♪ ♪ >> yep, it's friday. it's the msnbc democratic presidential candidate forum tonight in south carolina. will bernie sanders keep turning up the heat on hillary clinton? all indications so far this week says yes. this is "mtp daily" and it starts right now. happy friday, everybody. what a week this has turned out to be. today alone brings news on three big fronts. at this hour, ben carson's campaign is facing an unfamiliar situation, having to defend itself in territory most folks never imagined he'd have trouble with, his personal story and his honesty. carson's campaign manager will be here live in just a moment. meantime, president obama
makes official what we've been guessing would happen for quite a while, rejecting keystone pipeline plan. but that's not a closed story. the canadian company behind it, plabs to hit the reset button on the process and they're hoping there's a republican administration to apply to come 2017. so this issue will be a big one in the 2016 campaign trail with the potential of a republican president having a very different take than the obama administration. coming up in tonight's show, one of the most vocal critics of the keystone pipeline, tom steyer. that pipeline fight is frequently focused on jobs and the economy. today we got a big jobs report that exceeded expectations. the most jobs added since last december. and another, by the way, the supreme court said today they'll hear another case that challenges a part of the affordable care act. that news comes in the wake of kentucky electing an anti-obamacare governor. he wants to dismantle that
state's exchange. could be the canary in the coal mine for republicans that want to repeal and replace. and speaking of the campaign, that brings us back to our third major front of news today. all eyes are on rock hill, south carolina, where the democratic candidates will be taking part in the first in the south forum that of course will air exclusively right here on msnbc. we got a lot coming up, but first let's hit the press box and we'll start with the forum. "hardball" host chris matthews is there and chris jansing is tracking the carson story for us. but let's begin with a preview of south carolina. in just under three hours, we'll see the first in the south democratic presidential forum right here on msnbc. for hillary clinton, south carolina's personal. it where she suffered a tough primary loss in 2008. to then senator barack obama. bernie sanders has been gearing up for tonight with a clear strategy, deciding he's going to
take clinton on in a way that he had said he wouldn't do before on wednesday. he told the "wall street journal" that his remarks in the first debate were, quote, not a call to end the investigation. on thursday, sanders told npr that he has the best chance in a general election and pointed to clinton's vote on the iraq war as one reason. today he told "the boston globe," quote, i disagree with hillary clinton on virtually everything. simply put, we could hear some really tough talk on stage tonight from sanders in a way he had said he would never do. so let's go to chris matthews. i guess that's the big unknown here. bernie sanders is telegraphing that he's going to go hard at hillary clinton. will democrats want to hear that tonight in south carolina? >> well, i don't know why they wouldn't want to hear it. they may not like the tone, but the reality is, they disagree on fundamental issues. bernie sanders opposed the iraq
war. hillary clinton supported it and never really pulled that back even in the course of her campaign with barack obama in 2008. it's a serious question, what kind of foreign policy do you want, hawkish, or dovish? i'd like to hear the debate. bring it on. >> you know, hillary clinton, the campaign really believes that basically bernie sanders is a threat only in places like iowa and new hampshire. and once they hit south carolina, she'll become the candidate of african americans. nevada, she'll be the candidate of hispanics. so how does she try to create that advantage or take advantage of what she thinks is a perceived strength? >> well, it just happens to be that you and i know that these campaigns begin in iowa, they continue through new hampshire and then they get to south carolina. if hillary clinton gets beaten badly in new hampshire, it's going to matter how she does in south carolina and then on into nevada. i do think bernie has to win early, get a knockout punch in,
a really good knockout punch to knock her out. she can go the long game, but he's going to try to win. i was very disturbed when he said we don't want to hear anymore about the damn e-mail, because that's not the statement of a real competitor. he doesn't have to rush on that issue, but you don't let an opponent off the hook. if another opponent is having problems, you let those problems persist and then you work your strengths. otherwise, you begin to look like a protest candidate, like you're not really running for president. and that was the signal he sent in that debate. he was saying, i'm running on principles and policy questions, i'm not running to be president. i think voters heard that and said, at least hillary clinton is honestly running for president and you're not. >> is there anything martin o'malley can do tonight to change his -- it's not really a trajectory, sort of a flat line here? >> well, he could elevate. i'm kidding. no, it's going to be hard.
he's going to have to say something so much above what he said so far. i mean, he is running -- i tried to find out, chuck, maybe you can help me with this question -- is he running to the left of bernie sanders, to the right of bernie sanders, to the left of hillary clinton? where do you find him in the spectrum? is he somewhere in the middle? i think you have to find your position first. the honest answer is and a serious one is, he has to give himself a unique selling point tonight. all those experiences are problematic because baltimore's been a tough case. >> let me pozit a theory on you. is martin o'malley suffering because he looks too much like a central casting politician? too much like jack edwards? conway struck me the same way. >> convey was the worst. a really bad example. >> does that hurt o'malley, that they think he looks like a typical politician, so i'm not
listening anymore? >> i never really thought about that. i think he's a serious political figure. >> i do too. don't get me wrong. >> i would not cast him in the category of those two people. he's not an empty suit like edwards. and i really have questions about conway. they're pretty boys. i think that's what you're saying. and i think he's better than that. i think his problem is, you know, you got to have something, you have to have pizzazz. and you can't write it off. you can't script it. pizzazz is saying something that's a little unpredictable. saying things that are a little different. whatever you say about donald trump, he knew how to get our attention, and that's the first thing you gotta do, get the voters' attention and they'll listen and decide. if you never get their attention, you can't get started here. don't accuse him of being john edwards. that's so cruel.
>> it has nothing to do with that. it's more of the look. you can't look like a traditional politician in 2016. >> well, because we have that picture of john edwards combing his hair, with the i feel pretty music playing. >> i wasn't going there. but all right, we're going down a rabbit hole here. >> thank you, buddy. >> we'll see you for "hardball" right at 6:00 right after this show. once again, the democratic candidates forum tonight at 8:00 p.m. turning now to ben carson, under scrutiny about getting a scholarship to west point. it goes back to his book in which he tells of a meeting with a general during his senior year of high school. quote, i had dinner with him and the congressional medal winners. later was offered a full scholarship to west point. quote, that is true, i was the
highest member of rotc enjoy the and was thrilled to get an offer to west point. politico said there's no record he applied or that an offer was made. >> quote, he was introduced to folks from west point by his rotc supervisor, they told him they could help him get an appointment based on his grades and performance in rotc. he considered it but in the end, decided otherwise. carson's also having to defend claims about his violent past. >> unless they were there, at that time, why would they know about that? that's very silly. everybody has childhood memories of things that they do, that other people, unless they were specifically involved wouldn't know about. i mean, i don't know why that's hard for people to understand. >> chris jansing joins me now. chris, you've been working on this story all day. what more do you got? >> let's start with what we can
confirm about what he says. we've talked to folks in the detroit public schools which keep rotc records. we've talked to someone who was with him in the rotc. they confirmed that he had this rapid rise through the ranks. and it's that rapid rise combined with his collegiate test scores, s.a.t.s that he says had someone telling him that i was offered a full scholarship to west point. here's the problem. people at west point don't use the word scholarship. because if you get into west point, you automatically have your tuition taken care of. it's one of the most rigorous processes to go through to get into west point. you usually have to be recommended by a member of congress. there are some spots that are left for the about the and vice president, but it is an incredibly intense and highly competitive process. so to say, i was offered a full scholarship to west point doesn't ring true. the amended version of it, that
they suggested to him, that he could get in is something altogether different. in addition to that, when he says it happened, when he met with general west moraland, does not jibe with what we've seen in general west moraland's own records, which we checked. there was another time when he was in detroit when ben carson was in rotc, where he was there, did attend a dinner with some medal of honor winners, although we have not been able to find any photographs or anything contemporaneous to that time written that suggests that ben carson and general westmoreland met at that dinner. >> chris, thank you. i want to bring in ben carson's campaign manager. let me start with the facts here. what happened? why is this -- is this faulty memory? or is he a liar or an exaggeration? >> no, it's true. ben carson was the highest rotc
officer in detroit. he was invited to a lot of things, including the dinner with westmoreland. >> some of this has been conflated, it seems. because we looked at westmoreland's schedule -- >> february, he's not in a memorial day parade. he was there, the detroit news has the photos. it was offered by his commander. he said, would you be interested in a nomination to west point? under the nomination rules, there are service connected nominations, which are afforded to the rotc grads coming out of high school. he thought about it and said no. that was it. that's the entire story. >> are you concerned that this and would you say he misrepresented -- do you feel as if he misrepresented, because you did correct the record? >> i really didn't. politico said that i did. i really didn't. >> you don't feel as if you corrected the record? >> no. he used the word full scholarship, but everyone at
west point gets a full scholarship. there's a cost that goes to our country. but they offered him the nomination. he got into yale. he could have gone there if he wanted easily. but he chose not to. he wanted to go to medical school. >> you've been around politics a long time. we've known each other a long time. you worked with plenty of candidates where you want to believe everything they tell you, but you want to check. >> right. >> have you checked everything? >> i have. >> what are you doing? >> this weekend, we'll reveal somebody who will make cnn look like a fool. >> on the incident having to do with this whole -- >> yeah. >> so you feel as if there are no -- this isn't going to be something that becomes a string -- >> 50 years ago, stories get embellished, but, no, it's all true. they made a movie about him for a reason. >> any part of this that makes you go, well, boy, i wish he hadn't written it this way or
that way? because some of the stories have -- change is not the right word. but they've been told differently, in various accounts. >> this book was written two and a half decades ago. would i love to freshen it up? maybe. but it's all accurate. the words are not precise sometimes. but it's all accurate. it's not made up. this is a new game for us. suddenly we're number one, suddenly somewhere there's a republican who's nervous, passing out dirt all over town and we're having to defend this stuff. we'll get better at it. >> is it fair to say his greatest strength is that he's not a politician and that he's honest and trustworthy. so anything that undermines that would be crikryptonite? >> i would agree to that, but also because he's perceived as so honest and trustworthy, it takes a lot to attack him. >> do you think he's being held to a her standaigher standard? >> we're fine with that, but we
certainly are from everybody on the website today. >> and what do you think of donald trump? he went after jeb. jeb's numbers went down. everybody's numbers he's gone after. scott walker. are you concerned about that? >> no, i think when donald trump reinforces the -- his negatives, the numbers go down. >> and when we will see the someone who will make cnn look silly? >> this weekend. >> time, what is it? >> we're still negotiating. check your local listings. >> we'll be in touch. thanks for coming on. coming up, president obama's rejection of the keystone pipeline capped off his year's long evolution on the issue. we'll talk about tom steyer, who was the biggest voice in opposing the pipeline before it became a mainstream democratic stand. and we're less than three hours from tonight's democratic forum in south carolina. we'll check in with the clinton
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>> there's a new supreme court challenge to obamacare. this is not deja vu, folks. the high court agreed today to consider if religiously affiliated schools and charities should be exempt from the contraceptive requirement. it's a sequel to last year's decision that allowed closely held companies to refuse to religious grounds. but this time around the government is offering an accommodation to the religious non-profit that are rejecting. they will get the employees coverage without the religiously affiliated groups being involved. however some groups object to that accommodation, saying they do not any part at all in dispensing birth control pills or devices. they want the same exemption that churches get.
seven federal appeals courts side with the government. this case will now be argued in front of the supreme court in late march 2016, folks. health care in the presidential election. coming up, president obama formally rejects the keystone pipeline this morning. but how did he get to that decision? one man central to the fight against it, tom steyer, he joins me next. health care in the presidential this holiday i can count on someone's kid mistaking me for santa. i'm so sorry. come on sweetie. it's okay. and knowing right when my packages arrive.
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today, misplaced smolism was chosen over merit and science. rhetoric won out over reason. president obama's stance has evolved in recent years as environmentalists ramped up their calls to reject the pipeline. >> right now a company called transcanada has applied to build a new pipeline to speed more oil to refineries on the gulf covert. today i'm directing my administration to cut through the red tape, break through the bureaucratic hurdles, to make this project a priority. >> the effects of the pipeline's impact on our planet will be critical in determining whether this project is allowed to go forward. >> understand what this project is, providing the ability of canada to pump their oil, send
it through our land, down to the gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. it doesn't have an impact on u.s. gas prices. it's not going to be a huge benefit to u.s. consumers. it's not even going to be a nominal benefit to u.s. consumers. >> we're not going to authorize a pipeline that benefits largely a foreign company, if it can't be shown that it's safe, and if it can't be shown that overall it would not contribute to climate change. >> the state department has decided that the keystone xl pipeline would not serve the national interests of the united states. i agree with that decision. >> as you can see, a three-year evolution, i guess you could call it. joining me now, someone who impacted the president's decision on this. next jen president mr. tom
steyer. welcome to "meet the press daily." >> thank you very much for having me. >> do you think the president would have come to this decision without the pressure that you and other environmental groups started applying right around 2012? >> well, i think actually this is a big win for the american people, not for environmental groups. i think that the american people have come a long way. if you look at where they are today, they're really insisting on a clean energy economy. so i think the president always understood this issue. i think that the fact that the american people have come so far allowed him to make a decision which he probably always intended and wanted to make. so i don't think this had anything to do with pressure. i think this had to do with something the american people getting their way as they came to understand that we really need to move in a different direction, and move to clean energy. >> the transcanada statement said that rhetoric trumped reason. when you -- what do you say to
this idea that it wasn't going to have a negative impact, per se, because, you know, it could be sort of carbon neutral was their argument. do you believe that was possible? >> no, i absolutely do not. i think the question on this pipeline was, were we going to enable a vast amount of dirty energy to be piped through our country to the world markets? and i think the president made a determination that that wasn't in the interest of the country and that it wasn't good for us environmentally. and i think that's true. but i also think that turning to a clean economy is one that's going to be much more beneficial for us in terms of growth, in terms of good jobs, and i think that there was always the mistaken impression that somehow this was an economically smart move. it was never an economically smart move. >> if unemployment were not at 5% today and gas prices weren't at historic lows, or fairly lows at least for this century, do
you think you would have had the outcome you got today? >> absolutely. the fact of the matter is, a clean energy economy builds jobs in a way that a fossil fuel economy never will. so the implication that it's bad for us economically in that question, chuck, i don't agree with at all. i strongly believe that the way that we rebuild our energy infrastructure is going to be a job producer for us. it's going to make americans better off and better employed. so i've never bought the argument that we would have to let our environment suffer for the sake of good jobs. that's just not true. the fact of the matter is, having a sustainable, clean economy is going to make us richer and better employed. >> when you first hit the national stage and i remember having a conversation with you, you thought the president could do a lot more on climate change at the time. it's three years later, i think, since you and others were really pushing him to be more aggressive on tackling climate change. some of it is just rhetorical,
some of it is with executive action. how do you judge him today versus where he was three years ago? >> well, let me say this, i don't think the president's attitudes have changed over the last three years. i think the american people have moved a long way and let him do what he thinks is important and what he really wanted to do in the first place. >> so you're arguing there wasn't political space three years ago? >> i think that's the case. i think the fact of the matter, he has determined this is a legacy issue for him. which i think it's going to be very important when people look back at the obama administration, they're going to say, wow, this guy just did a great job, he really led the country and the world in terms of energy and climate, and i think he deserves an enormous amount of credit. i think he made a very good decision today, but i think it's part of what he's been doing. and i think what he's hoping and intending to do in paris, where i think he's going to stand up for us in front of the world, and really assert american
leadership on a global basis in a way that i think he can make us all really proud of him. and i'm, you know, a huge obama fan. >> very quickly, what role do you play in having, next jen or yourself, in 2016? are you going into swing states to make this a wedge issue in the presidential campaign? >> we really believe the conversation around the presidential campaign is the conversation in the united states of america. so we think it's really important that citizens be talking about it with each other. so we really want the people running for president or for serious statewide offices to come out with solutions. we're kind of over the whole idea of, do you believe the science? do you care? what we want to hear from them is concrete solutions to how we're going to get 50% clean energy by 2030. at this point, we need to have actual discussions between democrats and republicans across the board, with candidates
showing how we can actually get to a clean energy economy. because that's what america needs to hear now. we've pretty much moved as a country, to wanting this. and that's really what the -- >> so sounds like what you're saying, it sounds like you're going to do your best to make sure it's elevated in the race. if that means spending money to do that, you'll do that? >> oh, my gosh, we've been spending a ton of money already. but it isn't about the money. it's about enabling americans to have this conversation with each other and through them, have the candidates address it. tonight in south carolina, we think it's really important that the democratic candidates address what their plans are to provide a clean energy economy. >> tom steyer, we'll be watching. i'm sure you will be and ready to grade them and how they do. thanks for coming on. >> my pleasure. still ahead, bernie sanders says he and hillary clinton disagree on virtually
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>> we are counting down to tonight's first in the south democratic forum, hosted by msnbc's rachel maddow. just over two urs -- hours from now, it will begin. it's not a debate, but it could be a crucial moment for bernie sanders, as he attempts to draw sharper contrast with hillary clinton after weeks and months of saying this -- >> every day when i go out on the campaign trail, i'm asked to attack hillary clinton. i don't do it. >> despite media every other day asking me to attack hillary clinton, i don't do that. >> well, now in some of his
sharpest comments yet, he told "the boston globe" this on thursday, i disagree with hillary clinton on virtually everything. well, senior adviser with the sanders campaign joins me now. ted, i got to ask you, seems like a different bernie sanders and it looks like soon as the polls go down, the attacks go up. why shouldn't we view it that way? >> for us, in many ways, the campaign is just beginning. this is going to be about getting it going in new hampshire and iowa. she's been on television with advertising for three and a half months. we've been on for three days. we've got some catch-up to do. bernie will talk about his message. we believe it's a rigged economy in america it's held in place by a corrupt issues surrounding campaign finance. >> he wants to break up the big banks. she doesn't. when he's asked about those things, he'll be straightforward about it. >> this is in many ways, hillary
clinton has been joining bernie sanders on some things, keystone, gay rights. >> she has. >> but that's not disagreeing on virtually everything? >> i think sometimes you're sitting in a meeting, somebody says something like that and bernie makes a point. i think the point he was trying to make, we do have big disagreements on big issues, particularly the economic issues. the death penalty is a good example. she came out recently and said she supports it. he opposes it. we want to make sure voters understand there are real differences here between the candidates. but bernie economic message is front and center and that's what we'll talk about in our ads, introducing him in terms of his biograp biography. >> what do you make of the softening of support? been around a long time. last three weeks, it's softer. >> i make, sure, you have to look at iowa and new hampshire.
that's where voters are engaged pch. >> 20 point gap in iowa. >> sure, sure. i think the poll i saw today, i think it's a valid toll. >> 15 to 20. >> and it's three and a half months of tv to three days of tv. that's what i make of it. i think once we get engaged, voters understand who bernie is, his message, i think we'll do very well in those states. >> tonight is about south carolina, and for democrats, that means appealing to african american voters, something that's been a weakness for bernie sanders. what are we going to hear from him tonight that indicates he gets it, that he hasn't been connected, or hasn't been resonating in the african american community and b, some indication that he thinks he can do well? >> he's going to begin telling his story more broadly to people in south carolina. today we started a radio advertising campaign on african american communities across the state. yesterday in nevada, on spanish
language stations in nevada. we have to introduce bernie sanders. he's got a remarkable life story. his whole life direction was taken in the civil rights movement when he was in college at the university of chicago, when he was getting arrested at sit-in strikes. bernie has a great story, a civil rights record in the congress that i believe is second to none. and most importantly, the reason we can do well, he's got an economic agenda that will affect the lives of people in the country, particularly african american and latinos, and that will make the difference in the end. >> i will leave it there. we'll watch tonight and see you back here soon. now let's get perspective from the hillary clinton campaign. south carolina marked a turning point for her, it's when senator obama trounced her campaign, relying on her name instead of outreach. this time around, she's telling communities of color, i am your candidate. today she published in ebony
magazine, trying to build on the ban the box initiative. her plan includes cutting down mandatory sentences for non-violent offenders. and this maneuver a departure from president bill clinton's 1995 crime bill which expanded the use of those so-called st x strikes. with us now, karen finney, clinton senior combiampaign adv. >> great to be with you. >> what do you make of center sanders talking more openly about criticizing senator clinton, saying that he disagrees with her on virtually everything. and also i saying that the e-mails are fair game. >> well, i guess i would have thought that we both agreed that we need to increase incomes for americans and that we need to make sure that kids don't not go to college because of the
expense. but i will let bernie's campaign speak for themselves. we have been very focused, as you know, chuck, for a very long time, on just running our race and making sure that at the grassroots level, we are talking with people about what hillary believes and listening to people and listening to what those concerns are that people have when they're sitting around their kitchen table. so bernie had said at one point in this campaign that he, as you pointed out, wasn't going to attack personally. i will let voters decide what they think about that. and as i say, we're going to stay focused on our message and on making sure people know about hillary and where she stands on the issues. >> what do you tell progressive democrats that believe hillary clinton just won't go far enough and that's what bernie sanders does. that he will go after wall street in a way that hillary clinton won't, and he'll go after on campaign finance reform, he'll make it more of a priority than she will.
that she's too cautious when it comes to progressive politics. what do you say? >> well, chuck, we knew each other back in the '90s when i worked for hillary clinton, and let's just remember that hillary clinton not being progressive enough was not quite what people said about her. this is someone who has been fighting for progressive issues, fighting for families, for children, her whole life, starting with her time at the children's defense fund. and i was re-reading her back, remember way back in the '90s, she was talking about things like paid leave and childcare, some of these progressive issues that she, again, has been talking about and fighting for all of her life. and i guess i would also say, when we talk about the big banks, i would make the argument that she goes farther than what bernie does, and in a number much places, she goes farther in talking about, you know, again, she's the progressive who likes to get things done, so she talks about how she would get some of things done and has put some details on those plans. you mentioned her piece in ebony
today, part of the importance of that piece was talking about, yes, we need to do criminal justice reform and it was the first thing she talked about in the campaign. but also as she talked about, we need to make new commitments to units of color, and she laid out some of her ideas. so that goes farther to lift communities of color up in this country. >> but the basic rap from the sanders camp is this, he's a hillary come lately. meaning, she's been too cautious over the years and she's now taken these positions when it's politically okay to take these positions. >> well, you know, obviously i disagree with that, as somebody who's known her for 25 years. she takes on the hard fights. when health care failed, as you know, she got back up and said, okay, what can we do to make sure we're providing health care for our children?
this is a person who gets back up and keeps fighting, and she takes on the tough fights. so, again, i will let voters decide for themselves. they're going to see a hillary clinton tonight who will talk about, you know, her ideas based on racial questions about how democrats win in the south and how we're going to turn out the african american vote. >> karen finney, i will leave it there. thank you very much. coming up, a special edition of the ws, the who, what, where, when, and why of "meet the pres press". because today is "meet the press's" 68th birthday. stay tuned. dotcom superstar. and us, we'll be right there with you, helping with the questions you need answered to get your brand new business started. we're legalzoom and we've already partnered with over a million new business owners to do just that. check us out today to see how you can become one of them.
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additional assistance offered to foreign airports. msnbc will continue to bring you latest on this developing story as we get it. meanwhile, we want to have a little time for a special have special birthday edition. today is meet the press's birthday. the guest was former dnc chairman and post master general james farley. the video we are showing you is from a different meet the press show. video from the debut no longer exist. now to the who. >> here is the moderator of meet the press. >> good evening and welcome to another session of meet the press. >> martha rountree served as moderator for ten years. before that she was on leave it to the girls which was early template.
now to the when. 2004, my first appearance on meet the press. i apologize to you, a different world almost 12 years ago. take a look. >> this is howard dean's blog. here is wesley clark's blog. here is george w. bush's blog. and here to help us is chuck todd. what is a blog? >> the term is short for web log. you get the blog. >> turning to the where. as we like to say check your local listings for this sunday's edition of meet the press. sunday is one year out from election day 2016. our guests include presidential candidates trump, carly fiorina and sanders. the why? if it's sunday it's meet the press. happy birthday and thanks to every single moderator who has
made the show what it is today. up next, what to watch for in tonight's democratic forum. wait until you see the nastiest and maybe most effective negative ad i have seen in years. stay tuned. we came up with a plan to help reduce my risk of progression. and everywhere i look... i'm reminded to stick to my plan. including preservision areds 2. my doctor said preservision areds 2 has the exact nutrient formula that the national eye institute recommends to help reduce the risk of progression of moderate to advanced amd... after 15 years of clinical studies. preservision areds 2. because my eyes are everything. but i've managed.e crohn's disease is tough, except that managing my symptoms was all i was doing. and when i finally told my doctor, he said humira is for adults like me who have tried other medications but still experience the symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease. and that in clinical studies,
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don't let your neighbor enjoy all the savings. take the free home energy checkup. honey, we need a new refrigerator. visit pge.com/checkup and get started today. time for the lid. in just over two hours democratic presidential candidates take the stage for the first in the south presidential forum. we expect perhaps that bernie sanders might get tough on hillary clinton.
joining me now, i'm guessing bernie sanders is not going to be as tough or as negative as this tv ad that i'm going to show you that jon bel edwards is running against david vitter. >> the choice for governor couldn't be more clear, jon bel edwards who answered our country's call and served as a ranger or david vitter who answered a prostitute's call minutes after he skipped a vote honoring 28 soldiers who gave their lives in defense of our freedom. >> which do you choose? i think the line is prostitutes or patriots. i have seen a lot of negative ads. this is from the edwards campaign. they are owning it. >> the campaign should be giving credit that they are not letting outside groups do the dirty work. >> they are doing it.
>> edwards i think has the advantage going into the last couple of weeks. it isn't a sign of desperation. i think they are trying to make sure they use everything they have and because of what happened in kentucky how things can turn fairly quickly. >> vitter is going to use the same strategy which is to go anti-obama in the south. >> absolutely. you saw in kentucky a democrat leading in the polls and the partisan current swamped him. it is clear the edwards campaign doesn't want to leave anything on the table. this is something the opponents feel vitter has gotten a pass on. he has not on this campaign. there have been new revelations. when you run an ad this negative there is always risk of back lash or the risk some voters rally. the problem for vitter is there are not enough people
sympathetic enough to say you are picking on my boy. >> speaking of warm and fuzzy let's go to bernie sanders. he is telegraphing that he wants to get tougher on hillary clinton. my guess is we won't see that tonight because i believe he goes on before her. it's more about what we may see at the debate. >> if it was a one-on-one i wonder if we would be stepping into what jeb bush walked into with marco rubio. hillary clinton is going to be ready for almost anything that bernie sanders. i think she is ready. she has proven herself on the debate stage. whatever he puts out as disagreement she is ready to answer it. >> sanders seemed rattled when she was go aggressive in that ursh if debate. is it too late? >> i think a lot of suspense has gone out. there is still a lot of ground to cover before the voting begins. i think part of why there has been so much hype around the
anti-hillary is that the media is spoiling for a fight. i think there is not that much there and he may choose to amp it up in order to get more attention. he will certainly get that. not clear it will have effect. >> one thing that struck out is that once people get to know bernie they get to know him i think this is not an equal playing field. they have to bring her down. >> i think that is the lesson from obama. ben carson, how fatal could this be or is this much ado about nothing? >> if you look at the way the news cycle played out with the original story and back tracking and amending. by the end of it i was seeing from the conservative sphere was that people were rallying. people talking whether on blogs
or twitter or television or talk radio there was rallying based on the fact that the story had been overplayed to begin with. you have the risk that the revelations about things he may have exaggerated get tied up into the media attacking unfairly. >> i have to leave it there. good to see you. what a friday. we'll be back monday with more. if it's sunday don't miss it. it's meet the press, one year from election day. stay with msnbc for the first in south democratic candidates forum which starts at 8 p.m. chris matthews picks up coverage with a special edition of "hardball" live from south carolina right now. >> hillary's weekend with bernie. let's play "hardball."