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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  September 6, 2015 9:00am-11:01am PDT

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that. yeeeeeah! new ensure active high protein. 16 grams of protein and 23 vitamins and minerals. all in 160 calories. ensure. take life in. new polls. the surprising results in two key battleground states. we'll examine what's behind the numbers. the growing refugee crisis overseas. europe is to divided on what to do. should the u.s. step in and help? the fight over religion and marriage equality. should the kentucky clerk be behind bars today or should she simply resign? a debate ahead. this may be unprecedented in high school football. what happens when players get upset at the referee over a call? high noon in the east.
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welcome to "weekends with alex witt." the nbc marist poll shows outsiders surging while establishment candidates struggling. in new hampshire, donald trump holds a 16-point lead with support from 28% of potential voters, his closest competitor is ohio governor john ceakasich 12% followed by ben carson and jeb bush. in iowa, trump holds a seven-point lead with support from 79% of voters. followed by carson at 22% and jeb bush at 6. meanwhile, there is a major shakeup on the democrats' side. bernie sanders beats hillary clinton for the first time in one of the big polls. he has an 11-point lead in new hampshire with nearly 50% of the vote. in iowa, however, clinton maintains her lead with an 11-point advantage over sanders. clinton is on the campaign trail in new hampshire this afternoon, one day after acknowledging her family paid a state department aide to may waintain her e-mail server. >> with respect to personal services he provided to me and
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my family, we obviously paid for those services. and did so because during a period of time we continued to need his technical assistance and i think that's in the public record. >> nbc's kristen welker is in newton, iowa, following the clinton campaign. kristen, with a good day to you, my friend, mrs. clinton cannot seem to put this issue behind her, can she? >> reporter: she's having a difficult time turning the painful, that is for sure, alex. one of the reasons is this drip, drip, drip factor. she did that extensive interview with our own andrea mitchell on friday and then we learned on saturday, just a day later, she had paid that aide. brian pag liango, to set up and maintain her private server. by the way, alex, that's the same aide who said he was going to plead the fifth and refuse to answer questions before a congressional committee about this very same issue. so that's one of the reasons that she is still struggling, having said that, her campaign says she wants to have a reset. she wants to move on.
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she will be courting the labor constituency over the labor day weekend here in iowa. as she attempts to do that, focusing on things like jobs and the economy. but there's no doubt that the e-mail controversy is taking a toll. you read the poll numbers. that has helped bernie sanders to have the surge that we have seen, as you said, he's now leading in new hampshire, according to our latest polling and catching up here in iowa. sanders, by the way, campaigning here in iowa all weekend. here's what he had to say about his surge. take a listen. >> i think the secretary's people are getting very nervous about the kind of energy and enthusiasm our campaign is bringing forth. the reason we are engendering enthusiasm and the reason we are engendering large crowds is because we have a very specific set of ideas and programs that take on the billionaire class. >> reporter: and by the way, the other factor contributing to the surge, alex, seems to be this real appetite for outsiders. that's part of what is fueling
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donald trump, who solidified his lead in this latest poll. just looking forward a little bit, this is going to be a very busy 48 hours, a lot of the candidates expected to be out and about, campaigning over the labor day weekend, and into tomorrow on labor day. a lot of eyes are going to be on vice president biden, as well. he's going to mark labor day in the battleground state of pennsylvania and continues to mull a race of his own. the clinton campaign watching that very closely, as well. alex? >> i can about imagine. can i ask quickly, do you have a sense of how worried the campaign is about bernie sanders? >> reporter: i think they're taking him very seriously, alex. they have said from the beginning that this is going to be a competitive campaign. but when they look at these numbers, they recognize that secretary clinton does have a real problem. she's got to retool the way she's been dealing with this e-mail issue. i think you're starting to see that. she's starting to hold more availabilities with reporters, for example. more aggressively answer some of these questions. but there's no doubt, they also acknowledge that he's tapping into this progressive part of
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the democratic party. and that is why she's focusing on some of those issues, as well, alex. >> from iowa. thank you so much, kristen welker. let's go to the head-to-head match-ups and get more of that. in iowa, donald trump beats hillary clinton by five points. jeb bush beats her by 11 points. trump, however, loses to vice president joe biden in iowa by four points. bush beats biden by two points. in new hampshire, hillary clinton beats donald trump by one point, losing to jeb bush by five points. biden also beats trump in new hampshire, but loses to bush by one point. you got all that straight? if you don't, let get straight to john harwood, "new york times" political reporter, he'll straighten it out. bernie sanders leading hillary clinton in new hampshire by a nine-point lead. and also closing the gap in iowa. is this draggi in the campaign about the e-mail issue or is there more to it? >> a lot more to it, alex. first of all, bernie sanders is running a very effective campaign. he's not taking cheap shots.
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it's all substance. and i think with the psychology of democrats now, they believe that they are now the majority party in presidential politics, and when a party feels it has the advantage, it is natural then for the most ideological elements of the party to say, hey, let's push our program unvarnished. let's don't compromise, let's don't go for a lesser version of it. different psychology than when bill clinton ran when republicans were the majority party. second of all, i think hillary clinton, yes, the e-mail controversy is hurting her. it's one bad headline after the other. a bad set of of coverage. also republicans pounding her every day. hillary clinton has stepped out of the nonpartisan role she occupied as secretary of state, just like she stepped out of first lady to run for the senate. and then ran for the presidency. when you get in the partisan arena, you see your numbers start to suffer and you become a more polarizing figure than when
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you were in a non-partisan situation. >> do you think it has to do with energy either from the candidate or the supporters? bernie sanders, look at those huge crowds he's drawing. >> i do. look, bernie sanders is, as i said, he's running a fervent and very effective operation right now, stressing issues, not cheap shots, not lesser kinds of topics. he's really going at the core economic issues. and hillary clinton is a person who, as a retail campaigner, is not a natural. okay? bill clinton is a natural. hillary clinton is not. she's cautious, she's reserved, she's not so great in unscripted campaign events. but she has significant strength and she's still the dominant favorite to be the nominee. >> hillary clinton is in iowa today. let's take a listen to how she handled the e-mail question from a reporter in new hampshire yesterday. >> i feel strongly that, you know, the facts are the facts.
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and we've been repeating them over and over again. we will continue to do so, and i would very much urge anybody who is asked to cooperate to do so. >> so you just mentioned in essence her delivery. is it that the public is not buying the facts as they're presented? >> well, democrats are largely buying the facts. her numbers are still quite good among democrats when you look at how they assess her. that's different from when -- how you stack her up against bernie sanders. and i think it is striking that bernie sanders has got that lead in new hampshire, both with -- when you include joe biden on the ballot and a larger margin when you don't include joe biden. that says that people are not terribly enthusiastic about hillary clinton, even as they know she's the dominant figure in the party and front runner for the nomination. they're really giving a spin with this alternative in bernie sanders and he's taking full advantage. >> john, i'm going to talk with rnc communications director sean spicer in a minute and i'm going
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ask him this too. if donald trump continues to lead the pack as the months wear on, is the gop going to have to coalesce around him, or might it be conventional wisdom he's somehow going to implode? >> well, the conventional wisdom is that he is going to ultimately implode. that is what most political strategists expect. very few people expect him to be the republican nominee. on the hypothetical you mentioned, if he becomes the republican nominee, yes, the party regulars ought to coalesce and will face the challenge of coalescing behind him. i also think it's possible, given some of the positions that he's articulated, alex, both on immigration, and on taxes where he says the rich ought to pay more, that goes against core donors and core economic interests in the republican party. you could have a situation where a -- an enterprising republican candidate decides to run third party against donald trump. you know, donald trump signed
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this pledge to support the republican ticket, should he not be the nominee. but it's possible, given the nature of what donald trump is saying, that if he proves serious enough to win the nomination, some republicans would bolt the party themselves and try to redefine the party in a different way than donald trump would. >> john, quickly looking ahead to next week and the debate, gop debate, do you think the field is going to narrow down after that? how critical is that debate? >> i do think that over time, the winnowing that used to be done by events like the iowa straw poll, is going to be done by these debates. so you are going to have the cnn debate, people are going to continue to sift through candidates, decide if some simply don't have enough life to keep going, both financially and in terms of getting media attention. i'm thinking about people like chris christie who is struggling to hang on. rand paul is having a difficult time right now. we'll see whether carley fiorina can match her strong performance
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in the small so-called kids' table debate the first time now that she's on the big stage. but i do think that as we get down the fall, and this gauntlet of debates goods through, including ours on cnbc on october 28th, these are going to serve some of that winnowing function. and i think certainly by when we get to christmas time, new years day, you're going to have a smaller field than it is now. >> john harwood, as always, thanks so much. developing now overseas, police used batons to beat back some 300 migrants protesting on the greek island of less bose after thousands of migrants mostly fleeing wars in the middle east protested lengthy procedures, just to get to athens. nbc's bill neely joins me on the phone. bill thanks for joining us. greece is among several european nations scrambling to cope with all the flow of migrants coming their way. is greece having more pressure put on them than other nations at this point? >> reporter: well, in one sense,
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yes, alex. because it is the first point in europe that these refugees come to. for example, the island that i'm orang on, the island of lesbos, has 17,000 migrants living in streets and makeshift camps with very few facilities. the island can't cope. the u.n. here is now calling for an emergency evacuation of those refugees who are more or less trapped here. and there were clashes today and for the past couple of days between riot police and migrants. as you said, several people injured. police using batons to beat back iran's 300 migrants, basically protesting at the length of time it's taking to give them travel permits and get them on boats to the greek mainland. but it's taking that amount of time, because the police simply don't have enough manpower here to protest this wave of humanity that has washed up on the shores
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of this very small island. so yes, greece is suffering, but i suppose no less than, for example, other countries like lebanon, which has taken in 2 million syrian refugees, or jordan, bursting with refugees. so the smaller and poorer the country, the more difficult it is for them to deal with this. and that is in part what is motivating, for example, the hungarian prime minister to say some of the things that he has been saying and for hungary to adopt such a hard line. >> bill, let me ask quickly. yesterday you talked about the lack of presence of aid and relief agencies there. did anything change in the last 24 hours? >> reporter: no. not really. i think that's why the u.n. is calling for an emergency evacuation. they say the situation here is simply unmanageable. it's a greek responsibility to begin with. the greeks aren't managing to cope and provide enough food and water for all these people. so the u.n. wants boats to come
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in and take these people off the island, into athens, and let them go on their journey north to germany, sweden and all the other countries they really want to go to. because they don't want to stay here. >> okay. nbc's bill neely on the island of lesbos, thank you so much. we'll have questions for the u.n. about the migrant crisis coming up. i'll speak with melissa fleming on the exact extent of the crisis and what role the u.s. might play, if any. donald trump remains the front runner in the race for the white house, but the gop is still trying to bring him down. that's next. ♪ [announcer]when we make beyond natural dry dog and cat foods. we start with real meat as the first ingredient. we leave out corn,wheat and soy. and we own where our dry food is made-100 percent! can other brands say all that? for nutrition you can trust and your pet will enjoy... does your food go beyond?
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signed the pledge. >> yeah! >> well, that was republican presidential front-runner donald trump, announcing he signed the rnc pledge to support the party's nominee and not run as an independent. of course, in the world of trump, there is no doubt that he will be that nominee. but is the gop going to let that happen? joining me now is sean spicer, communications director for the republican national committee. hi, sean. good to see you. >> good morning, alex. >> let's talk about the polls, because he's leading them. he is drawing the big crowds. and on every channel, he's appearing, he's on every newspaper, should donald trump be the republican nominee? >> well, i don't mean to pour cold water on this, but at the end of the day, this is really up to voters. we're going to get more voters involved in the process than ever before in the new rules changes so more people and states will have an opportunity to vote. ultimately, it's up to the voters. it's not up to the rnc, not up to anyone in washington. it's going to be up to the individual voters in all of the states, the activists who go out, put signs up, who go to the
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polls, to make that decision, who is going to be our standard bearer in 2016. >> okay. that's all true. but there are some big players behind the scenes, and they're weighing in on this. the "new york times" i know you saw the article, very interesting today on trump. and he writes, quote, quiet conversations have begun in recent weeks among some of the republican party's biggest donors, all aimed at a single question, how can we stop donald trump. republican strategists and donors assembled focus groups about mr. trump. they have amassed dossiers on universal health care and taxes and a super pac to convince conservatives mr. trump is not within of one of them. is there a quiet campaign to stop mr. trump? >> of maybe. again, i don't mean to sound -- to back out of the question, but at the rnc, our job isn't to worry about that. it's to let each of the campaigns run their own campaign. our job is to make sure the infrastructure, the data
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infrastructure, the political infrastructure, the ground game, is ready to go to whomever the nominee is. we don't get involved in the back and forth between candidates. either supporting them or, you know, going against another one. that's up to each campaign, and to the various donors and activists out there around the country. >> okay. how about the new nbc news marist poll out there. they found trump has a 16% lead in new hampshire. in iowa, a 7 point lead. ben carson, a close second. do you read this as a rejection of gop orthodoxy? >> no. two things. one, it's very early. meaning that, you know, labor day typically kicks off the political season. so let's see what happens. mentioned i think the next couple debates are rather important. but a general federation on both sides. you look at the rise of bernie sanders, i think there is a rather frustration throughout this country what's happening in washington. and so one, i think some of the outside candidates, carley
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fiorina, ben carson, trump, are sort of benefitting from that. when you look at the rest of the field, when ted cruz, chris christie, jeb bush, scott walker, rand paul, they're all talking about how to make the system work better, how to make washington more effective and how they'll do a better job. so it's a theme that frankly runs through all of the top 17 candidates. >> okay. but while trump is ahead among the gop in new hampshire and iowa, if you look at the general match-up numbers between jeb bush and clinton, jeb bush fares better, beating clinton and biden in iowa, also in new hampshire. might that be why the establishment fears donald trump's candidacy that he can't win a general election? >> no, you look at the same poll, trump is beating hillary in iowa, tied with her in new hampshire. you look among all of the candidates, frankly even those who benefit from the same level of name recognition, our candidates from up and down the ballot are actually either tying or beating her in each of the
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battleground states. you look at michigan and pennsylvania, florida, hillary clinton is damaged goods, and i think that's why the more important topic in my mind is the cratering that her campaign is facing. the rise of bernie sanders, he's up now nine in new hampshire, down ten in july. you look at the lead that he's cut her lead in half in iowa. and vice president biden, a gentleman who isn't even in the race is getting anywhere from 15 to 20% support without any campaign being run on his behalf or officially entering the race. that to me shows tremendous weakness for hillary clinton. i think if i were a democrat right now, i would be very, very concerned with what the brand of their standard bearer is looking like. >> okay. but flip side of that. do you worry then that vice president biden gets into the race, that's your worst nightmare? >> no. i think vice president biden is -- has been served this country ably, but i think his policies and history have long since -- he first ran for president in 1988. i think the country is ready for
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a new direction. i think what they're -- biden would not be the answer to this. we have tremendous research on his positions, on his past statements. i feel very confident about our ability to beat everybody, including hillary. >> okay. let's talk about the hue hewitt interview, sean. was this a gotcha interview or might it have been a fair exposure of gaps in trump's knowledge? >> look, i've said it before. i think all of our candidates -- i don't think it's a gotcha. it's a fair question to ask somebody. i think there is, you know, 200 world leaders. factions within each country. i think if you want to quiz somebody in their understanding of foreign policy, domestic policy, health care, the economy, those are all fair questions. but i think there needs to be a sign of understanding that no candidate, including the incumbent president, the vice president, the secretary of state, can be well-versed in every world leader, every faction, and so that's just part of the process, is that people are going to -- i think not know
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everything, and that's not -- should not come as any surprise. >> okay. want to look at next week's debate real quick. cnn adjusted the rules for an 11th spot on stage, likely going to carley fiorina. did rnc make that change? >> we did have discussions. i think we did have discussions with them, trying to ensure that cnn, that the top ten or the top -- the main stage they had accurately reflected the current state of the race. cnn came to us with some ideas. they asked us what we thought of them. and we said we thought they did a phenomenal job of ensuring that the amended criteria accurately reflected the current state of the race. >> okay. sean spicer, thanks for this discussion here on msnbc. appreciate it. see you again. thanks. >> happy labor day. >> you too. the crisis in europe. what we have seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg. i'll talk with a u.n. official about that potential scope of the tragedy and where the u.s. might help. ♪
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from the top of the rock here in new york city, a gorgeous, sunny day out there, but not the same everywhere. meteorologist veronica johnson is joining me with all of the weather headlines. hi to you, veronica. >> hello, hello. a little bit of everything for you. we've got rip currents in the east. we've got storms in the midwest. and we've got some heat building back to parts of the country. take a look at this picture. this is out of nags head, north carolina, the atlantic beaches, areas like north toward delaware. we've had some moderate rip currents. yesterday, today. that will be the case also tomorrow on labor day. so if you're headed to the beach, heads up for the atlantic area. meanwhile, another zone we're watching right here, minnesota. down toward iowa. minneapolis, minnesota, omaha, all seeing some very strong and severe thunderstorms today. they'll have everything from hail to high winds there. possibly even some river
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flooding. and the risk of that will hopefully diminish this evening. but the focus then for the east is back on to the heat. while we're enjoying some relatively comfortable conditions today after last week's heat, things are going way back up again from 80s today, the mid 80s to around 90 degrees tomorrow. really it's the northeast areas of the south. look at san antonio tomorrow, 100, 95 in st. louis. a pattern change for much of the east by the mid part of september. alex? >> sweater weather at some point. thank you, veronica. the fate of thousands of migrants on the line. what is the u.s. doing to help them? that's next. verizon now has one simple plan. just pick a size. small, medium, large and extra large. if you need less data, pick small. if you need more, go with extra large-- a whopping 12 gigs for $80 a month plus $20 per phone. pick a size. change it up anytime.
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i tried depend last weekend. it really made the difference between a morning around the house and getting a little exercise. only depend underwear has new confidence core technology for fast absorption and the smooth, comfortable fit of fit-flex™ protection. get a coupon at welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." the growing humanitarian crisis. thousands of refugees from the war-torn middle east are making their way to safety, many welcomed as they arrived in germany this morning. germany has taken in more than 7,000 so far. the migrants have mostly made
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their way from turkish refugee camps into greece, then hungary and finally on to germany and other western european nations. melissa fleming, head spokesperson for the office of the united nations high commissioner for refugees joins us from vienna. melissa, with a welcome to you. first up, in terms of numbers, how many migrants do you believe are heading now to europe for refuge? >> well, i mean, we have a situation where the war in syria is driving more and more people. we have indications that people are just really fed up. they don't see an end to the war. the conditions in the neighboring countries hosting 4 million refugees are getting worse. our organization is underfunded. so it's no wonder that thousands of people are deciding we're going to go seek refuge in europe. every day, thousands more actually risk their lives across the mediterranean and arrive on europe's shores and make their way to northern europe, germany,
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austria, sweden, where they believe they can finally have a safe, decent place to restart their lives. >> you know, melissa, if we look at just the numbers alone in the middle east, those that are seeking refuge from the syrian civil war, they are staggering, those numbers. more than 4 million people have been forced from their homes in that country. most of them ending up in these refugee camps in the neighboring countries. turkey itself has taken in 2 million. lebanon more than a million. jordan, 600,000. what kind of toll is this taking on the neighboring countries? >> well, it's overwhelming, the neighboring countries. if you take lebanon, it only has a population of 4 million. and it's taking in more than 1 million. so if you can -- it would be as if 80 million refugees would come to the united states. so it's a huge proportion. and what we have been saying is, countries like lebanon, like jordan, like turkey, who have taken in the vast majority of the refugees have not been supported enough. when i've traveled to lebanon, i
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visit towns and cities and villages and there is not a single town, city orvillelage that is not host to refugees. some have more refugees than citizens. so if the support would come in to lebanon and to unhcr, trying to help people in the region, people might be less likely to take the risky journeys to reach europe and we would be less likely to see the kind of chaos we're experiencing today in central eastern. >> you know, melissa, when you go to those cities, it's one thing to say you go and what you see, but i think people may not understand exactly how these communities are affected. what is it like there? >> well, frankly, you know, you come to a town, and you'll see people camped out in the outskirts of the towns in the fields, on the edges of fields in makeshift tents. you'll see people who have taken over abandoned buildings. in certain countries in jordan
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and turkey, there are refugee camps, where unhcr and in the case of turkey, the tushish government, does put in decent place to say live. but it is in a desert. it's not a place that anyone would want to stay for more than months, let alone years. and the problem is -- the real problem is the war continues to rage and get more complex and violent in certify i can't. and, you know, most of the population is on the run. >> yeah. and when people are living in those tent camps you see outside of cities and towns, how do they even get food and water? i mean, there's only a finite amount there. is more being shipped in, or is everybody doing with less? >> yeah. well, that's the thing. i mean, these are countries that themselves are struggling with their own, you know, poverty and security situations. what unhcr, my organization and
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its partners, the world food program, unicef and others are struggling to help them. the problem is, we're not getting the funding that we need to allow the people there to live a decent life. and it really breaks our hearts when i have to talk to parents who tell us that their child is working in the fields or begging on the streets instead of going to school, because they can't make ends meet. and this is because we are not getting enough funding in to help them. and many are saying, you know what, i don't see any future here, i don't see any chance to go back to syria. most of them want to go back to syria. so actually, i'm going to risk my life with my family and try to get to europe to see if i can restart my life there. >> i know, melissa, the u.s. has taken in about 1,500 syrian refugees. we have the "wall street journal" reporting another 300 or so expected next month. is the u.s. doing its fair share? >> well, the u.s. is our biggest
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donor. and we are extremely grateful to the financial support that the u.s. has been giving unhcr and the other partners. and we call on the rest of the world to use the example of the u.s. generosity in terms of financial. now the resettlement of syrian refugees into the u.s. has been going a bit -- you know, slowly. there is real strict security procedures in the u.s. resettlement process. but they have promised that they will be looking at about 1,000 a month, and that the numbers will increase and more and more syrians will have a chance to restart their lives in the united states. and we're very grateful to that. >> all right, melissa fleming. many thanks for your time on this vital issue. i appreciate it. safe travels throughout europe. kentucky county clerk kim davis is spending her fourth day behind bars today. yesterday supporters held a rally where she's being held for
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refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. let's go to sara dahloff. where is the story today? >> reporter: well, alex, it's relatively quiet today outside the detention center. a handful of protesters and demonstrators so far. compare that to yesterday when hundreds gathered on the lawn, prayed together for her release. davis' husband is scheduled to meet with her in jail today, this afternoon. he's been able to talk to her on the phone previously, so she is doing well, reading the bible to pass the time. she is expecting a high-profile visit later this week. mike huckabee expected to come, stop by the jail, meet with her, and hold a rally on tuesday. her supporters looking eagerly forward to that. all of this comes just days after davis' deputy clerks began issuing marriage licenses to happy same-sex couples. i talked to one of those couples who says they are planning a small wedding and party with close friends and family, a
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relatively low-key affair following a high-profile fight. alex? >> all right, sara dahloff, thank you for that update. let's get more on that and the campaign trail. i'm joined by former governor and former dnc chairman, howard dean. i got that. i just got that out. clinton black well, senior fellow at the family research council, served as secretary of state for ohio and at the center for housing and urban development. thanks for joining me. >> thanks. >> good to be with you. >> you just heard sara dahloff mentioning mike huckabee planning on seeing kim davis in jail tuesday. i want to take a listen to him in a new interview today. here's that. >> you've got democrats who ignored the law when it was the law to have traditional marriage, gavin newsome in san francisco as mayor performed same-sex weddings even though it was illegal. did he get put in jail? he most certainly did not. you have barack obama and eric holder when he was attorney
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general, they ignored the rulings of doma. did they get put in jail for ignoring the law? they most certainly did not. so when is it that liberals get to choose which laws they support, but a county clerk in kentucky, who acting on her christian faith is criminalized, jailed, without bail, because she acted on her conscience and according to the only law in front of her. >> governor, how do you respond to that? >> that's just politics. there's two very different situations. when president obama chose to do what he did, and gavin newsome, the courts eventually ruled. and, in fact, same-sex marriages in california were not recognized until the courts and the legislature and the voters and the supreme court did. so the -- this is not about same-sex marriage. this is about whether you have a duty to uphold the laws you are required to hold up, based on your office. that's what this is about. and this woman has decided she's not going to uphold the law that
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she's sworn to uphold when she became a county clerk. i think it's too bad she's in jail, but it's her choice. >> well, ken davis claims, as you know, issuing the licenses to same-sex couples violates her religious convictions. >> i have no doubt it does. i think that's fine. >> but ken, should her religious rights supersede same couple supreme court validated rights to marry? >> i think the four dissenting justices pointed out the fact this is going to be part of a process of sorting out what was contradictions that sort of came out of turning 2,000 years of western civilization and 230-odd years of american law on its head. there was an abrupt stop in the process that was -- had the -- at the very basic level of america, where people were working this through state by state. we had a traditional fee at.
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i think the governor is right. this is -- this is not about same-sex marriage. it is about how do we accommodate religious freedom, which, in fact, even the five justices that turned this issue or marriage on its head and redefined it, said we would, in fact, protect religious liberty. what i respect is that mrs. davis has pursued this, understanding she is willing to take the risk, associate -- and the consequences associated with acting on her conscience. i don't think the governor would say that this is unamerican or, in fact, something that should be, you know, dismissed as, you know, criminal behavior. >> okay. except that, ken, she took an oath of office as an elected official to carry out the laws. if she has this much conviction,
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why doesn't she just make a stand by resigning? >> well, but you -- you asked the governor the question earlier, and he, in fact, dismissed this as being political, not the same as what newsome did out in california. well, the fact of the matter is, that was the law of the land. he got out in front of the law of the land. the five justices then, in fact, gave him support. but when he committed that act, it was against his sworn duty to uphold the constitution, because he, in fact, thought the constitution was wrong. so this is not different. the same is the fact that the obama administration has turned its blind eye to not only immigration policy, it has turned a blind eye to the fact that there are cities out there that are ignoring marijuana use federal law. and so all of a sudden are this
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is a dual standard. that's why i focused on how this is being handled by mrs. davis and her lawyers. she, in fact, is doing what many conscientious objectors have done. muhammad ali did it, she is doing it. >> i want to talk 2016 and politics. hillary clinton spoke to the press in new hampshire yesterday about this ongoing e-mail controversy. here is part of that. >> we have encouraged everyone to cooperate. i feel strongly that, you know, the facts are the facts. and we've been repeating them over and over again. we will continue to do so, and i would very much urge anybody who is asked to cooperate to do so. >> so the facts are facts, it does not seem to be working. the facts do not appear to be clear to everyone. you think it's an amount of time, they don't need to change tactics? >> it will never work for the right wing. this is what they do. the truth is, there is no there
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there. no law broken, no policy broken. she, in fact, has told the truth. she did not release or accept any classified information that was marked that way at the time. the state department is now reclassifying things, which they often did. this is pac journalism and right wing propaganda. news organizations like the new york times as they did when they sold iraq to us. it will eventually go away, because there's no truth to it. >> okay. but howard, what about the effect? i know you were in new hampshire this week. you were campaigning for clinton. you look at this new nbc news marist poll out today, finds her favorability rating there is 69% among democratic voters, but her favorability among all voters, just 36%. and she has nearly identical numbers in iowa. can someone who is already well-known by just about every american turn around low ratings like that? >> sure can. because they were up around the 60s and 70s before. so if they can go down like this, they can go back up like this.
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and i think they will. and i think hillary clinton will be the next president of the united states. >> all right. ken, not if donald trump has anything to say about it. the numbers only entrenched his lead. now 16 points ahead of the pac in new hampshire. would you, and would the family research council constituency, would you support him if he wins the republican nomination, ken? >> well, we're still kicking the tires. the fact of the matter is, i've seen remarkable transformation on core social issues before. whether it was president ronald reagan's evolution to his strong pro life position or other candidates in -- as they came around to supporting natural marriage. so this is a vetting process. we're still kicking the tires. mr. trump has an opportunity to become -- to come before a large gathering of social conservatives and christian
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activists later this month at the value voter summit in washington, d.c. and, you know, i think people will continue to take his temperature and look at him as they are looking at other folks who want to be the standard bearer for the republican party. as it results to hillary clinton, she is no longer inevitable. you know, however this shakes out legally, she, in fact, has been damaged politically and bernie sanders is the first to know that. >> we should say this, though. it's a long way until november 2016. that is for sure. which means we'll talk with you both again. gentlemen, good to see you. thanks. you use it every day. but are you getting the most out of it? how you can increase your home's wi-fi capabilities. i love the jetta. but what about a deal? terry, stop! it's quite alright... you know what? we want to make a deal with you. we're twins, so could you give us two for the price of one? come on, give us a deal. look at how old i am.
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>> you can unscrew them and plug in powered an tannas that allows electricity to flow through. >> reporter: or change the router's bandwidth. chris clackum, nbc news. >> a former missouri state senator is sent to prison. he shows his story, next. shoots and burns its way into your day, i hear you. to everyone with this pain that makes ordinary tasks extraordinarily painful, i hear you. make sure your doctor hears you too! i hear you because i was there when my dad suffered with diabetic nerve pain. if you have diabetes and burning, shooting pain in your feet or hands, don't suffer in silence! step on up and ask your doctor about diabetic nerve pain. tell 'em cedric sent you.
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from politics to prison, not an enviable career path. that is the story of jeff smith, former member of the missouri state senate. in twi2009 pleaded guilty regarg an election law violation and served a year and a day in a federal prison. smith has written a book, "mr. smith goes to prison." irony there. jeff smith joins me now. thank you so much for being here. i'm curious when the reality of oh, my god, i'm going to prison set in. was it when you had that, what's it the fresh fish walk? is that what it's called, when you're approaching prison? >> it was actually a little before that, alex. it was right the minute i found out that my best friend had been
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wearing a wire for about two months. and at that moment, i figured i was pretty much done. >> yeah, i can about imagine. what was that like, when you did that first walk? i understand you were shown a video that talked to you about life in prison and how careful you had to be. >> that's true. that first walk is almost exactly like it is in the movies, alex. you're walking up a compound and there's tons of people on both sides, yelling at you. i didn't understand what they were saying. i later realized that they were yelling the numbers of the jurisdiction that you come from. so they're asking, you know, 075, 044. i was in 044. that meant i dpram came from the eastern district of missouri. they're trying to identify who is going to be in their crowd, people they feel compelled to protect. yeah. >> and, yes, you alluded to the video. they show a video when you come in for orientation that contains a man who was sexually assaulted in prison. who is advising you not to ever
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accept any sweets from anyone, which is something he did inadvertently and ended up being prey for his predatory bunky. >> as if accepting those sweets was tanemount to saying, okay, i'm open to this. anyway, pretty scary stuff, i can imagine. let's get right to where you are now. it's been about five years since your release. your transition to civilian life, it was probably easier than a lot of those -- your celly or anybody else. >> much easier than most people, alex. i had great support in the community when i reentered society. i had hundreds of people who wrote letters to the judge on my behalf, requesting clemency, who stood up for me. and i have a phd from a great university. and i have financial savings. conversely, most of the people i was locked up with had a ged they earned in prison, didn't have any references to use on a job application. didn't even know how to point and click -- use a computer at all, because most had been locked up for 10, 15 years.
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so we do almost nothing in our prisons in this country to rehabilitate. and to prepare people to succeed upon reentry. and that's really a great shame. >> you know what's interesting, in addition to teaching, apparently you lecture on business. you gave a ted talk, entitled lessons in business from prison. what did you learn that apply to say life outside the walls? >> what i learned, alex, there is tremendous untapped entrepreneurial potential in our prisons. the conventional wisdom is that prisoners are totally taken care of, three shots and a cot. that's not true. most have no financial savings at all. and on the inside, you have to provide your own -- you have to purchase your own shampoo, soap, deodorant, the basics of personal hygiene, let aknown loan anything that might provide comfort. you've got to figure out how to hustle to survive. running a barber shop, doing drawings, portraits for other prisoners. i saw incredible entrepreneurial aptitude. most of piece guys were
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successful drug dealers on the outside. we need to do more to nurture that entrepreneurial potential while people are in prison. when they come out, most employers won't hire them anyway. >> they have to get the background checks and that will do most of them in. jeff smith, a fascinating book. mr. smith goes to prison. and i wish you the best of luck. thank you so much for your candor. i appreciate your time. >> thanks for having me on, alex. encouraging signs for vice president biden, if approximate he chooses to run. that's next. i've got the solution. well, we have 30 years of customer records. our cloud can keep them safe and accessible anywhere. my drivers don't have time to fill out forms. tablets. keep it all digital. we're looking to double our deliveries. our fleet apps will find the fastest route. oh, and your boysenberry apple scones smell about done. ahh, you're good. i like to bake. add new business services with at&t and get up to $500 in total savings.
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hey, everyone. welcome to "weekends with alex witt" just past 1:00 p.m. in the east. new nbc news marist poll numbers released a short time ago shows outsiders surging while established candidates are struggling. in new hampshire, donald trump holds a 16-point lead with support from 28% of potential voters. his closest competitor is ohio governor john kasich at 12%, polled by ben carson at 11% and
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jeb bush at 8%. in iowa, 29% of potential voters followed by carson at 22% and again jeb bush at 6%. meanwhile, there is a major shakeup on the democratic side. bernie sanders beats hillary clinton for the first time in one of the big polls. he has an 11-point lead in new hampshire with nearly 50% of the vote. in iowa, however, clinton maintains her lead with an 11-point advantage over sanders. clinic oh ton is on the campaign trail in iowa today, just a day after acknowledging her family paid a state department aide to maintain her e-mail server. >> with respect to personal services that he provided to me and my family, we obviously paid for those services. and did so because during a period of time, we continued to need his technical assistance, and i think that's in the public record. >> nbc's kristen welker in newton, iowa, for us this afternoon.
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kristen, mrs. clinton and the e-mail issue, they just can't seem to break apart. >> reporter: no, it's true. and she is trying to hit the restart button, alex. she's going to try to do it over this labor day weekend, by the way. she'll be courting the labor constituency here in iowa. but you're right, it continues to dog her. in part because you have this drip, drip, drip of information. you just mentioned the latest drip, this revelation she and her family paid brian pag liango to set up and maintain her private server, the same aide who said he would be pleading the fifth, refusing to testify before a congressional committee about this very same issue. and that's one of the things that is leading to her poll numbers dropping. and, of course, you're seeing bernie sanders' poll numbers surge. it's in part because of what's happening with clinton, but also this anti establishment outsider sentiment he's really tapping into. he has been campaigning here in iowa this weekend, and he talked about his surge. take a listen to what he had to say.
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>> i think the secretary's people are getting very nervous about the kind of energy and enthusiasm our campaign is bringing forth. the reason we are engendering enthusiasm and the reason we are engendering large crowds is because we have a very specific set of ideas and programs that take on the billionaire class. >> reporter: alex, labor day is really the fall kickoff to the campaign season. so clinton is hoping to tap into that energy to try to turn the page. she'll be campaigning here in iowa today, and tomorrow. but she is not going to be alone. this is going to be a very busy weekend of campaigning, a lot of the candidates are going to be out marking the labor day holiday tomorrow, certainly. one of them will be vice president joe biden. he will be in the battleground state of pennsylvania. he, of course, has not announced his candidacy, but certainly considering it. and it's something that all of the candidates on both sides of the aisle are watching very closely. back to you. >> kristen, we're running late, so i'm going keep this very
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short. thank you big-time nonetheless, thanks. vice president biden yet to make up his mind whether he'll enter the 2016 race but his favorability numbers in the marist poll show an advantage over hillary clinton and the key early states. joining me from the white house, nbc news' halle jackson. good day to you, halle. what are you seeing in terms of numbers? >> good afternoon, alex. you said it. there does appear to be an advantage for joe biden over hillary clinton when you get down into this new nbc news marist poll. overall, if you look at democrats, in two key early states, in iowa and new hampshire, you're seeing both bernie sanders and hillary clinton are still in the lead. you see the numbers there, stunning ones from bernie sanders in new hampshire. but look at the favorability here. if we look at the favorability for joe biden among democrats in new hampshire, you see that he's at 76%. clinton at 69%. bernie sanders still leads in that regard in new hampshire, but that's certainly an interesting figure, and it's the same story in iowa. when you look, bernie sanders,
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65. hillary clinton 67. biden with a 74% favorability rating. folks see him in a positive light there. so definitely some intriguing numbers, alex. but let's not forget the obvious here. kristen welker just pointed out vice president joe biden is not in this race at this point, has not made a decision whether to run, hasn't faced the same kind of media scrutiny hillary clinton has or bernie sanders has, either. alex? >> you make a good point with that last point. all of them, in fact. thank you so much, halle jackson from the white house. head-to-head match-ups from the new nbc marist poll. in iowa, donald trump beats hillary clinton by five points but jeb bush beats her by 11 points. bush beats biden by two. in new hampshire, hillary clinton beats donald trump by one point. very close there. but loses to jeb bush by five points. biden also beats trump in new hampshire but loses to bush, very close margin, just one point. for more analysis, let's bring
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in rebecca berg, political reporter from real clear politics. also josh barrow, msnbc contributor domestic correspondent. good to see you. josh, i'm curious your headline from listening to those numbers. >> well, i actually think the headline in these polls is the complete collapse of scott walker. scott walker led the poll in july with 19% in iowa. now has 5%. he's down to 4% in new hampshire. and he was supposed to be the candidate that was acceptable to both the republican establishment and to the insurgent base that wanted a more conservative faith for the party. instead with some stumbles over the last few months and with donald trump being frankly much more interesting than scott walker, he's really very much faded away. >> yeah. you make a very good point to the fact that we didn't even mention him in a lot of our details, didn't compare the graphics, because it's been such a precipitous fall. rebecca, is that something he can come back from? >> great question, alex. a lot of it hinges on his performance in the next debate.
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many were disappointed in how he did in the first republican debate last month. it will also hinge on how effective is the spending we see out of his campaign. we have seen john kasich do very, very well in new hampshire right now in this latest poll. he's second to donald trump. and the large part of that is because he has spent between 4 and $5 million there already. so spending helps. scott walker is starting to spend money in the early states and we'll see if it makes a difference. >> how about this? i want to ask this to both of you. the fact that bush is doing better than donald trump in the head-to-head match-ups in both states, yet clearly leading in the gop field is donald trump. if you're a republican, are you concerned? >> i think that this shows how serious donald trump is as a candidate. i mean, i think republicans are certainly going to be concerned, and especially because when you look at these head-to-head match-ups, donald trump is now beating hillary clinton in iowa. i think that's the first time we've seen this. and so the argument that jeb bush and some of the more conventional candidates have been making on the republican
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side is that it's an electability argument. he has said he's the strongest candidate to go up against hillary clinton, and if we see donald trump continue to beat hillary clinton in these head-to-head match-ups, that electability case goes out the window for him. >> thank you for clarifying for me. i posed to wrong, you fixed it. your reaction, the fact that jeb bush beats hillary clinton but you've got donald trump leading. >> well, i would say a couple things. one is that donald trump's favorability numbers have improved a lot over the last couple months, especially among republicans. so he's actually been able, even though he's so well-known and people already have impression of him to change the way people think about him over the last few months. he looks like a buffoon because often he is kind of a buffoon. but he's also speaking to voters in a way that connects with people on a lot of issues. i think donald trump would say there is room for him to further improve numbers because he has shown an ability to do that. and general's favorable numbers don't look that good across the general electorate. he's significantly under water, less popular than hillary clinton is, who already is not that popular herself.
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so i think the question is, you know, where might those numbers move over the next what is it, 15 months, if donald trump were to become the nominee. he might be able to convince people he is more presidential than they thought, because he's already convinced quite a lot of people of that. >> these poll numbers are coming a day after the back and forth between donald trump and hillary clinton. and here's what she said about him at an event in new hampshire yesterday. take a listen. >> mr. trump insults and dismisses women. he's been throwing a lot of heat my way. that's fine. as jeannie said, i can take it. but i do -- i do find a lot of what he says pretty ridiculous. for example, he recently said i don't have a clue about women's health issues. really? >> well, last night trump tweeted, hillary said such nasty
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things about me. read directly off her teleprompter, but there was no emotion, no truth, just can't read speeches. okay. is there a winner in that back and forth, rebecca? >> well, this back and forth actually, alex, really illustrates the difference between these two candidate dayses, right you have donald trump, whose candidacy is light on policy, all about emotion and appealing to people's urge for entertainment, and hillary clinton whose candidacy is all about her policy credentials, all about her experience. but even a democratic operative in a "new york times" story this week called her campaign joyless. there is no emotion, no verve. that's exactly why we're seeing hillary clinton struggle now and donald trump doing so well. but what most people expect is that at a certain point in this campaign, voters are going to get a little more serious, look to who has the better policy prescriptions. but that just hasn't happened yet. >> so on that note, josh, does the fact that donald trump has to respond to everything that is said about him with some tweet
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or making a phone call into a show and then he's lambasting somebody, does that make him seem less presidential? do you think that's going to be his undoing unless he can turn that around and basically cut it off? >> it hasn't hurt him so far, right? i actually think both hillary and trump were winners in this exchange. i think for her donald trump is very unpopular with democratic voters, also attacking donald trump is a good way to get the media to pay attention to you. so she's gotten positive press. for trump, hillary is unpopular. and it teed him up to say what he always said, hillary, like general is owned by her donors, has to say what her donors want her to say. i'm the only one free to say what's in your interests. trump has torn up the rules over and over again. he would keep doing things that would make people say, gee, this has to end the trump campaign. you can't attack prisoners of war. you can't go out and suggest that a tv news anchor is asking
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questions you don't like, because she is on her period. and yet every time he does one of these things, he not only survives it, but he's gone up in the polls. i'm very cautious about saying something donald trump is doing as something that is going to be bad for his campaign in the long run. those predictions just haven't proved true so far. >> i want to ask you about something this past week you wrote about, about trump being possibly the candidate that reformed conservatives are seeking because he has no natural consistency in the current gop, not the conservative evangelicals. is it the reformed conservatives, and if so, why? >> it's funny. you've got this group of thinkerses, people saying the republican party needs to reorient its economic agenda around the needs of the middle class. cutting taxes on the rich and cutting broad-based government programs like social security to pay for lower taxes is just not something that grows the economy and not something you can sell to the middle class. they haven't really been listened to by candidates, because the people who give money in the republican party care very deeply about lower
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taxes, especially at the top. now donald trump has come along and said these hedge fund guys, they don't pay nearly enough tax, it's outrageous. they need to pay more tax, i want to cut tax to the middle class so it's this weird thing where you have this elite intellectual movement pushing the republican party in this direction. the first major candidate who has come out and said these things is donald trump, who is not at all in line with them tonally or necessarily in line with them about the specific policy solutions they would do. so when i talk with a lot of them, they said yeah, he's hitting a lot of the right messaging in terms of what the republican party needs to focus on. but higher tariffs on imports and really negative messaging about immigrants is not the right way to go about it. so what they are saying to me is, trump isn't the candidate we're looking for. but he's bringing out a lot of the messages we're looking to have out, and we're hoping that somebody who is more serious can eventually step into that void, if donald trump eventually flames out. someone else in the party will realize, there is this opportunity for a new economic agenda that appeals to the same people trump has appealed to,
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maybe without insulting so many people. >> okay, josh baro and rebecca berg. great conversation. look forward to seeing you both again. thank you. it is a crisis with no end in sight. europe is welcoming thousands more migrants. what is the u.s. doing to help? that's next. selling 18 homes? easy. building them all in four and a half months? now that was a leap. i was calling in every favor i could, to track down enough lumber to get the job done. and i knew i could rely on american express to help me buy those building materials. there are always going to be unknowns. you just have to be ready for them. another step on the journey. will you be ready when growth presents itself? realize your buying power at cook healthy meals... yet up to 90% fall short in getting key nutrients from food alone. let's do more... ...add one a day men's 50+. complete with key nutrients we may need. plus it helps support healthy blood pressure with vitamin d and magnesium.
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so instead of waiting on hold, we'll call you when things are just as wonderful... [phone ringing] but a little less crazy. we're doing everything we can to give you the best experience possible. because we should fit into your life. not the other way around. overseas, thousands of migrants fleeing wars in the middle east are expected to arrive to germany and austria today. so far, up to 10,000 people have crossed since hungary opened its borders friday. meanwhile, texnsions are high i lesbos as hundreds of migrants have been clashing with police. nbc's bill neely is there and joins us on the phone. so bill, what is it that sparked these clashes? >> reporter: alex, it's really a case of the frustration of
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thousands of migrants who are waiting at the makeshift camps where there are few facilities and people are sleeping on the streets. they have been waiting for days, some for more than a week, to get permits to get them off the island, on to mainland greece so they can continue their journey. the island is simply overwhelmed. but they can't cope anymore, and today we saw once again that frustration spilling over. several people injured, police using batons against several hundred migrants. most are afghans, syrians being given permits because it's felt syrians are fleeing an immediate war. the afghans are saying, hey, we had war in our country for a quarter century, why aren't we also being given permits. the afghans obviously don't like the fact that syrians are being
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given preference. the u.n. today said there should be an emergency evacuation of the 17,000 people here, more or less trapped. the u.n. saying the situation is unmanageable and this island and the people on it are now at breaking point. >> and may i ask about germany? bill, i understand they are not putting a limit, at least at this point, on the number of migrants that are headed their way? >> reporter: that's right. 11,000 migrants arrived in germany yesterday. about the same number expected today. 8,000 had arrived in the city of munich alone, just a few hours. they have been greeted by ordinary germans holding up signs, saying welcome refugees, giving them food and clothing and cheering them. really quite remarkable scenes. and also, activists from germany and austria have been crossing into hungary in their own cars to pick up migrants. one of them saying, look, politics has failed in europe.
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so we as individual citizens, we have to do something to help these people. the call from the pope today, that every catholic in europe should host a migrant family. it seems ordinary people are doing more to help migrants than governments. governments are frankly, alex, in an absolute mess. governments like hungary and germany, completely at odds with one another, one taking a hard line, the other, germany, saying we're going to take 800,000 in the next year alone. so it's a crisis for europe. europe -- there is a failure of politics here. meanwhile, people who are suffering are the ones in the mission, the tens of thousands of migrants. >> it demonstrates the best and worst of the human spirit thank you so much. republican presidential candidate john kasich argued the
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lack of a policy in syria, so the tragedy we're seeing today. >> when the united states does not lead, we get chaos in the world. we should have been supporting the syrian rebels years ago. i pitched boehner and mccain on it. the administration ignored it. the simple fact of the matter is, we should have been supporting the opposition to assad. this thing could be over by now. >> joining me now is democratic senator, bob casey with a welcome to you and always good to see you, senator. this crisis we're talking about, was it either preventible or at least more manageable, had the u.s. taken a stronger role from the beginning? >>el with, alex, this is a humanitarian crisis that the scale of which we have never seen i don't think in human history when you consider what's happened over the last couple of years. not just the last couple of weeks or months. so there has to be a much more coordinated response in europe, and the high commissioner, mr. gutierrez said recently that -- pointing out two basic problems. one is a piece meal approach in
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europe. and secondly, the need for urgent action. but look, we're going to hear things in the campaign trail about folks making charges that some kind of military response years ago was the way to prevent this. i think it's a lot more complicated than that. but i do think that over time, in addition to our country doing even more, and we've done an awful lot -- our taxpayers have already contributed mightily to the aid of these refugees. but i do think as a separate matter, but as related, we have got to have a strategy going forward on syria to resolve that conflict. >> and i will echo what you're saying there. i spoke with melissa fleming from the office of the united nations of the high commissioner of refugees who profusely talked about the amount of money the united states has contributed and hopes that will set an example for other countries. but when it comes to those seeking asylum here in the united states, is there an appetite for that, do you think we should be doing more for the
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physicality of bringing people into this country to live? >> i think we should and we can. but i believe that in terms of the immediacy of the crisis and the need for action now, it has to be mostly the work of the europeans working with the high commissioner for refugees, as well as the gulf states. gulf states should help as well on this, and there's not a lot of evidence they have. >> all right. let's move on, sir, to the iran deal. which you and your senate colleagues are expected to begin debating on wednesday. here is former secretary of state, colin powell, on this morning's "meet the press" talking about it. >> i think it is a good deal. i studied very carefully the outline of the deal, and what's in that deal. and i've also carefully looked at the opposition to the deal. one of the great concerns that the opposition has, that we are leaving open a lane for the iranians to go back to creating a nuclear weapon in 10 or 15 years. we're forgetting the reality they have been on a super
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highway for the last ten years to create a nuclear weapon or a nuclear weapons program. with no speed limit. >> now you've also announced your support of the deal this past week, this was not a rubber stamp vote for you as we have discussed on this broadcast. what was the deciding factor? >> well, alex, there wasn't one. but certainly the reality of what we face now. we hear a lot of talk about washington about iran being a nuclear weapons threshold state, so to speak. they're there right now. they are two to three months from having enough material to put a bomb together. and we have to stop that. and i'm hearing a lot of tough talk from some people in washington, but tough talk without a solution doesn't deal with the problem we're confronting right now. we have to stop their bomb now. we have to stop it in ten years, in fifteen years, and going forward. this agreement is predicated on them never having a nuclear weapon. the only way to do that, i believe, is to have at least four things in place. good implementation, very, very
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tough enforcement over years, actually, over decades. third, i think we have to focus principally on countering their aggression in the region, and fourth i would say we have to remind them and get ready for the deterrent effect that i think we can use to push back against any effort maybe many years from now by iran to get a nuclear weapon. but we have to enforce this very aggressively. >> how relieved are you, senator, there are now not enough votes to override a presidential veto, and do you think it allows for those who have yet to commit either way to just simply vote their conscience? >> well, we'll see. look, in terms of what i see on the democratic side is folks taking a lot of time, reviewing this very carefully, and, in fact, voting their conscience. i'll let the republicans explain what they were doing. but it's critically important right now that we focus on the next step, in addition to having
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the agreement go forward, which i think it will, implementing it well and enforcing it. and making sure that congress can be a constructive partner in that, not just playing political games to try to embarrass the administration, try to undermine the agreement. we need focus working together on making sure it's implemented, tough enforcement and countering iranian aggression in the region. and a lot of days, alex, it's going to be like a split screen. one side of the screen will be the agreement going forward and protecting the world from a nuclear weapon by iran. on the other screen, we're going to be aggressively confronting iran when they engage in terrorism, when they fund proxies, and we should. we should be very aggressive with them. >> how about from domestic politics perspective, the opposition coming from the high-profile white house allies like senator schumer and senator carden. has that hurt the party in the long run? >> no, i think the democrats at least have had a thoughtful review and debate about this.
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it's remarkable the amount of time that democratic senators and house members put into this. i think it stands in a real contrast to republicans who seem to be very much knee-jerk in their response. i was hoping that more republicans might take a week to review the agreement or two weeks. so many of them came out in opposition to it as soon as it went out. and i don't think that's good for the country. i don't think it's good for them, either. >> all right. senator bob casey, always good to see you. thanks so much. >> thanks, alex. the worst of sportsmanship, and it's brought to you by high schoolers. next. it's the little things in life that make me smile. spending the day with my niece. i don't use super poligrip for hold, because my dentures fit well. before those little pieces would get in between my dentures and my gum and it was uncomfortable. even well fitting dentures let in food particles. just a few dabs of super poligrip free is clinically proven to seal out more food particles
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just what those players were thinking. not cool. straight ahead, how so-called brain-dead politics is helping donald trump. hey pal? you ready? can you pick me up at 6:30? ah... (boy) i'm here! i'm here! (cop) too late. i was gone for five minutes! ugh! move it. you're killing me. you know what, dad? i'm good. (dad) it may be quite a while before he's ready, but our subaru legacy will be waiting for him. (vo) the longest-lasting midsize sedan in its class. the twenty-fifteen subaru legacy. it's not just a sedan. it's a subaru. ♪ [ female announcer ] everything kids touch at school sticks with them. make sure the germs they bring home don't stick around. use clorox disinfecting products. you handle life; clorox handles the germs.
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welcome back. donald trump's latest surge as a candidate, still leading among other gop contenders in iowa and new hampshire. this according to new nbc news marist poll. our next guest says it's only a matter of time before trump's popularity fades. joining me now, larry saab atoe from the university of virginia. good friend of this broadcast. hey, larry, thanks for joining us. >> hi. great to see you, alex. >> so your latest article, you mentioned how donald trump gained so much popularity, because people are tired of the quote, braindead politics. can you explain that? >> sure. braindead politics is true, i think, on both sides, to one degree or another. candidates are taught to memorize certain paragraphs and phrases that are developed by
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their political consultants and pollsters and focus groups. and you never really have a debate. you never have a real discussion about the issues that people care about. you just have people shouting sound bites back and forth. now donald trump is guilty of that, no question about it. but one reason why we watch him, why you can't take your eyes off the screen, even if you hate him, you never know what he's going to say next. and so that has clearly helped to propel him along with his nativist views on immigration. >> what about the "washington post" article out, offering insight today on why outsiders are gaining traction now, especially for those with the names, saying, quote, if bush and clinton and the others succumb to thinking that the world has spun out of its axis this summer and eventually will return to a familiar normal, they could be missing part of the message of this strange year. something is stirring, and they had better be ready. but do you think things will eventually return to politics as
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usual? will they? >> that's my guess. everybody is guessing at this points. and i sound like a broken record, but i always tell people, the election is a year and two months away, and the very first real votes aren't cast for five more months. so we're projecting the future based on very early polling, much of it malarkey. people should ignore most of those early polls. they should look back to previous election cycles and see how compelling the earlier projections were. things are going to change. as you get closer to election day, you do take things more seriously, if you're partisan. for one thing, believe it or not, in both parties, most partisans want to actually win. and that winnows the choices right there. >> what about ben carson? what are your thoughts on him moving up the list, getting 13% support nationally? do you think he may have a better chance at winning than trump in a general election?
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>> well, carson has broader favorability. but i don't think people have honed in on his viewpoints. and look, alex, americans generally and parties in particular rarely nominate people who have never held any public office. for the republicans right now have trump and carson and to a lesser degree fear fiorina leading nationally, the last time the republicans nominated candidates who had never been elected to any public office, wendell will key in 1940 and eisenhower in 1952. and it was a position with at least as much pressure and requiring at least as much political skill as the presidency. so this is a very rare thing that some people are talking about, as though it were going to happen. >> let's move to hillary clinton here while we have time. what do you say to those who are saying hillary is close to throwing away her second chance
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at the white house. >> she is not close at all. alex, if we got her staffers aside and pumped them full of truth serum and put them off the record, i think they would agree, it has not been a happy, pleasant campaign so far, and hillary clinton hasn't done particularly well. but again, it's early. and you have to keep your eyes on the big things. endorsements, money, organization and the fact that hillary clinton represents for democrats the first big chance at american history to elect a woman president. you put all those things together, and even vice president biden will have a tough time competing with that, and certainly bernie sanders will over the course of that very long primary season. >> okay. larry, have a good day. off of school tomorrow. thank you so much. >> thank you. the most formidable republican challenger. is dr. ben carson the anti trump alternative? i'll talk with a carson insider, next. do you like the passaaadd? it's a good looking car. this is the model rear end event.
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the model year end sales event. it's year end! it's the rear end event. year end, rear end, check it out. talk about turbocharging my engine. you're gorgeous. what kind of car do you like? new, or many miles on it? the volkswagen model year end sales event ends on labor day. so hurry in to your local volkswagen dealer today. my name is phil zietlow, and i've been an engineer on the cheerios team for 51 years. about five years ago, i found out that if my daughter-in-law, joyce, eats anything with gluten in it she feels pretty darn terrible. so my team and i came up with a way to remove the grains that contain gluten, from the naturally gluten free oats that cheerios are made of. so now joyce and i can have
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candidate who has been surging in the polls, and we're not talking about donald trump. dr. ben carson has been quietly edging closer to the front runner, gaining 22% support in iowa. nationally, he has jumped 13%, placing him second among the other gop contenders. so will this steady rise shake up the republican presidential race? joining me now is ben carson's business manager and radio talk show host, armstrong williams, who we're awfully glad to see. thanks for joining us. >> hello, alex. good seeing you. >> this spotlight, as you know, is rarely found dr. ben carson this summer. we're seeing this climb in the poll. what do you think is fueling it, and do you think he can edge out trump? >> well, you know, dr. carson is being fueled by word of mouth, by people getting to see him in different places across the country. reading his column. they've got a chance to get a glimpse of him at the first presidential debate. whereas mr. trump and others are fueled by television and ads, and reputation from whether he's
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a reality star, apprentice, senator. dr. carson is at the floor of where he is in this presidential cycle. he's not even near to the top of the tier. he's so unknown, almost 58% of the country has no idea who he is. and just still imagine of all the candidates, he has been the most stable. the most consistent. and the one that people are most curious about. and he continues to do well. he continues to rise. >> so armstrong, look, i know you're not a member of his campaign team. you're a business manager. but i assume you're supporting him. why? >> well, i've known him for 25 years. let's start there. i've known his family. i know he's a good man. i know he has an incredible grasp of the issues. i know he surrounds himself with people who are more expertise at certain issues, whether it's foreign policy, and other issues than he is. he's willing to listen. he loves this country. he is an american hero.
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from a pediatric neurosurgeon, from poverty, talking about seeing roaches and mice crawl around his house to ascending to yale university and then to michigan medical school, graduating. he's a folk hero. and many of us remember his speech at the national prayer breakfast, where he talked about the issues and challenges of affordable care and what would happen if it were to pass. he was unafraid to speak to the president, out of respect, not out of disrespect and spoke what many people were feeling at the time. dr. carson's resume, an american story. he relates to people, he relates to humility. he relates to their soft-spokenness. he's gentle, yet also a pediatrician. so people can relate to somebody who is not bottom basted, noble. >> kind of the opposite of donald trump, in terms of the in your face approach. you said this about the carson campaign. that you're going to see more fire in him, adding he's not
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going to be allowed to -- not allow himself to be ignored. there we go. are we going to see a new side of hims as he gets even more higher and higher profile? >> i wouldn't call it a new side of him, alec. you'll see more of him. there is so much more to dr. carson the american people have yet to see. you'll see more of that in the next presidential debate, where he will stand for what he believes. he will have more to say. it's not the fact that he was ignored the last time, and even though he had far less time than most people on the stage, it's not the time you have, it's what you do with that time and what you make of it. and he has shown he can take little and do much with it. and i think you begin to see more of that. for us, he can only move upwards. he can only grow. he can only -- people to learn more about him, understand his vision for america. dr. carson is a leader. he believes he can become president of the united states. we know there are many people who are dismissive of that, think it's a joke. but they were laughing six months ago. many are not laughing now. we continue to grow while people criticize and dr. carson
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continues to show why he thinks he's the best candidate in this race to be elected president of the united states in 2016. >> can i ask you quickly based on this morning's nbc "meet the press" where secretary of state colin powell says he sees a dark vein of intolerance, do you think he'll address race relations? >> i don't know if you read his essay in "usa today." i don't know if you've seen him talk about from charleston to baltimore, where he talks about the issue of race. it's something he faced as a child. and school. even at johns hopkins, when he was often confused as being an orderly at the hospital. he's not defined by race. he realizes that this country has come a very long way. he realizes that our pockets still exist but believes there is a better way. he believes a young boy like himself can rise out of detroit, out of the sticks of poverty and become what he is today. there is no excuse for anybody. he understands it takes two parents. he understands that family is
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important. hard work, sacrifice, discipline. yet, give people the opportunity to realize the american dream. you've got to give hope, not pessimism. >> he has a loyal supporter in you. come see us again, armstrong williams. >> thank you, alex. more ups and downs than a political campaign. mmmmmm yoplait! ♪ oh! good news everybody! there is now 25% less sugar in yoplait original. say "adieu" to that sugar. because it still tastes good ahhhh yoplait!
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my psoriatic arthritis i'm caused joint pain.o golfer. just like my moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. and i was worried about joint damage. my doctor said joint pain from ra can be a sign of existing joint damage that could only get worse. he prescribed enbrel to help relieve pain and help stop further damage. enbrel may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal, events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, nervous system and blood disorders and allergic reactions have occurred. tell your doctor if you've been someplace where fungal infections are common, or if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b, have been treated for heart failure,
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or if you have persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. joint pain and damage... can go side by side. ask how enbrel can help relieve joint pain and help stop joint damage. enbrel, the number one rheumatologist-prescribed biologic. you might want to extend your stay at the theme park and try one of the new generation of roller coasters. high, steep and long, they are dubbed giga coasters. this one in south carolina, for example, rises to a height of more than 300 feet and drops at an 81% angle of decent hitting a top speed of 95 miles an hour. that is a far cry from the famed coney island cyclone. that 85-foot tall ride opened back in 1927. let's bring in robert decker, he has one of those jobs
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kids dream of. he designs roller coasters. let's talk about this roller coaster. it rises to the height of a 30-story building. come on! how much higher can you go? >> actually, we're setting the bar every few years. every park can't get a roller coaster every year, but with the time's right, and for charlotte, a really great economy and growing market, it was time to invest in something really big. so it's 325 feet tall, and 95 miles an hour which delivers a level of energy that people just crave. we made it extremely long so it's over 6,600 feet long so it's a 3 1/2-minute experience. when you can set the bar that high, it really differentiates your business, not just from the competitive set but from other things that people choose to do at their leisure time. >> i'm one of those thrill seekers. my palms are sweating just
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watching this video because i want to go on it so badly. at what point will the bar be too high? when will you know? >> really, limitations of roller coaster design are all built around factors of safety. safety is our number one priority. we us a have that in mind. but it is the human body. not just what you can withstand but what you can enjoy. apprecia pleasurably. mathematics and physics are all very well known but we want to create a path and that's exhilarating. let's face it -- we want to scare the pants off of people. we know it's safe, i know it's safe, but you know, there he a always that low bar that looks like it is going to be a little too tight and you duck and you make it underneath or all the bank curves. but when you build from this giga coaster range of over 300 feet, at 325 feet tall, you want to take all of that inertia and get the raw speed, but then also get that air time which is the
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coveted feeling of weightless knee, zero g as you go over the top of the hill and you lift up out off your seat. it's those type of sensations that people crave. >> absolutely. can i ask you what drew you to designing roller coasters? i understand you are an architect by training. >> i am. you know, i have a passion for the business. and it's a fun business. so what we get to do is we get to create experiences and rides that people crave. they enjoy these things. they come to us, it's a very consumer-friendly business. we get to walk out in the park and talk to people. >> cedar fair entertainment's robert decker there. i want to give you an update on the weather. i understand there is a rough surf alert on the east coast. >> that's right. that's for the threat of rip currents from the atlantic beaches around kitty hawk, all the way north toward delaware around dewey beach, around
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rehoboth. real easy to get caught up in it for swimmers that are going out. if you get caught up in the rip current, swim parallel to the coast and of course, alex, keep calm. >> very good advice. everyone have a good one. i'm alex witt. enjoy. rge and extra large. if you need less data, pick small. if you need more, go with extra large-- a whopping 12 gigs for $80 a month plus $20 per phone. pick a size. change it up anytime. it's the simple way to get the best network. and now, get $300 when you switch. only at verizon.
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this sunday, former secretary of state colin powell. his first interview since the iran deal. where does he stand in the agreement, on race in america and on election 2016? plus, our brand new nbc news/maris polls from two states that count the most, iowa and new hampshire. who's up? who's down? and which of these candidates may now have a reason to worry. also, jeb bush takes on trump. >> there's one candidate in the republican party that is preying on people's angst and fears, that has a philosophy that is not about the goodness and greatness of the america people. >> will it work? >> so far everybody that has attacked me has gone down the tubes.


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