my thanks to the rev, donna, nick. most of all to you for watching today and all week long. that does it for us. "mtp daily" with chuck todd starts now. welcome to friday. it is "meet the press daily." good evening. i'm chuck todd here in washington. capping off quite the week. where impeachment and the 2020 race are starting to collide. the day after the house's historic vote to impeach president trump, the seven top democratic presidential candidates clashed on stage in los angeles. and it turned out to be a pretty revealing and contentious portrait of a party that is trying to orient itself amid the bitterness, the partisanship,
and the uncertainty of this moment. and under those conditions, elizabeth warren may have struggled the most last night. she had some standout moments for sure. but the big moment came when she tried to attack pete buttigieg's fundraising and then he responded. >> the mayor just recently had a fundraiser that was held in a wine cave full of crystals. and served $900 a bottle wine. we made the decision, many years ago, that rich people in smoke-filled rooms would not pick the next president of the united states. billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the united states. >> according to "forbes magazine," i'm literally the only person on this stage who is not a millionaire or billionaire. your net worth is 100 times mine. this is the problem with issuing purity tests you cannot, yourself, pass. we need the support from everybody who is committed to helping us defeat donald trump.
>> now, warren's attack on buttigieg fundraisers may risk coming across to democrats as small potatoes. and to be sure, buttigieg didn't escape that totally unscathed. plenty of pictures of pete with wealthy donors. imagine him as the nominee and what trump would do that. on a night when others struggle to take on buttigieg, amy klobuchar seemed to rattle him. >> we should have someone heading up this ticket that has actually won and been able to show that they can gather the support that you talk about of moderate republicans and independents, as well as a fired-up democratic base. and not just done it once. i have done it three times. i think winning matters. >> if you want to talk about the capacity to win, try putting together a coalition to bring you back to office with 80% of the vote as a gay dude in mike pence's indiana.
>> if you had won in indiana, that would be one thing. you tried and you lost by 20 points. >> klobuchar had perhaps her best debate. bernie sanders stuck by his progressive positions and i think he perhaps had a strong debate as well. joe biden had one of his steadier performances. here's biden highlighting what many see as his strength. promising to work with republicans even as they try to investigate him and his son. >> i refuse to accept the notion as some on this stage do that we can never, never get to a place where we have cooperation again. if that's the case, we're dead as a country. we need to be able to reach consensus. and if anyone has reason to be angry or t angry with the republicans, it's me. the way they have attacked me, my son, my family. but the fact is, we have to. we have to be able to get things done. and when we can't convince them, we go out and beat them like we did in the 2018 election in red
states and in purple states. >> for more, i'm joined here on set by nbc news correspondent carol lee. brendan buck. and doug thornell. welcome all. doug, this is your party. sort -- sort that field. i mean, there's different ways you can squint one way and say that person did well. >> yeah. well, i think amy klobuchar won the night. and her attack or her -- her punch on buttigieg was good. her punch on sanders, on medicare for all, was one that we haven't heard before. which was, essentially, you don't have the support to pass medicare for all among democrats. and if you look at the co-sponsor list of medicare for all in the senate, she's right. he only has about 14, 15 co-sponsors. the house bill has only about
115. that was a really interesting attack that she had. i think you've got to, if you're a biden supporter, you got to really feel pleased about his performance. that was by far the sharpest we've seen joe biden. >> i'm being half facetious here. but i mean he is being judged against himself. >> well, look. i think people have set low expectations for biden since the beginni beginning of this race. that's not his fault. >> fair enough. >> and i think -- but i think there is no doubt that was his best night. the last thing i'd say is pete buttigieg, the first night he was in -- this is the first debate he was in the crosshairs, right? so the question was how was he going to respond as the target of attacks? and he's a really good counterpuncher. he's really good. now, i don't know if afterwards there's going to be some impact on his favorable standing because he did take some blow from elizabeth warren and klobuchar. but his counterpunches were sharp. >> who do you think could appeal to swing voters in that group just watching last night?
>> well, i think pete buttigieg has done a great job. i think, one, because he obviously plays on that centrist lane. but also, he shows he can fight. i mean, what i thought was striking was the way he was so prepared. it reminds me back to what kamala harris was not able to do. she had a big moment. she became the shiny object for a little while. and then the next time on the debate stage, she got pummeled and couldn't handle it. >> by tulsi gabbard. >> by everybody. >> yeah. >> i get your point. ouch. >> you know, mayor pete knew this was coming and he was ready. and he showed that not only is he a centrist but he could also fight with donald trump. the other thing i found very interesting is that no one goes after joe biden still. like, he's the clear national front-runner. yet, every -- i guess people are not buying -- his -- his opponents are not buying into his strategy that he is going to be able to get past iowa and new hampshire and still be viable. >> i have another theory. i think there's fear of looking like you're doing trump's work. there's a penalty there, carol,
i think. or at least they fear there could be a penalty. >> you don't have to go after him on -- >> i wonder how much of a shield that has been. >> it does feel like there is a sense that if you go after him, just generally, even if it is somehow -- that he's already taking a beating from trump and that it is kind of playing -- doing the president's bidding for them. i think, you know, he was -- seemed more than happy to sit back and let everybody else, you know, argue. and attack each other. and i think that they feel really good about his performance. his team. particularly, his answer that you played about the republicans. >> easily his best line of any debate. >> and he clearly worked on it. and he really drove it home and he tied it to his family. and all the things that he's been under attack for. >> i think another development last night was how comfortable bernie was grabbing the progressive lane again. and how uncomfortable elizabeth warren was fighting him for it. let me play a couple of exchanges last night on the issue of healthcare with the two of them. here's elizabeth warren and you'll hear bernie sanders.
>> here's how i approach this. i want to do the most good i can for the most people as quickly as possible. on day one, i'm going to attack the prices on commonly-used drugs like epipens and insulin and bring down those prices. the president can do that. saying this. all by herself. and i will do it. i'm going to make available to people for a full healthcare coverage for 135 million people. it'll be at no cost at all. and they can opt into that system. >> i think we will pass a medicare for all, single-payer system. and i will introduce that legislation in my first week in office. when the american people understand that medicare for all expands medicare to cover home healthcare, dental care, eyeglasses, and hearing aids. and does it at a cost far, far lower than what some of my
opponents are talking about. you know what? we're going to have the american people behind us. we will have congress behind us. >> one of the great complaints we hear here. you hear from the sanders wing is nobody ever says, you know, he does well but they think he's just in this progressive lane. look. i thought he had his best performance that i've seen in a while. and he owned it in a way that elizabeth warren didn't. and you could see. i'm curious to see how does -- what does she do now? >> bernie sanders is -- i wouldn't say it's a surge. but if you look at the polling, he is -- you know, we're seeing a -- a -- a -- a small comeback on him. >> he reevcovered from the hear attack politically. he's recovered from it physically. now, he recovered from it politically. >> and, yes, i think he had a very good night last night. i think he's generally a pretty good debater. pretty consistently steady. >> he had some humor. it was a warmer bernie than i'm used to seeing.
yes. >> where he talked about -- >> he even like -- i agree that she got a hit on him -- on him. but he -- he -- he had a smile. that wasn't bernie four years ago. >> right. if you're progressive and looking for the most authentic progressive in the race, then you have to be looking at bernie sanders because he did not equivocate when it came to medicare for all. >> elizabeth warren seemed less comfortable. >> less comfortable and also to authentic, she risks looking inauthentic in the sense of that she's not owning the policies that she's put forward. she's calibrating and changing her views. and the buttigieg hit on her about her fundraising isn't helpful. i mean, voters don't like hypocrisy. so even, you know, part of what trump's appeal was is that he's seen as authentic. and he -- you know, he means what he says or whatever. people related to him in that way. and she's -- she's in a dangerous place. and she doesn't feel comfortable with it. she's clearly trying to
calibrate for -- for winning the general. or to -- and it's -- it's not a place that she comes off looking very good in. >> i have yet to find the campaign. i can't think of one where campaign finance issues decide things and motivate voters. i know someone's going to be on screen saying it motivates me. it might. but, brendan, it rarely does. >> well, it's an issue that animates the far left. and if you're on the far left, you don't need to be convinced that elizabeth warren is a progressive. you know she's a progressive. same with bernie sanders. so yeah. i think she has sort of and maybe i -- i -- i wrote off bernie sanders. maybe she did, too. because what i keep being struck by is that nobody goes after bernie sanders. >> they don't. >> and my theory -- >> is that an error? you better be careful here. it's like nobody going after trump for a while. >> biden did. >> last night, he did. >> my theory on the bernie thing is that we all know that his supporters are so rabid. and whoever is the nominee is going to need those people to
come out for him. and upsetting that group of people i think people are worried to do that until they really, really have to. >> i do want, the other thing biden got an assist from last night is he rarely wins twitter. but sarah sanders gave him an assist on twitter. let me play the byte last night. that -- that basically got the attention of sarah sanders in a not-so-friendly way. here it is. >> my wife and i have a call list of somewhere between 20 and 100 people that we call at least every week. or every month. to tell them i'm here. i give them my private phone number. they keep in touch with me. a little kid who says i -- i -- i -- i -- i -- i -- i can't talk. what -- what do i do? i have scores of these young women and men who i keep in contact with. >> so then sarah sanders puts up this tweet. that sort of mocks the i-i-i. and then he comes -- joe biden comes back and says i've worked my whole life to overcome a stutter and it's my great honor to mentor kids who have
experienced the same. it's called empathy. look it up. sarah sanders apologized. carol. >> she did and it's a rare sort of admission. >> in trump world. >> in trump world. yeah. but it also, i think part of the reason why she did that is it was about children. it was about kids. it wasn't a fight. he was not talking -- it wasn't between her and biden. or -- and it was about this kid who he was saying, you know, has -- that he talks to about this and that was part of the reason why. >> normally, it's elizabeth warren and bernie that win twitter. which we've now seen doesn't have much of an impact on the middle. but here was a rare case where biden got some. >> it was still a classless attack by sarah sanders. >> it just seemed to be uninformed. anyway, carol, brendan, and doug, stick around. i do think sarah suddenly realized -- even in arkansas, that might not play so well. >> there might be special needs kids there. >> up ahead, why does president trump wrongly believe ukraine interfered in the 2016 election?
according to "the washington post," three words. putin told me. plus, it's one of, if not the, most notable cracks in the president's base. an evangelical christian-based magazine calls for president trump to be removed from office. d memory support brand. you can find it in the vitamin aisle in stores everywhere. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. great riches will find you when liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. wow. thanks, zoltar. how can i ever repay you? maybe you could free zoltar?
welcome back. putin told me. that's what the president reportedly said when he explained to advisors how he knew that ukraine interfered in the 2016 election. despite aides warning him it was bunk. as "the washington post" reports, many of the president's advisors grew worried putin's influence was shaping the president's views on ukraine. the president's intense resistance to the assessment, the post reports, of u.s. intelligence agencies that russia systematically interfered in the 2016 campaign, led many advisors to think putin himself helped spur the idea of ukraine's culpability. it's a deeply-concerning report and it raises a number of
questions about president trump's conduct, his motivations on an issue that is central to the impeachment case as it heads for a trial in the senate. joining me now, andrew weissman. former senior fbi official, head of the fraud section at department of justice. he is also now an nbc news legal analyst. so this is a weird question to ask it this way, andrew. but is it -- is -- is it -- it may be against our wishes or against the wishes of some. that the president takes advice or intel from a rival foreign country. is it illegal? >> so there's nothing illegal about advice from a foreign country and following it if you think it's correct. i mean, you could imagine it coming from leaders of england or france or norway. i mean, there would be nothing wrong with that. here, the issue is that it's coming from a leader, who has a
vested interest. the issue is that people are concerned about russian interference. so you would be fairly certain that russia's not just going to confess and say, yes, we interfered with the election. what's interesting about that article is, it doesn't quite nail down what the problem is. it says both that the president thinks that it was ukraine, not russia, that interfered with the election. and it also says that it was -- that russia may have interfered but ukraine also interfered on the side of hilary clinton. so those are two very different things. it is -- it would be very concerning either way. that you have the president of the united states not admitting that we are under attack by a foreign adversary. and we need to do something about it. >> andrew, it -- it's come to -- sort of how sometimes you start talking something through and
you realize there's actually a really broken -- there's a problem in the president's logic here. and, in fact, the logic of trying to decide to single out ukraine instead of russia. and it is this. okay. let's -- if -- if you're going to say it's ukraine that stole the dnc e-mails, then ukraine helped donald trump win the election, not russia. either way, it is an admittance that a foreign power helped defeat hilary clinton. because by doing this, you're acknowledging a foreign power hacked into the dnc. so there -- there's sort of a -- doesn't the president's defense here have a problem? >> absolutely. to the extent that you have the president saying that it is ukraine, not russia, that has assisted the republican side, it is very problematic in terms of why you have the united states president making that claim. we know that the russian president wants to foist this office, as fiona hill so clearly said. but when it was just the president saying russia didn't
help me, that could be chalked up to he just wanted to tell people he was winning on his own. when he's actually saying, no, there were foreign interference but it was ukraine that helped me, not russia, then it becomes a lot more problematic as to why would he be saying that? when all of the evidence that anyone has seen is that it was russia. there is literally no evidence that it was ukraine. >> right. and, again, the crime that we all know was committed was the stolen e-mails from the dnc and john padesta. there was no theft of some e-mails from donald trump. >> absolutely. i mean, the whole theory makes no sense. why would somebody steal dnc documents if -- and then leak them if they were trying to actually help the clintons? that doesn't make any sense at all. >> look. it is -- and -- and -- a story
like this, a report like this, is going to lead a lot of people to be asking why aren't you still investigating? why isn't there still a mueller report? andrew weissman. how would you answer a question like that? >> so, you know, our job is over. you'd have to ask the attorney general that question. whether he thinks that there needs to be a -- additional counsel. >> i want to put up something from the president's letter to speaker pelosi who he then shared with the entire congress because it's about a specific witness. the president writes in this letter, ambassador sondland testified that i told him no quid pro quo. i want nothing. i want nothing. i want president zelensky to do the right thing. do what he ran on. i single this out. but i want to sing it out for this reason. you can't cherry pick a witness's testimony. it's my understanding. so if he wants -- if he wants this testimony to be believed of gordon sondland, then doesn't all of gordon sondland's
testimony suddenly get believed? >> so -- so absolutely. gordon sondland, to remind your viewers, also said there was a quid pro quo, as it related to the meeting in the white house. but i thought the wording of this is really important. so the president, in his six-page letter, never said something that he has repeatedly said in other context. which is that there was no quid pro quo. and there, the question is, why is that not in a letter that went to congress? and i think the answer to that is it is a crime. it is a federal crime to submit a written document, knowingly, that contains a false statement to congress. and instead of simply -- the -- the president saying there was no quid pro quo. he, instead, says i'm not going to directly say that. i'm just going to tell you that there was another witness who said that's what i said.
so that is literally true without him actually committing the crime of saying there was no quid pro quo. >> doesn't that mean he's got a pretty good lawyer who re-read the letter and made sure he didn't say something that could get him in trouble? >> it could -- it could mean that. it could mean the president himself realized that there are two different contexts. he's certainly seen a slew of his com patriots who have been convicted of lying to congress. >> and he is very, very familiar with court cases and depositions and what you can say and what you can't say. through decades of this experience. anyway, andrew weissman. our nbc news legal analyst. good to see you, sir. if i don't see you before the end of the year, happy holidays. coming up, as nancy pelosi says, when it comes to impeachment, all roads leave to putin. what does help for heart failure look like?
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hintroducing a razor that works differently.nique story, the gillette skinguard has a guard between the blades that helps protect skin. the gillette skinguard. welcome back. we got a lot to talk about after that discussion with andrew weissman about the president, vladimir putin. carol lee, brendan buck, doug thornell are back with me. so, carol, in some ways the ties between trump and putin, it was trump himself that seemed to, like, make sure people knew he and putin were stablemates back during that bizarre 60 minutes that had them both back to back. and he implied that they were
somehow both, you know, conpatriots there. he never shies away from this idea that he has this close relationship with putin, which only feeds the suspicion. >> exactly. and if you talk to anyone, particularly advisors who worked in the early days of the trump administration, they will tell you that every time he was going to -- whether it was a group meeting, like a g20 or a one on one with putin, they would say he's a liar. you can't believe anything he says. don't let -- and they would try to -- and putin just seems to have figured out how to press trump's buttons. and basically, and these advisors would say he would come out of these meetings and repeat putin's talking points. and, you know, a lot of it is that putin is pushing on an open door when it comes to trump because he's looking for a reason to say that russia didn't do what it did in the 2016 election. and he seems to buy that over anything that anyone around him has been trying to say for years. >> you know, it's interesting,
carol. former advisors who were the sources. i get the sense a bunch of former sort of the first and second team trump advisors, brendan, are reminding people, hey. we prevent -- you know, we kept him from doing this. >> we tried. >> and we -- you know, we at least blocked him from self-impeaching. >> i'll say one of the things my old boss used to tell the president when -- when it was around the way he would talk about these things. i don't think you colluded with the russians. stop acting guilty. and that's -- and that's really -- >> i had a former aide say to me early on in the trump administration, brendan. i haven't seen any evidence except his behavior. >> and i think it all goes down -- back to his insecurity over this idea that this great achievement, getting elected president, was somehow delegitimized. and you can't get through a conversation with him for the first year he was in office without him talking about how great his victory was. and so in his mind -- >> remember, i've been there. he brought me a copy of the electoral vote map anytime i needed it. >> every conversation. and -- and so what -- in his mind, the idea that russia
played a role delegitimizes and i think he can't get past that. he does these things that are totally unnecessary but just makes him look guilty. >> what should democrats do with this? >> i think trump is beyond repair here. and from a messaging standpoint, i think that there is an opening for democrats to also raise red flags on republicans. who are now absorbing and mimicking the president as it relates to these -- this propaganda being pushed by -- >> by the way, in this piece, "the washington post" says that -- that some of the republican senators who have come on this air, apparently, and said the ukraine thing were actually in the briefing that said don't -- that this is -- >> of course. they know it's not true. and you've interviewed kennedy and a number of these other folks who are pushing russian propaganda about ukraine. and the dnc. and, look. i was at the dnc during that period of time. it was an awful period of time to be at that place.
when, you know, your e-mails are being hacked and you don't know who's spying on who. and the fact that they are mimicking what putin and his allies over there are saying. that, to me, again, i've sort of -- like, trump to me is like he's gone. he's gone. but the -- the fact that you've got some republicans, a party that has been, for years, anti-communist, anti-russia. now, they're basically they're foot soldiers. >> and if you look at that, to that point, that -- without those republicans, then it all kind of crumbles because if you've seen in foreign policy with this president. he can be pushed in a certain direction if he is -- >> it's when he's on an island. >> exactly. and they're not leaving him on an island on this. and it has -- and look. russia -- putin is not -- he's not a trump fan or an anyone fan. he's an adversary of the -- america generally. and he's playing a long game here. >> by the way, brendan, i mean lindsey graham. you know, as much as people see him as this supporter of the
president and defender of the president. he also just pushed through a pretty tough russian sanction bill that the president's pushing back on. >> yeah. i mean, i think this whole conversation about republicans picking it up. i think you have to appreciate how the sort of right-wing conservative media world works. because the way this -- the way this works is the president puts something out there. it goes through facebook. ends up on fox news and other places. and it's what members of congress start hearing back home. so they go home and hear about what about ukraine meddling in the election? and it just gets in the psyche and it permeates. of course, there is the issue where they don't want to cross the president. but when the president speaks, there are so many channels that it goes through that a lot of people don't realize. it really colors the conversation. it colors the conversation on impeachment and all these other things. >> you've just identified our broken information system. i mean, it is broken on the right. i'm not sure it's working great on the left. but it's certainly, now we know, fully broken there on the right. carol, brendan, and doug. thank you. up next, meet the voters who could decide the 2020 election.
we're going to tell you who they are and the great nickname our pollsters have come up for them. before we talk about tax-smart investing, what's new? -audrey's expecting... -twins! ♪ we'd be closer to the twins. change in plans. at fidelity, a change in plans is always part of the plan. around here, nobody ever does it. i didn't do it. so when i heard they added ultra oxi to the cleaning power of tide, it was just what we needed. dad? i didn't do it. #1 stain and odor fighter, #1 trusted. it's got to be tide.
welcome back. amid the impeachment fallout and the approaching 2020 contest, our new nbc/"wall street journal" poll shows most of the country's actually made up its mind about president trump. but there is a slice of the electorate that has not. democrats and republicans everywhere, you might want to pay attention because these are the voters that are going to decide the president's fate. 34% of registered voters tell us they are certain to vote for trump in 2020. that's his hard base. 48% tell us this month they are certain to vote against the president. it's actually ticked up two points. 18% of registered voters say they may vote either way depending on the democratic nominee. this group is key and they're not like your typical swing voters of elections past. our pollsters call this group squishy republicans.
of that 18% who say their vote depends on the democratic nominee, 59% somewhat approve of president trump. nearly half, 47%, identify as independent. and 29%, almost a third of them, are men under the age of 50. folks, the goal for president trump in 2020, win as many of those squishy republicans as possible. probably needs a full two-thirds of that group. if you think of the democrats sitting at 48. they probably need 52, nationally, in order to get that electoral college win. so they don't need much. trump needs most of them. the mission for the democratic nominee is to try and stop him. joining me now to talk about this group and break this down, cornell belcher, democratic pollster. and anna greenberg, also democratic pollster. welcome. it was interesting to see them. first of all, did the makeup of that group of voters surprise you, anna? >> it certainly didn't surprise me the more independents, right? because partisanship is such a strong predictor of the vote there aren't going to be many people who are still squishy who
are going to be democrats or republicans. i also wasn't surprised they were younger men. i bet there is a bunch of college-educated men in there also. that's where trump's lost the most ground. i'll bet there is a big chunk there as well. so i wasn't that surprised about who they were. >> let me put up a thing here, cornell. which is one of the things we've been asking all the candidates as we test them. are you comfortable? enthusiastic? comfortable with reservations? uncomfortable? so we've come up with a net comfortability rating. >> did you test me in that? >> we haven't had you. so the person on this group of 18% of undecideds, if you will, they are the least comfortable with elizabeth warren. joe biden, the second most uncomfortable. and the net uncomfortable scale. then come sanders. then trump. buttigieg and klobuchar does better than trump. what do you make of that? >> well, here's what i'm betting. i'm betting that they actually don't know klobuchar or buttigieg as well as they know some of the others. and even if you look at senator
warren, her name identification isn't as strong as -- as -- with that group. >> that makes the negative rating worse. >> but this -- this -- i will say this, chuck, i throw all that out because the dynamics of this race have got began to unfold. >> you don't think that 48 against trump is hard? >> i think that's fairly hard and it's been fairly consistent. but it's also a narrow -- trump also has a narrower window here because if you look at that same rating with obama, about, you know, his window was about ten points smaller than when obama's was. so it's certainly more polarized and more locked in. however, again, when you have biden or warren or whoever as -- as a nominee, and they're making -- and they have to make their case and then people sort of turn to them. i think it's -- it's a different conversation than -- than what we have right now. i really do think sort of when this becomes one on one, the dynamics of this change again. >> and i'm curious what you make of the fact, though, that here they are mostly independent. warren and biden are the most
uncomfortable. sanders isn't. so this isn't necessarily ideological. >> a little bit in the sense that if this is a group more independent, more male, you would expect them to be a little more favorable toward sanders. so i'm not surprised he's a little more acceptable to them. with biden and warren, some of it probably is sexism around warren. to make cornell's point, there is a high percentage of people who don't know who warren is. so her net looks worse than bidens but their negatives are the same. so there is definitely an element. this is the group, right, these independent, younger men who are a little less likely to support women candidates. >> they picked trump four years ago. they were sort of the same -- this is the group i remember the way we identified them four years ago was it was people who didn't like both. it was male. it was younger. yeah. >> i'm a little bit -- i'm not entirely sure why biden is that high up there. i mean, i get sanders. i get warren. i get where everybody else is. biden seems a little more i'm not entirely sure about that.
>> cornell, let me ask it this way because this is what a bernie bro is going to tweet at me. >> they're going to tweet you anyway. >> to hear from them. why shouldn't we say bernie sanders is the most electability democrat at this point? you look at it this way, and again, it's sort of -- sometimes are we trapped in the old school of what we think a swing voter looks like? versus, look, with trump, the swing voter is different. and for some reason, what is it -- what if it's sanders? >> and it's more narrow. but -- but to anna's earlier point, it's not like democrats have been doing really well with younger, white men anyway. i mean, it's not like when was the last time -- >> by the way, this group loves yang, too. and yang is one of those if i were bernie, i'd get a little nervous about if he ever gets more traction. >> it's give and take, right? say if -- if -- if bernie is -- bernie is the nominee, how does he, in fact, engage? or is buttigieg the nominee, who does better on these measures. how do they engage the base with energy? right? right now, you have buttigieg who is -- who is depending on
the poll, second or third place in iowa. but talk to congressman clyburn who says black people have no idea who he is in south carolina. so i think it's -- it's -- it's -- it's a give and take. and again, depends who -- who our nominee is. by the way, i don't think bernie sanders is -- is -- i don't think any of them would be a bad general election matchup against trump. i think we see it in some of the battleground numbers. ahead of him in all these battleground. >> address the bernie question because i do think there is this perception. you could say it's led by the establishment or all of us because of the bernie of four years ago. we underestimate him at our own peril? >> of course. he was underestimated in 2016. he's maintained a base of support. maybe a little dip. maybe coming back up. but he's basicmy maintained his core of support. the only reason he dropped was biden got in. if you look at second-choice sanders voters, a bunk ch of th
are biden voters. so i think he's formidable. i think i agree that i think he'll have a harder time with base democratic voters as the general election nominee than some of the other candidates. >> you had the luxury of being a pollster for a candidate. >> i did. >> and now, you're still a pollster for that same candidate, john hickenlooper. you had a theory of the case of how hickenlooper would sort of make this work. >> 25 candidates by the way. >> now that you see the seven people on stage last night, is it amy -- i assume you're watching amy klobuchar and thinking that would -- that could have been hickenlooper. there was always going to be room for that person. >> sure. uh-huh. >> is that your theory? or am i putting words in your mouth? >> i think biden complicates the whole moderate lane because there is a whole bunch of people supporting biden not for ideological reasons but because they know him and like him and his affiliation with barack obama. so i think without biden, you know, hickenlooper, a klobuchar, even a insley, could have been that kind of from the west or midwest kind of moderate middle
of the road candidate. i think that biden just complicates that so much because he's getting a combination of the kind of loyalists to obama but also those moderates. >> cornell, quick on klobuchar. thoughts? >> the -- the smaller stage has helped her tremendously. she's had really, really good showings. and she's -- she's pivoting to be sort of that -- that -- that -- if you're -- you want the moderate to sort of progressive make sense pragmatic. and you -- and you move away from -- from -- from biden. i think she's going to be the place that they land. >> we shall see. i think she's also counting on buttigieg being howard dean. but we'll see. i don't know. i think that's the question. is buttigieg dean or obama? or someone in the middle? cornell belcher. anna greenberg. good to see you both. up ahead, president trump lashes out at the evangelical christian magazine that is calling for him to be removed from office. plus, a sad but fitting end to a decade of dysfunction. ♪ limu emu & doug
hour 36 in the stakeout. as soon as the homeowners arrive, we'll inform them that liberty mutual customizes home insurance, so they'll only pay for what they need. your turn to keep watch, limu. wake me up if you see anything. [ snoring ] [ loud squawking and siren blaring ] only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ ♪ work so hard ♪ give it everything you got ♪ strength of a lioness ♪ tough as a knot ♪ rocking the stage
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welcome back. tonight, i'm obsessed with the sadly fitting way we're ending this decade. politics, a decade of despair i guess. it's been a dark ten years in american politics. peppered with dysfunction, gridlock, and political resentment. consider just some of what's happened in this country since 2010. the tea party's rise to political prominence and its impact on the gop. the raging battle over healthcare, still ongoing. mitch mcconnell's pledge to make
barack obama a one-term president. the deadly shooting in tucson that wounded congresswoman gabby giffords. the ceiling debacle, the birther movement led by donald trump, the shooting of trayvon martin, the murder of 20 children and six adults at sandy hook elementary which is one of way too many mass shootings, the government shutdown of 2013, the partisanship that kept merit garland from getting a hearing to be on the supreme court, the first presidential inaugural address to feature the phrase "american carnage" the first ban on muslims, the rise of the progressive resistance embodied by the so-called squad, the hacking of a major political party by russia which of course led to a special counsel
investigation led by robert mueller. the shooting on a field that injured congressman steve scalise, the rally that brought white supremacy out of the darkness, the president siding with a foreign government over our own, the supreme court confirmation hearings featuring graphic allegations of sexual misconduct, a 35-day long government shutdown, the third impeachment of a president in american history. like i said, it almost feels fitting that that is how we ended the decade, with an impeachment. i wish i thought we were also ending the dysfunction. i thoug ending the dysfunction and mike's important right this minute, because if he could beat america's biggest gun lobby, helping pass background check laws and defeat nra backed politicians across this country, beat big coal, helping shut down hundreds of polluting plants and beat big tobacco, helping pass laws to save the next generation from addiction.
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welcome back. just moments ago, i mean, moments ago, the trump campaign announced it would launch evangelicals for trump coalition, and they're going to launch it on january 3rd. comes after one of the most widely circulated evangelical christian magazines called for him to be removed. the editor in chief wrote the president of the united states attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader. that is not only a violation of the constitution, it's immoral. john, good to see you, especially during the holiday season. you know, the other point that
mr. golly made and he's retiring on january 3rd, is he said evangelicals need to think long and hard that if they've cut this deal to support, you know, to sort of turn their eyes the other way on some of the things trump does, that they're going to have a hard time convincing non-believers that they're sort of -- have a purity of heart on all this. >> yeah. you know, the original emphasis, the meaning of the wall metaphor that jefferson made famous in his letter to the dan berry baptists, originally that wall was supposed to be a hedge between the church and the state, not to protect the state from the church but the church from the state. there was this sense that the -- a religious enterprise was more important than any temporal politics. and it was really kind of a
puritan protestant effort to protect the institution. i think what we've seen really since probably about 1962, i think the school prayer decision, we focus on roe but i think the school prayer decision is the kind of pearl harbor of these culture wars where judges became so important. i think what we've seen there is the replacement of adoll tricep power. "blinded by might," he argued that the religious right's besetting problem would be the pursuit of temporal powers instead of religious objections. i think we're seeing that in the fullest expression right now. >> what's amazing is president trump said look what i've done for you. he himself said -- >> he himself. >> yeah. >> you know, a lot of other people might wonder about that.
but it was, hey, this is transactional. and i think that's what's been uncomfortable for people of faith, some sort of rank and fuel of people of faith, the leaders have decided okay let's have the transaction. >> that's exactly right. it's a sense of, you know, they've rejected the advice, put not my trust in princes. jesus said my kingdom is not of this world. there is an incredible scriptural tradition where the things of the world can be sinful and distracting, and what you have to ask if you're an evangelical activist in america today is are judges worth it? are they worth the whole package you get with president trump? i'm all for people of faith being involved in politics. i think the idea -- we should separate church from state. you can't separate religion from
politics because both are about people, right? it's about what drives them. you might as well try to separate economics or geography or partisanship out of it. it does require a proportionate sense of what do you want from the public arena and what do you bring to it. and ideally, at our best, some of our best american moments have come from religious leaders. look at martin luther king. look at the abolitionists. >> what i'm curious what's going to happen here and what you think of this, it does feel as membership and religion goes down and we've become overall more secular, those that are religious dig in even more and desperately need political help to keep their faith. i a apologize for throwing thatt you. what's the long-term effect of that? >> that's really interesting. there's another interesting theory out there i've read a little bit about which is that given the decline in traditional e are lidges you affiliation you've just defined, is it
possible that partisanship is replacing theology and religion for people? >> i'm going to pause it there. i have heard that the religion of the left and the right. i totally get what you're saying and it is something that has been -- that's a concern. that's a concern. that's why you don't get compromised. i'm short on time. i wish i wasn't. always good to talk to you, sir. have a great merry christmas to you. that's all we have tonight. we'll be back with more "meet the press daily." good evening ari. i have breaking news here, party has replaced theology. it's official. i'm getting that from the news room. >> you know what, if you just went on social media, it would be easy to come to that conclusion. >> when i get the breaking news i want to bring it right to you. it was a fascinating discussion we were listening to here. i look forward to hearing more of that. john always brings a lot to the table and i know you're going to be busy this