tv MSNBC Live MSNBC September 3, 2015 12:00pm-12:11pm PDT
that is the donald. donald trump. he pledges allegiance to the gop. >> i wanted fairness. i don't have to be treated any differently than anybody else. i just wanted fairness from the republican party. the best way for the republicans to win is if i win the nomination and go directly against whoever they happen to put up. and for that reason, i have signed the pledge. [ cheers and applause ] so i will be totally pledging my allegiance to the republican party and the conservative principles for which it stand. and we will go out and we will fight hard and we will win. >> that's right. the threat of an independent run is no more. at least for now. the republican front runner just
wrapped up a press conference after signing that pledge. it lasted about 30 minutes and came after a closed door meeting with the rnc chairman. the recent threats that some states would not put trump on the primary ballot without the pledge seemed to do the trick. ron allen was there for all of it at trump tower. he now joins me. ron, classic trump. everything's a speck tactical. something as seemingly normal as signing a pledge to run as a republican. i would say today, he sort of made it appear that the republican party really wanted him. >> reporter: he did. he of course great stage craft and well prepared and a great performance. and, yes, he made this sound like in this sound bite you played that he did this so that when he wins, he can go straight onto take on the democrat that nobody will change him. forgotten in the whole notion he was the only one who said that
he would not support the nominee necessarily if it were not him. asked about the whole notion of fairness, what's happened, we still have such a long way to go. no one's cast a vote yet. apparently, it's a strategic decision that he's making, he's apparently gotten assurances that he's not going to encounter much or any resistance to try to get on the ballot. the republican party has said to him whatever he wanted to hear. so here we go. it was the quite an event. in that press conference, it was a press conference. he took a lot of questions. but there were very few follow-ups. he had all his prepared answers. but he does this well. he does this here at trump towers. he has an audience of tourists and others here to see the celebrity that he is and the politician that he's becoming. so we go on. and, yes, the narrative of today
is that he had the republican party come to him and ask him to do something and he agreed. so again, i think the bottom line here, it remains to be seen who of the 16 or 17 other opponents is going to be able to manufacturer a campaign that can take him down. there are a lot of analysts that think that might happen when the voters come out in new hampshire and iowa and south carolina and so forth. but at this point, he's certainly the one to tell you, he has a folder full of polls and other things showing that he's in the lead and he seems to be in the lead. it's late summer, early summer he was in the lead and here he is again. so we go forward. >> the summer of trump not over. ron allen, thanks so much for that report. joining us now to break it all down, rebecca bird and john mccormick from blood berg politics. his latest piece explores the science behind trump mania.
donald trump, he was very giddy today, rebecca. he was able to show for the cameras that he got on the rnc plane, he came to new york to solicit this pledge from donald trump. we know that donald trump is pledging to run as a republican, seemingly putting the stake through the heart of a possible independent bid at some point. this is not like a legally binding document. in terms of ballot access, this is a much easier path for donald trump to go on. >> exactly, luke. this is why we see trump signing this agreement today. it's not as you mentioned legally binding. if he had any political reason to at some point need to renege on this agreement, he could do so without any major implications except maybe a political implication to that. but it is -- it's really another win for donald trump. i mean, we have seen him time and again back the republican
party into a corner. they probably thought by circulating this agreement to the candidates that they would be boxing him in in a sense, but as you mentioned, not legally binding. he could renege on this agreement at any time as it suits him. maybe it will help rnc donors and members to sleep a little better at night for the time being. as one campaign said to me, it's really not worth the paper it's written on. it's a big win for trump to be able to say, look at me being this magnanimous candidate and taking this giant step. >> it takes away some of the foder that the other campaigns had saying he wasn't serious, he wasn't a real republican. he's sort of doubling down on it. john, in terms of trump and the degree of seriousness now being applied to his candidacy, he's also releasing policy papers, he's made some key hires in very important states in the primary
process. is this trump seeing his appeal, oh, my gosh, i might actually be able to win this thing, i better double down and get serious about campaigning and becoming a respected figure within the party? >> that shows the republican base is taking him seriously. so he's trying to present himself as a serious candidate. i think today was probably more a moment of high political theater the weekend before labor day. remembered when the history books are written on the 2016 campaign. it is a nice thing. it was something that he wanted to get off the table. it was something that the rnc wanted to get off the table before the next debate out in california in a couple weeks. >> one thing you wrote in your recent article which i think is completely accurate, everything that conventional wisdom says would torpedo trump's candidacy is instead making it stronger. this was something people thought could torpedo his candidacy.
he's not a real republican. we thought the candidacy would be torpedoed when he made the comments about john mccain. when he made those comments about megyn kelly. this guy seemingly is able to escape everything in the past would take out another type of candidate. how is he able to do that? >> he's really defying conventional political wisdom. the rules of political physics don't seem to apply to him. i have a footnote on that. bloomberg politics, we do the iowa poll. i spent the first half of my week sort of looking at the trump phenomena and writing about the i i electorate. what they like about him out in iowa is he's rich, he's independent. those are all things that normally would be, you know, negative for at least a republican candidate. so it's -- you know, he's defying -- he's just defying conventional wisdom at every
turn. today's moment, it's not a real contract. that said, mr. trump workings in the real estate industry, so i bet he's got some very good contract lawyers who could help him with this. >> yeah. i believe we have sound of trump saying what happens when people attack him, how they go down in the polls. can we play that? >> jeb bush is a very nice man. i think he's a very nice person. i think he's a very low energy person, and i don't think that's what the country needs. i hear that he's going to spend a lot of money on negative ads on me. honestly, look, he's getting the money from special interests. he's getting the money from lobbyists and his donors. and they're making him doing it because he's crashing in the polls. so far, everybody that's attacked me has gone down the tubes. lindsay graham. he was at 3%. now he's at zero. perry attacked me. now he's gegt out of the race.
>> so rebecca, i think that's the strength of the trump candaidacy saying i will not be bought. jeb bush is a special interest crowny bought out by all these corporations. i'm a self-funder. everyone else who attacks me, they seemingly lose all their support. this is a strong line for donald trump to run on. it i peels to conservatives that are very queasy about jeb bush because of dynasty politics. >> it absolutely does, luke. he's really playing from the arnold schwarzenegger play book. he used that wealth to say that he was incorruptible, that he couldn't be bought. and he ended up winning, of course. his advisor on that campaign is mike murphy who is running jeb bush's super pack now.
it's really very interesting to watch. >> only in america one could say. john, if you look at the recent monday moth poll, trump again in the lead. ben carson number two at 48%. you pointed out something i think is interesting. a problem for trump in a place like iowa are his religious credentials. you wrote, they are a potential area of vulnerability. 40% say christian conservative is a better label for them than tea party. business or yepted establishment republican or liberty movement. donald trump can't reference a verse in the bible that he likes. doesn't admit to feeling bad about sin and talking about that. this is one area that if other candidates wanted to exploit, they'd probably have a easier time doing itn