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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  January 11, 2016 9:00am-10:01am PST

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right now on "andrea mitchell reports" dead heat. hillary clinton and bernie sanders in a virtual tie in both iowa and new hampshire in our new poll. could clinton lose iowa? and how much are donald trump's attacks working? >> is this a public threat? >> i wouldn't say it's a threat. >> what is it? >> it's been fair game going back to the republicans for some years. they can do it again if they want to. that can be their choice as to how to run in this campaign. didn't work before, won't work again. cruising in iowa. ted cruz now topping donald trump in iowa. is he frightening the republican establishment even more than trump? >> three weeks ago, almost every republican candidate was attacking donald trump. today, almost every republican candidate is attacking me and that kind of suggests maybe something has changed in the race. el chapo and sean penn. the hollywood actor meets one of the world's most wanted men.
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did sean penn help or hurt the hunt for the fugitive? something that even came up at the golden globes. >> i want to do this monologue and then go into hiding, okay? not even sean penn will find me. good day. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. as our new nbc news/"wall street journal"/marist poll shows ties with a month to go before new hampshire. on the republican side, donald trump has a growing ted cruz problem. cruz is four points ahead of trump in iowa among likely kau caucus goers. trump was back on the trail in new hampshire again raising birther questions about ted
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cruz. >> ted cruz has a problem. is he a natural born citizen? a lot of people think you have to be born here. look, doesn't matter what he does. you can't have a nominee who is going to be subject to being under inquiry. you just can't do it. >> on the democratic side, hillary clinton is feeling pressure from a surging bernie sanders. the race in iowa now a toss-up. sanders is still showing strength in new hampshire next door to his home state of vermont, leading clinton and hitting the important 50% mark among likely democratic voters. the clinton campaign is touting her electability in a new ad despite polling that shows sanders would outdraw her against republicans in hypothetical general election matchups. >> think about it. >> i would bomb the [ bleep ] out of them. >> carpet bomb them into
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oblivion. >> shut down and shut up. >> enacting their agenda. >> we should repeal obamacare. >> wages are too high. >> defund planned parenthood. >> even dangerous. so ask yourself, who is the one candidate who can stop them? hillary clinton. tested and tough. >> clinton campaign chairman john podesta joins me. good to see you. thank you very much for being with us. >> thanks for letting me be on. >> let's take a look at these new polls. you have a real race on your hands in iowa. to what do you attribute the persistent problem that she is facing in iowa and the surge of bernie sanders? >> look, andrea, we always knew these races would tighten up. we still feel very good about where we stand in iowa. she's been out there, she's out there today talking directly to iowans, listening to their problems, responding. we built a tremendous organization there. we feel confident that we will prevail there. new hampshire's a little bit of a different story.
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it's bernie's next door neighbor state. he's doing well there, he's probably a little bit ahead of us but we intend to compete and win in both of those states. so we're feeling good about it but we always knew that this race would tighten up and that we would have to fight for every vote. >> you have a new ad which deals with her vaunted electability against republicans. as a stronger candidate in a general election. but the data from our polls, the numbers show that he outdoes her against many of these republicans. >> well, look, what that ad talks about is the stakes that are what we have at stake in this election, whether we're going to turn back the progress that we've made over the last seven years, whether we're going to go back to economics that don't work for working people, and i think hillary clinton is the best person to take the fight to the republicans. she's been doing it all year. she's had the kitchen sink
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thrown back at her, but she still leads donald trump in virtually every poll. she leads the other republicans and i think if you look at what the matchups with senator sanders, he just hasn't been subjected to that kind of scrutiny and if you think about where the republicans are, you have hedge fund billionaires running advertising against her, you have kevin mccarthy admitting that the whole republican machinery of the house has been built to tear her numbers down. he just hasn't had that kind of scrutiny. so your own political analysts described those matchups for 300 days from now as perhaps fool's gold. until he's subjected to the same kind of scrutiny, we don't know what his numbers will look like. we do know that hillary clinton can stand up to the republicans, win the race in november, beat
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donald trump, stop the reversal of what we have been able to accomplish during the obama presidency. >> but you know, just one of these numbers, you've got sanders beating trump 51% to 38% in iowa. you could make the argument that he hasn't had as much scrutiny but that she has more baggage, that she's dinged up. >> well, you know, i think the question is what's going to happen 300 days from now when people really look at that. i think that the truth is that she has stood up and been able to fight back against the republican charges against her, and that she is an extremely strong general election candidate for the democrats because she's been through this and i think as you know, virtually everything that could be thrown at her has been thrown at her, and she always comes back because she knows what it takes to get the job done, and because if elected, she would be
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the best president. she's got the experience, she's got the program, she's got the commitment, she knows how to stand her ground when she needs to, she knows how to find common ground and get the job done for the american people. >> let me ask you about the donald trump attacks on bill clinton. this was bernie sanders when asked about this on friday. >> i think we can all acknowledge it was totally, totally, totally disgraceful and unacceptable but i am running against hillary clinton, i'm not running against bill clinton. >> bernie sanders didn't exactly dismiss it the way he famously did in that first debate with her e-mail controversy. it seems as though there's some piling on here and some questions -- >> i hope he's not going there. he said that he was going to run a positive campaign, that he wasn't going to go in for personal attacks, and i take him at his word on that.
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but i hope he's not thinking about going there, because again, i think what trump has done to go in the gutter is reprehensible and i think that bill clinton remains an asset for us. people remember the tremendous job he did as president, particularly on the economy, that when wages were growing for the middle and the bottom, not just for people at the top. so he remains an asset for us and i think that he'll continue to campaign for us. >> when chuck todd asked donald trump about that, on "meet the press," and whether it was fair game, and what about trump's own background and his first divorce and the tabloids, trump said i wasn't president of the united states, i wasn't in the oval office. i'm paraphrasing him. is bill clinton vulnerable and fair game as ruth marcus wrote in the "washington post"? >> look, i think you know this
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better than most. this has been looked at, i think it's 17 years ago, i think the american people moved past it. it's time that this campaign move past it, because the real question is what is hillary clinton offering the american people. that's where we want the race to be run. that's what we will continue to do. we are not going to answer these personal attacks from mr. trump. that's what i think he wants us to do. we are going to go and call him out when he's wrong on the issues and we are going to talk about what the future of the country needs to look like and what she wants to do to help people improve their lives across the country. >> are you going to win iowa? >> i'm confident we will win iowa. >> thank you very much for being with us. bernie sanders is feeling the momentum from our latest polls, showing a chance, a chance of defeating hillary clinton in iowa and of course, new hampshire, his backyard. radically changing the 2016
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political calculus on the democratic side. sanders' campaign manager jeff weaver joins me now. good to see you. thanks very much. >> great to see you. thank you. >> let's talk about the bernie sanders answer on bill clinton. was he getting down in the dirt? was he going in for a personal attack in the way he answered that question the other day? >> absolutely not. he was asked that question by someone in the audience. without dwelling on it, i don't think the president's behavior was graceful bu we are not talking about that. we are running an issues-oriented campaign. senator sanders has no interest in getting in the mud with donald trump and other mudslingers. this is, as you know, always been an issue-oriented campaign and will continue to be. there are big differences in the issues between senator sanders and secretary clinton. so that's what we're focused on in this election. a couple of those issues are,
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you know, his willingness to take on the billionaire class, to deal with our rigged economy, to deal with the corrupt campaign finance system. he's not using a super pac as secretary clinton is. his willingness to take on wall street, break up the big banks, his desire to lift the cap on taxable income around social security so we can expand benefits to all seniors. his support, his strong support for legislation, pending legislation in the house and senate that would create 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, paid for with a small payroll tax of $1.61 for the average worker. something the secretary has not come out for. so these are the types of issues we are talking about on the campaign trail. these are the types of issues that are resonating with voters and that is why you are seeing this movement in the polls. >> jeff, one of the big issues has been guns and she opened up an attack on "face the nation" when asked about that. let me play her comment and ask you to react to it. >> you know, he often says well,
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look, i'm from vermont and that's different, it's not like being in new york city. well, in fact, the other senator from vermont, senator leahy, voted with president obama and myself. so i think that the excuses and efforts by senator sanders to avoid responsibility for this vote which the nra hailed as the most important in 20 years, points up a clear difference. >> what about that fact? >> well, this is what the fact is. senator sanders has a d-minus rating from the nra. he has said since he was on "meet the press" in october that he was open to re-looking at that law. he said it in both of the first two democratic debates. he actually has a strong record of supporting gun safety legislation. he supported assault weapons bans since 1988. he's voted for instant background checks as early as 1991. he supports closing the gun show loophole, he voted for that. he supports making straw man purchases a federal offense. >> but if he voted against the
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brady bill, why does pat leahy from vermont, why can he represent vermont and vote the way he did in contrast to senator sanders? >> well, andrea, that's secretary clinton's argument about why senator sanders voted that way. it's not what he has articulated which is that he had concern about protecting small hunting stores in vermont. so senator leahy and senator sanders don't always vote the same way even though they are both from vermont. i can tell you that. >> let me ask you about the wall street issues. he has been hammering her on wall street. that may have a lot to do with what's happening in iowa in the polling. her argument, her counter argument would be that she goes after shadow banks. she's got barnie frank and other supporters saying that's an effective fix for what's wrong with wall street other than what bernie sanders is advocating. i wanted you to respond to that. >> absolutely. senator sanders supports elizabeth warren, senator warren's proposal to create a 21st century glass steagall.
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if we are talking about fixing wall street and the excesses there and the corruption on wall street, i would much rather stand with senator warren than any of the people you have named. believe me, senator sanders will be very tough on the shadow banking system and wall street. i don't think there's any doubt about that. >> are you going to win iowa? >> well, we have the momentum. clearly, it wasn't long ago there were polls that showed us 20 or 25 points down. now we are three points down. so the movement is clearly in our direction. we are working very hard. we have a strong grassroots operation on the ground with many experienced people, people with experience in the iowa caucuses. we are feeling very good right now. >> if you win both iowa and new hampshire, what do you do going south? is she vulnerable as the front-running nominee? do you become the front-runner? how do you see the horse race? >> well, you know, the third contest for the democrats is in nevada. we would then go to nevada. we have a large organization there. we have more field offices in
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nevada than any other presidential candidate. we have a very strong outreach to the latino community in nevada and out west, and we are seeing some movement there. speaking of polls, there was a field poll in california which now shows in california, senator sanders' support among latinos is up to 35%. back in may it was at 3%. so we have seen a tremendous amount of movement there and so you know, when we get done with iowa and new hampshire we will be out to nevada, where we will see if we can do one, two, three. >> jeff weaver, thank you very much. thanks for being with us today. >> thanks, andrea. appreciate it. coming up, leading man. what role did sean penn play in the capture of notorious drug kingpin el chapo? if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis like me... and you're talking to a rheumatologist about a biologic, this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain and protect my joints from further damage. this is humira helping me reach for more. doctors have been prescribing
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mexico says it will extradite drug lord joaquin el chapo guzman to the u.s. to face drug charges but the mexican extradition office says it could take a year or longer. this new body camera video appears to show the pre-dawn raid carried out last friday at el chapo's hideout. the video alleges to be from a mexican authority body cam and air order a mexican broadcast network. nbc news has yet to verify it. "rolling stone" revealed over the weekend that actor sean penn secretly interviewed guzman months before his arrest for the magazine. guzman also answered questions on video. >> mexican authorities say el chapo's contact with the actor
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may have helped track the fugitive down. we are outside the prison where guzman is now being held. i'm joined by retired general barry mckafcaffrey. what do we know about whether they were tracking sohn penn's phone or in any way perhaps unwittingly he helped track them down? >> reporter: there are mixed reports about that. there is a recent report out from one of the stations here in mexico and we are able to see photographs of sean penn landing in mexico getting ready for that trip. we know the mexican authorities were aware of them. we had unconfirmed reports of that earlier. sean penn even says in the article that he believed that was the case but that he was going through with it anyway. many people find it remarkable that after never doing a sit-down interview with anyone,
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that joaquin "el chapo" guzman would sit down, eat tacos and drink tequila with sean penn for seven hours and really, it seems the key player in all of this, the person who facilitated this meeting was this star here in mexico and in the united states, who starred in the telemundo show where she played a drug kingpin, a lord, and that ended, that's already done and gone, but she reacted to some of what she saw as corruption in the mexican government on twitter and joaquin "el chapo" guzman responded to her. very odd relationship as we are looking at it began, and then through mutual friends, she and sean penn got together and it seemed that according to sean penn, el chapo wanted a movie made about his life and that's how all three of them got mixed up together and several months ago, that happened. a lot of people talking about
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that, even more than the recapture of el chapo guzman. >> barry mccaffrey, do you have any problem with the role that sean penn played here? it says he was acting as a journalist. >> well, probably not with sean penn. it's sort of a goofy 10,000 word article where he asked this notorious criminal what he's dreaming about and how would he want to change the world. i always worry about the editors who allow that kind of thing to get to be put on print or on the air. look, at the end of the day, poor mexico, whom so many of us love and admire, has a culture of impugny, violence, corruption. it's not just the drug trade. their public institutions don't work. thank god for the mexican marine corps and to some extent, the
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army. almost the only two institutions the state can depend on. this is a huge problem, not just for mexico's 100 million plus people but also the united states. >> and general mccaffrey, one point that hasn't been made enough, i think, we do not have an ambassador in mexico. we have a nominee, highly regarded nominee reported out of committee, held by one senator from getting a vote on the floor, one republican senator who happens to be running for president, because for past involvement in negotiating terms with cuba. we don't have a top diplomat in mexico who can work on extradition or anything else down there. >> you know, just shameful behavior by the senate. they do this all the time now. these career professionals, in particular the foreign service, they rarely do that to the armed forces or other government officials but the foreign service is really held hostage constantly. of course we ought to be negotiating with cubans and of
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course, we got to move ahead on that issue also, but mexico is more important to us by far than afghanistan and iraq. so we obviously need talent and energy and focused attention on helping these people to our south. 20,000 murdered in mexico last year. this sinaloa cartel with chapo guzman in charge of it possibly responsible for as many as half those homicides. this is a big deal to u.s. foreign policy. >> barry mccaffrey, thank you, general. thanks very much. today from his hometown of london, tributes pouring in for david bowie from fans, rock royalty, even world leaders. the icon of song and style passed away at the age of 69 after an 18-month private battle with cancer. >> genius is an overused word but i think musically, creatively, artistically, david bowie was a genius.
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he was a master of reinvention. one of the things that's so incredible is almost all his reinventions were incredible successes and worked brilliantly. >> up until his death, even. even germany's foreign minister tweeted a thank you for helping to bring down the berlin wall. nbc's bill neely has a look back at how wide the reach was of this star. >> reporter: like so much in his life and career, the death of david bowie is surprising, shocking. his facebook page announcing he died peacefully, surrounded by his family, after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer. his son duncan jones tweeting very sorry and sad to say it's true. ♪ this is ground control to major tom ♪ >> reporter: with space oddity a hit in the year of the moon landing that started bowie's ascent to stardom. starman and the iconic ziggy stardust album confirmed his
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genius above all for innovation, for change. ♪ changes >> reporter: he created, sang and acted for six decades, moving across genres, pop, rock, soul. ♪ fame >> reporter: fame, bringing him his first u.s. number one co-written with john lennon. by then he had the world dancing. ♪ dancing in chicago >> reporter: he could always surprise. embracing generations of sound. ♪ peace on earth >> reporter: his golden years were the '70s and '80s but he never stopped producing 25 albums. >> i just went on and on and on. suddenly i'm 56, so i have to write from this unique perspective of somebody who never stopped being 20. >> david bowie showed creative artists how to live a career. how to make your art your life.
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♪ look up here i'm in heaven notes ♪ >> reporter: he released his final album "black star" just last week with the single "lazar "lazarus." david bowie will live on. ♪ we can be heroes". >> reporter: in a body of music without equal. a hero to generations of fans. across america, people...
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in new york state, we believe tomorrow starts today. all across the state the economy is growing, with creative new business incentives, the lowest taxes in decades, and university partnerships, attracting the talent and companies of tomorrow. like in utica, where a new kind of workforce is being trained. and in albany, the nanotechnology capital of the world. let us help grow your company's tomorrow, today at business.ny.gov at the supreme court today a landmark case that could weaken public employee unions that represent teachers and other state government workers. it's a case that originated in california with non-union teachers, challenging requirements that force them to pay a portion of union dues to cover the cost of collective barga bargaining. they say it violates their first amendment freedom of speech. nbc's justice correspondent pete williams is outside the supreme
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court with the latest. pete, this is a big deal case. how did the argument go? >> it seems pretty clear the unions are going to lose here. a key vote would be justice anthony kennedy, who can sometimes determine the outcome of a case by whether he joins with the liberals or the conservatives but he said today that this is troubling, that the fact that teachers who choose not to join the union still have to pay to cover the cost of collective bargaining and he said often the unions take positions in collective bargaining that violate the closely held views of these teachers that aren't in the union on issues like merit pay, on seniority, classroom size. those are not just bread and butter issues, kennedy said. those are issues of great public moment that are subject to great public debate and forcing these non-union teachers to still pay a share of the union's costs in essence forces them to subsidize the union's view on that which they strongly oppose. so it does appear that the
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unions are going to lose here. there was a fall-back position that the opponents had brought up that said well, maybe they don't have to -- maybe they still have to pay a part of the fee but they should have the choice of opting in to pay the full amount, not opting out, but that didn't get any discussion at all. so it would appear that the opponents of the public sector union practice are going to win here. >> pete williams, this could lead to huge changes in the union membership issues and political issues across the country. thank you, sir. coming up next, party crasher. who's upsetting establishment republicans more, trump or cruz? the surprising answers on "andrea mitchell reports." i'm here at my house, on thanksgiving day and i have a massive heart attack right in my driveway. the doctor put me on a bayer aspirin regimen. be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. go talk to your doctor. you're not indestructible anymore.
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nominee. i'm joined by doug hyde, former communications director for the republican party, worker on the hill. you spent a lifetime in republican politics. >> i'm not that old yet. >> so far, your career. so you have written a piece on why you won't support donald trump. why won't you support donald trump? the counter argument is that he could bring in crossover votes, could broaden the base, could bring in the so-called reagan democrats into the republican fold. >> frankly, there's no part of a trump candidacy that i don't see as being a disaster for republicans. >> why? >> not only do i think that he's the best thing that could happen to hillary clinton. he's already been the best thing that could happen to hillary clinton. he's taken a lot of attention away from her, lot of scrutiny away from her, but he's also a disaster for republican senate candidates. we have got incumbents who are in tough races. kelly ayotte in new hampshire, mark kirk in illinois. if you think that having harry reid or chuck schumer as senate majority leader advances conservatives, support donald trump because that will help. thirdly, i care about my country and the world and what we have
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seen from donald trump and his rhetoric so far, not only represents a lack of any kind of knowledge addressing any of the real problems that we face, defeating isis, growing jobs and wages, fixing our schools, but also, look at what's happening in the world. we see our enemies condemning trump's rhetoric. david cameron just seen praising david bowie, good example. and vladimir putin praising trump. that ought to tell us something. >> what about the argument saying that ted cruz is more dangerous to establishment republicans than donald trump? that donald trump is a deal maker, he could be someone you could work with, that ted cruz is an idealogue. >> we traded a few e-mails on this. this is where i disagree with him. i don't know what the term establishment means. ted cruz was john boehner's lawyer. donald trump had bill and hillary clinton attend his wedding. that sounds pretty establishment. as we talk about these labels, we have to look at what they actually mean and who is actually proposing solutions. ted cruz is talking about
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solutions. you may agree with him or don't agree with him but he's talking about ideas and solutions and policies. what is donald trump talking about all day right now? people's eligibility on citizenship and whether or not they could run. before that, bathroom breaks. before that, a candidate's face or senator's, war hero's record. he talks about anything but solutions to the problems we face. that's part of why we see the emperor doesn't have any clothes and he doesn't have any answers. >> the fact is donald trump did disrupt the clinton narrative when bill clinton went out on the campaign trail by going after his past and going after her as well. >> i think that's absolutely fair game to go after bill clinton because he's obviously got a long record there. i just don't think it will be very effective. but where donald trump really disrupted hillary clinton was when she was on the front page of every paper leading every news report dealing with her e-mail crisis or e-mail scandal a year ago and what did donald trump do? he came along and made sure that all we did was talk about trump
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all day, every day. it was a great boon for hillary clinton to get off the front pages where she sure didn't want to be that. >> thank you very much. republican party in what a state. in two states, in particular. coming up next, screen test. could a new hollywood film further shake up the democratic race? our cosmetics line was a hit. the orders were rushing in. i could feel our deadlines racing towards us. we didn't need a loan.
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there's only one invokana®. ask your doctor about it by name. theand the kids always eat sky their vegetables.e. because the salad there is always served with the original hidden valley ranch. benghazi is under attack. we need immediate assistance. >> the u.s. ambassador is at risk. >> you are not the first responders. you will wait. >> let's go, we got to move! >> we have no jurisdiction in this country. we are not even supposed to be here. >> stand down! >> if you do not get here soon, we are all going to die.
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>> none of you have to go. we are the only help they have. >> that new film about benghazi coming out this week could give wider circulation to conspiracy theories despite denials that cia operatives were told to stand down and not rescue four americans including an ambassador who died in that assault. how could it affect hillary clinton's campaign? joining me now for our daily fix, chris cillizza, msnbc contributor, founder of the "washington post" fix blog, and "washington post" political correspondent anne gearan. anne, you covered the state department with me and just last week i was interviewing leon panetta, who headed the pentagon, and he and cia top officials are denying to the benghazi select committee that this ever happened, but this is a movie and you know, how does clinton world deal with it? >> well, clinton herself has denied it and it sort of ceases to matter how many officials deny it, it is something that
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gained currency as you mentioned as a conspiracy theory largely on the right but it's sort of out there in the general political conversation as well. it's really a hard thing for the campaign to deal with because all they've got is essentially they have got history and facts on their side. they can say look, this didn't happen, here are 18 people who say it didn't happen. if people believe that it might have happened or that hillary clinton isn't telling the truth, then they are probably going to continue to believe that. >> we now have not only a tightening race, but a much more aggressive point-counterpoint between clinton world and bernie sanders world. you see iowa and new hampshire in our poll in dead heats. this was john podesta when i asked him earlier today about the way bernie sanders seemed to be riding on the wave of the bill clinton -- criticisms of bill clinton that trump started. >> it seems as though there's
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some piling on here and -- >> i hope he's not going there. he said that he was going to run a positive campaign, that he wasn't going to go in for personal attacks and i take him at his word on that. but i hope he's not thinking about going there, because again, i think what trump has done to go in the gutter is reprehensible and i think that bill clinton remains an asset for us. >> chris cillizza, this is becoming a much nastier democratic race. >> well, look, i was stunned by thnumbers yesterday released, 48, 45 in iowa, hillary ahead but within the margin of error. those margins are striking. i wrote about this today. sanders has been ahead consistently in new hampshire. if indeed he has some momentum in iowa, if he were to win iowa, yes, the calendar beyond iowa and new hampshire still don't
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look great for him but if you believe if bernie sanders beat hillary clinton in the first two states that there wouldn't be sort of a broad scale reimagining reckoning panic, call it what you will in this race that could change things, you haven't been around politics very long. look, there's a reason that hillary clinton has gone very aggressively at bernie sanders on guns over the last five days or so, and the reason is because i think they have a sense, they, the clinton campaign, have a sense that this is a more real race than most people thought it was prior to the release of your polling yesterday. >> and what jeff weaver, his campaign manager, said to me when i was asking him about what happens when bernie sanders has to go south, he said we are going to nevada, we are going west. nevada, to both of you, anne first, with union and other employees, nevada could be a fruitful place for him to try to again plant his flag. >> yeah. more so than south carolina. those are the two states that follow iowa and new hampshire, of course.
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still, as chris said, the rest of the electoral calendar favors hillary clinton and the assumption has been for some time that she would win iowa, possibly to probably lose new hampshire, but that it would be a survivable loss, then she goes on and goes state by state by state, and wins and again, as chris said, if that is being upended now by a potential sanders victory in iowa, then the rest of that calendar could look very different. >> his third quarter, fourth quarter money, $33 million against her $37 million, indicates that he's got some staying power here. >> well, important to remember, i think this is true with ted cruz on the other side, is it's important to remember that upstarts and insurgents, their biggest problem is always money. that was at least the start of the barack obama candidacy in 2007, can he raise the money, could he possibly be competitive
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with her. we now know bernie sanders and ted cruz for republicans will have the money to communicate with their voters. the question is can they persuade voters. >> i can tell you that some of hillary clinton's strongest and oldest supporters are getting very nervous indeed about the way this has been rolling out. thanks to both of you. coming up, american prisoners in iran. what one democratic congressman wants the president to talk about in the state of the union tomorrow night.
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president obama delivers his final state of the union address tomorrow. the white house says it will be unconventional. our next guest wants even more urgently from the president on behalf of americans imprisoned in iran. he joins me now. you are talking about your constituent and the fact the has been no action on these prisoners. >> right. we continue to call for iran to
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do the right thing and release the americans and we think that if the president were to raise this issue, it would continue to send the message that the united states is still pressing for their release. it's something that has to happen. >> we are coming close to implementation day for the iran nuclear day, and secretary kerry said to all of us at the state department last week we raise this every time we speak, he had spoken i think on thursday to zarif, the foreign minister, yet no response. >> nothing yet. we have their attention but that doesn't mean much unless they release the americans. i spoke with foreign minister zarif myself on the day the pope spoke to the u.n. we get a lot of lip service but they have not taken that important step. if they want to be taken seriously they really have to do this. >> congressman, i want to ask you about your district which includes flint, michigan and this appalling water issue. what are you hearing now? what can be done for the children who have been affected, for the families, and what is
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the state doing? what should the federal government step in? >> from the state's point of view, we need the state to have much more urgency around this. they created this situation. they made the decision to use the flint river as the water source. they ignored the warning signs and now tens, maybe 10,000 children negatively affected for the rest of their lives by lead exposure. they need to step up, provide water but also do the things, fund the sorts of intervention that can help a child have a chance by potentially overcoming the effect of lead exposure. nutritional programming, early childhood education, mentoring, the kind of things, after-school programs, the kind of things that most communities take for granted, but the poor kids living in flint really don't have that much access to. >> should the epa, should the federal government step in if the state is refusing, having ignored the warnings, refusing now to help the people in flint? >> i wrote to the president today, in fact, i had written back in the fall asking for federal resources, suggested that the governor ask for them.
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he hasn't. i wrote to the president today asking that they move in, notwithstanding the lack of willingness on the part of the governor to do what's right and ask for all the help that we can get. >> can't you pick up the phone as a democrat from an important state? as a democratic congressman, even a republican congressman, this is a crisis. can't you pick up the phone and call the white house? >> i have. and i spoke to the white house this morning. they are looking at the letter, i made it very specific what we were asking for, as i had last fall, and i'm hoping that they will be responsive. at this point in time, the governor's just not stepping up and taking the kind of responsibility that he should. we can blame him, but i'm worried about these kids getting the help that they really need in order to overcome this crisis. we can assign blame later on. let's get these kids the water they need to drink and the help they need to overcome the fact that they have been poisoned by their own government. >> i know you will stay on this but so will we. thank you, congressman. that does it for us for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." tomorrow we will be live on capitol hill to preview the
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president's final state of the union. joining us exclusively among others, house democratic leader nancy pelosi. remember, follow the show online, on facebook and on twitter. "msnbc live" with thomas roberts is next. want bladder leak underwear that moves like you do? try always discreet underwear and move, groove, wiggle, giggle, swerve, curve. lift, shift, ride, glide, hit your stride. only always discreet underwear has soft dual leak guard barriers to help stop leaks where they happen most and a discreet fit that hugs your curves, you barely feel it. always discreet underwear so bladder leaks can feel like no big deal. because hey, pee happens. get your free pair and valuable coupons at always discreet.com i have a massive heart attack oright in my driveway.d the doctor put me on a bayer aspirin regimen. be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. go talk to your doctor. you're not indestructible anymore.
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decrease alcohol use while taking chantix. use caution when driving or operating machinery. most common side effect is nausea. i can't believe i did it. i quit smoking. ask your doctor if chantix is right for you. good afternoon. i'm thomas roberts. good to have you with me. we have just three weeks until iowa and polls are showing a tightening in this race for bother parties' nominations. ted cruz leading donald trump in a new nbc news poll by four points. a new poll from quinnipiac shows donald trump on top by two points with no other challenger really rivaling either candidate's support. in new hampshire, that same nbc poll shows a wide lead for trump, in fact, mirrored in a new monmouth university poll released this afternoon. still, that iowa race appears to be foremost on trump's mind and many of his jabs have to do with cruz and his canadian birth.
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however, as trump explained at a rally a short time ago, these aren't attacks. no, trump claims he's helping the texas senator. >> you can't have a nominee who is going to be subject to being thrown out as the nominee. you just can't do it. so you are going to make that decision, folks. it's one of those little decisions. i'm sure ted is thrilled that i'm helping him out, but i am. i am. he's got to go and he's got to fix it. >> so interestingly, trump heard a few heckles during the rally and during his discussion of syrian refugees, one audience member could be heard telling trump this is boring. take a listen. >> -- call it an area where we will make it possible for people to live until they can hopefully some day go back to their homes. >> this is boring! boring! [ au

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