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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  January 18, 2016 9:00am-10:01am PST

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i have doubts when people receive huge amounts of money from wall street. >> i have a plan that most commentators have said is tougher, more effective and more comprehensive. >> you have received over $600,000 in speaking fees from goldman sachs in one year. while donald trump and ted cruz trade insults as they fight for the republican base. >> i think we could really surprise a lot of people by winning iowa and then we're just going to clean the table. >> well, look, donald seems a little bit rattled. i understand he's losing support and going down in the polls. and coming home. five americans are free from iran's prison after years behind bars. the sister of a former marine held for more than four years is overjoyed. >> i'm in a fog. this is like surreal. i'm still in disbelief and honestly, everything just happened so quickly that i don't think it will hit me until i'm
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hugging him. good day. i'm andrea mitchell in south carolina, where the democratic candidates are courting african-american voters at a commemoration at this hour of the martin luther king day holiday. honoring the civil rights icon and advocate for non-violence the day after they waged a mitt political war on the debate stage. the fireworks exploded right from the start. first over guns. >> i have made it clear based on senator sanders' own record that he has voted with the nra with the gun lobby numerous times. >> secretary clinton knows that what she says is very disingenuous. i have a d-minus voting record from the nra. >> and then health care.
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clinton accusing sanders of trying to kill obamacare, but proposing a new medicare for all program. >> there are things we can do to improve it but to tear it up and start over again, pushing our country back into that kind of a contentious debate, i think is the wrong direction. >> that is nonsense. what a medicare for all program does is finally provide in this country health care for every man, woman and child as a right. >> firing back, sanders blasted clinton's ties to wall street. >> i don't take money from big banks. i don't get personal speaking fees from goldman sachs. >> i can take that, but he's criticized president obama for taking donations from wall street and president obama had led our country out of the great recession. >> you have received over $600,000 in speaking fees from goldman sachs in one year. >> you're the only one on this
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stage that voted to deregulate the financial market in 2000. >> as to what role her husband would play if she won the white house -- >> well, it will start at the kitchen table. we'll see how it goes from there. i'm going to ask for his ideas, i'm going to ask for his advice and i'm going to use him as a good will emissary to go around the country to find the best ideas we've got. >> asked whether he regrets having called bill clinton's past transgressions disgraceful and unacceptable, sanders called it old news. >> i mean this seriously. you know that. we have been through this. yes, his behavior was deplorable. have i ever once said a word about that issue? no, i have not. >> but sanders showed no reluctance to trumpet his own surge in iowa and new hampshire polls. >> when this campaign began, she was 50 points ahead of me. we were all of three percentage points.
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guess what? in iowa, new hampshire, the race is very, very close. >> joining me here in charleston, nbc's kristen welker, my partner on the campaign trail, and in virginia, covering donald trump's speech which just ended at liberty university, nbc's katy tur. well, donald trump took on the democrats as well. we will talk to you about that in a second. i just wanted to review with kristen, the experience of this debate last night, this was pretty ferocious for them. it really indicates what bernie sanders was just saying at the end of our piece there. >> it absolutely does. >> that it's very close. he is obviously competitive in iowa and ahead in new hampshire next door to his home state of vermont, and the nightmare scenario for hillary clinton is that bernie sanders is beginning to really gain strength, according to jim clyburn last night, that iconic democratic congressman here, he is really developing an organization here
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and trying to court african-american voters. >> he really is. that's going to be the key for bernie sanders. congratulations on a great debate, first of all. it was the most heated, contentious debate i think we have seen yet and it underscores the fact that secretary clinton is really fighting to try to get that strong lead back. it was also fascinating, it sort of became the night of bernie sanders because he had just changed positions on that critical piece of gun legislation which you pointed out in your piece and because two hours before the debate he released details about how to pay for his health care plan so a lot of time was spent with bernie sanders defending those positions. i think he did it quite robustly but you saw hillary clinton answering incredibly aggressively and hugging president obama by the way, countering, trying to counter bernie sanders gaining ground with african-american voters. >> as he's preaching revolution, she's talking about continuity, continuing and protecting the obama legacy. this was part of those exchanges. >> criticized president obama
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for taking donations from wall street. senator sanders called him weak, disappointing. he even in 2011 publicly sought someone to run in a primary against president obama. i'm going to defend dodd-frank. >> 2008, i did my best to see that he was elected and in 2012 i worked as hard as i could to see that he was re-elected. >> your profusion of comments about your feelings toward president obama are a little strange given what you said about him in 2011. >> so part of this is she's here in south carolina and president obama is very, very popular here and also very popular in iowa with the progressive democrats there. >> absolutely. this is part of the clinton campaign's trying to have a plan a, b and c. if she were to lose iowa and new
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hampshire, that nightmare scenario that you lay out, south carolina becomes key and key to winning south carolina, about 60% of the voters here are african-american. so they make up a critical part of -- democratic voters. so it's a critical part of winning what could become a very critical state for her. >> katy tur has been listening to more than an hour of donald trump at liberty university in lynchburg, virginia. he also talked about the democrats as part of this long speech. we s was he also attacking ted cruz in this speech? >> reporter: i was just talking to one of the fellow reporters about that just now. he didn't actually refer to ted cruz by name during this speech but he did subtly refer to him by saying there's another candidate out there who has been essentially stealing my idea for a law. he said hold on, wait a minute, this is the idea i had but another candidate wants to build a wall, it will be much lower
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than my wall, much lower. he also attacked the democrats, saying hillary clinton shouldn't be running for office, questioned her legality in running at the moment with all this benghazi and e-mail stuff. he also called bernie sanders a socialist. that sort of stuff got big applause from this crowd. but this was his typical stump speech. he didn't really change it much or cater it to this university crowd which seemed like it didn't quite hit the way it could have, had he changed it to talk a little more about common core education which he only just briefly touched on. the crowd didn't cheer as much as they do at his rallies. remember, this is a convocation that is required for these students to be here or else they pay a $10 fine if they don't show up. but he did get a standing ovation at the end of it. we have spoken to students as they have been filing out and they have said they do like what he has to say. i asked him a little about the fighting between cruz and donald trump because a lot of them say they do like ted cruz and they told me they are enjoying it, they are entertained by it, they like it because they say it
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forces them to think more critically about each of the candidates. i do think it is important that he didn't really go after ted cruz here at this event. he knows that it wasn't necessarily a place to do that. he's not necessarily going to get big cheers for that line. he did so over the weekend at the tea party convention and got boos there. donald trump does not like getting booed. he likes to control his environments. he likes to make sure that his lines hit to great applause. that was a moment i think was a bit of a wake-up call for the campaign that today, this event here at liberty university, today was not a place to really go after ted cruz. i do expect that we will see more of that, though, tonight at the new hampshire rally. another interesting point was that ivanka was here at this rally. she is also appearing in the new video that they played before all of his rallies, introducing her father, and she is in a new radio ad. i think this is the start of her being a little more apparent on the campaign trail. he has been promising she will come out for months and months and months.
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we have not seen her. as we get very close, we are weeks away, donald trump is pulling out all the stops to make sure he can walk away from that state if not with a win, then with a close second place to ted cruz. >> katy tur at liberty university and kristen welker, also enjoying the sights and sounds of a martin luther king day parade which is just across the green here from us. right now, the bands are marching by. thanks to both of you. joining me now also, former pennsylvania governor, former democratic party chairman ed rendell and steve schmidt, msnbc contributor and senior advisor to the 2008 mccain presidential campaign. welcome, both. i know you can hear me over the bands that are marching by. it's quite a celebration here. martin luther king day. let's talk first to you, ed
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rendell, about the democratic debate we experienced here last night. it's really a mark of how close this race has become and how surprising the surge of bernie sanders has been in iowa, in particular, that hillary clinton is really taking off the gloves. >> yeah. no question about it. let me start by saying i thought you and lester did a great job handling the debate. i thought the questions were good and the follow-ups were excellent. the debate tone, although it was contentious, it was contentious over issues. much different than most of the republican debates which have been contentious over personalities. i think it is symbolic of the close nature of the race. i think hillary clinton scored some points on certainly the gun issue to lay out all the litany of things that bernie sanders has supported that were nra supported legislation. on the other hand, i think bernie sanders did a terrific job in taking virtually every
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question and going back to his basic premise, that it's about income inequality and campaign financing. it almost sounded like a broken record but that's very effective with his base, very effective in stirring the passion of his base. so i think they both did a good job. >> wanted to play a bit of them arguing over health care and talk to you about that and to steve, as to how it plays in a general election. >> your health care plan, the plan you released tonight, you would not only raise taxes on the wealthy, the details you released indicate you would raise taxes on the middle class also. is that correct? >> yes, some middle class families would be paying slightly more in taxes but the result would be that that middle class family would be saving some $5,000 in health care costs. >> on "meet the press" on december 20th you said that you would only raise taxes on the middle class to pay for family leave. having said that, now you say
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you are going to raise middle class taxes to pay for health care as well. is that breaking your word? >> no. it is not breaking my word. when you are -- it's one thing to say i'm raising taxes. it's another thing to say that we are doing away with private health insurance premiums. so if i save you $10,000 in private health insurance and you pay a little bit more in taxes, in total, there are huge savings in what your family is spending. >> steve schmidt, is taking a position in favor of raising taxes on the middle class as well as the other tax increases, how does that play for the democratic party going forward in general election matchup? >> look, not particularly well. when you look at the economy, people don't think it's heading in the right direction. obamacare is a policy whatever you think of its substantive merits is unpopular in the middle of the electorate, unpopular broadly in the
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electorate. i think what you saw last night is a democratic party that's for higher taxes, more spending, bigger government and it's going to offer a nice contrast for whomever the republican nominee is. certainly bernie sanders is emphatic on his position with regard to these issues. >> what about ed rendell, the nbc news/"wall street journal" poll showing the divide among democrats and republicans for change versus experience? >> that seems to be the case in the last few elections. clearly the people want change, are more attracted to bernie sanders. the people who want experience and that resume are more attracted to hillary clinton. i thought on the health care issue, andrea, that the most poignant exchange was when hillary clinton said to bernie about going to a single payer all medicare system, he said that when the democrats
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controlled congress, when we were in control of congress, we couldn't even get the public option passed as part of obamacare. i think that's a telling issue and the issue that people are going to have to come to grips with is, is what bernie sanders is talking about, is that achievable, is it realistic, does it make sense. that's the question i think that voters are going to resolve and it's going to be the key question. >> i wanted to also ask you about south carolina because in talking to jim clyburn here last night, he said that if bernie wins iowa by a big margin and predictably wins new hampshire, next door to vermont, this is no longer a firewall for her. that the whole frame of the campaign has changed and it could very well be an upset here in south carolina, that he's doing far better, has a better organization than he had expected and in fact, is working really hard to expand his appeal to african-american voters who
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are less familiar with him. what do you make of that? >> well, andrea, look, there are three very different states. you have a homogenous white liberal state in iowa and in the state of new hampshire. the state of iowa, for example, in the nbc/"wall street journal" journal poll, you have more democrats in iowa that identify themselves as favoring socialism as opposed to capitalism. south carolina, not a homogenous white liberal state. very significant african-american population broadly but makes up 60% of the democratic electorate. so if bernie sanders is able to break out of that white liberal progressive band of voters and be able to be sellable to african-american voters, it's anybody's guess what happens in the democratic primary. hillary clinton is in trouble if she loses the first two contests, but she's in big trouble if she loses the first three contests in the race for the democratic primary.
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it ultimately starts to go down a path where she could lose the nomination if that should be the case. >> ed, what someone said to me, a very prominent democrat down here said to me if that were to happen, lousing the first three that the democratic party would start being in the same position as the republican party wondering what to do about trump or cruz, would start looking elsewhere and there's only one other place to look. that's the vice president. >> right. the vice president withdrawing and deciding not to run held himself open for that contingency, the contingency that hillary clinton had legal problems and he's available. i do think if bernie sanders won south carolina on top of iowa and new hampshire, that would mean it's a real race and i think you would have to see march 1st when there are 13 primaries and caucuses, you would have to see where it was
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after the smoke cleared on march 1st. but that could be the case. it's an eventuality and is not likely to happen but it's certainly out there. >> a very hot contest now in both political parties. steve schmidt, ed rendell, thank you so much. coming up next, americans freed by iran now one step closer to heading home. live updates next from tehran and germany, where three of the americans are right now getting medical treatment, medical evaluations. "beth" by kiss ♪ beth, i hear you calling.♪. ♪ but i can't come home right now... ♪ ♪ me and the boys are playing.♪. ♪ and we just can't find the sound... ♪ just a few more hours... ♪ ♪ and i'll be right home to you.♪.
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we're feeling good, of course, that jason is here. we're relieved that he was released, he's in the hospital, he's being treated, he's being evaluated. douglas and i both had the chance to speak with him
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separately. he sounded in good spirits and was eager for human contact and for the opportunity to see us, and his brother, ali, who has worked tirelessly on his behalf. >> the "washington post" is celebrating the release of its reporter, jason rezaian, after 18 months in an iranian prison. he along with four other americans were released late saturday after 14 months of secret negotiations conducted separately but clearly related to the conclusion of that historic nuclear deal. i'm joined by keir simmons in germany, where three of the americans are undergoing medical evaluations at the military hospital. and richard engel in tehran, where people are celebrating the first business day without economic sanctions. keir, first to you, let's talk about the prisoner deal, the swap of seven iranians from american jails for the five americans who were held unjustly in tehran prison.
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>> reporter: yeah, that's right. we are hearing some pretty stunning details now of the past 48 hours, the fingernail biting past 48 hours. in the case of jason rezaian, who is now one of those three in the u.s. base behind me here, he was waiting at the airport, his wife who is iranian and his mother, who has tirelessly campaigned for him and spent a lot of time in iran, were both there, too, and for awhile, it looked as if the iranians were happy or not happy, but prepared to let jason go but were not prepared to let his wife and mother go. his congressman telling me in the past hour that he got a call on friday night from the white house saying be ready, something may happen, then another call saturday morning saying jason rezaian has been freed but then there was another 24 hours that
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they had to wait and it looks like there was this last minute diplomacy to get not just jason on to the plane but also his wife and his mother. he simply would not be prepared to leave the country without both of them, as you can imagine. now of course, he is in the base behind me with two others freed americans. they are undergoing medical and psychological checks. some of them have been held for much of their prison time in solitary confinement. it has been a very, very difficult time. it will take time for them to reaclimatize, if you like. it has in the past been five or ten days before they are able to head back there to the united states. many of their family members are on their way here to be with them. it may be shorter than that, but this is not necessarily a quick and easy process.
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>> richard engel, there you are in tehran after being in vienna as the nuclear deal was being consummated, implemented, the sanctions lifted, then you're in tehran where people are reacting to the first economic freedom really, reentry into the world banking system and their hopes for a much better economy. >> reporter: it has been an incredibly dynamic last 48 hours or so. as you mentioned, in vienna, there was the last-minute negotiations. it was not even clear that the deal was going to be implemented. it was going down to the wire. journalists were waiting at the u.n. outpost in vienna to see if the delegates were going to show up and actually sign the deal. and after waiting there the entire day, yes, the delegates did come out, first the iaea,
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the international atomic energy agency, and certified that iran is holding up its part of the deal and iran has put checks in place to make it far more difficult for it to develop a nuclear weapon, and then after the iaea made that announcement that iran is keeping its word, secretary kerry, his iranian counterpart, his european negotiating partner, came out and announced the lifting of sanctions. sanctions that have been crippling the economy in tehran, particularly over the last four years. it has been difficult for people in this country to trade money abroad, for this country to sell oil, for iranians really to do business. the reaction so far today is that iran got a very good deal, businesses are talking about the future and the stock market has been up, it had its best day in five months yesterday, the currency is up, businesses are already talking about expanding
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their inventories. russia is talking about new arms sales to iran. so there is definitely a sense of movement and optimism here. >> richard engel and keir simmons, thanks so much. coming up, the negotiator. the behind the scenes talks, the secret high risk campaign to free those five americans. we'll talk to the u.s. ambassador, former ambassador who joins us next. you owned your car for four years, you named it brad. you loved brad. and then you totaled him. you two had been through everything together. two boyfriends, three jobs... you're like nothing can replace brad. then liberty mutual calls, and you break into your happy dance. if you sign up for better car replacement™, we'll pay for a car that's a model year newer with 15,000 fewer miles than your old one. see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance.
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lyrica affects you. those who have had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. now i have less diabetic nerve pain. and i love helping little ones get off on the right foot. ask your doctor about lyrica. months of secret and often dicey talks led to five americans being freed from iran's custody while at the same time, the iran nuclear deal was being ironed out. joining me now from tel aviv, one of the key negotiators on the iran nuclear agreement, ambassador wendy sherman, former undersecretary of state for political affairs. thank you so much for being with us. obviously so much happening and
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secretary kerry acknowledging that it was only after the july agreement on the nuclear deal that those secret parallel talks on the prisoners really accelerated. explain how this went because i know all the time when i was covering you and the secretary, as you were negotiating all of these months and months, we kept asking you, i asked you last week, in fact, on this program, why should we go ahead and lift sanctions and implement the nuclear deal when the prisoners are still behind bars, when americans unjustly held and you said at every moment we are talking about this. obviously you weren't going to reveal that there was a secret negotiation for all of these months. >> well, andrea, it's really quite astonishing to see those photographs tonight of the american citizens landing in germany getting taken care of, meeting their families. it really brings a great deal of warmth to my heart and i think
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to everybody in america and around the world. as i said in the past, every time we had a nuclear round, i met separately with the ambassador. i did that either with brooke anderson or rob malley, my colleagues, to talk about the americans being detained unjustly in iran. it was a very pain-staking, long, laborious set of conversations that began to lead to the possibility of finding a way to get them home. it became apparent to us, as has been reported, that we needed a separate interagency group working on this. there were a lot of issues involved and so the secretary, the president and i asked brett mcgurke to take the lead on these negotiations and as secretary kerry made clear after the nuclear deal was reached in july, the process accelerated.
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i think it created an environment, an atmosphere, but there have been many twists and turns, many ups and downs. your reporter reported that at the last minute, there was the possibility that jason rezaian's wife and mother would not be let out when that was always part, to be part of the agreement. secretary kerry called, spoke, obviously he was with foreign minister zarif, said this could not stand. foreign minister zarif made a call and put people on it to get that resolved. so this was very, very tough all the way up to the last minute but the outcome is terrific. i will say one more thing which is really important. it's not over. it's not over. >> well, the family of robert levinson certainly hopes it's not over because he is still missing and unaccounted for, as you know, the former fbi man and private citizen who went missing in iran on an island in iranian territory. but i also want to ask you, there you are in tel aviv on a
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separate trip at a conference, i presume, but how difficult has this been for you to hear all the criticism? i'm sure they are not being shy in israel about how much they fear and resent the iran deal. >> look, i understand that here in israel it's all about security and i believe israel is more secure, president obama, secretary kerry blelieve that a well but we understand the security concerns israelis have. they live in a very tough neighborhood. we believe iran never having a nuclear weapon is critical to the security of the region and the world. we are trying to focus on moving forward, what is our strategic vision of the middle east and how can we move forward together. that's what we have to be focused on. this is a good news story but there's a lot more work to do and i'm glad you raised the family of robert levinson, to wait eight years to find out the fate of your loved one is
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absolutely nearly impossible. none of us can imagine having that happen to our spouses, to our family members, and i know that the u.s. government is committed to continuing the work, iran has agreed to cooperate to finally, finally get answers for the family and to get robert home. >> wendy sherman, thank you very much. i know you have great pride with what you have accomplished despite all the criticism and it's going to remain something to be watched closely going forward as we understand. thank you. >> absolutely. coming up, cheers for the home team. ted cruz makes a play for new hampshire voters. >> look, i am not one to pander on many things but on that, tom brady was framed. and i have it on good authority that hillary clinton did it. why do you think she destroyed her e-mails?
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donald trump called you nasty. is he right? >> well, look, donald seems a little bit rattled. i understand he's losing support and going down in the polls and it seems his response is to attack and get personal. i don't intend to respond in kind. >> ted cruz refusing to take the bait as donald trump repeatedly slams the texas senator standing between the front-runner and victory in iowa two weeks from today. joining me for our daily fix, chris cillizza, msnbc contributor and founder of the "washington post" fix blog, and sam stein, senior politics editor at the huffington post and host of the candidate confidential podcast. welcome, both. chris cillizza, first to you. you have donald trump and ted cruz, trump shifting into full attacks mode now against cruz although he didn't in his speech
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today. is this a winning strategy in iowa? >> you know, normally i would say he might go a little too far by saying everyone hates him but this is donald trump we are talking about. what we have seen, look, he's done any number of things that conventional political wisdom would suggest are not going to work, yet they have. i think all he's trying to do, and this is sort of the extension of the citizenship attack, the next thing is no one likes him, he can't get along with anyone. i think what he's doing, i think of trump like a comedian, he's testing his bits, seeing what works and what doesn't and will keep focusing on the things that work. citizenship worked. he will try this, no one likes him in washington thing, asee i that works. he's trying to raise doubts in people's minds. he doesn't need a lot. he's not behind by a lot. he just needs a little bit. if he wins iowa, he wins new hampshire, it's going to be his race to lose if it's not already. >> sam, here at the debate last night, bernie sanders and
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hillary clinton, the dynamic, personal dynamic between the two was pretty tense at times and if you really want to know what bernie sanders thinks of hillary clinton, i wanted to just play this line that has gone viral of bernie giving her the side-eye. take a look at that again. >> that's an amazing facial expression. >> does that capture it all? >> i think it does. i just don't think it's disdain. i really don't. i think it's confusion, perhaps, that she's launching these attacks on him from the right, going after him on his advocacy for universal health care, medicare for all, which is probably a bit unexpected from him considering it's in the context of a democratic primary. but also, you know, bernie sanders, let's be honest about it, probably never thought he would get to this point in the democratic primary where he has a legit chance to be the party's nominee at this juncture.
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so it's a higher stage, it's facilitated a lot more personal attacks from the clinton campaign, lot more aggressive attacks than a lot of people expected, and i think bernie sanders is recognizing that the stakes are a little higher, things are a little sharper right now. >> chris cillizza, could bernie sanders, he clearly has a shot at iowa and new hampshire, but do you think he could give her a run for her money in south carolina, which everyone thought was her firewall? >> yeah. i was listening to governor rendell earlier on the show say well, if he wins south carolina and iowa and new hampshire, then we have a real race on our hands. i talked to the tv too much, but i said no, if he wins those three states, she will not be the nominee if bernie sanders wins iowa, new hampshire and south carolina. i think nevada is an easier state for him just demographi l demographically than south carolina is. if history is any indication, when you look at sort of what
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happens if somebody wins the first two states, remember john kerry in 2004 was like john kerry, he's an afterthought. he wins iowa, new hampshire, the race is over. bernie sanders isn't john kerry in terms of the establishment but i would argue that lots can change if you see the first two states won by someone who is not the heavy front-runner. >> but is there, sam, any other choice? because that was the next step according to south carolina democrats that the party would begin looking for someone else than a democratic socialist from vermont? >> i think you're starting to already see a little bit of not just establishment reversion but even some liberal reversion going on here, where they're looking at the possibility of a sanders nomination and are starting to pick it apart with a bit more criticalness than we have seen up to this point. they are going after not just the specifics of his health care plan and his policy portfolio but this notion that he's more electable in a general election which the polls do suggest, but
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that's premised largely on the fact that there has been very little, if any, negative advertisement or critical coverage of him to date. so i think you are starting to see the party not just freak out, i think that's too much, but say okay, we are getting to the crunch time here, we have a couple weeks before iowa, do we want to go down this path, what does it mean for us as a party and are we comfortable with bernie sanders as the standard bearer here. you are going to see a readjustment, i think. >> sam stein, chris cillizza, thanks so much. thanks to both of you. coming up here, finally free. a congressman from michigan who has just met with his constituent, one of the americans freed from iran. the congressman joins me next.
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was one of the five americans freed from iran over the weekend. the flint, michigan native was seized in tehran while visiting family in august 2011. his sister and brother-in-law spoke yesterday before flying to germany to reunite with him. >> we have been on pins and needles, dying to see him. we haven't seen him in four and a half years. >> it's been four and a half years. we have been just calling out to just free amir. amir's free. it's incredible. >> joining me now is congressman dan kildy, who just met with amir hekmati for the first time since he was freed. tell us, how is he? >> well, he seems really great. obviously he's been through an incredible ordeal and you would expect him to be somewhat exhausted, four and a half years and then the last few days, but you know, it's the first time i have met him. this is a young man i feel i have gotten to know over these
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years but he's great. i think he's going to be fine. it will take a bit to readjust but he's got a great family and they're here with him. his sisters and his brother-in-law and i know he's anxious to get home to his parents and the rest of the family. but you know what, amir hekmati's a strong man. he's going to be fine. i was just so happy to be able to put my arms around him and give him a big hug. >> i know you are not a doctor and he still has to be evaluated, but do you have any sense from him as to his medical condition? is he going to be able to come home soon? >> well, that's yet to be determined. that will be a combination of the family, his own assessment and with the medical folks here. it will take at least a couple of days i think just to get his feet underneath him but that's just my judgment. it's up to him when he wants to come home. again, it's been a horrific ordeal.
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so it's understandable that it might not be immediate. but hopefully, it won't be long. >> do you know anything about the conditions under which he was held? was he in isolation? what about nutrition? wasn't there a period where he was on a starvation diet? >> right. so at times, he was in solitary confinement, there was a point in time when he was being held in a one meter by one meter cell. he did a couple of times launch hunger strikes to try to call attention to his case. hopefully he's through that now and obviously, being back with his family is really gratifying for everybody. hopefully he will move on. >> and we heard of a dramatic moment on the tarmac when the iranians were not going to let his mother and sister board that plane and secretary kerry,
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according to wendy sherman, had to intervene and make some calls. it sounded like right out of "argo." what can you tell us about that? >> yeah. of course, that was jason's family. the whole thing was really high drama from the time we first heard that they were being released until for us, the next morning when they actually took off. it was a combination of jubilation and a whole lot of anxiety until they cleared iranian air space. honestly, that's when we began to celebrate. >> how much did the white house tell you about the secret negotiations these past 14 months? >> well, i was actually very much aware that there had been a separate track only because i had pressed them so much and insisted on -- and i didn't need to insist, but insisted on these negotiations taking place. i was involved in my own effort as well, meeting with iranian
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leaders, meeting with the swiss and others. the fact that we had the nuclear negotiations obviously is what opened the door for this separate track and i'm really pleased that it worked out the way it did. but we had some sense that things were going the way they ultimately unfolded and really happy that it did. >> congressman dan kildee, thanks very much. i know you are feeling a great deal of joy today. thanks and please pass on -- >> it's a great day. >> -- congratulations to sarah and her husband remy who we have gotten to know. thank you. thank you, congressman. more ahead on martin luther king day. to folks out there whose diabetic nerve pain... shoots and burns
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today in columbia, south carolina, all three of the democratic presidential candidates celebrated the 30th anniversary of the martin luther king day holiday. marching with civil rights leaders from the state capitol and speaking at a rally at the state house. of course, just down the street from where we are here in charleston is mother emanuel a.m.e. church, site of the racist shooting that of course led to the deaths of nine people who were praying when dylann roof came in and prayed with them, then mowed them down. afterwards, hope and a new resolve to tackle reverend king's unfinished and unrealized dreams. something for all of us to think about today. that does it for this special edition of "andrea mitchell reports" from
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charleston, south carolina. remember, follow us online on facebook and on twitter. see you on "nightly news" tonight. thomas roberts is up next with the latest on "msnbc live." peter alexander filling in today. the biggest challenge for business today is not competition, it's protecting customer trust. every day you read headlines about governments and businesses being hacked, emails compromised, and intellectual property being stolen. that is cyber-crime, and it affects each and every one of us. microsoft created the digital crimes unit to investigate and fight cyber crime. we use the microsoft cloud to visualize information, so we can track down the criminals. using our advanced analytics tools, analysis that used to take days to run, we can now see in real time. and we're building what we learn back into the cloud to make people and organizations safer. when it comes to the cloud, trust and
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eliquis treats dvt & pe blood clots. plus had less major bleeding. both made switching to eliquis right for me. ask your doctor if it's right for you. 1:00 eastern, we're following breaking news right now. reunions expected in germany today for three americans freed after years in prison in iran. they are still undergoing evaluation in germany. we will have much more on this story just a moment from now, including a live interview with the wife and son of an american still missing in iran. but today, we begin with the race for 2016, now just two weeks to iowa, believe it or not, just hours after the democratic presidential candidates squared off in the last debate before the iowa caucuses, all three made the trip from charleston to columbia, south carolina taking part in the martin luther king y

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