014, 15, we never told the nih what they could say, never censored their medical statements, if the white house is doing that now, that is a diej public health. do you agree with that? >> well, this is exactly right. there's no problem in having a coordinated message so long as the coordinated message is coming from the scientists and from the health care experts. instead what you have is the health care experts and scientists having to filter their information through the political lens of mike pence and the white house. and we saw this problem earlier in the week, whenever the scientists told us one thing, they warned us about the growing threat to communities of the virus, you would have kudlow and the folks in the white house saying no, they pretty much have it contained. you had the political folks saying we have a vaccine that's just around the corner. then you have people like fauci saying well, no, really it takes
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about a year to go through all the testing. so it's very worrisome. not that they want to coordinate the message but that they want to coordinate it through the political folks at the white house instead of through the scientists and the health care experts. >> obviously there's the handling, there's the messaging but there's just a real -- there's an issue here about how the country prepares for this, how it does it in a way that's going to be most efficacious and protects people. do you feel like there are people inside that administration, you as a u.s. senator and your staff and the folks in your caucus or on both sides of the aisle, can work with on this problem? >> well, the folks we really want to work with are the scientists. the folks at cdc. the folks at nih. it's of course fine to have the folks from the white house with them. but with them not as filters to the information but with them as part of the effort to coordinate things.
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you're absolutely right. what i worry about is what we're seeing with respect to the messaging and communication is a symptom of a larger problem of lack of coordination in terms of actually getting the services that we need to the people when we need them. so for example, there have been all sorts of problems with getting these testing kits that are actually effective. first we hay number of kits that were sent, turns out they were defective. they're not going to enough places. we've had plenty of time. this coronavirus has been growing since when we first learned about it months ago. and this is unfortunately not a very good sign about coordination in the administration in terms of the response. so we are going to be on, and i can tell you there's bipartisan concern on capitol hill. we are going to be putting together an emergency supplemental. it will be significantly larger, i believe, than what the trump administration has proposed.
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and it will be addressing all the different dimensions of this. i wish we'd done this sooner, but it's better that we get on this right now than we allow things to drag the way they appear to be dragging from the administration at this particular point in time. >> all right. senator chris van hollen, thank you very much. [ applause ] all right. stick around. we are live tonight from south carolina, which will of course be a crucial test for democratic candidates. there's brand new polling out today. it's pretty eye-catching. we'll talk about it next. this is the frels family's land. they grew their first tomatoes right here. and when it snows, the kids go sledding right there. the frels family runs with us on a john deere 1 series tractor.
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even when it's hard. i'm bernie sanders and i approve this message. [ applause ] in less than 36 hours polls open here in south carolina. the state of the race right now in this state is very unclear. there were two polls out today that showed wildly different results. so after a stream of polls showed joe biden's lead in south carolina steadily dwindling a new monmouth poll today has him beating bernie sanders by 20 points. that would be a pretty startling result after sanders' big win in nevada last week. but a poll released this afternoon by the charleston post and courier has joe biden only leading bernie sanders by four points, which has been the margin of error. totally different race, right? there are three candidates in that poll jockeying for third place. now, biden has been favored to win south carolina since he announced he was running for president. it's a state he had been counting on from the very
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beginning, so much sew came to south carolina before the polls were even closed back in new hampshire. that's how important he feels it is. he got a big endorsement this week from south carolina congressman jim clyburn, highest-ranking african-american in the house. and joe biden is putting his hopes trajectory of his campaign on what happens here on saturday. the results will depend in large part on the state's african-american voters, who will likely make up a majority of the ballots cast in the primary. now, the phrase "the black vote" which you hear all the time elides the wide diversity of the electorate here and everywhere. earlier we spoke to some of those undecided black voters and now they're going to actually vote. we're going to hear from them next. >> man: what's my safelite story?
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paycom frees you to focus on the business of business. to learn more, visit [ applause ] so last month msnbc's trymaine lee came down here to south carolina to talk to african-american voters about how they were thinking about the presidential primary here. in speaking to a single group of friends he found a wide diversity of opinion. >> which names are people supporting? >> previously it was, you know, harris. you hear yang a lot. can't pronounce it is it -- buttigieg -- >> buttigieg. >> you hear his name every now and again. bernie. >> what issues are important for you and what do you hope your candidate of choice will speak on? >> the issues that are really important to me, one are women's issues, and mental health. particularly mental health because that's the field that
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i'm in. >> i'm not sure that a bernie sanders, who is as old as my mom, or elizabeth warren or a joe biden are the people that are going to take me into the next country that i want to live in. >> stritrymaine talked those vo back in january as you might have caught as they were talking about andrew yang for instance. that was before iowa, before new hampshire when the field was much bigger than it is now. so we thought it would be a good idea to bring those same folks back to see how their thinking has changed over time as the campaign has gone on. please welcome jerez mitchell, sam bellamy and of course msnbc national correspondent trymaine lee. [ applause ] i think you were more or less kind of undecided when he talked to you. you got 36 hours. who has made up your mind? are you still undecided? really? that's wild. so what are you waiting for?
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>> lightning to strike. >> well, what is your thinking, john, right now? >> my thinking right now is i want to see somebody who's going to inspire me to go out and vote. and right now it's been kind of tough to get that feeling. i'm inspired to go out and vote because i know it's an important thing, we have to do it. but it's been difficult to find somebody to speaks to everything i want to see. >> there's not one candidate you personally feel like out of your seat to go support? >> i do. >> i want to see a number of them. >> jimmy, you said there is someone -- >> i do. i'm supporting tom steyer. i have a different philosophy, though. i understand that this process has taken quite? time, but i want to engage in the process. people need to be informed and engaged. and although others may be leading, we're still at the beginning of this. we're still at the beginning. and i think we can push forward. >> okay. so that's interesting. so what i'm hearing from you is
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despite the fact we've had three contests and despite the fact you listen to the pundits they will say steyer doesn't really have a path. you're like i don't care about that, i'm going to go for aperson i like to be president. >> definitely. he speaks to the issues that i'm passionate about. he's been talking about them for a long time. and although again he might not be a front-runner, we are at the beginning of this. momentum can build. and i didn't have a chance to participate in other political campaigns in the past due to my work, but now i can. and it's about exercising my liberty. this is an american right. and i want to do that. >> jerez, how are you thinking? >> i'm still undecided. similar to john, no one has spoken directly to me. for me i know we have that obama effect. when obama was running we were all in. everyone corralled around each other and we were like yes, this is our candidate. i don't feel like there's an our candidate quite yet. of course there are people who say, you know, lean this way, lean that way because that's
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what the black vote is leaning towards. but for me when i watched the other day i was like, this is a lot happening on stage. there's not a lot happening about the topics i care most about. unfortunately i'm feeling as though i'm going to have to make a choice, and i'm just not too excited to do that. >> you know what's interesting is so much has been made about this idea of black voters being so pragmatic but it sounds like you want to go with your heart, you want to be inspired. how do you weigh the two? someone that connects with you but be someone who maybe could beat donald trump. >> honestly, i am not thinking about this candidate beating donald trump. i am thinking they need to connect with the people. if you can connect with the people, then you will win. it's not about beat be trump for me because, i mean, there's a lot going on with trump and when it comes to the debates and things there's going to be a lot that's thrown out there. if you can connect with me, connect with the people, i think that's what's going to get you elected. >> so that's fascinating. you're saying rather than trying to like listen to pundits or
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read about who's most electable you're just saying like the proof of the pudding is in the eating. if you can connect, then that's the thing that i'm looking for. that gives me confidence in you as a candidate. >> exactly. >> how about you, sam? >> like jerez, i'm looking for somebody that's going to connect. i think because of the obama effect we have a lot of candidates that are really trying connect with us as black voters. so i think i'm a little over people trying to prove that they're relating to me as a black person. i'm really ready to dive into the policy issues. >> say more about that. what do you mean by that? and what policy issues are you looking for? >> well, i think a lot of times whenever a candidate comes and -- whether it's a town hall like we've had in charleston all this week, a lot of people will really focus on i understand african-americans or i don't relate to you specifically but i've spoken to enough of you that i feel like i know what you
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guys want. you get those talking points. and then they'll go into surface issues like affordable housing or crime or wages as if those are the only things that are important to african-american voters. so i'm ready for -- >> you're saying there's like a niche set of issues. have you all encountered this -- these are the ones -- when we talked about voters we talked about these issues because these are the black issues. >> can i jump in here for a second and say this? i think there's a misconception that parts of america think that black people aren't patriotic. i love this country. i love being here. i love the opportunities my parents fought hard, all of them-d for us to be where we are. and i think that, yeah, they need to stay away from just the getting to the issues that they think we care about and talk to me building and being part of this country. >> what does authentic engagement look like because we don't want people coming with lip service.
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what does authentic engagement from politicians actually look like? >> i think for me i'm looking for -- i'm looking for past history. i need to know that you liked african-americans before you started running for president. [ applause ] that's a start. so if you're a candidate that was always on the front line on some of those issues that were kind of important to african-americans, i'm hoping that you will do more once you become president. so those are the kind of things i'm looking for. >> trymaine, in your package it was interesting when you asked people about issues, jerez, i remember you talked about mental health because that's important to you. >> mm-hmm. >> it's true there's a cordoning off that happens as politicians try to get the black vote in south carolina they're not talking about insulin but of course everyone needs insulin, right? or health care. or these broader issues. how much of the sort of basic fundamentals of the message that you're hearings on things like health care, for instance, drug prices, these sort of core --
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like are you hearing those issues and feeling like they're resonating? >> i think a lot of people are talking about health care but just in the general form of health care. they're not really talking about the complexities of how people who are trying to get insurance and when they go and try to see a therapist or try to see a doctor that they can't get in because the prices are high or their deductibles are high. their co-pays are high, things like that. that's a problem. that's stuff that we actually need to be talking about. i mean, i understand health care for all and the different things that they want. but okay, underneath that we need to start talking about those things. >> trymaine, you've been doing this great reporting throughout the election cycle. and you have a podcast that just dropped today. very excited to listen to. what's it about? >> it's called "into america." and we engage in conversations just like this with real people, getting outside of the bubble. we're talking about policy and politics and all the powers that shape the lives of everyday americans.
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right? so it's not red or blue. it's all across america. we're going to these spaces and just engaging with people about what impacts and drives their lives. it actually dropped today at 5:00 p.m. so please, everyone, you know, go subscribe and tell us what you think. >> and today's episode is on stop and frisk. you should definitely check that out wherever you get your podcasts. msnbc's own trymaine lee. john mitchell, jerez nichol, najima washington, sam bellamy, thank you very much. that was fantastic. [ applause ] happy birthday najima's mom. coming up, will there be high drama in milwaukee? democratic super delegates are starting to talk about what they plan to do if there's no winner outright heading into the convention. we'll break it down after this. like you, my hands are everything to me. but i was diagnosed with dupuytren's contracture. and it got to the point where things i took for granted got tougher to do. thought surgery was my only option. turns out i was wrong. so when a hand specialist told me about nonsurgical treatments,
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all right. so three days after the vote in south carolina, a third of all the pledged delegates awarded will be decided in the 15 super tuesday contests. now according to dnc rules, the only candidates who win at least 15% of the votes receive any delegates at all. but delegates are allocated proportionally depending on how many candidates reach 15%. and that means that depending on how things break down, how close the race is, basically we can end up in a situation in which no candidate has an outright majority as we head into the milwaukee convention. no one has cleared the sort of 50% threshold. if no candidate has a delegate, the infamous super delegates come into apply.
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today the "new york times" published a piece where they interviewed 93 dnc super delegates. "the times" reports, quote, in a reflection of the establishment's weariness, said that sanders should become the nominee purely on the basis of arriving at the convention with a plurality. please welcome brittany, co-host of "pod save the people." and the national political reporter for nbc news. give them a hand. [ applause ] sa l sal, so the super delegates are people named by the dnc. they tend to be political professionals, donors, party chairs, these kinds of people. and they don't get to vote on the first ballot as they did the last time around. but they do get to vote in the
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second ballot. how does that "new york times" story square with what you heard in your reporting? >> the democratic establishment is currently going through the five stages of grief on the bernie sanders nomination. [ laughter ] they are somewhere between anger and bargaining right now. and what you hear in this "new york times" article is the bargaining. they're worried about it. and the lawmakers are worried about how he would impact their vote in their particular district. the crazy thing about this is that we're only, what, 4% of the delegates that are going to have voted at the end of this week. there are ways that they can defeat bernie sanders at the ballot box. if they thought 2016 was a problem with his voters. wait to see what happens if he gets the plurality vote and is denied. >> if you have a concern, then just work now. like, don't be talking about what the eventuality is. if you want to stop bernie sanders, like, we are still having a primary. go do your thing. do public endorsements. >> and working now means not
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doing it behind closed doors. if this is truly a democratic process, then it needs to remain a democratic process. i mostly just think, to your point, about how many votes will actually have been cast by the end of the week. one of the things we need to do here is chillax. it's been a long time since i played organized sports. it was like eighth grade when i played basketball. i was very good. [ laughter ] but also what i remember is a coach when things would get frenzied on the court, slowing everything down, reminding people to reset and get organized. and i think that's what nancy pelosi is trying to do. and she's bringing folks in to say let's figure out what this looks like. but the american people need to be educated on exactly what this process is so that they can all calm down and actually want to participate pull fully in this process. >> let the process play out. the problem is there is a sort of tension between what the rules say and what democratic legitimacy is defined as. so the rules say if you don't get a 50% plus one you don't
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have the nomination. and you go into the convention and it's a broken convention and super delegates get to vote on the second round and they can do whatever they want to do. does that confer legitimacy on the nominee? does that break the party? >> i keep thinking where have we heard this before? and where we heard it was 2016 with donald trump and the republican party. there were a lot of articles like we had the one today in the "new york times" where a lot of republican establishment members were quoted at length. everyone was very concerned, what are they going to do? they hired paul manafort just to prepare for a broken convention. obviously that did not work out super well for donald trump or for paul manafort, god rest his soul. >> he's alive. [ laughter ] >> his career not so great. but he is alive. to my knowledge. and, um, i just think that the democratic party's kind of making the same mistakes by treating bernie sanders this way rather than just working electorally to get somebody that
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they would prefer to be elected. >> and trump, by the way, was far more unpalatable than bernie sanders is to the democratic establishment. he is a senator who caucuses with the democrats in good standing. he's been a chairman of the committee on their watch. he is currently the ranking member of the budget committee overseas. so i think to complete the previous analogy, he will ultimately get to acceptance if he is the plurality delegate leader. i doubt that they will try to take it away from him, but it's going to be an ugly and messy process. >> the voters and what the establishment and what we're talking about often is really stark on this because i talked to voters who are as torn between bernie sanders and pete buttigieg who seems more establishment than pete buttigieg. so i think most voters are not really thinking it this way that bernie sanders is this terrifying creature coming out of washington and that they need to be afraid of. i think that they just really listened to his message and they are not afraid of it.
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>> i do think that there is legitimacy in this plurality conversation. there is a reason why folks don't want 30% of the electorate to decide what will happen for the rest of the 70%. and i also think it's important to remember that super delegates, even though clearly it is an imperfect process, part of that process was continued so that black leaders in the party that had been the backbone for a long time but really didn't have a vote in leadership that they could actually secure that. and i think we have to make sure that whatever the system is that it truly does count the will of the people but it also doesn't lose marginalized voices in the process. >> when you're gaming all this out in the abstract, who knows. if you come into the convention and you've got 27% of pledged delegates and the person behind you is 25%, that's a little dicier than if you come in with 43% and the person behind you has 20%. to me those margins and numbers from a legitimacy standpoint, they do start to matter a little. >> they absolutely do if bernie
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sanders enters the convention ahead by one delegate or ahead by five or ten delegates, that's a very different scenario. 25 or 30%, part of the discussion right now misses the fact that just because he's getting 25 to 30% doesn't mean the other 70 to 75% are against him. sanders may be outside the bounds of normalcy to certain figures in the party establishment. but he's not perceived that way with voters who generally like him in the democratic party. >> what keeps happening is if you're a member of the, quote, unquote, establishment or you just don't think bernie sanders should be the nominee and you have some power in the democratic party, giving a bunch of quotes about how you're going to take it away at the convention is the dumbest thing you could possibly do. they're going to go raise $5 million off that article today. if you stoke in the minds of the most fervent sanders supporters, the notion that there is essentially a conspiracy against their candidate, then you are aiding exactly the sort of force
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of the ardent folks of the things you ostensibly say you want to get rid of. you are confirming the idea that it's a rigged game. people will say either you hear me out or i will not participate. and that is exactly the opposite of what we need to be happening right now. >> the super tuesday question to me is about the adjacency between saturday and tuesday. because, once again, there's two kinds of things that happen. one is when you have a race like nevada where it's not moving off of any momentum. it's far away from the contest or you have the. >> -- iowa and new hampshire situation. there's going to be a question about who comes out of south carolina. >> i think that's why the early contests are typically considered to be obviously extremely important, even though there aren't a ton of delegates and it's not a very diverse group of people who are voting. it's the fact that it's kind of one or the other and you can run
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away with it on super tuesday. if joe biden were to perform well as the average is suggesting, i think that would completely transform of what we think of his trajectory going into super tuesday. alternatively, it could kill somebody -- >> you keep killing people today. what's going on? [ laughter ] >> it could kill somebody like pete buttigieg who i think really needs to at least perform strongly here, you know, going into super tuesday in order to keep up with the momentum he has coming out of new hampshire. >> this is why it's so important for joe biden. he has done very poorly in the first three contests. and this is his place to shine. if he can't win here, where can he win? and if he does win here decisively that bodes well for him. >> either he doesn't win which i think is essentially catastrophic. he wins decisively which i think is good for him. olivia, sahel, and brittany,
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thank you for joining us. i appreciate it. [ applause ] all right. that is "all in" for this evening. we will be back here tomorrow night. hope to see you then. but first "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. >> that was awesome. great to see you in south carolina. and thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. great to have you with us. the president tonight at the white house said about the coronavirus, and i quote, it is going to disappear. he then said nobody really knows. and while i am sure the president would not say that without having an adequate scientific and factual basis for proclaiming that to the american people, the evidence today does not seem to indicate that the miraculous day when coronavirus is going to disappear is upon us. at least not yet. today the nation of norway announced its