tv Meet the Press MSNBC January 11, 2016 1:00am-2:01am PST
political gravity and every prediction of his imminent collapse. >> and who's going pay for the wall? >> and he now says he's in this race for long run. >> i'm not leaving. >> going straight to the white house? >> going all the way. >> and he's ready to use bill clinton's personal past as a weapon. >> i don't want to say it's a threat, but it's a threat. >> my sit-down with donald trump. plus, the republican circular firing squad. >> i don't care if your name is barack obama, ted cruz, marco rubio, you've never run a thing of consequence in your life. >> while the candidates fight, the establishment frets. who should they be worrying about more? trump or ted cruz? and with three weeks to go
before the voting begins, polls in new hampshire and iowa are out, and don't look now but we have a real race on the democratic side. joining me for insight and analysis are jeff greenfield of politico and the daily beast. helene cooper of the "new york times." jennifer jacobs of the "des moines register" and robert costa of the "washington post." welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." good sunday morning. apologies for all of you that didn't win powerball, but we've got a huge show for you today, including my sit down with donald trump and the struggling everyday by some in the so-called republican establishment to figure out some way to stop either trump or ted cruz from becoming the party's nominee. we can say this -- they've got their work cut out for them. according to our brand new nbc news/"wall street journal"/marist poll out in iowa, ted cruz holds a slim lead over donald trump, 28% to 24%, marco rubio and ben carson fighting far distant third.
as we'll show you later, if trump manages to bring in new voters, he does much better. we did two different electorates in iowa to test this phenomenon. here are the single-digit republicans in iowa, the ones who got at least 3% in our poll. there's jeb bush stuck at 4%. and by the way, the two previous guys who won iowa didn't even get 3% in this, huckabee and santorum. staying with the republicans, in new hampshire, all trump, 30%. with rubio, christie and cruz in double digit bus trailing badly in a battle for second place. bush and john kasich just under double digits sitting at 9% followed by rand paul and a fading ben carson. but the news here may be on the democratic side. we have quite a race. we always knew we had one in new hampshire. but in iowa it's tossup. hillary clinton's lead there has shrunk to three points over bernie sanders in a critical state for her with martin o'malley back at 5% but that 5% number very important for him for the next democratic debate. in new hampshire, split the leaders but essentially the same story, sanders narrowly ahead by four points.
o'malley barely registers. it's fair to say a year ago no one would have predicted bernie sanders mounting this challenge to clinton or donald trump leading anywhere. but that's where we are three weeks before the first voting. and yesterday i sat down backstage with trump in ottumwa, iowa. we began by talking about the cover story of "time" magazine which said in the past tense "how trump won" and whether he's already accomplished what he set out to do. if you got out of the race today, do you feel like you have won something? >> i don't. i think the "time" article was incredibly well written. that's a good writer, i will tell you that, a professional. but i feel that if i don't win all of it, and i mean the president soy, that i've wasted my time. i know i've been given accolades. >> you've shifted the debate. >> especially being somewhat of a novice. people have said very nice things, like "time" magazine but i feel like if i don't win i
can't make the different. >> you know there's running conventional wisdom that says "okay, he's here to stay but if he doesn't leave iowa, he'll leave the race." >> i'm not leaving. i'm not leaving. you and i had us this discussion about two months ago and you said would you leave. i've been number one since i joined up. june 16, amazing. we had a lot of fun but you asked me that question i started talking about well, maybe here, maybe there, if this happens. >> there's no maybes anymore? >> no maybes. i'm not leaving. >> you're going straight to the convention? >> if i don't win, i don't win. maybe that can happen but -- >> you don't accept the idea that you might lose iowa? you could lose it. >> i hope i win iowa. i've developed an amazing relationship with the people of iowa. you see it outside. we have a sold out audience. but i have an amazing relationship with evangelicals, with the tea party, with the people of iowa. >> your chief competitor is ted cruz. you have brought up the canadian citizenship issue. but let me ask you your opinion.
do you believe he is constitutionally eligible? i know the supreme court has never weighed in on the phrase "natural born citizen." but you yourself, do you think he should be eligible? >> so what happens is i was watching laurence tribe of harvard yesterday who's a constitutional expert, one of the true experts. and according to him, it's a real question mark. and he is the -- i would say he was -- is one of the great authorities on this subject. he has a question mark and -- >> but do you have a question mark? >> from ted's standpoint and the party's standpoint, he has to solve this problem. because the democrats will sue him if he's the nominee. if ted is the nominee, he will be sued by the democrats and according to one of the great lawyers of the country at harvard with strong opinions on this, the whole thing has not been this matter -- as he said, this matter has not been determined. >> i understand that. i'm talking about your opinion. >> i would say that i would want the supreme court to rule because they haven't ruled. >> let me ask you about -- you
said something about senator cruz in a cnn interview. you said he was for amnesty. that's a big charge. of all people to charge being for amnesty, where's the evidence on him? >> he worked for bush, bush was heavy for amnesty. >> he worked for him. >> and he was heavy for amnesty. and if you look at rubio go after him, rubio and bush are both claiming each other was totally for amnesty and honestly, marco has a lot of good points as to ted's feeling on amnesty. ted just switched his views on ethanol. he was totally against it now he's for it. it's iowa and he's for it. >> where are you in ethanol? >> i've been okay with ethanol. >> you're okay with the subsidies. >> i like fuel and ethanol is fuel and the people out here, it's a very important subject but ted switched and i think they feel very queasy about that. ted will switch opinions and i think that's fine. >> you've changed a lot. >> i've changed opinions over the years. i mean, we change. but it will be very interesting to see what happens.
i will -- i'll tell you one thing. i am really looking to february 1. it's going to be very exciting. >> let me ask you. senator rubio sponsored a bill in florida back when he was in the statehouse to give in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants. there's a lot of states that allow in-state tuition for the children of undocumented immigrants. i've not heard your position. >> i'm opposed to it. >> totally opposed? >> they're not here legally. >> even kids born to illegal immigrants. >> well, i happen to disagree with the whole concept of anchor babies. >> that's in the constitution. >> no, it's not the constitution. if you read and look and go to the real scholars like different people that i can give you they will tell you, somebody comes over and they have a baby on our border and it happens to be on this side of the border, we're not mandated to take care of that baby. you don't to change the constitution. you may need a vote in congress, but you don't have to change it. now, there's a debate about that. i don't think it's even close and i've been on this issue for
a long time. no, no. supreme to come into our country legally, jeff. they have to be here legally. >> how do you decide if someone's a muslim when you're doing this test? >> well, there's got to be some kind of a method. >> you're taking somebody's word. >> i'm not taking somebody's word. >> that's my point. if somebody wants to do damage, they're going to lie and cheat and sneak into this country. >> this has become a very big factor over the last week and a half, two weeks since i made my announcement that we have to see what the hell is going on. in the meantime the other night you have a cop shot in philadelphia with a gun put to his head and you know the chants and the rantings and the ravings. now you're looking at colon, germany -- >> i understand that. but how do you do it? i get it, or do you just say, you know what, you do it geographically, not religiously. >> you have certain people come in. if they're business people if they're proven but we have to find out what the problem is. now, we can be politically correct and never discuss it, but we can't let that happen to our country.
>> let me get some news of the week. china clearly its economy, they're having a problem. they're having a crisis there. you have railed that china is beating america and yet -- >> they're killing us. >> okay. we're in our best two-year job creation spree in 20 years. china is cratering our stock market for the problems they have at home. how is that the definition of china winning and america losing. >> look at our gdp. if you look at that, if you look at our productivity, if you look at the fact that people in ten years essentially haven't had a raise, people are going down instead of up, the jobs, a lot of temporary jobs, people are working temporary jobs and jobs that they don't want instead of jobs -- our economy is doing horribly and you take a look at the jobs report, the jobs report is fiction. because all of the people that -- >> total fiction? you know there's been improvements from the crash, obviously. >> i would say it's 90% -- we all had improvements from crashes. we had a crash, we had somewhat of a crash.
would it have straightened itself out? we had somewhat of a crash. but listen, chuck, you have 60, 70, 80 million people out there that want to work that aren't getting jobs. >> you said you thought president obama was a terrible negotiator? >> obama is one of the worst negotiators on everything i've ever seen except for when it comes to dealing with the republicans. it's unbelievable. the republicans fold every single time. this last budget was terrible. but look at the iran deal, you look at these deals, i look up bergdahl, we get a traitor, they get five people they've wanted for nine years and they're back on the battlefield trying to kill everybody including us and we get a dirty rotten traitor. that's the way -- that's the counted kind of deal we make. and iran -- >> by the way, iran just shipped uranium out. they're living up to the deal. >> where do they ship it? to russia. >> well, you trust putin. >> i trust him more than some people. >> i was just going to say -- >> i can tell you that. but what kind of a dial is that? even that, they're shipping it
to russia, right? why aren't they shipping it to us? why aren't we getting it? they're shipping it to russia. i don't like that. >> you don't like that? >> no, i'd like them to ship it to us. it's our deal, so they get $150 billion. we don't even get our prisoners back. they have 24-day periods -- and, by the way, the people don't know, the 24 days doesn't start until a whole procedure takes place. that 24 day can be a longer -- >> hard to wipe away nuclear material in 24 days. >> i don't know that. and you don't know that. >> scientists tell us that. >> how about their right to self-inspection? you think that the iranians are going to give us good self-inspection? i don't. but with the republicans, obama's a great negotiator. >> back in a moment with more of my sit down of donald trump including his plans to use president clinton's past against hillary. >> i don't want does your makeup remover take it all off? every kiss-proof, cry-proof, stay-proof look?
welcome back. when hillary clinton called donald trump out for his attitudes toward women, trump wasted no time firing back saying if she wants to play that game so can he with bill clinton at the target. i asked him yesterday whether he's serious about going down that road. you've said you're willing to bring up bill clinton's past with women if hillary clinton attacks you for being a sexist. so is that a threat toer? is that essentially what you're saying is, hey, you want know go down that road, you go down that road, i go down this road.
>> i don't want to say this is a threat but it's a threat. >> it is a threat? >> of course, i can call her a nicer name. she was saying he has tendency towards being sixist. >> talking about you? >> talking about me. she's married to an abuser. a woman claimed rape, horrible things. >> you know if you bring it up people will bring up your -- your first divorce was ugly. >> it's fine. >> all over the tabloids. >> but i wasn't the president of the united states and i wasn't dealing in the oval office, all right? a big difference. i wasn't the president. and my first wife thinks i'm great and my second wife and -- and i have a great marriage. i mean, i have a great marriage. so -- i mean, it's fine. i'm not saying don't bring anything up with me. but when she says that, i had to bring it up. and by the way, they've become very unresponsive since then. >> they have. >> and i just won the fox poll against her even. i'm up substantially over
hillary. >> as you know people call you a lot of names, some of it is positive, some is negative. i want to throw some by you. some people are calling you the music man of this race. kim kardashian, biff from "back to the future," george costanza. pt barnum. any of those you consider a compliment? >> pt barnum. >> pt barnum? >> people call you names. we need pt barnum a bit. we have to be a cheerleader for our country. we don't have a cheer leerd. i thought obama when he got elected would be a good cheerleader. i said he'll unify the country, whether it's african-american and white and all -- he'll unify. he's not unifying. it's -- he's been a great divider. on top of that -- >> he's been the divider? what about the republican party? >> no, no, i think -- >> you don't think this has been a two-way street. >> chuck, he hasn't brought us together. >> that's on him? not on both parties? >> i think it's on everybody, but he's the leader.
he could have been a great cheerleader and he hasn't been and that's too bad. >> what do you tell conservatives about '90s trump, you liked the clintons, you were pro-choice, you were even for some gun control, you wondered why the nra wouldn't be for some limitations, some restrictions. 2016 trump, you're not that guy. >> well, i have changed. i've changed in many ways. >> what is it? what's the change? >> look at ronald reagan. ronald reagan was a somewhat liberal democrat. ronald reagan was a liberal democrat. and he became a fairly conservative not overly but fairly conservative republican. and as he grew old desh aer and seen things and watches things. if in paris or california recently the 14 people killed and probably others to follow in terms of that group because you have some people that are very, very badly wounded and in paris you have some people that are on -- but paris is -- you can't have guns. in france you can't have guns in if in paris they had guns, if in california on the other side where the bullets go both ways,
not just one direction, you wouldn't have had the kind of carnage you've had. >> what should be the restrictions, though, on purchasing guns? where are you on this? background checks for everybody? >> first of all, there's a lot of language right now that the federal government has not taken advantage of. you know that. there's tremendous language right now, stuff that's already been passed and it was passed the old-fashioned way where people agreed to it. one of the problems i have with what obama did is he's always signing executive orders. he doesn't bring people into his office -- >> are you going to refuse to do executive orders as president? >> i won't refuse it. >> you'll do them, toorchlts i'll do a lot of right things. >> he's led the way, to be honest with you. what he's done on immigration, when he signed those papers. now fortunately the courts all of a sudden have done a termination. but one of the beautiful things about executive orders from my standpoint is if i get elected many executive order he is signed the first day they'll be unsigned? >> i understand that, but you're willing to use them, too? >> i'm not going to rule it out. >> final question because i know you've got the rally --
>> i'm going to use them much better and they'll serve a much better purpose than what he's done. >> on tuesday we'll hear the president say the state of our union is in some words strong, vibrant, all this stuff. what would you say? one year from now it could be you giving this speech to congress, a version of it, we don't call it state of the union in the first one, but a joint session speech. how would you describe the state of the union right now? >> now more to a couple years? >> now or in a year. >> now it's a mess. >> you'd go up and there and say "the state of our union is a mess." >> i wouldn't say that. you're asking me for an opinion. obama is going to say what he will say. but i think right now the state of our union is a mess. we can't beat isis, our military is falling back, it's not being properly taken care of, our vets aren't being properly taken care of, obamacare as you know is going to fail very soon and probably in '17. we don't have borders, we don't have anything. if i theme in two years and making a speech i say we're getting better fast. >> in that first speech to congress you're going to lay out your first 100 days agenda.
what are the four issues? >> i want to build our military bigger and better and stronger. >> number one. >> i want to take care of our veterans. i want to take care of. they're being taken care of horribly. i want to fix our health care system. i want to create borders so we have a country. right now we don't a country. we have borders where people walk across and do whatever they want to do and they have babies and the babies become citizens and we have to take care of them. we deal many, many things and make america great again. that's what i want to do. >> a bunch of billionaires around the world, zuckerberg, they want to give away more than half of their wealth at some point to philanthropic projects. carl icahn is the guy who signed on to this. >> he endorsed me. >> i'm sure people have asked you to sign this giving pledge. >> they have asked me. >> why haven't you done it? >> i'm old-fashioned. i have wonderful children doing a wonderful job and i believe in that and we employ thousands and thousands of people and i like the concept of keeping the company going as opposed to selling everything and giving it away. so right now i mean -- perhaps i
shouldn't be saying this but i'm of the old school. i'd like to see my children take this great company that i've built -- and it is a great company -- and i'd like to see it go on for a long time creating jobs, lots of money, pay lots of taxes, give lots of money away. i'd make lots of big contributions. i like that better. >> mr. trump, until we meet again. >> thank you. >> one note from our friends at politifact about the interview. they've done initial fact checking. donald trump said the five prisoners who were swapped for bo bergdahl are back on the battlefield. well, politifact finds that to be false. officials say they are still in qatar, however is one is suspected of trying to contact taliban associates. more from politifact and my interview with mr. trump on my web site, meetthepressnbc.com. coming up, there's no doubt trump has created enthusiasm among voters, but also land wringing among the so-called
in past presidential years, conservatives battled each other to be the last man standing only to watch the so-called establishment candidate win in the end. this year it's the fight among establishment candidates that's become a circular firing squad. >> i just honestly don't believe that the next president of the united states and the republican nominee should be someone like chris christie who supports common core, who has personally donated to planned parenthood, who got into politics to begin with in order to pass gun control. >> i believe politicians ought to show up to work. i apologize. i think politicians shouldn't get paid if they don't show up. >> i don't care whether your name is barack obama, ted cruz or marco rubio, you've never run a thing of consequence in your life. >> and while the second-tier candidates have been going after each other, establishment spit balling on how to take down
trump has ended up on the cover of the "new york times" today and the "washington post" but has produced few tangible results. with iowa just three weeks away, the establishment is terrified of either trump, maybe more so by ted cruz at the top of the ticket. i'm joined by alex castellanos, who has worked on campaigns for the biggest names in the gop including the bushes, jeb and george w. mitt romney, here's ben ginsburg, former counsel to the bush campaigns and the scott walker campaign. the panel is here but let me start with you, alex. the week began with alex castellanos, famed republican consultant is briefing donors looking for people to start -- to buy into your anti-trump ad campaign and yet you found no takers. >> no takers. it's too confusing this year for the establishment. it's getting late in the game. if you disqualify trump, you could help ted cruz. the establishment doesn't want that. if you disqualify cruz, you could help trump. so a lot of the establishment is just sitting on the sidelines
and i think the moment to go after either has passed. >> it's too late? >> it's too late. and it just -- it -- two-thirds of the party is in one of those guy's pocket. one-third is in the establishment lane. that doesn't auger well for the establishment going forward beyond new hampshire. >> ben, here's what i don't understand. all the establishment guys began the week by beating each other, laying off cruz and trump. maybe now they'll find out trump wants to take cruz on and that might make them happy but it seems beating each other up is no way to help each other. >> it's a demolition dur biand they know one will survive, has to survive, so they have to climb over their brothers' back before they can manage to take on trump or cruz. >> let me bring in the rest of the panel here, helene cooper, pentagon correspondent for the "new york times," jeff greenfield, long time correspondent for many networks not named nbc and writes for politi politico. robert costa of the "washington post" and jennifer jacobs of the
"des moines register." jennifer, let me start with you and you can toss questions to alex and ben as well. cruise v. trump, trump wants to take cruz on. can trump beat cruz in iowa? >> it's probably going to be very close and you start to detect nervousness in both of their voices right now. you have got trump really trying to lower expectations in iowa saying, "eh --" he was telling you "if i don't win iowa it's because those people hardly ever get it right. they don't pick winners." now you have cruz coming forward and changing the way he speaks about ethanol in iowa which is really important. and so you see them really gong at each other in ways that iowans are starting to detect both of them seem worried. right now cruz has the advantage and he's very popular. our last poll showed 73% think favorably of him. trump is 57% favorable and republicans are more dug in against donald trump in iowa. you have 30% saying they will never caucus for donald trump whereas only 17% say that about cruz. >> trump is running the smartest campaign of anyone right now because he's engaging cruz in
iowa because he wants to be the alternative to cruz should cruz win in iowa as they go to new hampshire trump could end up being the establishment alternative to cruz. >> and that's what's happening here. go ahead, jeff. >> here's what strikes me. the iowa caucuses historically have meant nothing in the republican party. it's one of the great misunderstandings. >> by the way, trump is bringing up in his rallies, now "iowa, don't you want to pick a winner for once?" >> one of the many reasons iowa caucuses are a blight on the system but that's me. >> it is just you. >> here's my question. in '08 when obama won in iowa, the resonance was this. in an african-american can win in an almost all white state, the entire african-american vote instead of going between clinton and obama moved to obama. if iowa shows -- if trump can show that his supporters, who everybody has said well, they'll never turn out -- if they turn out in a state that makes participation as hard as iowa, doesn't that suggest among the republicans that this time iowa may actually set a pattern that's not going to be stopped.
>> if trump wins iowa, we'll all be wearing combovers, that will be it, that will be the race. >> i won't be wearing a combover. >> fair enough. [ laughter ] >> part of what you have to realize about the way this is going to play out is that the first four states have less importance and less rl vance this cycle than any other cycle for republicans. so there's a lot of maneuvering amongst all the candidates to play after march 1 and into the calendar. >> what's interesting -- and we began this segment by wondering where's the establishment. are they anti-trump or anti-cruz? trump opened up the canadian birther issue, robert. what was amazing is watch this little montage we put together of republicans jumping on that trump bandwagon. watch. >> from ted's standpoint and from the party's standpoint, he had to solve this problem because the democrats will sue him. >> i find it odd that senator ted cruz did not renounce his dual canadian citizenship until 2014 when it became clear he was running for president. >> i truly believe he is
eligible, you know, to be prime minister of canada. >> i'm not a constitutional scholar on that. but i think it's worth looking into. >>. [ laughter ] am i the judge? >> you're the attorney. >> okay, i'll be the judge. i want judge judy to do this. >> robert, ted cruz is now very concerned about this. in fact, he addressed this again last night. they've released birth certificates of his mother. here he is last night in iowa. >> by virtue of being born to my mother in calgary i was a citizen by birth. you know what the american people are interested in? who is prepared to be commander in chief? and i recognize that there are candidates in the field that don't want to talk about those issues and they want to instead encourage the good people of the media to go down rabbit trails and engage in circus sideshows. >> somebody got under cruise's skin. that was the first time i've seen him less optimistic on the trail.
>> speaking of the cruz campaign, they believe this question has been addressed but talking to cruz allies, friends of the candidate, they're worried he seems rattled. this for someone so disciplined as a candidate finally reacting in a way that shows trump has gotten to him. >> it is -- go ahead. >> it's so fascinating because in 2008 when these exact same questions were raised about john mccain, the day after the story broke i remember carl holt, our congressional correspondent, went to the hill and claire mccaskell had written out on her legal pad a bill that they were all going to vote for to say that john mccain is a natural born citizen and they all did it. i'd like to see if she'll do this for cruz. >> how many votes would it get in the senate? [ laughter ] >> establishment republicans are jumping on cruz for this because they fear him as a republican nominee more than they fear trump. they're beginning to get comfortable with the idea that trump, okay, he's a deal maker, a salesman, he'll adapt, he'll make the next deal, he could run left of hillary, whatever. but cruz is kind of bound to who he is and they fear he might use
-- >> that's the sense i get. suddenly now if you're going to make a pick, we'll pick trump over cruz. >> donald trump is bringing people who aren't republicans into the party to vote for him. that helps down-ticket races. ted cruz has said his strategy is to expand the base. that's tougher. >> okay, five months ago i never would have heard those words out of ben ginsburg's mouth. donald trump is better for the top of the ticket. >> but chuck -- >> last call. >> the rhinos who are left -- and they are moderates in the republican party. >> they're all in santa barbara, california. >> i've talked to them in other places. but some are saying on grounds of temperament, that's the issue they think will separate them from trump. are you comfortable with the idea of this man -- >> the same temperament that attracts reagan democrats. >> are you comfortable with this man in charge of the nuclear codes? i think that's a hill for trump. >> that could be an ad we might see by somebody. all right, lively conversation, thank you all.
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welcome back, tuesday is president obama's final state of the union address and he has signalled this week that he doesn't intend to go quietly, unveiling some executive action on gun control and what was an emotional speech at the white house. but tuesday isn't just about his last year in office. it's about an attempt to set the agenda for the presidential
campaign and he made that clear in a "new york times" op-ed on friday when he state head would not campaign for any candidate who does not support his common sense gun reform. looking ahead to tuesday and beyond, i'm joined by the white house chief of staff dennis mcdonough, mr. mcdonough, welcome back to "meet the press." >> thanks for having me, chuck. >> the president said he would make it a litmus test for his support in 2016. there's an active democratic primary in here and one of the common sense gun reform he is wrote about having to do with giving immunity to gun manufacturers. one of the two main candidates, senator bernie sanders, voted for legislation that gave immunity. does that mean the president could not support bernie sanders if he were the nominee? >> this isn't only about the primary. we have a third of the senate that's running, all the house that's running, the statehouses and governorships across the country where this will be an issue on the ballot, it should be. and that's what the president is saying. so when it comes down the primary we'll see who the nominee is. that's the job of the party to make the decisions and they'll take a hard look at the agendas
and positions of those candidates and make decisions. >> the sanders campaign claims there is no daylight between them and sanders on this issue. if he supports immunity for gun manufacturers, isn't that daylight? >> i'm not doing a lot of "if thens." i've noticed after the last couple days since the president said that there has been some movement on this question. >> the immunity specifically. >> so if we continue to see that towards overall support for common sense gun laws that's what we're looking for. >> but it's remarkable. the president is not committing to supporting one of the two major democratic candidates because of the gun issue, correct? >> no, the president is saying that across the board he's going to be a singling-issue voter on this. he thinks that makes sense given the enormity of the challenge 30, 000 deaths a year. over 20,000 people under 18 in the last decade killed by gun violence or accidents. more than 500 police officers. so same to say enough is enough and that's what the president is saying. >> when could we expect him to make his choice on who he supports in the democratic
primary. >> we'll do what has been done in the past which is when the nominee is set, the president will be out there. >> so he won't go early? >> no. >> he won't use the gun issue as an excuse to say "i'm going to support secretary clinton." >> no. >> we have noticed he's met privately with her in the last six months. unless you haven't told us something, he's yet to meet one on one with bernie sanders. >> he meets with all of our senators, including senator sanders -- >> he's had a one on one recently. as many times as with secretary clinton? >> i haven't wracked them up on how many times he's seen who but he has seen senator sanders both with the senate democratic caucus and privately so we'll continue to do that. he's a leading senator and will continue to do just that. >> let's move the state of the union. before i get to how you want to tack about it i want to get you to respond to what donald trump said how he would describe the state of the union. >> the state of our union is mess. we can't beat isis, our military
is falling back, it's not being proper will i taken care of, our vets aren't being properly taken care of. obamacare is going to fail very soon and probably in '17 our health care. we don't have borders. we don't have anything. >> your response? >> it's hard to segregate him and all the other candidates out there scheming to run down america. i don't get it. what i see is an america that is surging. 292,000 new jobs just the other day. the fastest-reduction in unemployment in more than three decades over the past few years and the biggest job growth since the 1990s when there also happened to be a democrat in the white house. so this is what we'll continue to do is try to make sure we're growing to economy, we're on the offense against isil and the others and i do not understand why the republicans, each of them, including the one we just saw, continue to run down america. >> you used the phrase "run down america." you believe they're being too pessimistic. >> even decide for yourself. >> do you think that's having a
negative impact? is it hurting the country? >> i think it's not sats factual. i don't understand why they're doing it. what we see everyday is not that we're afraid of the future here, we'll the party -- you'll hear this on tuesday night and the president is somebody outlining a vision as a president where we will make sure that everybody has an opportunity in this economy, a changing economy. we use the elements of our power to secure not only the united states but our friends and allies across the board and we will make sure, chuck, that everybody's voice is heard in this democracy. that's how we've been strong over the course of the time. you will hear a big optimistic view of america. >> you have set a high bar with the state of the union saying it's going to be unlike anything you've seen before. what does that mean? >> i'm not sure who you mean by "you guys." let me tell you what this guy thinks. we're not going to be into -- the president said last year look, i don't want it to be a list of policy choices.
we have a lot of policy and you'll hear a lot about that. but what he wants to do is talk about a vision for the future of this country. we feel like we can win this future, we feel very optimistic, that's a big difference between us and what's going on in this debate and that's what you hear about tuesday fight. >> a couple of other domestic questions. the flint quarter crisis. so far the state hasn't asked for federal help. are you waiting if for state to ask for federal help or are you going to intervene? this appears to be a major crisis. >> very concerned about it but i don't have any news to make with you on that, chuck. >> nobody's asked you anything yet? >> we're watching it closely but nobody's asked us anything. >> are you prepared to wait? >> we're going to watch this closely. i'm not going to -- i'm going to be very careful. >> one of your predecessors as chief of staff is now the mayor of chicago. the president endorsed him. the president campaigned for him. does the president still have confidence in rahm emanuel as mayor? >> i had a chance to be back in chicago, actually, my in-laws live in chicago.
the city looks great, the opportunities there are boundless. so i think what the president sees is a steady and people of chicago and the mayor of chicago that continue to do very good work. >> so he's still confident in rahm emanuel to do the job? >> the president is and i just saw it up close and personal. >> thanks for coming. >> chuck, thanks for having me. >> go pat go. >> appreciate that. a rare treat from a vikings fan. coming up, a rare surprise in our poll. bernie sanders has all but ♪ bleeding gums? you may think it's a result of brushing too hard. it's not. it's a sign of early gum disease... listerine(r) can help reverse... early gum disease in just two weeks. listerine(r). power to your mouth™!
welcome back, lots to discuss with the panel, jeff greenfield, helene cooper, jennifer jacobs and robert costa is here. i'm going to start with you, jennifer. it's a big difference in our iowa poll than what you showed a couple weeks ago. we have bernie sanders within three points of hillary clinton in iowa. we always knew sanders' home state neighbor in new hampshire. do these numbers surprise you? >> it's amazing. think of where he was at in iowa in january a year ago. nobody knew -- we asked what do you think about bernie sanders? no one knew who he was. so yeah, but don't forget, there's still really strong passion for hillary clinton in iowa. just yesterday they had 500 volunteers turn out at 9:00 in the morning, frigid weather, lousy conditions to knock on doors and make phone calls for her so there is passion for her as well. >> but she can't afford to lose
both states. >> no. >> that turns into hand wringing, joe biden's phone starts ringing. we know the panic machine would kick in. >> that would be difficult is but i don't think that's going to -- everything i say is always -- >> i hear you. >> for the last year i've done b -- but i'll be shock -- i was shocked by that poll. >> i was, too. >> i will be very, very surprised if she loses -- if she doesn't win iowa by a substantial -- not substantial but a comfortable margin. >> i was shocked by this result but then i saw this ad running in iowa and new hampshire. i want to play a piece, jeff, because it's a tell. here's a new hillary clinton ad airing today in iowa and new hampshire. >> think about it. >> i would bomb the [ bleep ] out of them. >> one of these republicans -- >> carpet bomb them into oblivion. >> -- could actually be president. >> sit down and shut up! >> who's the one candidate who can stop them? hillary clinton.
>> jeff? that's an electability ad. who's the one candidate who can stop them. not bernie sanders, hillary clinton. that means that's a concession they've lost the passion. >> right. when you hire an announcer that talks like this, it means you really want to scare people. they want to scare people about is if you don't pick hillary clinton, one of these can win. those poll numbers, even though we know the primary poll numbers can be tenuous in a place like iowa. >> they enjoy changing their minds. >> but here's the question -- if she loses iowa and new hampshire, and the assumption is, well -- what's plan "b"? the democrats i have thought for a while may have been building a trap for themselves where there's no alternative if this obvious front-runner presumptive nominee looks weak. what's plan "b." >> and robert just this week another e-mail surfaces that then suddenly wonders where
there's question of what she was talking about. did she order a staff member make classified information on a declassified system but they have an explanation, but it's a reminder "oh, by the way, that sits out here." >> for many democrats that seems to be a general election issue. when you look at iowa and new hampshire, sanders has engaged activists on his side. they want to see the post-obama democratic party move to the left. but other states, south carolina, more regular democratic states, they're still with clinton to sanders has to prove he had the network even if he has a few victories early on. >> however, helene, if iowa and new hampshire both go sanders -- this idea, i've heard from democrats, what happens in iowa and new hampshire stays in iowa and new hampshire why are we so sure that wasn't the case for barack obama? >> no but this is different. you have so many other primaries to come after that. i think -- it's hard for me to
see a path to the nomination for bernie sanders once he leaves new hampshire. i don't see it. >> i want to remind you that there was a clinton that didn't compete in iowa and lost new hampshire. >> i know. >> and wound up with the nomination. >> he waited -- i believe it's the longest any democratic nominee went without winning a primary until he won the georgia primary. >> in that case what ben aga ginsburg said about the republican. write off iowa and new hampshire and wait for the big states. it means the democrats will be sweating buckets about what this means for clinton's popularity. >> she's not going to lose iowa. i'm putting my -- >> it's interesting here. bernie sanders is starting to act like a candidate who wants to win and here's what the tell was for me. he jumped on the bill clinton stuff this trump brought up. here's his answer. >> look, hillary clinton is not bill clinton. but bill clinton did -- i think we can all acknowledge was totally, totally, totally
disgraceful and unacceptable. but i am running against hillary clinton, i'm not running against bill clinton, though i gather he's been in iowa recently. >> that's as close as you'll hear bernie sanders going after the clinton. but that was more than i expect it. "i'm not running against bill clinton and by the way, totally, totally, totally." >> you talk do people in iowa, they love bill clinton, they think he's a great communicator, they he h will help blunt bernie's appeal, they think her campaign can unleash fire on donald trump. they think he's a huge asset. >> i am stunned by the willingness of some of the clinton supporters to fold everything bill clinton is accused of as a private matter. flandland i philandering is a private matter. what -- >> there are some in clinton world are very nervous about it. >> you know, trump could help sanders. trump based on my reporting will
continue to bring up bill clinton on the campaign trail and that makes it an issue. >> i'm sorry. the clinton folks suddenly acted differently this week you could see it. >> i wonder if it was too soon to bring him in. >> i don't think they thought it was but suddenly now they're -- you see a little change in there. let's sneak a quick break, we'll be back in 45 seconds with our end game segment. if you're wondering does your makeup remover take it all off? every kiss-proof, cry-proof, stay-proof look? neutrogena® makeup remover does. it erases 99% of your most stubborn makeup with one towelette. need any more proof than that? neutrogena.
end game time. the panel is here. what's fuelling trump, robert? and i say this in that -- and i think we know -- i want to put up a quick graphic here, folks can pause it on dvr and you can see it. but it's the income, it's the wage issue that i think is fuelling trump more. here we had a great economic report. i brought it up with trump and trump immediately went to "oh, yeah, but these people haven't gotten a wage increase." they're right. this came from the long time former treasury official and only the top 10% of americans by income have seen real wages go up in the last ten years. the less you make, the more you've seen your wages decrease. >> i was flipping through my notebook the other day and i found the most enthusiastic trump supporters are white males who lack a college education between the ages of 35 and 55. >> they're -- think economy is killing them. >> trump talks about scarred landscapes across the rust belt. he talks about factories being taken down. that's connecting with these
voters and they're not ideological. they like trump because he seems to have answers. >> and then throw in this. i want to bring up this other story. he's talked about distrust from political leaders and what do we have in michigan? this flint, michigan, issue where clearly the governor's office, somebody in the governor's office was too passive about it. >> the last time i was here was right after paris and there was a notion this is going to help the insiders and experts and i thought what if the people think the experts have given us the iraq war and libya. if the experts at home -- including eight years of obama -- have given us a come politely distorted winners and losers picture and they can't keep kids from drinking lead-based water in flint, why are we surprised that distrust is at historic levels? not to mention that distrust, not just in politics, in almost every institution has plummeted? >> i look at these two weeks, a democratic mayor in chicago, the distrust issues are high. republican governor of michigan, both of them actually technocrats, they're not ideological warriors, they're
technocrats who we thought at a minimum were the competent guy. >> we did. but this is so big. when you start talking about water, this is so basic, that's so basic and that really feeds this distrust people have. it's like this is from -- this is not a third world country. >> it's emblematic of somewhat so many people think is wrong with america right now. before i let you go, jennifer, we had another part of our poll that will if you assume an expanded electorate in iowa, donald trump actually leads cruz 28-26. very narrow. we measured two different electorates, traditional caucus electorate or the what if he brings more people. what's your sense in the trump -- there is a new slice of electorate out there. do you think they're committed? >> we know a lot of iowans are intimidated by the caucus process. they think of it as the realm of only the super hard core activists. but i've seen the way the iowa team for trump trains those in comers, those people who haven't caucused before and they keep their presentation simple and
fun and you have trump in ottumwa yesterday, his political team as people were coming in the door were literally saying "this is where you should go in your neighborhood on february 1 to vote." smart strategy. then you have trump himself saying, hey, listen, don't stay home, don't stay home. note, he didn't say please but at least he's asking -- and you hear an insult, too but he's asking them and people will listen. >> they were waiting in line, it was zero degrees. >> i think they do show up and you look at who trump has working for them. chuck laudner, he helped santorum win in the 2012. i've been going to see those trump voters. the trump bus goes to the walmart parking lot, they don't go to gop events but they shop at walmart and they nay like trump. >> i want to point out for decades the hollywood mostly liberal writers have predicted this populist -- >> who will break up politics, disruptive force. >> and i don't think in any way we've seen it's turned out to be a bloviating billionaire with
weird hair. this seems to be -- i don't think this is what they had in mind. >> he's a bully but he's there bully. >> i want to put myself on being the side of anti-washington. i'm going to be aunt washington today. i agree, these washington insiders don't know what they're doing, they think they can play football. it's good midwestern manufacturing towns, the heartland of america like the green bay packers. they will come to washington and show the outsiders can beat the insiders. so take that, you washington fans. that's all we have for today, great panel, thank you, guys. go pack, go. we'll be back next week because if it's sunday it's "meet the press." .
it's monday, january 11th. right now on first first, breaking news overnight. rock 'n' roll visionary david bowie dead at the age of 69. late details on one of the world's most inknow veighive musicians. experts want to talk to sean penn about his secret meeting with escaped druglord el chapo. we've got the winners and what happened behind the scenes of hollywood's big night. the jewel thief who stole millions finally captured. and much more on the world's biggest jackpot. we start with breaking news, david bowie died at the age of 69. he had been