tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC December 11, 2015 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
>> have a great weekend. be sure to watch this special tonight on msnbc at 9 p.m. thanks for watching msnbc live. i'll see you back here monday and tomorrow morning on "today." "hardball" starts right now. let's play "hardball." good evening. a brand new reuters online poll gives us the big headline of the week tonight after the sound and fury over donald trump's proposal to stop muslim visitors at the international airport the billionaire builder holds his commanding lead. but there is another head loo
in, next tuesday night the man emerging is trump's number one contender ted cruz of texas a debate that could tell us whether trump wants to win every contest or is content to let cruz win. the battle will take place amid a brawl that promises to pitch all the candidates except cruz against trump on the matter of keeping muslims out of the country. we can expect chris christie -- the question is whether the punch will land or whether christie will land on the flooer himself another version of the bleeder. we look at the two great fights coming at us. trump versus cruz and everybody but cruz versus trump. i'm joined by katy tur who is following trump and hallie jackson who is following cruz. the "new york times" reported that ted cruz questioned trump's judgment at a private fundraiser
in new york on tuesday. here is what cruz said about trump and ben carson in an audio recording obtained by the times. >> the final two candidates i'll discuss are trump and ben carson. both of them i like and respect both donald and ben. i do not believe either of them will be our nominee. i don't believe either will be our president. you look at paris. you look at san bernardino it has given a seriousness to this race that people are looking for who is prepared to be a commander in chief? who understands the threats we face? who am i comfortable having their finger on the button? that's a question of strength but it is also a question of judgment. and i think that is a question that is a challenging question for both of them. >> only cruz would talk about people having a finger on the button. the cold war is over mr. cruz.
i don't understand the line of thinking there. so far cruz has existed calls to attack trump although it looks like he did it there in an under handed way. he down played the significance of his remarks. here is cruz yesterday. >> i'm not going to comment on what i may or may not have said at a private fundraiser. the course of a presidential election, the voters are going to make a decision about every candidate. ultimately the decision is who has the right judgment. experience to serve as commander in chief. >> cruz's criticism did not escape trump. like ted cruz is getting ready to attack. i'm leading him by so much he must attack. i hope so. he will fall like all the others. he further said ted cruz should not make statements behind closed doors to his bosses. he should bring them out in the
open, more fun that way. cruz maintaining posture saying the establishment's only hope trump and me in a cage match. sorry to disappoint donald trump is terrific. trump is playing this closely to the chest. he has him caught -- he has him nailed. when will he strike back? is he waiting until tuesday night to nail the guy? >> we will have to wait and see. i know there has been unofficial between the two of them. this is about as close as he has come to attacking cruz. he is trying to bait him into an attack. i think he wants to see cruz hit first. we are all trying to figure out why he won't i think because
they are both battling for the same types of supporters. you saw a veiled criticism of ted cruz. privately to your bosses basically saying he is beholdened to his donors and fundraisers and to money where donald trump is not. he doesn't have fundraisers. that is where we see donald trump try to strike against ted cruz. i'm hesitant to predict what donald trump does because i keep predicting he will come out firing and he has been take ag back stage quieter approach of late. >> i want to go to hallie jackson. i don't know how you can justify trashing a guy behind the scenes saying he is not the guy to have finger on the button. there shouldn't be anybody's finger on the button.
we are not launching nuclear buttons. you have the finger on the button ready to push it? you don't. there is nobody talking about blowing up the other half of the world. that is all cold war talk. he thinks he can get away with that and i may or may not have said that. that is a statement of i said it. >> he said the comments may or may not have been said behind closed doors at a fundraiser. >> what is the difference? >> if you talk to folks in the cruz camp would say what ted cruz wasn't that different from what he has said about wanting to judge candidates based on merits and what judgment calls they would make. we heard ted cruz talk about his strategy than i think we have publically when he talked about
wanting to bear hug trump and carson. that is happening. anybody following this political race is seeing that happening. it is not something i think senator cruz has been explicit on in the past. she talks about trump trying to bait into an attack. i do not think we will see cruz take that bait. number one, he wants to keep donald trump supporters on his good side. there is a sense if he does lose steam those supporters are right to go over to ted cruz's camp. the other part of it is that by turning the other cheek remember when trump was going after ben carson and carson didn't acknowledge? trump started leaving him alone. i think for cruz it is a smaert strategy because it allows cruz to look like he is more principled than donald trump which will build the reputation. >> it makes him look like a fraud if you ask me and then in
public makes pretty -- are you saying i'm a good guy or am i unstable? that's a serious charge. >> i think you hear him go against other candidates as he has sort of saying they just don't make the right judgment calls and i do. >> when is he going to put the made in canada stamp on ted cruz? >> i'm not sure. i think if we see a real attack from donald trump it will say i'm a deal maker, a winner, ted cruz is a loser and can't get anything done in congress. >> i don't know if trump wants to come guns blazing. i don't know if it does trump good. he said it would be good for the establishment. >> i will be surprised -- thank you. according to the monmouth poll. 24-19. that's a gain of 14 points for cruz just since october. a deeper look reveals more data.
cruz has a 24-point advantage over trump in iowa among those who describe themselves as very conservative. evangelicals say they support cruz over trump. among those who say they are certain they will turn out the caucus cruz leads trump which means cruz supporters are more committed than trump supporters. according to wall street journal -- southern states half dozen hold their contest. i am joined by perry bacon and msnbc contributor sam stein. i put that on the table about canada because this guy made his living attacking obama for being born overseas. in the case of cruz he was. >> the polling you showed is a
big deal. if i were ted cruz i would leave donald trump alone. ted cruz at the caucuses would win. ted cruz is really doing well. >> will donald trump let him win that without a fight? >> no. donald trump is going to attack ted cruz. >> he is going to say let them have that and i will win the secular vote in new hampshire and south carolina. nobody cares who wins iowa. huckabee, santorum, robertson did well out there. it is always seen as a bit skewed to the far religious right. >> correct. but to your point i don't think donald trump has any other drive than full steam ahead. i think that is his mentality about business, politics. the idea that he would say let's not spend resources here. >> will he start dropping the money in the month of january if he has to -- >> from everything we have seen his ground game operation is
probably more robust than people think it is. he spent virtually nothing. if you were him and sitting pretty at the polls at 35% -- >> stick to iowa. >> if you were doing that you wouldn't spend until you saw a precipitous drop. >> the guy picked up 14 points. >> one poll is one poll. >> everywhere else he is doing great. >> saying he can take the loss? >> if you look at the book trump put out what's impressive is page after page he has done stuff. he put up these skyscrapers. an amazing building. a lot of people like me are impressed by construction, by the ability to put up these successful buildings that make money. i would do an ad and say these are all talkers. cruz is a legislator.
this country is filled with talkers. i'm a builder. i can rebuild this country. that is going to cost money. the news industry we are not going to put those pictures in the air. i think he can do a hell of a documentary and win in iowa and knock this guy out of the game. cruz is just a debater. that is what he does for a living. >> if i were trump i would run the ads. i would have already -- i would have run the ads already. >> why not? >> i think he has the media attention. >> if he needs to win in iowa why doesn't he -- >> he gets more free media coverage than anybody else. >> we are not going to give him coverage of his biography. >> iowa doesn't matter as much. >> will trump take a loss in iowa or do everything he can to
win? >> will he do everything he can to win? >> i don't think so. >> thank you. we were getting a little busy there. thank you. >> up next, coming up, civil war in the gop, donald trump saying he will consider running as an independent not as a republican if he is not treated well. now ben carson is saying the same thing that the republican choose the nominee he is out of the party, too. it is getting ugly in republican land. hillary clinton is changing her tune on trump saying she is no longer amused by the republican. no longer amused. she says he is dangerous. a lot of people are saying that. and why don't attacks against donald trump work? teflon. we will go to the round table and talk about the facts right now among the hard core
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trying to figure out a way to push back. the washington post reports that some party leaders convened at a dinner meeting where much -- according to the post several argue for trump made it to the convention the party's establishment must lay groundwork for a floor fight in which the gop's mainstream wing could coalesce around an alternative. surprisingly it wasn't trump spotted immediately. carson wrote if this was the beginning of a plan to replace it with the will of the political elite i assure donald trump will not be the only one leaving the party. if the powerful try to manipulate it it may be the last convention. i am prepared to lose fair and square as i'm sure is donald. i will not watch a theft. this afternoon carson explained to fox news what would cause him to leave the party. >> if it became clear that they
were using various types of procedure procedures i would leave. i wouldn't want to be a part of it. i wouldn't run as a third party. >> what you are saying is you might leave the party but wouldn't run against the party. >> i wouldn't in any way try to destroy what was going on but i would not want to be a part of the production. >> donald trump has threatened to run third party if he wasn't treated fairly. here is his words this week. >> some of them look stupid. some of them is a fool. he thinks romney won the election. these people look very bad. i understand it if i were in their position. >> the establishment is foolish. these are foolish people.
the establishment seems to be against me. i will tell you who is not against me are the voters. the people that you interview on the street they have one network that went out looking for people and they wanted to find people and couldn't find anybody against me. >> she runs a proted cruz superpack and a democratic strategist. thanks for coming on. what do you make of ben carson's remark if he sees them trying to put together an alternative he is saying that is cheating. what do you think? >> it is not cheating. as for the brokered convention i agree with those saying you can't supplant the judgment of the voters. if it is brokered i hope because we have a nominee with adequate number of delegates not because the grand party aren't happy with who the voters have decided should be the nominee. >> you are arguing that the
candidate that gets the most votes even if he or she doesn't get the majority should be the nominee? >> i withed have to look at the map and who came on with strength? is that an indication that they can carry against the democratic nominee in the general. in no uncertain terms should party leaders plan to plant a person who has plurality or majority of dellicates with a candidate who voters have rejected. who are they going to put? jeb bush? what is this? mitt romney is going to be the peace maker and tell us how to lose the swing state? >> you are going for the weak. you are the weakest candidate. j ebb and a candidate not running. >> they are the establishment candidates. >> a year ago what did we talk
about on your show? it was jeb can win. look at the polls. he is the only one that the win. the washington post saying the polls don't matter. you have to wait until people go to the ballot box. >> what else would they say? you are looking from the other side. this is a year that seems like an explosive model. it isn't going towards anything especially clear right now. >> it's not. and the republicans actually are seeing the chickens come home to roost. what they are left with is a situation with 14 candidates the guy at 30% can run up huge -- >> they say -- say donald trump has anywhere near it but nobody else has more than 20.
he is more of a commanding figure, more of a unifier. would that work? would the public accept the fact that a guy being knocked off who is clearly the leader? >> would it be smart? i don't think so. would it work? absolutely. people would come into the convention and there would be a lot of horse trading going on and be like i'm going to endorse you. >> before people had a hand. >> the rules in the primary are you have to cast the first ballot for the person that you are a delegate for and after that it is a free for all. >> if there is no nominee by the time of the convention in july how is this? for romney loyalists all bets are off. a small group of wealthy donors will be ready with a strategy to win with a nomination. in recent months romney
loyalists -- that strategy involves flipping from states with large mormon populations like utah, wyoming. it's so oddly written. >> this is crazy. i have to jump in here. this is crazy with all due respect to mitt romney. we appreciate him running for the presidency last time. are we going to erase the 47% remark, the binders of women? we are going to relitigate 2012 and 2016 when what has 2016 been all about? the placement of electability, who might be able to lead? the establishment is on its back. >> not been able to break through. they don't get the rallies. they don't get movement in the early states in the polls even if they spend money. with all due respect to mitt romney and loyalists is that the
best we can do? >> when do we get to the running of the primaries? we can't build crowds. if it is cruz -- or is it going to be trump? i think those two will be the contestants in the south? >> if you do it by delegate counts it is cruz. if you do it by wins it may or may not be cruz. >> give me your scenario for victory in your mind. >> not at all. we think that he -- instead of running ad after ad after ad and
spend all that money with the consultants, 15% people on the undgrowe have eight people in iowa. we are trying to build an infrastructure who matches who the candidate is. he goes to rallies and forums in standing room only. when you get to march 1 that's a great map for ted cruz. not all southern states are created equally. his home state is in there. i wouldn't count out jeb bush in the following way. he will have the money to compete. i think the calculation over there in bush world is that you get to big win or take all states bush people have money to lay six or seven million in the -- >> do they have the candidate? is bush a candidate that can win? >> that's the point. there is no substitute for a good candidate. >> jeb bush, i can't --
>> you know what she wants? two secular candidates to run against home school candidate. thank you for being a great advocate. >> up next for hillary clinton donald trump is no longer a laughing matter. she changed her approach and that is ahead. she is getting tough. this is "hardball." place for politics. (phone ringing) you can't deal with something by ignoring .t but that's how some
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i want to ask you a couple of questions about donald trump. first question, have you heard about him? >> you know, i no longer think he is funny. >> that was the key line. donald trump giving comedians a lot of fodder but hillary clinton says trump is not a laughing matter anymore after controversial proposals to ban muslims from entering the u.s. trump took shots at mexican immigrants, a decorated prisoner of war and women. people have laughed along and one laughing has been hillary clinton. >> hello. who is this? >> congratulations. you are speaking to donald trump. >> hello, donald. >> how are you, hillary? haven't seen you since my last wedding.
>> i'm sure i will see you at the next one. >> so darn bummed. all anyone wants to talk about is donald trump. >> donald trump? isn't he the one that's like you all losers? >> now hillary clinton and some gop establishment say it has been crossed. >> what he is saying now snaut only shameful and wrong, isrr dangerous. in his latest demand that we not let muslims into our country really plays right into the hands of the terrorist. he is giving them a great propaganda tool. >> joining me now is nbc white house correspondent who covers the clinton campaign. thank you. this seems to be a little late hit here. everybody has attacked trump for
what he said about excluding people of the islamic faith from our borders, from airports, by boat. they can't get off. >> clinton campaign would argue that she has been attacking him since he first announced his candidacy. recall the controversial comments about immigrants. she came out with a strong attack back then. we are seeing her really train her sights on him. we saw this almost all hands on approach this week. she attacked him. one of her top aides attacked him. she is a muslim american. they released this web ad. she aggressively went after him within the clinton campaign there is a real acknowledgment as there is throughout the political world that donald trump could become the nominee. the challenge for her now is just how to walk the fine line. this week she painted trump's
rhetoric as being dangerous and crossing a line. she has to acknowledge that americans are afraid in the wake of the san bernardino attacks and the wake of paris and according to a recent poll, 79% of americans say that another terrorist attack is likely. so she has to be very careful in her rhetoric. and at the same time -- >> can you tell me working with her campaign mingling among them, can you tell me they are afraid of trump? or might rather run against him? are they more afraid of him or cruz? nobody has more steak in this race besides trump and the person who has to run against him. >> the official line from the clinton campaign is that they are prepared to run against any of these candidates. if you look at the polls she does better against trump than she does against any of the other candidates but the distinction is so stark and there is a growing realization
that he -- i think that's what makes them a little bit nervous that sense that he is really touching a nerve that she at this point isn't reaching. >> that's well said. you agree with that? i think there is a vacuum among not just white working class guy. number is competitive among college crowd. >> i think hillary had to get more serious this week than where trump went on his proposal to ban muslims. he had the -- republicans that weren't saying anything this week, paul ryan and dick cheney. hillary had to step back and get more serious with trump because -- >> why was she part of the chuckle until now? >> everyone was laughing about the trump candidacy. when he announced in june my news room the reaction was
really? >> it is okay to make fun of other women's looks which is a no-no. it is okay to make fun of illegal immigrants the way that trump does it. he calls them rapists. that all was truckle worthy. that was food for chuckling. >> this is different how? >> we are in a post paris, post california shooting era. last month we have had two terrorist attacks, big ones. >> therefore? >> we are in a new serious phase of the campaign? >> is it because the country fears if we make fun of 2 billion muslims we may have more trouble? >> repercussions. you see reports about things happening at mosques, violence against individuals. i think responsibility on leading presidential candidates to say something as a democratic front runner to rebuke. >> looks like she will keep it up. go after trump for a while? >> here is the other thing she
will keep up. she is going to continue to try to lump the rest of the republican field in with trump. this is a strategy she has been doing since the beginning. her campaign thinks it is working. one official saying they are going to take that through the entire primary process. she is beating almost every gop candidate in the general election matchup. this is a strategy they will continue. >> and that seems like religious discrimination by definition. have a nice weekend. and merry christmas if i don't see you again. up next why don't attacks against donald trump work? this is going to be fascinating for people left and center as well as right. because it is interesting. nothing seems to break this guy's support. they seem to be sticking together with him. the round table is coming here next. you are watching "hardball," place for politics. a remarkable holiday party.
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one of these other guys that goes down. i don't go down. i go up. >> you have a warning for gop leaders? >> i say i'm sorry i did this to you but you got to get used to it. it is a little problem in life. >> welcome back to "hardball." get used to it. that was donald trump with chris wallace. his republican rivals label him an empty suit, a cancer on
conservetism. attacking trump makes supporters like him more. trump supporters are a potent combination of loyal, angry and scared. they are ticked off at everything, their own party, illegal immigrants and especially president obama. one told a focus group that i wouldn't urinate on president obama if he was on fire. the san bernardino shootings -- they cheer the proposed ban on muslims. washington post reporter attended focus group this week and made the voters hug him tighter. i am joined by the hard ball round table. all of you went on this watching
men and women stick to him under all pelts of attack. i said he was a mixed bag until recently. >> i learned everything is in a belief that the media is lying and has been lying for a long time. >> don't believe any attacks on him so he is telling the truth? >> yes. one thing they draw on is san bernardino. they said the media said we shouldn't be politically correct. because of that things like that happen in this country and donald trump is warning against it for years. that was a concrete example to them that donald trump has been telling the truth. >> he has to grab on that when you find the people heard reason to believe these people that committed the mayhem were talking it up. it wasn't like they were secretly doing this. >> one came over on a visa from saudi arabia. i think trump is speaking to
some concerns not only about immigration but muslim immigration and then the reaction is that he shouted down not only by his republican challengers but democrats in the media and condemn has two effects. it makes his supporters feel like their concerns aren't being heard. it makes trump look like a strong leader and therefore he is trusted on issues across the board, economics, national security and strengthened the level of his support. >> i think to justify everything he says a lot of it awful there must be deep seeded reason why you support. it could be racism. it could be nationalism. it could be an absolute intipathy for the establishment. >> it is all boiling together to create this perfect storm for donald trump. we saw the muslim stuff coming up. we know what that is about. >> i want you to get back on
this. when when ali announced he is a muslim we find ourselves cheering for him. it was something that didn't make us hate the guy by any means. we love the guy. so terrorism. i don't this go it is anti-islamic. i think it has to do with terrorism. >> it has to do with fear. let's be clear. in 2008 you had one that was hopeful about changes that were happening in america. you had one that was anktuous about the changes and to a certain extent this is the full boiling point of that. while there are other variables playing in the support that is also clear that there is an
anxiousness and temper tantrum by elements of white supremacy that absolutely see trump as their guy. he is the voice of a collective temper tantrum going on. >> i do think you have a case when it comes to him going with the police the other night. why would he want to embrace the police at this point? i think it is a dange jaub, the way he is doing it is interesting. it's not just antiforeign. it may be antiblack. >> i think we are losing our country. >> black lives matter you want to show up with the police is my point or black lives matter? maybe spend some time with the police? >> why are you laughing? >> maybe it goes without saying. >> not just trump voters. i have been to rallies from chris christie. when the muslim issues come up
they say they are more worried about muslims because we have let more into the country. >> there is not an overflow of muslims into the country. >> your doctor the other day -- a lot of people are doctors we deal with all the time. >> we are at the point now where minorities are becoming the majority. we are going to see these sort of temper tantrums and jokes. how we navigate this will define who america becomes. >> nobody likes the culture diminishing in the face of a new culture. it's how you react to it. >> change is disturbing to most people. up next, these three going to tell me something i don't know for the weekend. something that good. that is surprising. that wonderful, this is "hardball," place for politics. and can you explain why you recommend synthetic over cedar?
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opportunity is everything you make of it. this winter, take advantage of our season's best offers on the latest generation of cadillacs. the 2016 cadillac ats. get this low-mileage lease from around $269 per month, or purchase with 0% apr financing. we're back with the "hardball" round table. david, tell me something i don't know. >> rand paul might not make this debate. they're going it fight if he doesn't make the debate. but you're going to -- >> next tuesday won't be there maybe. >> maybe not but they're going to fight it but i think what you're going to see is rand paul become a running mate for ted cruz among the people who want to bring cruz down. everyone who wants to work with ted cruz they're going to try to say the votes that cruz cast,
the libertarian security votes they're going to say those make him unelectable don't keep the country safe. might not be great for rand paul but i think he's going to be a problem for one of the guys that is surging in the polls right now. >> perfect segue. you know, as ted cruz is trying to shore up his foreign policy credentials, there is increasing concern among republican hawks that he cannot be trusted on foreign policy -- >> is this why he's attacking neocons? >> well, i think it's because he's attacking the neocons. and they, you know -- republican hawks are starting to say he's spent more time triangulating between rand paul and marco rubio and john mccain than he has boning up on serious issues and developing his position. >> so their boy is still rubio. >> i think you're going to see an increasing chorus of people coming out of the establishment and -- >> why has rubio faded the last two or three weeks. why is nothing talked about by anybody? >> i think there's some skepticism about whether he has a solid ground game in the early states and can carry the momentum that he has in the media. >> i think that's fascinating. >> and no gravitas. there's -- >> is that a rabbit punch?
>> yes, it was. 41% of asian-americans say they would change their vote away from a candidate if that candidate spread strong anti-immigration. >> asian. >> asian americans. the immigration issue we think of just as a hispanic issue but clearly it's more broad and it's going to hurt the republican party. the big tent of the republican party overall of minorities. >> i think going after south asians especially i think is really going to bug them. these are doctors and lawyers. they're really quite citizens. anyway, thank you, david weigel and thank you elliana johnson and thank you, cornel belcher. cornel. anybody named cornel's got to be taken damn seriously. when we return, let me finish with the real fight on the republican right, trump versus cruz. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. to their investments so in a variety of market conditions... you can feel confident... ...in our experience. call a t. rowe price retirement specialist or your advisor ...to see how we can help make the most of your retirement savings. t. rowe price. invest with confidence.
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let me finish tonight with this. imagine you're watching the republican fight for the nomination and you see two contenders left in the fight, just two. you have to choose between donald trump and ted cruz. fascinating, isn't it? so you watch the bouts between them, watch cruz pick off iowa using his religious appeal to the right. you see trump then come back in new hampshire and then face cruz in a possibly decisive match in south carolina. what a revolting development for moderates and progressives. a republican battle in which no recognizable moderate or even centrist is even in the fight. that's what it looks like right now. trump versus cruz. i think you'll be surprised to see who gets the republican establishment cheering section working for it. is it imaginable that we'll see it rooting for the brash
billionaire? you tell me. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. tonight on "all in" -- >> so my approach to the frustration of the media has been to bear-hug both of them. >> the say it to my face portion of the republican primary begins. ted cruz lays out the plan to defeat trump. now donald trump is calling out ted cruz. tonight we'll go live to the trump event in iowa. plus, nate silver and robert costa on how brokered conventions work. and the far right extremists who say donald trump's bigotry is a little much. then my interview with the oklahoma grandmother who