tv The Place for Politics 2016 MSNBC March 30, 2016 9:00am-10:01am PDT
is? >> no, i don't anymore. >> i'm not in the habit of supporting someone who attacks my wife and attacks my family. >> if the nominee is somebody that i think is really hurting the country and dividing the country, i can't stand behind them. and backyard brawl, in a new ad set to air in new york city, hillary clinton takes a swing at donald trump on his home turf. >> so when some say we can solve america's problems by building walls, banning people based on their religion and turning against each other -- well, this is new york. and we know better. ♪ and good day i'm andrea mitchell in new york. donald trump is speaking about the lewendowski situation right now in wisconsin. leapt's go to him. >> big steel cages being dropped
in to the waters and lifted up an hour later. and i'm trying to figure out -- and then you have ted cruz, he should be fired. i said why? i don't do that. i'm loyal. he did a good job. now, the girl made statements -- actually she made some terrible statements because she said that she was -- should i read the statement? does anybody want me to read it? huh? yes. i'll just read it quickly. listen to this, this young woman, reporter, who shouldn't have been where she was and she grabbed me twice, she said, i was jolted backwards. she wasn't, right? did anyone disagree? someone had grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down. did she go down? did she even go a little down, like a little, like a couple of inches? did she have any facial expression? if i bring one of these big, strong guys up here of which we
have a lot in this room, that's called wisconsin, right, strong? hey, if i bring a green bay packer up here and if i give him a whack, he is going to go, ah. and then he'll knock the hell out of you, right? after he recovers from shock. but, you know, you have -- there's no facial expression. no nothing. so she said this is the exact quote, i was jolted backwards. someone had grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down. she didn't go down. i almost fell to the ground. she didn't almost fall to the ground but was able to maintain my balance nonetheless, but i was shaken. then she goes, campaign managers aren't supposed to try to forcefully throw reporters to the ground. he didn't do that. and they put out a warrant. i mean, what kind of a country are we in to destroy somebody? and what kind of a country are we in when they go to kasich, what would you do? i would fire him. they go to ted cruz, i would
fire him. folks, as your president, you need somebody that will be loyal to the country and to yourselves. you need somebody that's going to fight you. now, if she really did go down, if he did something like that he would have been fired before she ever got up. okay? that i can tell you. if she were like -- if this stuff were so, i would have -- but i looked at the tape and i'm trying to figure it out. so all of the people that saw the tape, do we agree with this? does anybody disagree? could you stand up if you disagree with me? most of you saw it. not one person in the room. it's a very, very -- that's risky for me to do. you know, when i do that and the whole room stands up, believe me that will be the number one story on television. here is the bad news because i have a room loaded with people and nobody stood up, it won't even be on television, right, folks? they won't even talk about it.
they won't even talk about it. >> well, we just showed it and we are talking about it. this morning matt lauer and guthrie pressed trump for rejected the reporters claims against his campaign manager. corey was charged yesterday with simple battery after the incident with michelle fields on super tuesday. >> he didn't tell the truth. if you're president of the united states and a member of your staff, your chief of staff, goes to the american people and publicly doesn't tell the truth in the way that corey lewandowski hasn't told the truth, would you put up with it? >> i don't know if it wasn't that. i'll will honest with you, when you look at what happened it was so minor he might have thought about it. >> will you or mr. >> -- >> she wasn't thrown to the ground. >> she didn't say that. she said she was almost fell down and didn't. >> but she didn't almost fall
down, matt. she didn't change the expression on her face. look at her face during this whole incident if somebody whacks you or somebody gives either of you a shot, you'll be wow, your mouth is going to open. you'll be screaming a little bit. she didn't even change expression on her face. >> but mr. trump, why are you -- >> corey lewandowski's lawyer says he is innocent of the charge and he will be exonerated. today trump, ted cruz, hillary clinton and bernie sanders all on the campaign trail. our team is in place. kelly o'donnell in the room where donald trump has -- is speaking. we just heard part of what he's saying. he is not letting this go. kelly. >> reporter: no, andrea, he is not. as your program began, that was the first we heard from donald trump today at this event about his campaign manager. there seemed to be one variation where, as you played on this program, he talked about a circumstance under which he would fire a campaign manager
and employee, sort of restating the events, different scenario under which he might have taken different action, but again emphasizing this notion of loyalty and then extrapolating that to what he would do in the white house if elected by sort of expanding on this notion of being a fighter and being loyal. i just heard from the republican party the national committee about the loyalty pledge, which mr. trump has backed away from, we've seen governor kasich back away from it and as well as senator ted cruz. the pledge is simple, each candidate agreed to run as a republican and support the nominee. we are confident that republicans will unit to defeat hillary clinton. you remember the pledge, andrea, it's a typical sort of way to try to bring the party together, not just the rival candidates but their supporters, their donors the grass roots all signed it back in september, all are kind of peeling away from it now. the rnc is not happy about that. as we're hearing trump who began
here today andrea talking about secrets of success, almost as if this were a business seminar. just as your program hit the air, he turned to this issue of his campaign manager and has been doing sort of the pastor/chorus conversations with attendees asking if they know about this event, asking if they've seen the video and trying to bring them to his side when there are others who have been critical about how he's handled this and how his campaign manager has also conducted himself. andrea? >> thanks to kelly o'donnell at the donald trump rally. hali jackson, ted cruz is appearing with his wife heidi, his mother whom he referenced very poignantly last night on cnn talking about the struggle his own mother had with her career and coming from a big family with an abusive father, really interesting icon to him, he said. and also with carly fiorina.
when donald trump is being blasted for what happened with a woman reporter, ted cruz is surrounding himself with women. hali? >> reporter: absolutely, andrea. and with whom he calls strong women, women that have been an important part of his life. i should note his daughters are also at that event in madison. it's intended to be a conversation reflecting on women's role in this race and what you've heard from ted cruz, including this morning, is this idea that all issues are women's issues. he is framing this conversation around the topics he wants to press here in wisconsin, jobs, national security, social issues as well, so this conversation sort of encompassing all of that. it's moderated. it's intended to be a discussion that gets into some personal issues. for example, his mother was asked about what advice she would give to mothers that are hoping to sort of nurture their kids. it's a different kind of event than we've seen from ted cruz in the past. left unsaid, of course, as cruz and his family and his campaign are talking about creating an environment where women issues can be discussed, it is implied
with the contrast with what is happening with donald trump and his complain and the vulnerabilities that donald trump has with women. our polling shows 47% of the republican women say they could not see themselves voting for donald trump or supporting donald trump. 7 and 10 women overall see him negatively. so, trump tries to make some headway with women voters, ted cruz is really drilling down on that here in wisconsin with this so-called women for cruz event. >> hallie jackson. here in the studio, let's talk about donald trump and the way he's tried to turn this corey lewandowski issue around. this is trump last night with anderson cooper. >> okay, wait a minute. i almost fell to the ground. i almost fell to the ground. she didn't almost fall to the ground. he got in her way. by the way, she was grabbing me. am i supposed to press charges against her? oh, my arm is hurting.
my arm is just killing me. >> you suggested you might. >> excuse me, excuse me, i didn't suggest. i tweeted. >> yeah, you did. >> where do we stand on this whole issue? you're the legal expert. obviously this is a political issue. it's an issue of judgment but fundamentally there's also now the criminal justice system. >> there is. donald trump there in that interview and what we showed at the top of the hour making a political argument trying to make this about what he would call the accuser is saying. what did this individual who worked for a conservative website say and do and what does he think of her remarks. that's fair in politics. the problem for them is there's now a legal proceeding. what she said outside of that legal proceeding won't be of great interest. what will be of great interest is the overhead video the other testimony that this police report gathered which includes ben terrace of the washington post, video from trump tashl. they conducted an inquery. it doesn't matter that much
according to jupiter police what else michelle fields may have said that donald trump doesn't like because outside of politics their disagreement about how to castspects of this is not what's going to be tested. what's going to be tested in court, andrea, is whether corey did unwanted touching or striking of another individual. not whether as donald trump says it was in his view a grave or serious incident. the second piece where the law and the politics intersect is corey is certainly innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. we've been reporting that and reporting his lawyers' denials. he is not innocent until proven guilty of lying in the public arena. indeed the way they conducted their attacks on ms. fields and the statements they've made in addition to beyond the video what has been evidence reported about their communications suggest he did know her, that he did know that he had an interaction with her, they may dispute aspects of it so he was being dishonest to the public and to his boss when saying
otherwise. that is known now. that is above and beyond what happens in the courtroom. >> how relevant is whether or not her initial comments, he was pulling me down, i was trying to keep my balance -- whether or not that is accurate as reflected in the overhead video? >> it's a great question. as you know, in most cases of battery or simple assault or these kind of interactions, you tend to have a he said/she said and not much other evidence. this is unusual because it occurred in a high profile situation. we are looking on camera on this infamous video overhead this is from trump national security. this is overhead video that adds to an innocent that was captured from several angles. in this case as far as the police and prosecutor are concerned, an accuser's out of court statement that might be exaggerated or if you want to be sympathetic to her might have reflected her fear, shock, personal, emotional reaction to it, that won't be all that
important, what matters is the evidence. they have more than the usual amount of evidence. the last thing i'll say in fairness to corey, often this kind of case can be resolved through a good faith discussion and negotiation with the accuser, compromise, an apology, anger management. it's up to a year in jail or no time in jail. what is different here is he has his boss saying things for politics that are probably against his legal interest. >> and, in fact, what matt lauer said why wasn't there a simple apology but donald trump doesn't apologize. that's certainly the m.o. >> apparently not. >> thanks to all of you and kristen welker in harlem where chuck schumer is introducing hillary clinton. hillary clinton in new york, as we have been reporting, trying to pivot to donald trump with a new ad today aimed at donald trump in the new york media market. pand kind of pretending that bernie sanders is no longer
relevant even though he could be on the verge of bypassing her in wisconsin depends on the polls later today might be the best indicator of this but this could be a very closely fought race. he has been getting huge crowds. >> it could be a very closely fought race, andrea. that is for sure. to your first point, secretary clinton has been pivoting to the general election and this new ad that we're seeing today is just one more indication of that. she takes sharp aim at donald trump. never mentions him by name. but really slams him for some of the divisive comments that he has made. she shows a clip of that person getting clocked at one of his rallies. so really trying to argue that he runs counter to new york values and also to american values, but as you rightfully point out, andrea, she is not done fighting this primary battle. i can tell you the clinton campaign a little concerned about their chances in wisconsin. that's a start where senator sanders is looking very strong,
particularly after winning the three states over the weekend. wisconsin a state that has a strong labor union history. also a strong streak of progressivism, a lot of college communities, so he could very well win wisconsin and that would only give him more momentum heading into critical new york. sanders' campaign says they have a real shot at new york. secretary clinton right now leads by double digits. she served as senator here for two terms and bernie sanders, though, says he was born here, he has a lot of contacts here as well. no one ever expected new york would become a big battleground but looks like that's the way it's shaping up. >> could be a big momentum builder for either side. thanks, kristen, very much at the apollo theater. coming up, hedging on the pledge, why republican candidates are now backing away from their promise to the party. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. born with a hunger to fly and a passion to build something better.
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she said that she was jolted backwards. in fact, her exact words, she was jolted backwards. he somehow grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down. >> mr. trump, now you're saying that -- >> she made up this story, savannah. she said she was yanked down. >> you suggested maybe you're the one who should file charges and yet initially you said -- >> maybe i should. >> nothing happened. the secret service told you nothing happened. isn't it story that's changed? >> no, it's not story that's changed at all. >> donald trump, he will not back down with savannah and matt today on "today." he won't apologize for his campaign manager, only the latest controversy in a campaign that continues to shake up the republican party. washington post editorial columnist michael served as a speech writer for president george w. bush and joins me now from d.c. michael, thanks very much for being with us. >> good to be with you.
>> how damaging do you think this campaign had been already to the republican party? >> well, i think really damaging. the party itself is in the midst of a massive internal decision whether it should be the party it has been or party characterized by nativism and protectionism and isolationism really a fundamental change in the nature of the party itself. it's like republicans in 1968 being confronted with nominating george wallace. it's that big. and i think that, you know, it's not going to end well either way with a nominee that changes the party fundamentally or with a brokered convention that takes it away from him and he will not be happy. >> and, in fact, you've got the other two republicans, including trump now, but also kasich and cruz suggesting last night that they no longer feel bound by the pledge to support the nominee, which is a reflection of the dismay that they, in fact, are feeling against the front-runner. >> yes. i think it's a deep disagreement on the future of the party,
which i don't think is reconcilable in the normal methods of politics. but donald trump, some of his supporters like newt gingrich and ann colter realizing they were thinking he would make a pivot or a shift, become more presidential after the messiness of the early primary season. he is not capable of making a switch or changing his tone. you know, we are left with a fifth grade bully. that i think is not going to change, as we see in this current controversy. >> i was really struck last night by his exchange with anderson cooper when anderson cooper was trying to pin him down on the wives battle and he was accusing ted cruz of being behind the picture of melani at trump. he said he started it. >> yeah. >> and anderson cooper said that's what a 5-year-old would say, but trump said he started it. he couldn't get out of that excuse me but that 5-year-old
playground defense that the other kid started it. >> well, it's that level of moral reasoning that says, if someone else says something, then i'm released from all restrictions. i can engage in massageny, i can engage in bullying behavior and threats which he has done across this campaign. he really thinks this is a get out of jail free card that he can do anything he wants if he considers it to be defensive. that is really -- brought down the entire campaign. >> msnbc has also reported that marco rubio has now asked state parties in 21 states and territories to refrain from releasing any of the 172 delegates that he won, those so-called zombie delegates that cruz has been going after and trump is now going after with his new team saying that he wants that leverage, even though he is no longer a candidate. >> well, i think he wants to play a role from the republican future and in a convention that might be an open convention. it's going to be wild and who
knows how these things turn out. but he wants to play a role going forward. >> that was my colleague ari's exclusive reporting an marco rubio. as we say, what a mess this has become indeed for the republican party and for the candidates, the senator and congressional candidates as well. michael, thanks as always. >> sure. good to be with you. >> coming up next, loose nukes, more on donald trump's nuclear strategy next on "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. some say "free the whales." for them, nothing else is acceptable. but nothing could be worse for the whales. most of the orcas at seaworld were born here. sending them into the wild wouldn't be noble. it could be fatal. when they freed keiko, the killer whale of movie fame, the effort was a failure and he perished.
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groups. plus, vladimir putin is boycotting this summit, making it clear he will not take part in a u.s.-led effort to enforce nuclear safeguards. i'm joined now by former senator, former defense committee armed services committee chair sam nune. a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that led the way in securing nuclear materials since the end of the cold war. senator, great to see you. thanks very much for being with us. >> good to be with you. >> the nuclear threat initiative has put out a report on nuclear materials, the threat of dirty bott bombs, 100 countries that have materials that are not well safeguarded. this past week we saw that the belgium terrorists, isis already led terrorists in brussels were staking out on the possibility that they might somehow blackmail, kidnap him and get him to give up the secrets to awe pore plant or some nuclear
materials. >> andrea, there are two dimensions to the problem. one is weapon grade materials and on that score the nuclear material summits as well as the years prior to that have really made progress. we've gone with 50 countries to 24 now and made significant progress under the obama administration with the summit conferences. so that's on nuclear-type explosions that would be like a accrued weapon that could be as large as hero she ma or something like that. the second is a dirty bomb, that's not a nuclear detonation but would be a conventional-type explosion with radio logical material. there are over 100 countries that have that kind of material with thousands of sites, including hospitals and other industrial facilities. that dirty bomb question is really got to be front and
center. it's much more probable, less catastrophic but nevertheless it could deny access to certain crucial areas like ports, airports, downtown financial districts for many years depending on the size of the explosion and the type of radio logical materials. so there are two dimensions here and both of them have to be worked. the second one the dirty bomb problem, is really becoming now on the front burner because of what you just mentioned, certainly isis and al qaeda and other violent extremist groups would use that material if they had a chance. >> and all of this in the context of a political campaign where the republican front-runner is now talking about the first issue, nuclear weaponry in a way that frankly we have never heard before by a leading candidate in all the decades i don't think since hero
she ma. donald trump led out a piece with the washington post and now on cnn last night where he is talking very casually about the fact that we should pull back our nuclear umbrella for south korea and japan and it would be okay if they got their own nuclear weapons and then last night he suggested that saudi arabia could get nuclear weapons as well. let me play a part of that for you. >> it's been a u.s. policy, though, for decades to prevent japan from getting nuclear weapons. >> that might be a policy -- >> south korea as well. >> maybe it has to be time to change because so many people, you have pakistan has it, you have china has it. >> you have no problem with japan and south korea having nuclear weapons. >> at some point we have to say, you know what, we're better off if japan protects itself against this maniac in north korea. we're better off frankly if south korea is going to start to protect itself. >> saudi arabia. >> absolutely. >> if you said in japan, yes, it's fine you get nuclear weapons, south korea you as well and saudi arabia -- >> it's going to happen any way. it's only a question of time.
>> i don't know where to start, senator, what is your take away from this? >> well, this would be reversing u.s. policy under every republican and democratic president since eisenhower. i think it would be very dangerous. it's not only the countries that have nuclear weapons, japan or south korea or whoever else the candidate is mentioning, but it's also the whole apparatus that goes with it and the great increase in terrorist probability of getting nuclear materials. so, it would make a very dangerous world a whole lot more dangerous and you can imagine the nightmare of finding how many people deterring other countries and you can imagine the nightmare if a weapon goes off from a submarine or a launch from an unidentified terrorist group and what the repercussions would be in terms of people deciding who had made the attack. it would be a nightmare. and i think -- i hope that mr. trump will rethink that position.
>> senator, this is very appealing, though, to crowds who say -- responding to his argument that we should no longer be the policeman to the world and we should withdraw from our bases in asia and the middle east. >> well, of course, we shouldn't be the policemen of the world and all the countries that are in our orbit of alliances need to step up on the plate but on conventional arms if japan gets nuclear weapons, of course that would be an awful lot of nervous allies around the whole asia, northeast asia area as well as southeast asia because we can't ignore history. and south korea, what we really want is a korean peninsula without any nuclear weapons. we need north korea to get rid of their weapons not south korea to take on that. so this is an extremely dangerous position and i'm hoping it will be rethought. >> senator sam nunn, co-chair of the nuclear threat initiative. thank you so much. thanks for being with us today. >> thank you. coming up, the subway series. hillary clinton in new york going after donald trump in the
big apple. and it's a stacked lineup on msnbc tonight. back-to-back exclusive events on msnbc. be sure to tune in at 7:00 p.m. eastern. your watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. ♪ everything kids touch during cold and flu season sticks with them. make sure the germs they bring home don't stick around. use clorox disinfecting products. because no one kills germs better than clorox.
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push everyone forward. accelerating innovation. accelerating transformation. accelerating next. hewlett packard enterprise. ♪ hillary clinton is out with a new commercial taking aim at toik donald trump. ahead of an all-important primary april 19th. she has three stops in new york, a signal she doesn't expect to win next week's primary in wisconsin where bernie sanders has been drawing huge crowds, three of the top candidates for president, clinton, bernie sanders and trump can lay claim to new york as their home. and sanders is pushing for a debate with clinton in brooklyn, one that may actually take place. it's his birthplace and home to her campaign headquarters. joining us chris cillizza, founder of the washington post
fixed blog and joy reid, national correspondent. welcome, both. >> thank you. >> joy, hillary clinton right now with the apollo theater and earlier she was stopping at a bakery in harlem. and charlie rangel, if you recall, of course, was charlie rangel who first spoke of her even getting into politics as a senate candidate from new york, and he is a big surrogate for her. as she is trying to pivot to donald trump in the general election campaign, look whom he was talking about first at the bakery today. [ inaudible ]. >> i've been in the house for 46 years. and i don't know anyone that had a conversation with him. i do know one thing, that he's
been on target for justice and that, but he has no means to pay. but if my life depended on it, i can't think of another issue. >> so charlie rangel and i apologized for the audio there, but they were at a bakery and the microphones were kept back. he's talking about bernie sanders and he doesn't remember when bernie sanders was ever saying or doing anything about the issues of diversity in new york or elsewhere. >> it's sort of reminiscent of 2008 where charlie was the chief surrogate against barak obama, nice guy but we don't know him in the house. little off message. i think it is important to their campaign to continue to keep bernie sanders in the conversation. they don't want to look like they're dismissing him outright. it's important that they still talk about him, but you can see and your setup was just perfect, andrea as a function of the campaign, they are as the campaign has said to me, cautiously optimistic about wisconsin, but they're really focussing on trying to put this away in new york. i think that's really important to them. >> i think they're trying to run
up the score. chris cillizza, they see new york as the great pivot to the april primaries to come, looking towards pennsylvania and, connecticut and the other northeast prooe primaries. >> right. brian fallon on your show yesterday repeatedly pointed to new york and pennsylvania as if bernie sanders can't win there, what does that say? big, big states that have a lot of diversity, have a lot of different kinds of voters in them. that would suggest they're preparing for wisconsin loss. look, a wisconsin loss won't look great and will produce some negative headlines for her particularly after washington state and hawaii over the weekend, but in terms of the delegates again, remember, andrea, she will get some. she is not going to lose wisconsin, i don't think, 75/25. if she then runs up the score in new york and pennsylvania, two big states with lots of delegates, she'll be almost back where she was prewashington
state and last weekend. that's the hard thing for bernie sanders. it's just hard to catch up. winning will matter. winning can keep him in the race, help him raise money, all of those sorts of things, but winning states does not necessarily at this point equal winning the nomination. >> and so is it premature for her to do what she's doing with this new ad going after trump? let's
play a little bit of it. >> new york, 20 million people strong. no, we don't all look the same. we don't all sound the same either. but when we pull together, we do the biggest things in the world. so when some say we can solve america's problems by building walls, banning people based on their religion and turning against each other, well, this is new york. and we know better. >> joy, is that an effective counter to donald trump? >> i think it is. i think it's important that hillary clinton understand that she does have sort of a two
tiered message requirement in new york. number one, of course, she has to not dismiss bernie sanders but the real target here is donald trump. donald trump is also a new yorker. she's going to lay claim at the convention to being able to convert states. one of the things that you're starting to hear some republican strajist is say, he could make states like new york competitive which is really true electoral but that's the 34eszage the trump faction is trying to send. she has to say, no, no new york is clinton country. it's democratic territory and this is why. we embody the values that the republican party is abandoning. it's important she makes that case right now. >> how vulnerable is hillary clinton, chris cillizza, after these successive victories in caucus states by bernie sanders? >> so i would say at a technical level, andrea, not all that vulnerable because she still has a 240 plus delegate lead -- pledged delegates 600 if you include superdelegates. that pledge delegate lead twice in a little bit more than barak
obama ever held over her, but symbolically, perception wise the idea that she is not been able to put away a 74-year-old self avowed socialist who no one, no one, including bernie sanders a year ago thought he would win a state or a few states. he has now won quite a few states and is -- may well win wisconsin a big important midwestern state, i think from a perception perspective she is not sort of sprinting toward the nomination finish line in a way that they would like her to be or she would like to be. doesn't mean she is not going to cross the finish line first, because i think she will against bernie sanders. but not in a fashion that i think they would like to be doing. >> chris cillizza and joy reid. let's listen to hillary clinton for a minute. >> i remember, i remember that meeting. i remember the meeting that chuck was talking about. people were getting cold feet. you know, folks talk about all
the powerful lobbies in washington. and look, there are a bunch of them. nothing, no one, is more powerful than the gun lobby. so i understood why some members of congress were saying, oh my gosh, we can't do this and some folks in the white house and the administration were getting nervous. but i thought then and i believe now whatever we can do to save lives, we must do. and i remember how hard it was to get the brady bill passed. my opponent voted against it five times as i recall. he has sided with the nra on the important votes of the last 20 years. and this isn't a single issue country, so we need a president who can do all parts of the job. because the second test is keeping us safe. and at a time when terrorists are plotting new attacks and
countries like russia, china and iran are making aggressive moves, protecting america's national security can't be an afterthought. our next president has to be just as passionate about defending our people and our country as about fixing our economy. i will do both. because when you vote on april 19th here in new york, you're voting for a president and a commander in chief. and let's face it, let's face it, on the republican side, what we're hearing is truly scary. when donald trump talks casually about using torture and allowing more countries to get nuclear weapons or when ted cruz calls for treating american muslims
like criminals and racially profiling predominantly muslim neighborhoods, that doesn't make them sound strong. it makes them sound in over their heads. you know, loose cannons tend to misfire. and in a dangerous world, that's not a gamble we can afford. but the test of the republican candidates fails most spectacularly when we get to the third test. because instead of bringing us together, they seem determined to divide us even further. their entire campaigns are based on pitting us versus them. one of my personal herowins maya angelou said, she said this,
when someone shows you who they are, believe them. these republican candidates are showing us exactly who they are and what they would do as president. and we should believe them. just listen to donald trump. he plays coy with white supremacists. he says demeaning and degrading things about women. he wants to round up millions of latino immigrants and kick them out of the united states, a nation built by immigrants. he wants to ban all muslims from entering america, a country founded on religious freedom. it's cynical, it's wrong and it goes against everything new york and america stands for. one of the great joys of my time
as senator was traveling across this city and state. new york is home to 20 million people. we don't all look the same. we don't all sound the same. or worship the same either. but we pull together. and when a candidate for president says, we can solve america's problems by building walls, discriminating against people based on their religion and turning against each other, well new yorkers know better. >> hillary clinton at the apollo theater. i'm joined now by senator franken, a member of the judiciary committee. we want to talk to you about merrick garland. i know you met with him today, senator franken, but i also wanted to ask you about this campaign where hillary clinton is in new york today. she is going after donald trump. the election isn't until april
19th. >> well, i think a lot of us have been appalled by what we're hearing from donald trump and what we're hearing from a lot of the have heard from a lot of the republican candidates. this is a real -- this is a time for the country to make some basic decisions obviously. and one of them i've met with judge garland today. he is a very consensus candidate. i think the president chose the right kind of nominee. you know, when the white house asked me who did i want to see the president nominate -- this was obviously before she chose garland, i want someone who after you have the hearings americans say i would like nine of those. and i think he's picked someone who americans would feel that
way about. >> you met with him today and we're beginning to see some cracks on the republican side senator mark kirk from illinois, he is up for re-election. we counted 16 republicans who said there should at least be hearings, but mitch mcconnell is holding firm. what about the possibility that senator grassley floated the so-called nuclear option where you democrats try to get a discharge position and try to get this to the floor. is that a maneuver that's feasible? would you have the votes? >> you know, i don't know. i haven't looked at that very hard. i don't think that's the way we should do it. i do think that senator grassley should call hearings. we have had hearings over the last 100 years since 1916 for every one who has been nominated or no one has been denied one. and this is not the time to start.
this is our job, you know, justice scalia died with 11 months left in the president's term. the president is president for four years. we senators have six-year terms. we should do our jobs. >> if it looks like the democrats are way ahead in the presidential race, do you think it will be some move by democratic senators to want to wait and see what the next president -- who the next president might choose who could be more progressive, more liberal choice than the consensus choice of judge garland? >> i think that all this gaming, political gaming about the court is just a bad idea. and i think that this sets a very unhealthy precedent for the court. you know, washington has become so politicized. this is why i wanted someone who the american people say i want nine of these.
i want people on that court that are going to decide based on what the laws as written made by congress. i think that we've seen a little judicial activism in the roberts' court that i think we need to get back to doing what it's supposed to do and we need to take politics out of it. >> al franken, thank you so much, senator. >> thank you, andrea. and battle brewing, how close is the democratic race in wisconsin? we'll go to battleground wisconsin and kasie hunt next. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. ♪ ♪
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paper, kasie. >> reporter: it is, andrea. and i think that they are working very, very hard to win here. i think they recognize that if they are able to win here it could dramatically change the way we look at this race going into new york. so they have a lot at stake here. this state has such a progressive tradition. you can feel it and see it in the events here on the ground. hillary clinton, as you know, held a get out the vote event here earlier this week. she had a few hundred people show up, but sanders is drawing trademark crowds of thousands all over the stated. this, of course, is a place where we initially picked up on that excitement around bernie sanders' candidacy really early on in the summer, but, of course, the challenge for them is going to be winning in such a fashion that they actually continue to eat into this delegate lead. we saw him do that a little bit in the caucuses out west over the weekend, but as you know, he's had some more difficulty in some of these bigger primary
states. so they know they have a lot riding on it. it will end up focussing in on, of course, on new york afterward. they do think they can challenge hillary clinton some there, but as we were saying, it does rely a lot on how he can do here at the outset. >> kasie hunt, will of course be tracking the poll. we'll see that in a little more than an hour as we say. thank you from madison. this hour at the white house, the president met with some of the 248 people whose sentences he has now commuted during his presidency this after granting 61 new grants of commutation today for individuals serving sentences under outdated sentencing laws. president obama has now commuted the seasons sentences of more people than the past six presidents combined including 92 life sentences and that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." remember, follow the show online, on facebook and on twitter @mitchellreports and tune in tonight for back-to-back exclusive lineup on msnbc at 7:00 p.m., chucked to moderating
a town haul with john kasich. at 8:00 p.m. a donald trump town hall mod vated by chris matthews. at 9:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., hillary clinton and bernie sanders in one an one interviews with back-to-back with rachel maddow. craig melvin is next right here on msnbc. uts. well what if i told you that peanuts can work for you? while you guys are busy napping, peanuts are delivering 7 grams of protein and 6 essential nutrients right to your mouth. you ever see a peanut take a day off? no. peanuts don't even get casual khaki fridays. because peanuts take their job seriously. so unless you want a life of skimming wifi off the neighbors, you'll harness the hardworking power of the peanut. (cheering)
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