tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC December 29, 2015 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
thanks again. and thanks to all of you watching msnbc live. i'm erica hill. see you back here tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. eastern. "hardball" starts right now. could hitting bill clinton knock out the donald? let's play "hardball"? . good evening i'm joy reid in for chris matthews. moments ago, donald trump completed a press conference aboard his plane and he's headed to a rally in council bluffs, iowa. the republican front-runner, meanwhile, continued his attacks on bill clinton today. yesterday, trump tweeted about bill clinton's, quote, terrible record of women abuse, his words. on the "today" show this morning he showed no signs of backing off. >> there was certainly a lot of abuse of women, and you look at whether it's monica lewinsky or paula jones or many of them, and
that certainly will be fair game, certainly, if they play the woman's card, with respect to me, that will be fair game. >> are you saying an extramarital affair by bill clinton is fair game and something that you think should be in the campaign? >> i'm not saying -- what i'm saying is very simple. if he is going to play the woman card, because i'll do more for women than hillary clinton will do for women, including the future of our country, but if she's going to play, you know, he mentioned the whole thing, praying up the women's card very, very strongly. if he's going to play that game and be out there campaigning, he's certainly fair game. and i think everybody agrees with me on that. >> that was trump saying that bill clinton's history with monica lewinsky and paula jones is fair game for an alternative viewpoint, however, let's watch this video, in 2008, it's from a prominent businessman who called those very scandals totally
unimportant. he may sound somewhat familiar. >> look at the trouble bill clinton got into with something that was totally unimportant. and they tried to impeach him, which was nonsense. >> now, trump was asked about that discrepancy today. >> as a businessman, especially as a really successful businessman, it was my obligation to really get along with people. that's democrats, republicans, everybody. and that's what i did. i'm a conservative republican, and in many ways, i'm very conservative, but i had an obligation to my country and to my employees and to my family, to get along. so i was able to get along with clinton. i was able to get along with virtually every politician you can imagine. and when i went to washington and when i needed something, i got it. >> so if you're trying to keep up, trump the businessman thought it was nonsense. trump the politician thinks it's fair game. the bigger question, what will voters think? could playing the lewinsky card
actually backfire? sam stein is t"the huffington post" political editor and an msnbc contributor. perry bacon is senior political reporter for nbc news. and ruth marcus is a columnist for "the washington post." good evening, everyone. i'm going to come to you first on this, sam. so donald trump is essentially saying, it's fair game to go after hillary on bill clinton, if she dares to mention the fact that she is a woman. does this make any sense to you? >> no. there's not much consistency here between what trump said in 2008, what he's saying now. but what struck me about the clip you just played is that he said that he needed to make friends as a businessman, because you needed favors to get done. which logically leads us to believe that he doesn't believe you need to be friendly with people, as a politician. and that is completely confusing to me, because if you do want to get things done, you have this system called democracy. we have dual powers of the government here, legislative power and executive power. you actually do have to get
along with people. and it seems to me that trump doesn't quite comprehend the idea that politics is not just about sharp elbows, but about reaching out to folks who you might disagree with, to get something done. and that leads us to believe that he thinks himself more of a dictator than a presidential candidate. >> in the press conference a few minutes ago, trump was asked if his own personal indiscretions might be fair game as well. let's watch? >> yes, they would be. and frankly, hillary brought up the whole thing with sexist. and all i did is reverse it on her. because she's got a major problem, and happens to be right in her house. if she wants to do that, we're going to go right after the president, the ex-president, and see how it all comes out. >> perry bacon jr., there is an episode of "star trek" where the character of charlie essentially says that everybody had better be nice to him, or he'll freeze them all. that is the way he dealt with people who weren't being sufficiently nice. i feel like trump's argument is,
everyone has to be nice to me, including my actual potential general election opponent, or else. i can't parse it any other way. couldn't his own indiscretions come up politically if he's bringi ining bill clinton? >> of course, but he's been saying this for a while. he says, i'll be nice, but if you attack me, i'll attack harder. he constantly invokes this idea, if i'm attacked first, i'll attack even harder following that. he seems to me to be conflating some issues, though. what he's talking about is bill clinton having an affair at the white house. that's different from the comments that trump has made about megyn kelly and about -- bill clinton had an affair, that was a marital indiscretion. trump is being accused of sexism a different way and he's sort of conflating two issues that are very different in my mind. that said, politically, trump attacking the clintons is going to help, not hurt in the republican primary. >> because the person you didn't mention, that's hillary clinton,
who is the one running for president. ruth, you wrote a column today that's getting a lot of attention. and it said, trump is right, bill clinton's sordid sexual history is fair game. let me quote you a bit. you write, "ordinarily, i would argue that the sins of the husband should not be visited ton wife. but hillary clinton has made two moves that lead me, gulp, to agree with trump on the fair game front. she is, smartly, using her husband as a campaign surrogate and simultaneously, correctly, calling trump sexist. these moves open a dangerous door. it should surprise no one that trump has barged right through it." so ruth, defend this column a little bit. because trump isn't saying that he would use president clinton's indiscretions in some substantiative way. he's essentially saying, if she says she's a woman, i'm going to get her, and if she attempts to say she would be good for women, i'm going to get her. i'm not quite understanding how you agree with that. >> well, i'm not actually agreeing with your characterization of what he's saying.
and so let me back up. trump says that bill clinton's activities while he was president, and i would call this more of an extramarital affair, with all due respect to my friend, perry, i would say that while he was the head of a company, say, with a subordinate, had a sexual relationship with a subordinate, that would have resulted in any head of a company being thrown out of his job for engaging in the same sort of behavior. then he lied about it, under oath, in a deposition, and to a federal grand jury. so i think this was some pretty serious behavior that we're talking about. and i think, as with all campaign surrogates, if you send bill clinton out and he is your chief campaign surrogate, and let me be clear, i thought bill clinton was a very successful president, but he was a successful president with a big blot on his record. which was his conduct. and so, when you send him out as
a surrogate in that way, you open yourself up to criticism of his behavior in office. and especially when you are criticizing the leading candidate in the other party for his attitudes towards women. >> ruth, i have to ask you this. what could hillary clinton, as first lady of the united states, have done about any of that? how is it her responsibility? >> i am not saying that it's her responsibility. what i am saying is that when you -- just as if -- if donald trump sent somebody out in the campaign, who had a history of racist remarks or sexist remarks or had been convicted of some sort of offensive activity and bill clinton was impeached, and we can agree or disagree, but it is there, you are responsible as a campaign for the surrogates that you send out to the behavior and comments of the surrogates you send out, to push
your message, and i think it's perfectly fair game to raise bill clinton's past in that regard. it's totally up to voters, whether they think that's relevant or not to their assessment of hillary clinton's candidacy, but my point is, i don't think it's at all off the reservation for donald trump to be kind of fighting back at hillary clinton with this issue. and let me be clear. the start of that column said that donald trump was sexist, racist, narcissist. and any issue you want to attach to. i'm signing up for that. >> ruth, you're equating bill clinton, essentially with a convicted felon. bill clinton was the opposite of that, in that his impeachment resulted of his acquittal in the united states senate. >> what i'm saying is that when you send a surrogate out on the campaign trail, you are accepting some degree of responsibility for that surrogate's past comments and past behavior.
>> okay, well, i want to very quickly go to sam stein and ask a bit of a follow-up question. because the flip side of that is if donald trump or any republican candidate were to decide that the way they're going to fight hillary clinton is to re-litigate bill clinton's presidency and re-litigate his personal scandals, what might that do, for instance, to women who are attempting to look at those two candidates? wouldn't that, in essence, increase sympathy for hillary clinton? >> it would. let me start out by saying, i don't disagree with ruth's premise here. i mean, it does seem like surrogates are fair game when you send them out on the campaign trail, including their personal conduct, their moral failings, and whatever business or political activity they have. the issue here, though, is that donald trump is the candidate and hillary clinton is the candidate. and trump is the primary purveyor of the sexism and hillary clinton, you know, i don't know what she could have done differently to prevent bill's moral failings, and i'm not sure we should expect her to publicly condemn him, as much as, you know, more than she has
already. so that being said, there is also a vulnerability that drutr brings on to himself when he goes after this. there's been research done by some prominent republican operatives, looking into this. they looked at how leaning republican women, independent women, and leaning democratic women voters react to attacks on bill clinton's conduct with respect to the monica lewinsky affair. and they all seem to feel very sympathetic to hillary clinton when that attack is launched. and they have wide disagreements on policy grounds. they don't necessarily trust her on foreign policy grounds. but when you go after her husband, it engenders sympathy. so while it is a very potent attack in the republican primary, it doesn't really work in the general election. >> and then the other question, perry, to say nothing of the fact that one of the complications of running as a woman is this notion that you are trying to be your own person, and you're having a male opponent, socially say, no, you are your spouse. your male spouse is the primary person we want to talk about here, not you. i wonder how this works for a
republican. >> i think in this case, hillary clinton is on the stage, no doubt in part because her husband had a successful presidency. so i think that she comes in with some of his challenges and some of his advantages as well. so you know if you're hillary clinton, you're going to run on bill clinton's record to some extent. but i agree with sam in some ways, i don't necessarily -- there aren't a lot of swing voters left in a trump versus hillary clinton election. i'm guessing there will be even fewer swing voters than usual. but trump's running in the primary right now. i think getting in a fight with hillary clinton is really smart for him right now. this is a better issue, i would argue, than sort of the muslim man, for sure. it's something that most republicans agree that bill clinton's behavior in the white house was not appropriate. >> i'll give you the last word on this, ruth, because it was your column that sparked this lively discussion. >> i think it might have been trump that sparked the discussion, but thanks. >> well, there you go. but ruth, does it give you any pause as a woman, this idea that a woman candidate for the president of the united states gets judged based upon her
husband, rather than her own record? >> it would give me pause as a general matter. i think this is such an unusual context, where it's not just her husband, it's her husband, the former president of the united states, her husband, her chief campaign surrogate. so the clintons are -- they're just sort of a unique phenomenon for better or for worse. and by the way, i just want to say, i totally do agree with the notion that this is pretty smart primary campaign tactic. this is not going to play well in the general election. >> all right. we have to leave it there. thank you very much to sam stein, perry bacon and ruth marcus. coming up, you see it in cleveland, you see it in chicago and across the country, tension between the police and communities of color, but how will those tensions play out in the 2016 election when voters head to the polls? we'll look at what it could mean for the top contenders, including the aforementioned hillary clinton. also, terrorism has risen to one of the top priorities among
voters, so where does the threat stand this week as we approach new year's eve? i'll ask a top terror expert. plus, as we await another campaign rally from donald trump during this hour, the establishment candidates are going after, well, each other. today's example, the pro-jeb super pac is slamming marco rubio for 23409 showing up to his senate job. and as you might imagine, rubio's team is fight back. but guess who else wants in on the attacks. and lastly tonight, the "hardball" roundtable will tell me something i don't know when they predict who will be the next republican to drop out of the race for 2016. this is "hardball," the place for politics. no tickets. no accidents. that is until one of you clips a food truck, ruining your perfect record. yeah. now you would think your insurance company would cut you some slack, right? no. your insurance rates go through the roof... your perfect record doesn't get you anything. anything. perfect. for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise your rates
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traction in this presidential cycle. he plans on airing a tv announcement tonight in iowa, new hampshire, and south carolina. we'll be right back. i'm jerry bell the second. and i'm jerry bell the third. i'm like a big bear and he's my little cub. this little guy is non-stop. he's always hanging out with his friends. you've got to be prepared to sit at the edge of your seat and be ready to get up. there's no "deep couch sitting." definitely not good for my back. this is the part i really don't like right here. (doorbell) what's that? a package! it's a swiffer wetjet. it almost feels like it's moving itself. this is kind of fun. that comes from my floor? eww!
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compare.com. saving humanity from high insurance rates. welcome back to "hardball." with less than five weeks to go until the 2016 primary season, the headlines dominating the front pages look a lot more like the summer of 2014 and 2015. with stories of police-involved shootings and the resulting outrage among families, activists, and communities. "the new york times," "the washington post," and "usa today" are all running lead stories about yesterday's grand jury decision out of cleveland. not to indict the officers involved in the killing of 12-year-old tamir rice. the fallout in chicago was splashed across the front page of the "wall street journal." after this weekend's accidental police-involved shootings there. today, the headlines continued. in cleveland, tamir rice's family continued its push for a federal investigation, arguing that county prosecutor tim mcginty, quote, sabotaged the
case. in chicago, the officer charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of 17-year-old laquan mcdonald appeared in court today to plead not guilty. and mayor rahm emanuel returned to chicago today, amid growing calls for his resignation. the embattled mayor cut short his family's cuba vacation, following another crisis at the chicago pd. for democrats, particularly hillary clinton, these tensions cannot be ignored. these communities are democratic strongholds. ohio is a battleground state. the big question for both parties, is how to navigate these fault lines, which are some of the most volatile in american politics. lynn sweet is the washington bureau chief at the "chicago sun-times" and michael eric dyson is an msnbc political analyst. and i want to start off with you, lynn. and just in this sense, for democrats, in addressing how to deal with these unfolding scandals and the damage that's being done, to some of their most prominent surrogates, quite frankly, one of whom is rahm
emanuel, how does the hillary clinton campaign deal with emanuel now? >> well, rahm emanuel has not been a prominent surrogate to date in the way that if you mean by that, joy, that he's traveled or he's been prominent in fund-raising, so, she has stood by him, so far, but that was before the second shooting incident that took place over the weekend, where two people were killed by police, including a 55-year-old grandmother, who just opened the door to let the police in. so we don't -- i don't expect rahm emanuel now to have any prominent role in the campaign. he has a lot to do in chicago. he is very damaged and there is damage that he needs to repair. >> lynn, let me play you what hillary clinton recently said when she was asked if she had confident in rahm emanuel's leadership and i have question on the other side. >> do you still have confidence in the mayor of the city where he was born? >> i do. he loves chicago and i'm
confident he's going to do everything he can to get to the bottom of these issues and take whatever measures are necessary to remedy them. >> and lynn, what about the risk of republicans tying hillary clinton to rahm emanuel and using his troubles against her? >> well, for the moment, they could do that, but then, you could just bounce back and say, well, what is your plan for dealing with policing issues? what is your plan for dealing with crime? these are not -- what is your plan for dealing with the problems that has given rise to my brother's keeper and black lives matter? these are issues that are talked about all the time by bernie sanders and hillary clinton. not the republicans. so, for the moment, in illinois, rahm emanuel has his hands full. you know, hillary clinton is very popular there. she has a strong slate running of delegates. and if you look nationally, i
think, probably, lucky for the campaign right now, he's not going to be a figure out there to be polarized, because he has got to, when he gets back to chicago, from cuba, just stay in the city and figure out a way to have a credible way to have regaining trust and putting forth, what i think are coming, as soon as maybe tomorrow, are plans dealing with how police use violence and when they engage, not how police use violence, how they direct using force. >> and michael eric dyson, so we have coming up next march, on march 15th, a bunch of big primaries, including in illinois and ohio, so it's not as if the democrats can avoid this and avoid talking about these topics in their primary race, should it go that long. does hillary clinton have any vulnerability on this issue of what plans she has in order to change the systems that are in place for communities of color versus police? >> well, it may be a no-lose for
hillary clinton. on the one hand, if things go bad for rahm emanuel, she can contrast that with her rather engaged response to black lives matter, and her insistence that public policy will fill the gulf. on the other hand, should things, you know, pan out in the end for rahm, though it doesn't look that way, then she can say she offered provisional support for him, at a critical time. so i think that the broader issue here is whether or not the black lives matter moment, along with the issues of police brutality and police misconduct, would have a significant impact upon this 2016 race. for those quarters and segments of society who are watching closely, it certainly does. but beyond that, beyond the pale, so to speak, it remains to see whether what comes out of
the police and the public response will capture the american public and hillary clinton will be forced into a situation that so far she's managed to avoid. >> can i point out, one quick thing. when hillary clinton was in chicago for miff fund-raising recently, she, without publicity, and without notice, i had to track it down, met with a group of mothers from around the nation whose children were victims of violence. now, some of the most prominent mothers, you know, from ferguson to trayvon martin's mother, mothers of victims of violence, in chicago, and she -- you know, she's talked about it a bit on the trail, but she has quietly been laying groundwork to address this. i think it will come out in a bigger way as time goes on. but she and bernie sanders are the ones that are talking about these issues. >> all right. let's thanks both lynn sweet and michael eric dyson. thank you. >> thank you. up next, assessing the threat. a look at the heightened alert
any any potential attacks as we head into the new year's holiday weekend. this is "hardball," the place for politics. >> important message for women and men ages 50 to 85. please write down this toll-free number now. right now, in areas like yours, people are receiving this free information kit for guaranteed acceptance life insurance with a rate lock through the colonial penn program. if you're on a fixed income or concerned about rising prices, learn about affordable whole life insurance with a lifetime rate lock
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plus no interest until january 2018. know better sleep with sleep number. we're also striking at the head of this snake by hunting down and killing isil leaders. we've killed ten isil leadership figures with targeted air strikes, including several external attack planners, some of whom are linked to the paris attacks, others had designs on further attacking the west >> welcome back to "hardball." that was army colonel steve warren announcing that u.s. air strikes killed key militant leaders this month, including one member of isis in syria with direct ties to the ringleader of the paris attacks. in brussels this morning, belgian police announced they'd arrested two people, potentially planning future attacks in that country. and here in the u.s., as new york city prepares to host a million revelers on new year's eve, mayor bill de blasio and
police commissioner bill bratton announced increased security measures for the countdown to 2016. >> we are the best prepared city in the country. the best prepared city to prevent terrorism and to deal any event should it occur. >> we are aware that the threat picture has changed because of isis. it's changed significantly from what it was a year ago or two years ago. and in response to that, and in fact, ahead of that, in some respects, that's why we have enlarged our capabilities here in the city, with these additional units. >> both officials said they are not aware of any specific terror threat targeting thursday night's times square celebration. and joining me now is nbc news terrorism analyst, evan kohlmann. so connect the t dos for us here. we know that the metric that is used to decide if we are doing well in this war on terror is how many isis fighters or isis members we are eliminating or targeting and killing, as you heard in that sound bite. but what does that have to do
with the actual security here in the u.s., here at home? >> look, on the good side, a number of the people that supposedly we've killed here were people that were in charge or responsible for isis' external operations. and that would be operations directed at europe and the united states. and supposedly one of these individuals is a french national, whose name has been repeated over and over again, supposedly in the french media, who supposedly was in touch with the ringleader behind the paris attacks, was planning other attacks. and that's great, but we should also remember that some of these other ten people that were announced today, they were people that were in charge of an ied cell. in other words, they were responsible for putting right side bombs in place in syria. it's difficult to know how direct there is a connection between killing someone like that, and preventing the next paris or the next san bernardino attacks. i think it's, you know, our officials, our law enforcement and intelligence officials, they're under a tremendous amount of pressure right now to try to show progress, to try to show results. and i understand that, but we have to be careful about every
time we announce when we kill some people, because not everyone that was on this list was the next osama bin laden. >> and evan, you know, is there also a potential flip side to that, that if we are constantly sort of announcing we've killed this many people and these are their names, is there any -- what is the risk of a retaliatory attack based on that, or are people trying to decide to do paris-style attacks based on what we've said we've do done? >> we don't want to provoke people, but i'm afraid of the reverse. i'm afraid that is going to lull us into some kind of complacency. that because we're killing isis members in syria and iraq, that means we're safe. the reality is what's really protecting us from isis right now is there aren't that many people inside the united states that have been radicalized. it's a small number of people, especially if you compare it to france and the uk and other countries in europe. what distinguishes us from them is not the amazing law enforcement and intelligence apparatus that we have. we definitely have that, but they also have quite a bit of sophistication in that regard. what makes us different is that
we don't have large networks of isis recruits here inside the united states. the same way we've seen in france and belgium and other countries. and one of the central reasons for that is because of the fact that thes u.s. has done a much better job than many european states in terms of integrating ethnics and religious minorities into the larger nation, the larger america. and if we engage that, if we make muslims feel like they're not welcome here, that all vanishes. that all disappears. right now we're looking at isis sympathizers and supporters here that are in ones and twos. they're certainly a threat, but not on the scale of paris. if you radicalize people, if you make them feel like they're not welcome here. if you make them feel like america is really at war with sel islam and that americans have no respect for islam, all of that goes away instantly. that's what we should be worried about, that's what we should be thinking about. that's what impacts our security. >> evan, thank you so much. well said. appreciate it. >> thank you. . coming up, jeb bush's super pac goes after marco rubio, accusing the florida senator of not showing up for work and not
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don't get stuck on hold. reach an expert fast. comcast business. built for business. hello. i'm erica hill. here's what's happening at this hour. missouri governor jay nixon calling on the national guard in the face of rare winter flooding along the mississippi. several towns near the river are under mandatory evacuation orders. forecasters say the water will not start receding until friday. at least 18 deaths are already blamed on flooding in missouri and illinois and that storm is still moving east, expected to bring more snow and ice to the northeast region and intense rain to some southeastern states. back now to "hardball."
>> welcome back to "hardball." the pro-bush super pac right to rise is slamming marco rubio in a new ad in iowa today on rubio's missed voted in the senate. >> days after the paris attacks, senators came together for
a top-secret briefing on the terrorist threat. marco rubio was missing. fund-raising in california instead. two weeks later, terrorists struck again in san bernardino. and where was marco? fund-raising again in new orleans. over the last three years, rubio has missed important national security hearings and missed more total votes than any other senator. >> in response, rubio's spokesman issued the following statement, "bush's team dishonestly omits that marco is on the senate's intelligence committee, where he attended the highest level briefings on the paris attacks. no other candidate for president has received more classified intelligence briefings or better understands the threats facing our nation today than marco. it's sad to see jeb's joyful
campaign reduced to such intellectual dishonesty." a rubio adviser was also quick to point out that bush also held a fund-raiser on the night of the san bernardino attack. but this latest internessing sniping between one-time mentor and protege comes after rubio was the only 2016 candidate to skip the vote on the omnibus bill earlier this month, which ted cruz and rand paul showed up to vote against. in defending that decision, rubio said on cbs that skipping the vote was the same as voting against it, and then told fox that the bill, which he called garbage, was forced upon congress. >> in essence, not voting for it is a vote against it. where the outcome is already predetermined. and at the end of the day, it was an issue with no transparency on. it was put together in 48 hours and rammed down the throat of congress. >> all right, senator, it's sort of part of job. >> greta, i was doing something, and that is running for president so we don't have to
keep doing this in the future. i want to win this race so we have a president that doesn't force us to take the garbage that was in that omnibus that was passed last week. >> today, chris christie joined in, piling in on rubio for missing that vote. take a look. >> he gives a good speech, marco, and i want to hear his stirring speech, that's going to try to persuade people on the floor of the senate not to vote for this awful spending bill. except, he never showed up. he was totally opposed to it. and didn't go there to vote no. only in washington could you have the guts to stand up and say i'm against something, that you have a vote to vote no on, and just not go. dude, show up to work and vote no. right? just show up to work and vote no. and if you don't want to, then quit. >> i'm joined now by the "hardball" roundtable. sabrina siddiqui is a political reporter for "the guardian," michael nasky is a special reporter, and sabrina, marco rubio brushed off that attack
about not showing up for his job when jeb bush lefrled it against him. but long-term down the road, are you hearing on the campaign trail this could actually start to stick. >> this is an issue that seldom comes up on the campaign trail, especially many of the events in new hampshire and it's not a question that's asked of him save for one town hall every couple of weeks. but his components are trying to create this narrative that he has a thin record of accomplishment in the senate. and if you're chris christie or jeb bush, your entire message is that i'm a governor, i'm an experienced hand who has actually achieved legislatively what these first-term senators are promising to do, but have shown little record in the senate of achieving. so i think that if they can make that narrative stick, it can become a problem for him. but i haven't really seen a lot of voters complain. i think if anything, what rubio has been ab to seize on is frustration with washington and saying that i'm trying to change the culture or the dysfunction. a lot of republican primary
voters, of course, we know, have a lot of anger when it comes to congress and the establishment there. so i think it could actually be an advantage, he's not really associating himself with being on the senate floor. >> and yet, i'm wondering if the line, not voting for it is a vote against it, could come back to haunt rubio in a campaign ad somewhere. >> yeah, sure it could. he's handled all this very badly. and, you know, joy, i would -- my first instinct would be to think that a missed vote line of attack has only marginal utility and marginal effectiveness. on the other hand, when i look at that statement from rubio that you just put up there, responding to this new ad today, that's a really defensive and detailed statement. a candidate doesn't need to go into that kind of detail. you should just brush that off, with one or two lines. that tells me, he's really nervous about this, and he thinks it is a big potential achilles heel. >> and ginger, i'm wondering if he thinks it's a bigger achilles heel than having supported immigration reform, which the gop base hates. >> rubio is risking feeding this
narrative. and walking a very delicate line from saying, i'm going to fix the problem in washington, we heard him say. you know, i'm doing this to fix it, to becoming part of the problem in washington. we've heard his critics criticize him, as you said, on immigration. if this starts to feed and snowball into, he worked on the immigration bill, which republican voters think is a problem, he's not showing up to votes he's supposed to be at, which republican voters start to think washington isn't working, and he's part of that problem. then it becomes a bigger liability for him, with each layer getting at it on this criticism. >> while bush's super pac is attacking rubio in iowa, new hampshire may actually loom larger as the must-win state for any establishment candidate hoping to emerge as the alternative to trump. but as politico reported over the weekend, the infighting among establishment candidates isn't helping any of them. forget iowa, which cruz appears
to be locking up stwbs new hampshire that will cull this field. and with christie, bush, and john kasich making the granite state the singular focus of their campaigns and rubio should he lose iowa, needing a top-tier finish, the fight to be the mainstream alternative to cruz or trump could end here. and michael, i'll come back to you on this. because you do see, whether it's christie and jeb bush piling up on marco rubio or whatever the divide of the day is, you do see this cannibalization among these candidates. does any of them have the upper hand? >> i guess rubio has the upper hand. he's in a better position in new hampshire. i should say, comparative upper hand. he's in a better position in new hampshire than bush, and right now, christie, although christie has been picking up some momentum. but, joy, they're stuck. i don't see what kind of choice they have. the establishment slice of this pie is fairly small. you know, you take trump and you take cruz, they have the biggest
slices of the pie. so what's left is what bush and rubio and christie and kasich have to fight over. they have no choice but to attack one another. if they attack trump, then even if it works and they eat into trump's support, that possibly goes to cruz. so they have to go after one another. >> not a pretty picture. sabrina, michael, and ginger are sticking with me. coming up, the possibility every political reporter dreams of and every republican fears. a brokered convention. the "hardball" roundtable weighs in, next. this is "hardball," the place for politics. mirrors. they show us all our problem areas... those places that we can't wish or squish away. well now fear no mirror, and eliminate those problem areas with coolsculpting -
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be sure to tune in tonight at 11:00 p.m. eastern time. my colleague, jose diaz balart will bring you clash at the border, the new msnbc special in partnership with telemundo and the center for investigative reporting. it's a revealing look at the use of force at the u.s./mexican border. that's 11:00 p.m. eastern, here on msnbc. we'll be right back. huh.
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we owe $19 trillion. you know, the word trillion. ten years ago, did you ever hear the word "trillion." we owe $19 trillion. and now these politicians, and i'm talking both sides, they approve that budget the other day. it was a disgrace. no, that was -- that was a total disgrace. and we're going to change things, folks. and we're going to do it and we're going to do it right. and we're going to be proud of our country again. right now, we're embarrassed by the people that we sent to washington. and a lot of them, you know, we know where the democrats coming from, but we said a lot of the republicans, and you know, we, i give them money and you give them support and everybody, they go to washington and they want to do the job, and then they get in there. and they vote, let's fund obamacare. let's fund syrians coming in. who the hell knows who they are. who knows where they come from. let's fund them. you saw the other day, everything obama wanted, he got. and he got it in one day. if you didn't read the paper
that day, you wouldn't even read about it. it was just done like lightning fast. and i say, how does this happen? and somehow these people, they go to washington and they're no same. they campaign and everything's fine and you're excited and excited about them. and then they go therein and they become a regular cog and raise their hand, yes, yes. i think it's probably good they don't have to leave. but people are tired of it. i tell you what, they're tired of it. [ applause ] you know everywhere i go it's packed like this. outside thousands of people trying to get in. every place i go it's like this. we have the biggest audience by far. nobody close on either side by far. it's not even a contest. we had 20,000 in dallas, 35,000 in mobile alabama, 20,000 in oklahoma. the only thing that stops us is the size of the arenas. if they were bigger, we'd have more. there's a movement going on which is totally beautiful.
it's totally beautiful. people want to seaboarders. they want to see proper health care, not health care that goes up, did you see what's going on with obamacare stuff? 25, 35, 45% increases, and the deductibles are so high, you can never use it anyway. hopefully you don't need it. the deductibles are so high, it's like worthless. you'll never be able to use it unless you get run over by a tractor made in japan, a ka kamatsu. japan devalued their currency. a friend went out and bought all their equipment, he used to buy caterpill caterpillar. this story goes back a year. he said he bought kamatsu. >> that was donald trump in council bluffs, iowa. sabrina, michael and ginger, are
sabrina, i want to come to you. donald trump isn't saying anything new he hasn't said for six months. yet, that has been stunningly effective at attracting a majority not a majority but a ploor reality of the republican electorate. to you on this, the republican establishment has tried many things or many hopes and dreams to try to make him not be the front-runner. what happens if donald trump goes into the convention next year, next summer and he's got most evident diagonals but not enough to be the nominee. how does the party handle that? >> well, i still think that's an unlikely scenario. if it plays out that way, one of the problems facing the republican party is they really do not want to risk donald trump seeking a third party run. they don't want to risk a complete revolt on the part of donald trump supporters. so what it would take for them is to actually have other candidates coalesce around one
alternative who could then contest donald trump. but again, we aren't seeing that happen. we were just talking about the infighting going on between chris christie, jeb bush going after marco rubio. if anything they're showing less willingness to coalesce around one alternative. i don't think any of them believe they need to since they only have a marginal difference between them. that's the problem facing republicans. they don't know how to take on donald trump. >> therein lies the point, michael. where she says it doesn't seem likely, there's also no republican -- there's no alternative being coalesced. ben ginsberg wrote an interesting piece where he gamed out some of the potential scenarios, two of which would be chaos. one of them you have a number of candidates who go into the candidates with a lot of delegates but not enough. there are not that many winner take all states. the winner take all states are 16% total or less. the other scenario is you have one candidate, possibly donald trump, who goes in with not enough. in your view, how would the
republican establishment which tried to bioengineer a quick primary, how would they will extricate themselves from that situation? >> i haven't the slightest idea. even an old guy like me on the stage has no experience with a brokered convention. so we just don't know. yeah, i guess sabrina's right. i guess the others would have to choose one and coalesce around that one but then what do you do with the trump dels and the trump supporters? what if trump has won 35% or 40% of the support of republican primary voters throughout this process? they're going to throw those people to the curb? gee, wow, that's going to be a mess. >> the roundtable sticking with me. up next, these three will tell me something i don't know. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
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the roundtable is back to tell me something i don't know. tonight's question, who will be the next republican to drop out of the race for 2016? you can't say pataki because we know he's going. ginger? >> i would guess mike huckabee. he's struggling not raising the money. the books close on the 31st. he doesn't have dollars, i think he's going to be short lived in the campaign. >> michael? >> i don't see anybody dropping out before iowa votes. after iowa votes, huckabee, maybe rick santorum drops out if they perform poorly. >> sabrina? >> i think rand paul might be one of the next to go.
he almost didn't make the cut for the main stage. he probably won't make it in the next one. he's running for re-election in the senate. he might decide his efforts are better spent focusing on that and not this unlikely bid for the presidency. >> anybody can answer this one. what leverage does the establishment have to get any of them to dlop out and support one of the establishment guys? >> cabinet positions. >> what could they offer them? the problem is the answer is probably nothing. michael, you want a crack at it? >> no, i mean, ruppert murdoch and roger ailes can offer them more than the republican party can. >> a show. that is the answer. you win, michael. thanks to the roundtable. >> that does it for me and "hardball." all in with chris hayes starts right now. . >> tonight on all in -- >> i'll be spending a minimum of
$2 million a week. >> the add blitz awakens. >> we just don't want to take any chances. we're too close. >> donald trump says he'll begin real campaign spending for the first time but does he even need to? plus, why the rest of the field continues to pile on marco rubio. >> dude, show up to work. and vote no. right? >> reporter: and protests in cleveland over tamir rice as chicago's mayor cuts short his vacation. tonight, a report on how police are trained to decide to shoot or not to shoot. >> you drew your weapon here. >> i probably shouldn't have. >> okay, right. >> and how black lives matter made a difference in 2015. >> get them out of here. throw them out. >> all-in starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. add this to the many things that differentiate the republican front runner from more