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tv   Meet the Press  NBC  March 6, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PST

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this sunday, have the republicans found their anti-trump? ted cruz has himself a super saturday and donald trump, who won louisiana and kentucky, seems to agree. >> i won ted one-on-one, okay. >> cruz wins kansas and maine and wins the day on delegates. >> donald ump is not the best candidate to go head-to-head with hillary clinton. >> meanwhile, whatever happened to marco rubio? three thirds and a fourth on a rough night. also, bernie sanders scores wins in kansas and nebraska, but hillary clinton takes louisiana and the most delegates for the day. >> you just want to pull your hair out when you see that insult fest that goes on among the republicans. plus, the republican dump
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trump movement. >> he's playing the memberings of the american public for suckers. he has neither the. >> mitt romney is in, but supporters push back. >> if mitt romney thinks that about mr. trump, he must think about that of every one of us that support mr. trump. and you think the republican race is nasty? >> i have had to fit for everything my entire life. >> president frank underwood, or should i say kevin spacey? one of them will be with me this morning. and joining me for insight and analysis are, david brooks of the "new york times," kelly o'donnell of nbc news, republican strategist mary matalin, and stephen henderson of the detroit free press. welcome to sunday, it's "meet the press." from nbc news in washington, this is "meet the press" with chuck todd. good sunday morning. if the dump trump movement needs a candidate to rally around, his
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name just might be ted cruz. cruz and donald trump each won two contests yesterday, but it was ted cruz who emerged with the most delegates and perhaps some renewed momentum. cruz easily won the kansas caucuses beating trump by a better than two to one margin. cruz also took the main caucuses with 46% of the vote. 13 points ahead of trump, another double-digit win there for cruz. but trump also took two states last night winning the only primary in louisiana, but he won that by a much smaller margin than polls had indicated. and trump won the newly created kentucky caucuses, but again, it was by just a four-point margin over cruz. smaller than what many had predicted. overall cruz won 70 degals last night to trump's 61. so cruz won the night on delegates. although overall trump still holds the leads in the delegate count. but as important as delegates
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are, cruz won some momentum and hope last night. >> maybe right now you're supporting marco rubio or john kasich. what is becoming more and more clear is if you want to beat tru donald trump, we have to stand united as one. >> i want to congratulate ted on maine and kansas, he should do well in maine because it's very close to canada, let's face it. i mean. >> on the democratic side by the way bernie sanders won two out of three states, but hillary clinton won the most delegates. let me walk you through it. sanders beat clinton by better than two to one in the kansas kau s caucuses. sanders also won the nebraska caucuses but by a smaller margin, 56-44, the clintons spent a little time in nebraska, they didn't campaign much in kansas. but despite the sanders kansas, nebraska, see what we did for the history teachers, clinton won the primary by a huge marge 71-23, and that gave clinton the
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majority of delegates overnight. so overall with her support from superdelegates, clinton's lead in the delegate count has expanded to over 600 now over sanders. but as we said the big news was on the republican side. and even as ted cruz's wins gave hope to this growing never trump movement, donald trump had a message for republican leaders who think cruz has slowed his momentum. >> i would love to take on ted one-on-one. that would be so much fun. because ted can't win new york, he can't win new jersey, he can't win pennsylvania, he can't win california. >> republicans desperate to sink trump's presidential bid for months are finally speaking out. on thursday the party's last nominee denounced its current front-runner as a phony and a fraud. >> think of donald trump's personal qualities. the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the absurd third grade theatrics. >> and yet his speech only
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seemed to cement trump's support. >> if mitt romney thinks that about mr. trump, then he must think that about every one of us supporters of mr. trump. we are not phonies and frauds. >> i think what's damaging the republican brand is trashing front-runner at this stage. >> and trump crudely reminded voters that four years ago romney accepted his endorsement. >> i could have said, mitt, drop to your knees, he would have dropped to his knees. he was begging. >> romney has joined what is now a growing republican never trump caucus. >> he's attacking all of the core tenants of the republican party's platform. >> i reject trump and i'm encouraging other republicans to do the same. >> i will not stop until we fight a man that chooses not to disavow the kkk -- >> these were donald trump's -- >> and donors are pouring millions into a last-ditch effort to defeat him. >> donald trump made millions while hard working americans got scammed. >> republican leaders aren't just worried that trump would
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lose to clinton, they worry that trump at the top of the ticket would put the senate and even the house in jeopardy. according to the "new york times," the senate gop heeder has assured republicans up for re-election that they can run ads against trump if needed, quote, we'll drop them like a hot rock. >> i don't remember saying anything like that to all of you. [ inaudible question ] >> i don't remember saying anything like that to all of you. >> some republicans are so desperate to stop trump they're ready to bury old rivalries and unite behind whoever is best positioned. >> if you nominate trump and cruz, i think you get the same outcome. you know, whether it's death by being shot or poisoning, does it really matter. we may be in a position where we have to rally around ted cruz is the only way to stop donald trump. >> reporter: but trump's republican rivals. >> i will go anywhere to speak to anyone before i let a con artist get ahold of the republican party. >> reporter: even one who calls
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him a con artist undermine the idea that trump is unacceptable. >> i'll support the republican nominee. >> yes, because i gave my word i would. >> i'll support whoever is the republican nominee for president. >> so in the end it may be that trump's real opponent isn't named ted cruz or marco rubio or john kasich, but perhaps it's mitt romney. some heard governor romney's speech on thursday and thought, hey, maybe he's interested in the nomination. well, governor romney joins me now this morning. governor, welcome back to "meet the press," sir. >> thank you, chuck. good to be with you. >> well, let me start with the results from last night, a better than expected night for ted cruz, not as good of a night donald trump thought he was going to have, do you think you had an impact? >> i think i had a big impact. i think a lotd of people were surprised by how well ted cruz did. he got more delegates than donald trump last night. he was aenthusiastic, donald trump was uncharacteristically low energy last night. i think he was really surprised. i think this is a campaign that
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doesn't begin to be over. i have a feeling it's groek e going it break a few more rules before we finish. >> ted cruz, do you believe he's emerged as the chief anti-trump candidate and are you ready to back him? >> well, i think he's emerging now. he had a strong night won seven states to donald's ten states and i wouldn't writeoff marco rubio or john kasich at this point. marco rubio very strong in florida. more recent polls have him within a few points of donald trump. and john kasich leading in ohio. so they may be favorite son candidates or may emerge down the road being a very strong candidate on their own. >> you had said it's a time for choosing. you seem to indicate that on march 16th it's a time for choosing. is that when you are going to endorse an alternative officially? >> i may well at that point. it depends of course on what happens that night, but, you know, i'm leaning towards supporting someone and going out on the campaign trail and try to convince people to vote for the person who i think can help the country in a very critical time.
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and who also can represent conservative values and conservative ideals. a real deal republican, if you will. >> let me confirm, are you comfortable supporting john kasich, marco rubio or ted cruz? any one of those three candidates against donald trump? >> absolutely. any one of those three is a real republican. they've demonstrated over time that they share conservative values. there's some differences on policy or on tactics to implement policy, but i'd be very proud having any one of them at the top of the ticket. donald trump on the other hand is someone who represents something entirely different. and in my view is not at all the real deal. this is a guy who pretends to be one thing and is something else entirely. >> you know, i want to go to something you said about donald trump's business background in your speech last thursday. let me play a clip. >> his bankruptcies have crushed small businesses. and the men and women who work for them. he inherited his business. he didn't create it. and whatever happened to trump airlines? how about trump university?
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and then there's trump magazine. and trump vodka. and trump steaks. and trump mortgage. a business genius he is not. >> however, when you accepted his endorsement four years earlier, this is what you said about his business background. >> donald trump has shown an extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works, to create jobs for the american people. i spent my life in the private sector, not quite as successful as this guy, but successful nonetheless. >> governor, all those unsuccessful businesses that you outlined on thursday, trump airlines, trump university, trump vodka, those are all failures before 2012 as well. were you just sort of saying something you had to say four years ago in order to accept his endorsement? >> well, donald trump has made a lot of money for himself. and there's no question that he's got a lot of money in his pockets and has been successful on that score. but if you look at his record
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overall and there are other, by the way, failures, you say, okay, he made a lot of money for himself. inherited a lot of money from his dad, but this is not a guy who's a self-made man. and this is a guy who's crushed a lot of people along the way. >> why did you say nice things about him four years ago? why did you say so many nice things about his business career when clearly you're not impressed? >> you know, he's made a lot of money for himself and i'm gracious enough in a setting where someone's endorsed me to point out that he's been successful, made a lot of money, has a lot of hotels and so forth, but you can't ignore the fact he's had a lot of failures. he tries to sell himself in this campaign as nothing but succe successful. he's not a loser. he's lost time and time again and crushed a lot of people in the process. and the thing that i find most unusual, and perhaps outrageous, is that even though he says he's worth $10 billion, he finds it in his interest to go out and bilk people of $10,000 here, $15,000 there for trump university. these people have really been scammed. i want to make sure the american
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people are not subject to the same kind of scam as we nominate a president. >> i understand that. but i want to go -- you did, you laid out a whole bunch of things you thought disqualified trump, not just his business background. you thought his support for terrorists could lead to a trade war, you were pretty critical of the vulgar language he uses, the insulting of muslims. he was pretty insulting of muslims four years ago. he was the face of the birther movement, which has been totally discredited. and i got to play you something here, in 2011, listen to this vulgarity he used. >>ed the messenger is important. i could have one man say, we're going to tax you 25%. and i can say another, listen to me, [ bleep ], we're going to tax you 25%. >> governor, it's sunday morning so we had to beep that out, but it was this horrible frankly f-bomb tirade he went on. it's been making the rounds on youtube. again, in 2011. so i go back, do you believe you mainstreamed trump, made him
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acceptable? and do you regret it? >> chuck, there are a lot of people who supported me who i'm sure used the f-bomb and other words, i had 61 million people vote for me in the general election. and i'm not endorsing all 61 million people for president. and i'm happy to accept the endorsement of a lot of people who i disagree with on some issues, and some people who i wouldn't want to be associated with the things they say. but i at this stage am at a point where looking at donald trump and the future of the country. and we say to ourselves is someone with his record and someone who believes the things he believes which in my view would lead to a recession and to a trade war and lead to a world being less safe, do we want that person to be president of the united states? do we want that clip you just saw being on tv for our kids to see time and time again? even the debate, the presidential debate last week donald trump is saying something i don't want my grandkids to watch. so this guy, look, he may be colorful, he may have made a lot of money for himself, he is not
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the person who should be president of the united states. >> but in hindsight i take it you're embarrassed that you stood next to donald trump four years ago? >> you know, some of the things he said more recently would have made it difficult particularly with regards to the clue cluku klan, things about muslims in particular, i would have had a difficult time standing next to him four years ago. >> you made that compelling speech, some called it the clearest indictment of trump yet that anybody had done. and hours later the three candidates running against donald trump sat on a debate stage and all pledged to support him if he's the nominee. did that disappoint you? >> i think it was expected. they had been asked that from the very beginning of the campaign. and they've pledged to support whoever the nominee was and they had to stand by their pledge. but you saw with few exceptions they hesitated when it came time to answer that question. it was a difficult one for them to swallow. you know, i respect the fact that they honored their word as ted cruz said, but donald trump
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is a more and more difficult person to support in part because he says, look, he's going to become presidential, he'll act presidential and even on that debate stage and in his reaction to my speech, he's anything but presidential. >> you have said you will not support either donald trump or hillary clinton for president. you would look for another way, maybe you skip the vote, maybe you vote for a third party candidate, is donald trump becoming president worse in your mind than hillary clinton becoming president? >> both of them are pretty darn bad. as lindsey graham said, a poison or a bullet. and i'm going to be voting, but i'll vote for someone who's on the ballot that i think is a real conservative and who would make us proud. and i may write in a name if i can't find such a person. >> do you believe there should be, if trump's going to be on a glide path to the nomination, do you think there should be a concerted third party effort by republicans, maybe it's the constitution party, maybe it's something else? >> i'm not going to encourage at this stage the creation of a new party. but i think it would be very difficult for donald trump in the final analysis to get the
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nomination. i think we're going to nominate someone who really represents our party. and i believe that will happen in the process leading up to the convention. but if the convention has no one person getting a majority of the delegates, then we'll have the 2,000-plus delegates there and they'll have to make an asaysment. they were elected by their people in their respective states make the judgment as to who should be our nominee. >> you told my colleague on friday you would not be a candidate for president. but let me ask you the way general sherman was once asked. if nominated, will you accept the nomination, if your name is placed in the nomination and was elected at this cleveland convention, would you accept it? >> you know, i can't imagine anything like that happening. and i don't think anyone in our party should say, oh, no, even if the people of the party wanted me to be the president, i would say no to it. no one's going to say that. but i can tell you this, i'm not a candidate, i'm not going to be a candidate. i'm going to be endorsing one of the people who's running for president. and one of the people -- i can guarantee you this. one of the people running for
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president, one of the four, is going to be the republican party nominee. three of the four are people i would endorse. but i'm not running and i'm not going to be running. >> all right. governor mitt romney, i will have to leave it there. governor, thanks for coming on. good to see you. >> thanks, chuck. good to be with you. >> you got it. when we come back, if trump can't be stopped, could we be witnessing the breakup of the republican party as we know it? mitt romney seemed to hint at mitt romney seemed to hint at it. you can fly across welcome town in minutes16, or across the globe in under an hour. whole communities are living on mars and solar satellites provide earth with unlimited clean power. in less than a century, boeing took the world from seaplanes to space planes, across the universe and beyond. and if you thought that was amazing, you just wait. ♪ they are. do i look smarter? yeah, a little. you're making money now, are you investing?
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welcome back. there are six more contests by the way coming up in just the next few days. today, democrats hold their caucuses in maine. and then puerto rico holds its republican primary today. then on tuesday republicans have caucuses in hawaii and a primary in idaho, and both parties have primaries in mississippi and michigan. michigan perhaps is the big prize, and so we have a brand new nbc news/"the wall street journal"/marist poll to show you this morning, it has donald trump way out in front at 41%. ted cruz and marco rubio sitting much farther behind. and john kasich, who is hoping for a big boost from michigan, we have him languishing in last place. we know there are other polls that indicate he's stronger. we'll find out on tuesday. and on the democratic side let me show you numbers, hillary clinton with a comfortable 17-point lead over bernie sanders, but both campaigns have indicated to me they believe this race is much close r than what our polie in polling indic.
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. we bring in our panel. stephen henderson, editorial page editor for the big newspaper that will be covering the bigamimy primary the detroit free press. stephen, welcome to you. let me just start with mitt romney. i feel like there's two different reactions here between david and mary. david, what was your sense of romney on the trump endorsement and romney leaving that door open about running? >> first on the romney on what happened thursday, finally. finally somebody's beginning a sustained attack on donald trump. and to me every republican office holder if they want to save their party has to continue that attack. and it's not an attack on things people like about him that he's politically incorrect and a bully, that's what voters like. it's attack that he betrays people, he's a betrayer and narcissist, thinks only about himself. i think everyone's got to hit this note. they've got credited examples of people scammed by trump university, trump mortgage, all the other stuff. and keep this going day after day. >> mary, did you think it was
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effective? you weren't so sure the romney speech was effective. >> i think it was the wrong messenger and wrong timing although david's right about the substance of it. because when you attack trump the person, you're trumping the people who support him. when you show that his business record isn't good and all that other stuff, then you make people think this is evidenced in the late vote went to cruz in louisiana and -- >> well, actually, let me show you since you brought it up, let me show you the louisiana numbers. this is from our friends at 538 they were able to compare. this is what according to the early vote totals, donald trump, look at that, 24-point lead. election day itself, louisiana has some early voting, election day itself was a total tie. that says a lot. clearly late breakers for cruz. >> i will add to that cruz won the delegate. we pick our delegates by caucus, so he won those two. but i think rubio hurt trump
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more than romney hurt trump. but rubio hurt himself in doing it. but what mitt did say, which is important, the time for choosing is now. and if the party wants to stop trump, they have to stop kasich. and they have to stop rubio. and they have to stop them right now, saving rubio the embarrassment of losing his home state. if trump goes through florida and ohio, it's over. when you reallocated your michigan vote, all the carson votes went to anybody but trump. >> right. >> and most of them went to cruz. he's a real deal conservative. i don't know what's the problem -- >> kelly, we know the problem on capitol hill, right? >> absolutely. he does not have many friends there. but one of the problems is the party starting to say stop trump does not offer the voters one choice and so reluctant to do it in your interview with mitt romney not willing to choose someone else right now. so those against trump who say he's not truly a republican, not really a conservative, but then you have, you know, this never
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trump crowd. and then you have the voters who say, well, no forever trump. if you tell me never, i say forever. >> right. they get back in. >> there's also a substantive credibility, you have republicans saying trump is not one of us and yet a lot of things he's saying are said in coded language by other republicans. i wrote a column last week about paul ryan for instance saying this is not a party that preys on people's prejudices and yet you think of lots of examples of republicans doing exactly that going back to ronald reagan giving a states rights speech in 1980 in mississippi. this goes on all the time in coded ways. trump is saying these things more explicitly and it makes things uncomfortable and i know it does too. >> no, it doesn't make me uncomfortable it makes me want to choke you because it's ridiculous and it's the creation of trump. conservatives do not consider themselves bigots or homophobes. he is x paend expanding the
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electorate bringing in like-minded libertarians, young people. trump is expanding the electorate by getting people who are sick of being called bigots because they want to secure the border, that's not -- this is not a race race, okay, let's not go there. >> i think it is. i mean, i think there's no question what he's doing is appealing to race and republicans have done that for a long time. >> by the way, there was something else donald trump did yesterday and grabbed my eye, and, dave, i have to show it to you and get you to react to it as well. here it is. >> i've never done this before. can i have a pledge, a swearing? raise your right hand. i do solemnly swear that i no matter how i feel, no matter what the conditions if there's hurricanes or whatever, that's good enough will vote on or
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before the 12th for donald j. trump for president! thank you. >> david, the visual, the hands go up, trump asks for a pledge. >> wow. i was flabbergasted. the number one trait that associates or correlates with trump's support is authoritarianism. we live in a democracy where we recognize other people and we make messy deals. and we're always sort of disappointed. that's what politics is. there's two ways to run a country like that. you can either run it with democracy and compromise or through authoritarianism. for some reason there's something in the electorate right now people feel they're losing out on things, that they want a strong leader who will show me the way. and that's what -- >> but they want a strong leader who's consistent. you can't be flexible on or sketchy on rules of engagement, flexible on the border or
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compromising on scotus, on the supreme court, you can't do that. >> how is donald trump anything but flexible? i mean, he switches position on torture and everything this week. >> that undermines the message. if the messenger is the message that undermines his credibility as an authority figure. >> was that a sign of weakness? a, he didn't anticipate the visual of how that would stand over time but also signaling to voters i'm worried you'll not show up? >> it's a fair point. as you point out he also had the date wrong. >> early voting is one -- >> when early voting shuts down but probably confusing to some people. we're going to take a pause. back in a little bit. senator lindsey graham will be here. and he has said this. >> my party has gone bat [ bleep ] crazy. >> all of the words we used today on "meet the press" are something else. anyway, he now says it may be time to back ted cruz to defeat donald trump. and then later -- >> you're right.
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i am still white trash. i just happen to be white trash that lives in the white house. >> is art imitating life or the other way around?fx kevin spacey, pres sir ridley scott, legendary filmmaker. are you a film buff, watson? no, but i am studying the visual storytelling in your movies. you know, it's amazing how much information is contained in a single image. one visual can make or break a film. i am analyzing images for factory managers, sales people and healthcare professionals. that's good watson. but not exactly movie material. perhaps the healthcare professional could be played by matt damon. you're learning, kid.
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trump's opponents have just nine days to truly stop him. why? because it all comes down to winner take all states florida and ohio. let me break down a few scenarios to explain why time is so short. here's the delegate count as of this sunday morning. so so far here as you can see trump has won 45% of all delegates awarded so far. that's majority. that's pretty important. let's assume he wins that same 45% for all of the remaining contests through march 15 besides florida and ohio. we're going to do some estimates here. if trump wins both florida and ohio on march 15th, here's what happens. he would end up with a nearly 300-delegate lead, huge gap here as you can see. and of course his chances, marco rubio, john kasich both probably drop out if they lose their home states, so trump would need to just win 51% of all remaining delegates in a one-on-one versus ted cruz. that's probably very doable when you think of places like new york, california, et cetera. but what happens if trump only
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wins one of the two big states? well, we did that math too. if he wins florida but kasich wins ohio, polls seem to indicate, our projections look something like this. and that respect trump then would need to win 57% of all remaining delegates. that's tougher, but actually still somewhat doable. and if trump wins ohio but rubio wins florida, by the way, it's kind of a similar story. but here's where there's trouble for trump. and it comes if rubio and kasich both win their home states. then trump would need 67% of all remaining delegates in order to avoid a contested convention. guess what, it's an extremely heavy lift especially because rubio and kasich, you think they're dropping out if they win their home states? no way. all four stay in, the likelihood of the contested convention nears 100%. and, oh my, would cleveland rock then. in any other year with any other candidate we'd say this nomination was locked up, but that conventional wisdom totally out the door.
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conventional wisdom has been proven wrong over and over this cycle so we'll see when and how it gets proven wrong again. when we come back, senator lindsey graham joins us on the perils of nominating donald trump and of denying him the nomination at the convention. and later -- >> i've got jokers to the right >> i've got jokers to the right and here you are stuck i thank you for calling. >> i've got jokers to the right and here you are stuck i we'll be with you shortly. yeah right... xerox predictive analytics help companies provide a better and faster customer experience. hello mr. kent. can i rebook your flight? i'm here! customer care can work better. with xerox. wait i'm here! mr. kent? (gasp) shark diving! xerox personalized employee portals help companies make benefits simple and accessible... from anywhere. hula dancing? cliff jumping! human resources can work better. with xerox. when you think about success,
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there are few politicians more outspoken than my next guest, senator lindsey graham has never been at a loss for words in his criticism of donald trump or the direction of the republican party has taken this election season. senator graham joins me now. senator, welcome back to "meet the press." >> thank you, i'll try not to cuss. >> well, sadly you wouldn't be the first one on air today to do it. >> okay. >> let me start with something you said tuesday night that got the cruz campaign happy and raised a lot of eyebrows in washington. and considering what happened saturday, are you getting more comfortable rallying around ted cruz as the stop trump candidate? >> i would support cruz over trump. i'd prefer rubio over kasich. rubio and kasich over cruz, but if ted's the alternative to trump, he's at least a republican conservative. and here's my message to the republican party then conservative movement. i'd rather risk losing without donald trump than try to win with him because it will do more damage over time. >> you know, it's interesting you say that.
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i want to play i think it's been amazing the rhetoric many republicans have used against donald trump. let me play a collection for it and ask you about something on the other side. >> donald trump has written checks to hillary clinton not once, not twice, not three times, ten times. >> i think it is important that we stop mr. trump. >> we have a con artist as the front-runner in the republican party. >> if a person wants to be the nominee of the republican party, there can be no evasion and no games. theyust reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry. this party does not prey on people's prejudices. >> marco rubio added one more criticism of trump. i want to play that, too. >> i don't want us to have a president that we constantly have to be explaining to our kids, look, i know that's what the president did, but you shouldn't do that. i don't want that. we actually had a president like that not long ago. it was real bad. >> but senator graham, all four of those individuals, you know what they've also pledged to do,
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support the nominee. >> support him, yeah, really. >> was that a mistake? >> i don't know. i'm going -- ask me if i'll support the nominee after the convention. they're in a spot where they have to be loyal to the party. >> do you? >> call me after the convention. i'm not going to say anything about our nominees supporting that person until after the convention. if donald trump's the nominee, the republican party will get killed, will get creamed, we'll deserve it. call me after the convention. >> i want to bring in audiotape k -- a couple other people, kelly o'donnell who you see a lot. >> senator, good to see you. you know ted cruz better than most people do from working with him. is there anything you think he could do as the nominee of the party to convince people he would be willing to work with others and to expand his sort of ability to cross the aisle? anything at all that suggests he could do that? >> yeah, i think so. he called me just a couple days ago when i suggested i would support him over trump.
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at the end of the day i know what i'm getting with ted cruz. he would repeal obamacare and replace it with something better. he's not going to order our troops to commit war crimes. he would defund planned parenthood. we have a lot in common, tactically i disagree with ted about shutting down the government to repeal obamacare. thought it was a bad idea, but yeah, if i can work with ted cruz, i think that shows there is hope. >> david. >> david brooks, "new york times," senator. i want to ask you about ted cruz as a senator. aside from the government shutdown, what has he accomplished in the senate? >> well, he's basically made most people in the party believe that the reason we don't repeal obamacare is because of me and mitch mcconnell. it's not like i prefer ted cruz. here's what happened. when we wanted to shut down the government to repeal obamacare, i thought that was never going to happen. it's going to be hard to repeal a law named after a president while they're still president. and when ted said that me opening up the government made
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me for obamacare, that kind of stung. but ted is a conservative. he's more ideological than i am, but he is a republican conservative. and donald trump is not. i hope rubio wins florida. i hope kasich wins ohio. but if i had to support ted cruz over donald trump, i would because i think he is a republican conservative and he might could beat hillary clinton. >> stephen. >> senator, stephen henderson of the detroit free press. four years ago your party talked about the need to sort of expand the tent, get more of these new voters to support your party. >> yeah. >> what are the prospects for that with either a donald trump or a ted cruz as the nominee? >> some hope with ted, no hope with the donald. we're in a demographic death spiral. what did we learn in 2012? hispanics don't like our message on immigration of self-deportation.8h;pw i don't think they're going to like forced deportation better. at the end of the day, donald trump has taken every problem
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we've had with hispanics and young women and made them worse. in that regard ted cruz would be much more acceptable. i cannot tell you the damage that donald trump would do to the republican party if he carried our banner because he has ran a campaign on race baiting and religious bigotry, that cannot be republican conservatism. >> mary. >> senator, you said if -- you want rubio to win florida, kasich to win ohio. if you're ready to take your poison, you have to take it now because if that transpires then trump will be our nominee. and we're not going to have a contested convention. it will be chaos. and you left out one thing on cruz's conservative -- consistent conservative record. scotus, supreme court. >> yes. good point. >> all things hinge on supreme court. you take your poison now? >> i think rubio and kasich have got to decide among themselves can they be an alternative to trump over time.
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to me it's clear that ted has made the best case thus far that he can be the alternative to trump. the best thing i think could happen is for the party to unite before ohio and florida and make sure that we not only beat him, trump in ohio and florida, that we have a candidate that can beat him thereafter. and right now it seems that ted cruz has the best case to be made. >> that's very interesting there. quickly, senator graham, on the supreme court nomination, should -- you've confirmed two of president obama's justices. what's wrong with having confirmation hearings? >> right. i don't think it helps. i think we should let the next president decide. the person i admire the most is me. and if you nominated me, i wouldn't vote for me this year. >> if you nominated you, you wouldn't vote for you? >> there you go. >> that's a new -- >> we'll let the next president see what happens. >> that's a new thing. we'll call it lindseyesque. if nominated, i will not vote for myself.
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senator, we have to leave it there. we made it through without any beeping. no seven-second delay. thank you, sir. >> we're headed in the right direction. thank you. >> all right. later in the broadcast, the democrats, bernie sanders won two of three contests yesterday and yet things actually may have gotten tougher for him. i'll explain the stubborn nature of delegate math. but first, kevin spacey also known as president frank underwood of the netflix series underwood of the netflix series "house of cards." you're an at&t small business expert? sure am. my staff could use your help staying in touch with customers. at&t can help you stay connected. am i seeing double? no ma'am. our at&t 'buy one get one free' makes it easier for your staff to send appointment reminders to your customers... ...and share promotions on social media? you know it! now i'm seeing dollar signs. you should probably get your eyes checked. good one babe. optometry humor. right now get up to $650 in credits to help you switch to at&t.
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what they're trying to do is divide us. what they really want to succeed in doing is make sure you don't vote for me today. they've gone to a whole lot of trouble to make me look pretty bad -- >> well, that was president
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frank underwood on the defensive on the campaign trail in south carolina in the new season of "house of cards," which many of you may have already binged watched on netflix this weekend. i'm joined now by the show's star, kevin spacey, as many are asking is truth becoming stranger than fiction. mr. spacey, welcome to "meet the press." >> thank you for having me. >> we don't want to do spoilers here, but let's see, this season, a supreme court vacancy, kkk scandal, isis inspired group, a battle with the nra. are you doing a documentary? it's amazing here -- and you filmed this before this campaign started. >> yes. this has happened every season that we have shot "house of cards." we have decide ds on a we ha
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report. we have confirmed the death of former first lady nancy reagan. she was 94 years old. from hollywood to the white house and beyond, nancy reagan and her husband, former president ronald reagan were side by side on the adventure of a lifetime. lester holt takes a look back at her life and legacy. >> nancy davis was an actress herself when she met ronald reagan on the mgm lot in 1949. he was already a star. but though she had her own hollywood dreams, she later said she found her greatest role as his wife. >> i think i was born to be married. i was the happiest girl in the world when i became we. >> they married in 1952. a simple ceremony. even appeared together in hell cat of the navy, the last of her 11 films. >> i began to think maybe you were playing the south beach
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circuit. >> you knew better. >> how could i know? did you give me a postdated check? >> from then on, by her own description, her life was devoted to her husband, as mother to their two children, patty and ron and a stepmother to his two children by former wife jane wyman. then came politics and her long career as a first lady. first in california to governor ronald reagan in 1966. >> what's ronnie's greatest asset for the women voters? >> my. ronnie, i guess. >> then to president reagan in 1980. after the president was shot by a would-be assassin two months into his first term, his wife was forever shaken. >> every time he went out and talked to thousands of people, my heart stopped. >> but she carried on. steadfast in her chosen roles as the president's protector, best
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friend and partner in efforts like the anti-drug campaign for which she was forever linked. >> when this comes to drugs and alcohol, just say no. >> she was criticized for consulting an astrologer about the president's schedule, dubbed queen nancy for her expensive taste in fashion and white house decor and accused of managing her husband. >> doing everything we can. >> the fact is, she never wavered as a loving wife in all the ways she knew and when in the mid-'90s, the former president revealed he was diagnosed with alzheimer's disease, the partner who would rarely leave his side visited the republican national convention to share her family's pain and a new cause. >> we've learned as too many other families have learned of the terrible pain and loneliness that must be endured as each day brings another reminder of this very long good-bye. >> so nancy, let me say thank you for all you do. thank you for your love.
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and thank you for just being you. >> she stayed close to herron i even in her last years. she made it a point to be there when the reagan library hosted election year debates. and to visit her husband's resting place. a love story to the very end. lester holt, nbc news. >> i want to bring in nbc's andrea mitchell joining us by phone. andrea, lester said it best. it was an epic love story between those two. >> it was an extraordinary love story. we should also say i'm kofrpd, i'm flooded with a flood of memories. because she was i think the most consequential first lady i can imagine in modern history for all of her early missteps and for the press criticism of luxury and designer gowns and designer china, white house expenses during a recession in
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1982, she became throughout the first term became throughout th first term and then the second term very clearly the most important adviser who pushed and moved the president in very significant ways towards conversations and discussions with mikaele gorbachev at the first geneva summit. believing that talk was better than the continuation of the cold war. this is a president who had said he could not talk to them because the soviet leaders kept dying on them. bresh nef and others. she saw the opening, saw the possibility and who framed all of those conversations and the social moments despite her an thit -- he was much more ideological than her husband. she played the role behind the scenes that endeared her to him and eventually to the nation.
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she was a very important political adviser and figure. all along the way, even from his first election in 1980 when she led after new hampshire the firing of many of the top staff members. she brought in jim bakker abdomen others not hard line conservatives, willing to compromise. there were so many echoes we see in the kursurnt campaigns. she loved gossip and fun. i got to know an actor, went to the reagan library, spoke there. talked to her on the phone recently. i did talk to her when margaret thatcher died a few years ago. she was very frail and didn't want to go out in public. she was unable to move around very easily. but she remained plugged in until almost the very end. was an extraordinary impact figure in american political and social lives. >> i think there are those who would suggest that she was also his number one protector. if anybody went after him, you had to go through nancy to get to him.
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>> in fact, that led to the firing of the white house chief of staff. don regan. memorably, she went around the president, eventually vice president bush had to tell don regan that he was fired for hanging up on the first lady, if you can imagine. i don't think there's been a more powerful first lady, at least in modern history. hanging up in anger against the first lady. but she brought people in. she brought in democrats, the late robert strauss, former head of the democratic party, a. ambassador to russia. she brought in figures to talk and better inform the president so he was not isolated in the white house. she protected him perhaps excessively from too much travel after his first pretty much well-viewed as disastrous trip to europe in 1982 when he was overscheduled and barely got through a three-country day ending in state dinner in windsor castle after starting
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out in rome and meeting with the pope. but the fact is that she, in keeping his travel schedule, preserved his presidency in realizing that he needed more time. that for him to go to china, he needed to first go to hawaii for a few days and acclimate and then guam and acclimate further and meet with people in guam abdomand see the troops. she managed to organize the white house and she was feared by the staff. they dreaded getting the santa barbara duty if you were there. there was no buffer between you and the calls from the first lady. it was all in the interest of her husband and his psidency. i have to say, finally, that that book that came out with the love letters to nancy after his death, his writing, his diary reflected a person of incredible intelligence and insight. a beautiful writer. and it contradicted all of the
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other assumptions about ronald reagan and his forgetfulness, which could have been early signs of the alzheimer's. the fact that that love affair and that his intelligence and his devotion to her are what we really remember and finally, also, her fighting for research for alzheimer's. for going against the conservative party grain, even the sitting president. she really fought for health, for scientific research. she was the first person who finally steered her husband with her brother's help, richard davis, who was a physician, towards thinking differently about aids after ignoring the scourge. she really did open ronald reagan up to all sorts of new ideas which were toward his original leanings. i think it's because of her as well as, of course, his good instincts that it became a successful presidency. >> andrea, if i ask you to stay with us, for those just joining
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us. it's 55 past the hour of 11:00 in new york. the passing of former first lady nancy reagan at the age of 94. we're told she died in her bel-air home in california. we do not know more circumstances than that. she was in frail health in later years and had not been seen in public for some time. but andrea, as we continue with you, i think the phrase just say no became synonymous her. she coined that phrase to talk about her battle against drug and alcohol addiction. not her specifically but that she supported that for people. that was her legacy within the white house. i mean, she took it on with great passion. >> that was also part of, let's be clear, it was part of a recalculation, she had to do something important and substantive because of the publicity in the first few
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years. michael defenr, one of the top n the white house. they came up with that strategy to tackle what was becoming a major drug problem in the country. she did it very effectively. she did it by reaching out to her hollywood friends and to others. it was very well-produced as a public service campaign and she threw herself into it. just say no to drugs became her theme of that, those years in the first term of the presidency. that said, i think eventually the most consequential contribution will be in foreign policy because it was she who really encouraged her husband to begin talking with what was then the leader of the soviet union after he had been unable to because of the elderly difficult stage of mikal gorbachev's pred
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source. that led to the end of the soviet empire and along with the military deployments and the rest of the reagan doctrine. that led to the end of the cold war. and the end of -- in 1989, the berlin wall coming down and all the other development that is transformed europe and the world. >> turning away from domestic and international politics with you, andrea, she truly was a style icon. probably the first of grace merit since jacqueline kennedy onassis. of course, during her white house years. she made designers blilike bill blass. people looked to her as a reflection of of the hoet couture during her era in the white house. >> that's true. bill blass going off all the designers. she paid a price for that, especially because the country was suffering with high unemployment, a real recession. she eventually reclaimed her, i
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would say her popularity to a certain extent through just say no and a traditional event going on now for 131 years after again last night the gridiron digger of jirnliournalists. and she showed up to the surprise of the journalists who she disdained. she showed up dressed as a char woman in raggedy clothes and sang a show, show tune from, i guess it was a barbra streisand movie, second hose rose from second avenue. she won over the press corps. she was an actress for some time before she became first lady. thank you very much, andrea. some of our stations may now go back to regular programmingment for ours, our coverage continues.
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>> it is high noon in the east, 9:00 a.m. out west. breaking news, former first lady nancy reagan has died her office has just confirmed the news in the statement. nancy davis reagan, former first lady of the united states, died this morning at her home in los angeles at age of 94. the cause of death was congestive heart failure. mrs. reagan will be buried at ronald reagan presidential library in simi valley, california, next to her husband, president ronald wilson reagan. presidential historian mishle besh lof joins me on the phone. tell me your

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