tv The Place for Politics 2016 MSNBC March 30, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
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good afternoon. i'm erica hill in new york. we want to begin this hour with a portion of an interview just into us from an msnbc town hall, which chris matthews taped just a short time ago with donald trump. mathews asks the rk front-runner about abortion, specifically, whether a woman should be punished for having an abortion if the courts were to rule abortions were illegal. here's part of that exchange. >> should the woman be punished for having an abortion? >> look -- >> this is not something you can dong. if you say abortion is a crime or murder, you have to deal with it under the law. should abortion be punished? >> well, people in certain parts of the republican party and conservative republicans would say yes, they should be punished. >> how about you? >> i would say that it's a very serious problem. and it's a problem that we have v but you're for banning it.
>> wait. are you going to say put them in jail? >> i'm asking you. you say you want to ban it. what's that mean? >> i am against -- i am pro-life, yes. >> how do you ban abortion? how do you actually do it? >> you'll go back to a position like they had, where people will, perhaps, go to illegal places -- >> yeah! >> but you have to ban it. >> you ban it and they go to somebody who flunked out of medical school -- >> are you catholic? >> yes. >> how do you feel about the catholic church's teaching position. >> i accept their moral positions on issues. >> do you know their position on abortion? >> i concur with their moral position. but legally, here's my question -- >> but let me ask you -- >> it's not funny. >> it's really not a funny thing. what do you say about your church. they're very, very strict. >> the churches make their moral judgments, but you running for president of the united states will be chief executive of the united states. do you believe -- >> no, but -- >> do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no, as a principle? >> the answer is that there has to be some form of punishment.
>> for the woman? >> yeah. there has to be some form. >> ten cents, ten years, what? >> that i don't know. >> why not? >> i don't know. >> you take positions on everything else. >> i do take positions on everything else. it's a very complicated position. >> joining us now for further discussion, nbc news political editor, kari dan. also, kristen welker and beth fouhy with us in the studio, as well. let's just start off. big picture, here. kari, as we look at the impacts of these statements on voters and specifically female voters, what is this the initial reaction? >> well, donald trump's approval rating with female voters overall is absolutely dismal. and it's something that we've been noting, even in past weeks, especially when he was commenting on the physical appearance of heidi cruz. so, going back several weeks, we've been looking into these numbers. this is obviously an instance where female voters are going to be paying attention, even more on something that is a very serious policy issue. 70% of female voters overall say
they have a negative impression of donald trump. that is just an absolutely dismal number. and even among republican primary voters, who are women, about half, even this past month, said they weren't sure that they could see themselves supporting donald trump. it's a big deal in a general election. and the reason why is that women are a majority of the electorate in much of these cases, and despite the fact they tend to vote more for democrats anyway, if you look at sort of a generic number about whether female voters want to see a democrat in the white house or a republican, the advantage for a generic democrat is about maybe 16 points. that number goes to a whopping 27 points if you compare -- if you plug in the names "donald trump" and "hillary clinton." hillary clinton has almost a 30-point advantage over the gop front-runner right now. that is an enormous number and almost impossible to make up in a general election matchup. so clearly, you're going to see democrats and if you see hillary clinton tweet about this, you've seen bernie sanders tweet about this. the level of outrage at donald trump's comments here, but this is clearly something that could
be a -- exacerbate what's already a very big problem for donald trump with female voters. >> you mentioned some of the reaction, kristen, you have some of that reaction for us, as well. >> and one of the things that was striking, erica, that the reaction came in so quickly. usually we reach out to the campaigns, we wait for a little while, then after a few hours, we get reaction. sometimes it comes in a little bit faster than that. this came in within a matter of minutes. i'll read you secretary clinton's tweet. it says, "just when you thought it couldn't get worse, horrific and telling" dash, h, which means it comes from hillary clinton. bernie sanders tweeting, "your republican front-runner, ladies and gentlemen, shameful." so this is clearly already fodder, something they're going to use to court and rally women voters. just to build upon what carrie was saying, you talk about this huge gap that we're seeing right now. secretary clinton beating donald trump by am 30 points. consider this in 2012, president obama won among women voters by about ten points, 55-44%. after that, the republican party
said, look, we've got to do a better job of reaching out to women, reaching out to minorities. here's how we can do that. they gave some prescriptions for what needed to be different heading into 2016. and what we're seeing with a potential donald trump nominee is that those numbers are just moving in the wrong direction, as carrie pointed out, it is going to be really tough to close that gap or to even catch up in any way. >> one of the other things that's interesting, and correct me if i'm wrong, beth, this is always an important social issue. and it always comes up on the campaign trail. and yet, it has not been as prominent this time around in 2016. this now changes things. >> it does. it takes it one more step further. i mean, we know on the republican side, we have very conservative candidates on the issue of abortion. no exceptions for, for example, marco rubio, who recently dropped out. his only exception was the life of the mother. now, donald trump, governor kasich say they would support abortion in the case of rape or incest. so that sort of boilerplate, where they start. already quite conservative. but for donald trump to take it
to this next level, you know, obviously, chris matthews really pressed him on this issue, and good for chris for doing that. he's talking now about punishment of women, which is something that the pro-life movement really steers away from talking about, and pro-life candidates try to, as well. because of this deficit they have with women voters. they don't want women voters to think that they would be punished or in some way put in jail for what they do. it's for -- it's practitioners what the pro-life movement wants to talk about. >> and i want to make one more point. this is an issue that the democratic party is concerned about. that women are are concerned about. if you look at some of the new laws that have been passed in texas, in other places, that have made it more difficult to get an abortion, they don't think that this is a closed issue. if you talk to some democrats, they say that abortion rights are very much in danger. so the fact that you would have the person who is, right now, leading the republican party come out and make these very controversial comments, they're going to be difficult to walk back, even though i know he has released a statement, subsequently, and they're going to be very difficult to explain. >> you mentioned that same
thing. we want to get that up. this statement coming out pretty quickly as well, kristen. this is coming directly from the trump campaign. from trump himself, issuing the following statement. the issue is unclear, he says, and should be put back into the states for determinations, like ronald reagan, i am pro-life, with exceptions, which i have outlined numerous times. that, again, coming from donald trump himself, but released by the campaign. it is interesting, though, really back to your point, beth, he has started to, but it's as you say, you know, he sort of start at one point and drill down and get a better sense of where people stand. and that's exactly what chris was trying to do. yet, it is still somewhat murky at this hour. >> well, it is, and it isn't. roe v. wade is the law of the land. and that has been the case since 1972, '73. and it's certainly been controversial, but it has been the law of the land for 40 years. now, these various sort of ways that state legislators have tried to dial back abortion rights, that's certainly still pressing. but never at the federal level has anybody suggested such a thing that donald trump has
said. and republicans, as i said before, really try to stay away from that. they don't want women to think that they're the target of these kind of laws. and this steps right into an area where they have tried to stay away from for many, many years. >> i want to bring in, just to join us on the conversation, we have karen tumulty with us as well, joining us to talk a little bit more about this. first, just your initial thoughts and what are you hearing this afternoon in terms of reaction? >> well, my initial -- as somebody who's covered the abortion issue for quite a while, my initial sense of donald trump is that he really doesn't have a grasp of the history of this issue, and of the, you know, of the history of the law around this issue. and so, because, again, anybody who did would not have said what he said today. he is somebody who describes himself as a recent convert, but you get the sense that he has not really done a lot of thinking, a lot of studying about abortion. >> and it's interesting, because this is a topic that people do, in fact, know a lot about.
they have very clear positions on it. it's not something like -- that can be a little bit more nuanced, whether it be immigration of trade. it's so much more. for a lot of people, this is cut and dry. >> absolutely. and one of the things that makes this moment potentially difficult for donald trump is that it is on camera. so even though he has the statement, walking them back, if you are the clinton campaign, if you're the sanders' campaign, you are recording it, you're trying to determine right now how to use it. secretary clinton put out an ad today online that's going to be airing in the coming days, hitting donald trump for a number of his divisive statements. and trying to draw contrast with him. you would imagine that in ads in the future, this is the type of moment that is going to resurface again and again. >> yeah. and i would say to karen's point, it seemed to me, as well, listening to trump, that he doesn't understand the impact of what he has suggested there, on camera, as you said. to think through what that means. that punishment, while he didn't
say exactly what that means, where people will take that notion and how it can easily be made into a campaign ad. it's very much the case with trump on many issues, that he's sort of thinking out loud. and this is one where perhaps he shouldn't have done that. >> and we saw him trying to turn it around, trying to question chris, to bring him into it, who is obviously not there to weigh in with his opinions, where he stands, not running for office. carrie, when it comes to the breakdown in voters. we've talked so much about the importance of the female vote, for both parties, obviously. when we look at the issues that are most important to women, where does abortion figure in, and how does that break down by age? and i apologize if those numbers are not in front of you, because i know this is very fluid. >> well, it's interesting. the importance -- it's always been a more intense voting issue for people who are on the anti-abortion side than it's been to people who support abortion rights. and also, interestingly enough, the strongest -- the strongest
feelings in the anti-abortion movement are in young people. but, again, on the other side, on the abortion rights advocacy side, people don't tend to make this a high-priority issue in determining their votes, unless there is some specific reason. a specific court case that is out there or a specific law that is under consideration. you know, on the pro-choice side, it usually falls a little bit further down the priority list. >> i do want to bring in now a comment that we're just getting in. this is going to continue to happen throughout the afternoon. jean mancini, president of the march for life education defense fund saying, quote, mr. trump's comment today is completely out of touch with the pro-life movement and even more with women who have chosen such a sad thing as abortion. it goes on to say, being pro-life means wanting what is best for the mother and the baby. women who choose abortion often do so in desperation and then deeply regret such a decision. no pro-lifer would ever want to punish a woman who has chosen
abortion. this is against the very nature of what we are about. we invite a woman who has gone down this route to consider paths to healing, not punishment. some strong words there. >> some strong words, and i think what's interesting, certainly, donald, again, this goes back to the point we were just discussing, essential certainly, donald trump wouldn't want to be in any way offending the pro-life organizations or movement. i think that this speaks to what we have seen, which is sometimes he makes statements that he then winds up changing later that day, the next day, particularly on foreign policy topics, we have seen this happen. and i think that as he gets closer, and if he does, in fact, win the nomination, this is going to be something that he and his campaign are going to have to work on, so essentially get it right the first time so he doesn't have to walk it back. >> something they have to work on. karen, you had a piece about cory lewandowski. in terms of talking with the campaign, you would think this is something they have been working on.
because as kristen points out, it's been an issue before. we've seen him walk back things within a matter of hours. did you get a sense that is at all a focus for the campaign? >> no, you don't get that sense at all. this campaign is a very small operation. cory lewandowski, for instance, pointed out to me that while hillary clinton has hundreds of staffers with her campaign in new york, they only have 15 at the campaign headquarters in trump tower. i don't think that, you know, detailed policy analysis has been a terribly high priority for this campaign. in part because they're running at 150 miles an hour. i mean, this is a guy who came out of nowhere and is right now, you know, sort of going across the country, and sweeping up delegates. so, you do get a sense that that would also be of some concern to the republican party, if he were elected, that there's really not a kind of bench there for figuring out how precisely he would govern. >> is there a sense, too, that there are any of his big-name supporters, chris christie, for example, are putting any
pressure on donald trump to start to drill down on the facts? and to have a better handle on where he stands on issues? >> he's so driven by his own gut feel on what it is that -- and by the way, he's been extraordinarily successful with using his own gut feels, thus far, that i don't think there is, at this point, a lot of pressure. it's just hard to imagine donald trump, you know, spending his off-hours with -- surrounded by briefing books. >> it will be interesting to see further reaction. obviously, we're just getting a little bit now. how much, though, could this figure into what we're going to see, for example, in wisconsin? we just saw new polling out today where he had dropped in the polls. now he's in second place behind ted cruz, who got 20% to his 30. which is different for donald trump. he's not used to being in those positions. >> i was surprised to see those polls, to see the extent to which ted cruz is currently beating donald trump. and what it made me think of it
is that some of these issues could potentially be biting him. and of course we'll have to wait and see how this particular issue plays out, but it's possible some of what we've seen at the rallies, some of his more controversial comments are starting to take root. however, wisconsin just won a state. so we can't draw too many conclusions from that. we'll have to see what happens in a place like new york and california and the states up on deck. >> and point has been made, we have to also figure in when that polling changes, the last time that poll was taken, we also have marco rubio in there, so that can also factor in. >> it's one poll we've seen that he's trailing cruz in wisconsin. to your larger point, we could finally be seeing a point where some of the things that donald trump has been saying, the controversial comments, are starting to chip away, chip away very, very gradually, at his support. on the other hand, we've also seen when he's made some of his more controversial comments, his core supporters really rally behind him and say, this is our man and we're sticking with him no matter what. it's a very strange phenomenon
in politics. it doesn't usually work that way for traditional candidates. certainly works that way for trump. he has this incredible reservoir of loyalty. if his people feel like people are coming after him for some reason, they tend to -- >> they double down. >> they stick together. they double down. >> and it might be too little. he's got a very significant delegate lead, erica. so it's not clear this is going to have a real impact. but this is where hillary clinton comes in. if she is the nominee, i've been talking to her campaign, they can take a very different tactic than her republican challengers, because they are going to challenge him on a whole host of policy issues. we've seen that play out in her foreign policy speech, in her supreme court speech, and of course this ad she released today. >> you bring up the states we're moving into. new york is a prominent one for obvious reasons, for both donald trump and hillary clinton. i want to bring in now to join the conversation as well now, josh crosser, political editor for the national journal. one of the things you wrote about is in these more liberal states, or states that have very liberal areas, a new york, a california, how we're seeing this shift of support for donald trump. walk us through that a little bit, if you would.
>> look the math for the republicans and for donald trump in particular runs through some of the most democratic states and democratic districts in the country. new york, pennsylvania, rhode island, and connecticut, california to wrap up everything in june. and what's remarkable is that in some of these districts, these liberal congressional districts in cities like los angeles, san francisco, new york, just to name a few, you would think this would be prime territory for a john kasich or ted cruz, but when you look at the data and the numbers in the other states, prior to now, donald trump wins in the bluest parts of the country. he wins in cities and districts that are overwhelmingly democratic. so we talk about abortion, we look at how this is going to affect the republican nomination fight. i don't think it's going to affect donald trump all that much, because his die-hard supporters, that 30 to 35% that he's been getting state after state, has been with him almost no matter what. and even when you get to the more democratic parts of these states, donald trump has a core one third of the vote, if not more, supporting him no matter
what the circumstances are. >> how long does this last, do you think, josh? how long is this talking point? >> look, he's still not quite at the level of support he needs to be to rack up the majority of delegates. and if he loses wisconsin, as the latest marquette poll that came out today suggests, he's not going to get many delegates out of wisconsin and probably going to be a little short of the 1,237 number of delegates he needs to clinch the nomination before the convention. i think this scares the heck out of all the republican leadership. they think he is totally unelectable now in a presidential general election against hillary clinton. and not just that, but he could actually jeopardize -- you're hearing increased chatter in republican circles over the last week or two, that he could jeopardize not only the republican senate majority, but the house majority. and this is another issue that's just going to add to that fear, the palpable fear among republican rank-and-file leaders. i think a couple of weeks ago, if trump got close to that majority, they might have just let him take the nomination. now, i think, you're going to
see republican leaders fight tooth and nail to prevent trump from being the republican nominee. >> more focus on the potential collateral damage, which you point out, we've been talking about the last couple of days. josh kraushauer, appreciate you being with us today. beth fouhy, carrie dan, kristen welker and karen tumulty, thank you all for being with us. still to come this hour, hillary clinton campaigning in new york, while bernie sanders looks for a big victory in wisconsin. jane sanders will join us live in a bit. and while marco rubio might be done running for president, he's not quite ready to say good-bye to his delegates. ari melber explains while the republicans are prepare for a contested convention, that's next. jack be nimble, jack be quick, jack knocked over a candlestick onto the shag carpeting... ...and his pants ignited into flames, causing him to stop, drop and roll. luckily jack recently had geico help him with renters insurance.
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almost 24 minutes past the hour. let's take you to appleton, wisconsin, now where donald trump just wrapped up an event. msnbc's trymaine lee is outside. he spent the day with both supporters and protesters outside. trymaine, how's the afternoon been? >> reporter: it's been a very active and very engaging afternoon. if you see across the street, this is college avenue. donald trump spoke inside the radisson hotel. on that side all day you had supporters of donald trump, folks chanting, "usa," "build that wall." now, while this crowd has withered to a few die-hards, on this side, we have anti-trump protesters and there are still people with signs, saying love
trump's hate. and latino organizations have come out extremely strongly against donald trump, because of some local immigration issues, but also because of donald tr p trump's stance. now, i want to bring in a young woman with united for a better future. naurice, what brought you out here and what does this group represent? >> we want to show, we don't welcome hate and discrimination here in wisconsin. people have been fighting for so long for equal rights, that it's not okay to instigate hate in the population. we don't agree with the immigration platform of mr. trump. he wants to deport 11 million people, and people are not disposal. we are workers. we are not criminals. and here in wisconsin, immigrants are an essential part of the dairy industry. they cannot be replaced by machines. >> and has it been tough to
organize folks against donald trump's message? >> well, actually, no, people are very fired up to fight for their rights here in wisconsin. we have been organizing fighting for some anti-immigrant bills, that have been happening in the state, and so we are pretty organized heres in wisconsin. >> thank you very much. appreciate it. >> again, from janesville to milwaukee to here in appleton, folks are organizing. now, certainly on the donald trump side, you had thousands of people who actually were turned away, because the hotel hit capacity. but on this side, you still see folks who are -- you know, it's cold out here, it's chilly, but they're stand strong, and they're saying love trump's hate. >> all right. trymaine lee joining us in appleton, wisconsin, today. up next, it is less than a week to go now until wisconsin votes. and we have some brand-new polling for both sides out of that state.
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joining us now in the studio, moderator of "meet the press" and nbc news political director, chuck todd, he's also the host of "mtp daily" right now and moderating tonight's town hall with john kasich. a lot of discussion about these comments coming out of the town hall with chris matthews and donald trump. and you actually had a chance to ask governor kasich about. >> late, after the town hall, he hadn't left yesterday, he came back in front of camera. i think we have the clip. let's see how he responded to the comments. >> chris matthews asked donald trump, is it -- should there be some form of punishment for women who have abortion. and trump said, yeah, i think there should be a punishment. he didn't describe what that punishment is. i know you're somebody who believes that abortion should be banned. would you punish -- should women who get abortions be punished? >> absolutely not. and i mean, i do have exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother, but, of course,
women shouldn't be punished if look -- i think probably donald trump will figure out a way to say he didn't say it or he was misquoted or whatever, but i don't think so. i don't think that's an appropriate response and it's a difficult enough situation and to try to punish somebody. >> let me ask you this, how do you enforce a ban on abortion? >> well, look, i think it's rape, incest, life of the mother and you build some restrictions around it, but i think you have to be very careful in the way you do it. we're a long way from there. >> weighing in there. and interestingly, with we did hear from donald trump not long afterwards. we should point out, a statement coming through the campaign, but we're told from donald trump himself. and i want to read that here, where he says the issue is unclear and should be put back into the states for determination. like ronald reagan, i am pro-life, with exceptions, which i have outlined numerous times. >> and that statement doesn't clarify anything. it only probably adds to the issue. it's interesting how much condemnation he's getting also from the pro-life community and the march for life statement, was a powerful one that women
are the last ones you should be criminalizing. >> we have some of it here. and at one point in the end it says, we invite a woman who has gone through this to a path towards healing, not punishment. >> and ari melber was noting, many of the restrictions put in place to slow down abortions or try to offer alternatives, they're designed -- they're certainly pitched by lawmakers as compassionate laws, while some say they're impediments, but out of compassion, trying to help the mother. criminalizing the act by the mother individually, doesn't -- it sort of doesn't compute there. you get back -- look. the bigger picture is, this is now -- you talk to some republicans and they've been wondering, can he go 72 hours without causing them heartburn? without causing it where some republican lawmaker has to walk
his comments back or distance themselves from him? he is in a fight to try to prevent the party from doing whatever it takes to prevent him from getting the nomination. he is in the middle of that fight now. if he continues down this road, where he alienates a piece of the electorate or makes himself more unelectable, as far as the mind-set of the republican delegates, forget what polls say, they have the power to stop him and prevent him from getting the nomination. it just depends, how painful do they want to make it for themselves and make it for him? and the more i watch this, the more i am convinced, i think there are too many people in the republican party who fear that this -- who fear what he could do to the party if he's the nominee. and i think he is only making himself more vulnerable to having him stopped at the convention with this today. >> interest, because before this, when we were talking to chris before this sound was actually released a little while ago, probably about 90 minutes ago, one of the things that chris told us, having just come out of that town hall was that
he also offered a warning, if he doesn't get the nomination. a warning from donald trump, does it still hold as much weight and ignite as much fear amongst some republicans as it did, say, even two weeks ago? >> it's less -- look, we're at a point where no matter what happens, if it's trump or not trump, the party has to make a decision. it's a prisoner's dilemma. you're going to alienate 20% of the overall electorate, which is basically what trump's getting, you know, a portion of the republican electorate, or you're going to alienate another 20% of the republican electorate in the never-trump movement, essentially, by doing this. so the question is, then, how many party leaders are going to say to themselves, okay, if we think we're going to lose no matter what, what's the best way to lose? and that's the position, he cannot be in going into cleveland. if that's the mind-set of the delegates, he's done for. if he's got to prove he can actually win for them to swallow whatever resignations they have,
and go with him. >> i know you also talked to john kasich about what could happen in terms of support for trump. and i think we have some of that sound ready. >> i was thinking about this today, actually driving over here. so i have two 16-year-old twin daughters. and whatever i say who -- if he happened to be the nominee, i would have to tell them why i would endorse him if i did. so i put my two daughters -- >> you don't know what to tell them? >> well, i don't know what i'm going to do yet. and i don't think he's going to be the nominee, and i'll tell you why. no one's going to have enough delegates to go to the convention, and when we get to the convention, people will think about two things, who can win in the fall? which he or cruz can't, and who can actually be a good president? i mean, that's a crazy thing to think about, who can actually run the country! >> kasich being kasich there. the more you get to know him, that's who he is. look, he continues -- this was in response. i played a set of clips of him
going, yes, i will support the republican nominee, to, you make it harder every day, donald, to say i will support you, but i will, to now it's a day-by-day decision and he throws his daughters in there. that's a candidate looking for a way not to endorse him, not looking for a way to endorse him. i think -- look, the next six days will be interesting. if donald trump is defeated in wisconsin, regardless if it's cruz or kasich, if donald trump loses in wisconsin, it will plant the seed of doubt in the -- in some trump supporters, potentially, but it will probably embolden the not-trump movement. it will embolden republican party leaders who are privately not trump, but publicly neutral, to say, okay, the voters are starting to speak. the field got winnowed and look what happened. wisconsin's a swing state. this is not -- it wouldn't be a fluke -- this isn't ted cruz's home turf. this isn't an easy place for him to win. it wouldn't be an easy play for kasich to win. so, in fact, the rules favor trump. open primary, independents can vote. he's done well under these
circumstances. very similar to michigan. a loss here from him, combined with what's happened for him over the past couple of days, his campaign manager and now this, he is going to embolden the forces that say, you know what, it is worth the pain to deny him the nomination. and that's why he's playing with fire here. >> and it will be interesting to see, if it does, if this all comes to fruition, and those forces do, in fact, feel emboldened, whether or not they do start to speak out publicly. >> and by the way, erica, every time we're here, i joked about this a couple of weeks ago, usually it is about wednesday or thursday of every given week before a primary, where suddenly there's chatter. trump could lose. the not-trump forces are gaining steam. trump stepped in it again. and then the voters vote. and lucy pulls the football way and charlie brown falls on his tuckus and trump wins. this one, i don't know if it's going to play out this way, but it's worth reminding people that every time we think this is going to be the beginning of the end for him, he only gets
stronger. >> and every time we think we have a sense of what's going to happen, especially in this 2016 campaign -- >> which is why you just watch. and it's why we still have four presidential candidates tonight that people should be checking out. >> which is a great way to tee up the tease to our coverage. >> i'm a teaser. >> of course, we'll see you in just about 20 minutes for "mtp daily." and as chuck mentioned, a full night of special coverage happening right here on msnbc. town hall events kicking things off at 7:00. chuck todd with john kasich. donald trump at 8:00 p.m. with chris matthews. rachel maddow has back-to-back one-on-one interviews with hillary clinton at 9:00 and bernie sanders at 10:00. still to come on this hour of msnbc, bernie sanders is feeling some momentum in wisconsin. will it carry him all the way to the democratic nomination? his wife, jane sanders, joins us next.
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today. and for more, i want to bring in a close bernie sanders adviser and strategist, his wife, jane sanders. nice to have you with us. >> good to be here, erica. >> we do want to first get your reaction, of course, to these comments by donald trump, which were taped a short time ago for a town hall that will air later tonight on msnbc with chris matthews. i know you heard the comments ha and have been listening to some of the commentary. what's your reaction? >> i thought i had heard the most outlandish thing that donald trump had said, but evidently not. it's a very difficult period in any woman's life. i think it's ludicrous to be talking about punishment. and it's sad. and that's why he will never be president >> so your thoughts there. we do want to move on. looking at where things stand in the state of wisconsin, we know there's this new market law school poll which is out, which i imagine would make you fairly happy today, as we see senator
sanders leading senator clinton 49-45%. wisconsin is, as we've heard several times, a largely white state. there could be some criticism should you take wisconsin about the makeup of the voting base and the supporters for bernie sanders. how do you answer that criticism? >> i think, i don't know what's wrong with white voters, for one thing. for another, i think the criticism is way overtouted by the clinton campaign. hawaii, they said, it's a white state. it's the most diverse state in the nation. this is silly. we're getting, when you look at voters under 30, for instance, he has gotten more votes than hillary clinton and donald trump combined, and they are across the spectrum. black, white, gay, straight, different regions of the country. so i think we don't tend to
divide people up by race or ethnicity and we go and offer our solutions. bernie has wonderful solutions for dealing with issues affecting the middle class. that is disappearing. and we're reaching more people so i think we'd be very happy with a wisconsin win, despite any criticism that the clinton campaign might put out there >> you mention the focus. the focus has been largely on trade deals today, in wisconsin. it's a strategy that worked pretty well in michigan, as well. how is it -- how are voters there responding today to that message, specifically when senator sanders is going after the differences between himself and secretary clinton? >> well, i think what he's doing is doing a contrast of ideas, a contrast of records, as opposed to campaign rhetoric. i mean, anybody can say anything, anytime, as we just heard from trump. but what we want to look at is
the consistency of the record and where people stood before the judgment they had before, and we can expect that to continue into the future. so on trade deals, there couldn't be more of a contrast. bernie was very anti-nafta, anti-apartment trade relations with china, and led the effort against the tpp. secretary clinton was for all of those things. as a matter of fact, she even just recently said, nafta, the jury is still out. let the experts decide. we don't think the jury is out. when we look at so many losses in jobs, in wisconsin. and so we have real concerns about free trade, as opposed to fair trade. so that is a big difference between them. and i think that it's not a strategy, it's just the truth. bernie talks about all the issues, everywhere he goes. the media might pick up on one or the other, but it's not that
he is trying to win an election based on a particular issue. he's trying to offer solutions and a better future for the working class. >> jane sanders, we'll have to leave it there. thanks for spending some time with us this afternoon. >> thank you, erica. bye-bye. >> i want to bring in now, senior political reporter for politico, shane goldmaker, who's with us today. ended up being a fairly busy wednesday for us here, as we look at things. i know one of the things you've written about recently are these efforts by some of the super pacs and even different candidates to get their messages out there, in terms of ad spending. and you spent a lot of time talking to the head of priorities usa. which is the biggest hillary clinton super pac. and one of the things, which is especially important today, and i'm quoting here from the article, we learned you can't wait until the last minute to go after trump. and that is in reaction to some
of this advertising that's being put together and these talking points that are being put together against donald trump. but was anything like what we've heard today in terms of where donald trump stands on abortion ever part of that conversation that you know of? >> this is one of the many issues, that democrats and her super pac want to use against trump. they like to drive a huge wedge between donald trump and women voters. and hillary clinton jumped on it today with a treat, almost immediately after the news broke, the super pac did as well. they would like to make donald trump unelectable by making him unappealable to women voters and latino voters and drive up turnout among african-american voters. drive up the democratic vote and make voters turned off by him. and they're going to start already, although he hasn't won the republican nomination yet. >> the amount of money here is really astounding. raising more money than almost all of these anti-trump groups together in the last eight months. how is that money being spent and where is it being focused? >> for right now the clinton team and super pac are holding
their fire and they're preparing to launch ads, even if trump hasn't gotten the nomination yet. they've booked ads post-convention in some of the top swing states, places like ohio and virginia and florida. but as you say, they have more money in the bank today than all of the anti-trump money spent by republicans in the last eight months, combined. think about in florida, trump suffered from $15 million in attack ads, but it was only over two weeks. the pro-clinton forces are looking at six months, four months, five months of defining donald trump for voters. they think that's going to be enough time to sink in negative messages, that'll help sink his campaign. >> the $15 million in messages, though, didn't really work in florida. was it because of the timing? was there not enough? >> there's a lot of questions of whether it worked, not for republicans, or didn't work at all. there have been some independent tests showing that some of those anti-trump messages actually worked for independent voters. and this is the thing and one of the really big questions about donald trump. is he just impervious to criticism among republican-based voters, or will he be impervious
when it comes to swing voters and motivating democratic voters? and that's what the pro-clinton team think. they think donald trump is vulnerable with those groups, and he may have a strong base within the republican party. but when it gets to the broader electorate, he's going to have problems. and things like he said today about abortion is just going to make those matters worse as far as they're concerned. >> shane goldmaker, thank you taking some time for us tonight. thank you. >> ahead tonight, both democratic candidates for president will sit down with rachel maddow. she'll speak with hillary clinton at 9:00 p.m. eastern and bernie sanders at 10:00 p.m. eastern. now here's mary thompson with a cnbc market wrap. >> hey, there, erica, another update on wall street today, with the dow and s&p closing at their best levels of the year. the dow jones industrial average finishing up 84 points. the s&p tacking on 9. and the nasdaq finishing up almost 23. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. i earn unlimited 2% cash back on
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saving humanity from high insurance rates. a number of questions right now about whether the republican presidential candidates will be willing to support their own party's nominee as a former candidate jumps back into the fray. senator marco rubio now taking a pretty unusual step, saying he wants to keep the delegates that he won for the republican national convention this summer, even though as we know, he's, of course, out of the race. nbc chief legal correspondent, ari melber, is here to walk us through exactly what rubio is requesting. he wants to keep the delegates. a, can he, and b, has this been done before? >> pretty unprecedented. this is not usually how it's done. there's an old saying, after the
party is the after-party. after the campaign, apparently we're seeing the after-campaign. and it is unusual, because basically marco wants to use this to try to hold back trump. we obtained this letter that he's sending to every place where there's a republican party that he won delegates. it's my desire, he says, at this time, that the delegates allocated to me by your rules remain bound to vote for me on at least the first nominating ballot at the national convention. that's not usually how it works. i did speak to a rubio aide and we'll show you what he said. he basically said, yes, the senator is, quote, no longer a candidate, but he, quote, wants to give voters a chance to stop trump. and the last quote i'll read you from our reporting here was we talked to the alaska republican party chair and he put it pretty simply. he said, rubio said, i want my delegates, and i said, okay. now, not every state is necessarily going to say okay. you're giggling. >> because frankly, it's never that simple. >> and it shouldn't be that blase, if -- it usually wouldn't
matter, but if this is how we're going to determine who the nominee for a major party is. if it comes from one party chair going, yeah, you want the delegates, take them back, another party chair going, no, take them back. and another party chair emphasizes he's neutral and hasn't endorsed a candidate and takes this role seriously. but in other states, they're saying, hey, marco, you suspended, you dropped, you don't get the delegates. they're going to be free or reapportioned. this is where this race is going. if donald trump doesn't clear that majority, that 1,237 magic number, there's going to be a lot more of this. >> so in terms of that letter, because it is up to each individual state, right? is there a deadline that he wants a response by? >> great question. so this new letter that msnbc obtained is making the case to every state party. their state rules are the first answer, so the deadline might be before their state conventions. most hasn't happened yet, whether they want to let rubio hold the delegates. but then, and i don't know how much time you have -- >> you have about 30 seconds, my friend. >> but then even states that
acknowledge they might want to give them their delegates, there's a national rules. in minnesota, they have a rule that even if you're bound to the person, in this case, rubio, you have to have your name on the first ballot of the convention. he's not running anymore. he might not be on the first ballot. >> which then sort of cancels it out. we could go on, but we do have to leave it there. great story today. >> thanks for having me on. >> i love it. always good. ari, nice to see you. our conch coverage continues. that does it for this hour. i'm erica hill. chuck todd picks things up next with "mtp daily." stay tuned. we were born 100 years ago into a new american century. born with a hunger to fly and a passion to build something better. and what an amazing time it's been, decade after decade of innovation, inspiration and wonder. so, we say thank you america for a century of trust,
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if it's wednesday, it's no ordinary hump day. it's a meganight of politics on the place for politics here on msnbc. town halls with donald trump and john kasich, interviews with hillary clinton and bernie sanders, it's all right here tonight. and right now the place to be is "mtp daily" and we start right now. good evening. i'm chuck todd in new york. this may be a week without a primary, but, wow, is it a major week in the presidential race. welcome to "mtp daily." donald trump under fire again, for controversial comments, again, these about women, again. and these he made today during an exclusive msnbc town hall that was taped earlier, but you'll see later. you'll want to hear this, because itas