tv Meet the Press MSNBC January 25, 2016 1:00am-2:01am PST
loathing on the campaign trail. the republican establishment takes a deep breath and decides to stand with trump. >> i could stand in the middle of fifth avenue and shoot somebody and not lose any voters. it's incredible. >> while insurgents start to back ted cruz. >> the washington establishment knows who's willing to keep the gravy train going. >> donald trump joins me this morning. plus, now it's the democrats' turn to worry and sanders surges. >> we are doing far, far, far better than hillary clinton against donald trump and the other republican candidates. >> their establishment frets over nominating a socialist and wonder what is wrong with hillary clinton.
>> i'm not interested in ideas that sound good on paper but will never make in the the real world. >> both hillary clinton and bernie sanders are with this morning. and if you thought this campaign could not get any more unpredictable, look who's considering jumping in, former new york city mayor michael bloomberg. joining us are nbc's kristen welker, also from nbc kasie hunt and david brooks of the "new york times." trump versus cruz, clinton versus sanders, eight days to iowa. welcome to sunday, it's "meet the press." we've dug out so good sunday morning and welcome to the blizzard edition of "meet the press." with one week to go to iowa, both parties are in a bit of a panic mode. the republicans are fractured.
with the establishment thinking the unthinkable. the best way to stop ted cruz might be to back -- donald trump. mr. trump will join me on that issue. but we'll start with the democrats where a more traditional split has developed, think carter/kennedy, gore/bradlee, even clinton/obama. if the clinton folks think they've seen this all before, perhaps they have, in 2008, again, clinton's big lead in iowa and a big lead in new hampshire seem to have vanished. again, clinton's big lead in iowa and new hampshire seem to have vanished. again she appears to face an enthusiasm gap and again the hand wringing among her supporters has begun over what's going wrong. if that weren't enough, the "new york times" is reporting michael bloomberg is considering a run at the white house in part because of clinton's troubles. this morning, there is good news for clinton. she won the endorsement of the "des moines register," as did marco rubio on the republican side but one would argue the "des moines register" would probably is a greater impact among democratic caucusgoers. joining me from iowa is hillary clinton. madam secretary, welcome back. >> thank you, chuck.
it's good to talk with you this morning. >> you got it. let me start with this. your opponent 74 years old, calls himself a socialist, you started this campaign with next to zero name recognition. you have 12 of 18 democratic governors supporting you. he has zero. what happened? what's gone wrong? save me the we always knew this was going to be a close race answer. >> i think it's actually good for the debate that we're having that there is so much interest i feel on my side and i know so does senator sanders on his. we have a big choice to make. it's exciting. i had a great couple of events yesterday. i'm pursuing the opportunity to reach every single voter in iowa and we'll see what happens. i feel good about where we are. obviously, we'll find out a week from tomorrow.
if you look at the differences between senator sanders and myself, we can't wait to make progress on the myriad of issues we'll be facing in the next administration. i want to build on the promise president obama has made and he has a different approach. that's what voters are trying to determine, which they prefer. >> the caucuses sometimes are about passion, enthusiasm. something in "the new york times" from gayle collins. "nerlt nevertheless, you can't ignore the fact that hillary clinton is the candidate of the aging democratic establishment whose supporters pray for a low turnout on the election day. that might get her nominated in the long run but it's not the kind of image that makes you go wh whistling into the election booth." by the way, she wrote that in 2008. by the way, she wrote that in 2008, madam secretary. is there a deja vu happening here? >> no, there isn't. i can only react to what i'm doing, the responses we have from people. i feel great we have the level of enthusiasm that we do and we
also have a really good team on the ground that has been working for months to make sure it's not just here today, gone tomorrow. but people are involved. they are really reached out to and we believe they're going to come caucus. the speculation and all the rest of it is entertaining, i admit that. but we're going to keep moving forward and do the work we think is going to be successful on february 1st. >> are you worried that experience, your long resume, is not an asset in this wild year? >> no, i'm really not. i think at the end of the day people take this vote seriously. they know they're voting for who they prefer to be the next president and commander in chief, and i believe that when i am out there talking with people about what we have to go up against here at home, get economy working for everybody,
not just those at the top, begin to raise incomes, which hasn't happened, deal with health care, going from 90% coverage, which is what we have under the affordable care act now, to 100% and i lay out what i intend to do to get there, i can only tell you they see people nodding, i know people are signing up as they leave my events. that's what matters here. it's very personal, and people look and they think, can we imagine this person to be president and commander in chief? and because of my experience, particularly my years as secretary of state working with president obama, i think that's something that people really take into account. >> what are you willing to -- you know, it's interesting, your husband used a lot of political capital -- you and your husband used a lot of political capital to do health care. president obama, arguably, used all of his political capital to get health care passed. what is it? what is the one issue you are going to be willing to use all your political capital to focus on? you and i both know you basically have one big shot at one big issue. what is it that you're willing to use all your political capital to do with? >> well, chuck, first of all, i don't agree with you on that.
i think there are several really important issues, health care being one of them. we've got to get costs down. i met a man on friday who no longer can afford to pay for his hiv medication. i met a woman yesterday whose bill she has taken for 25 years has gone from a couple hundred for $14,000 for the same amount of the drug. that really hits my heart. i know what people are going through. i'll use whatever tools i can to get us lower prices, cap prescription drug companies and take that on. but i'm also going to focus on the economy because unless we create more jobs and get incomes rising and fix the tax system so that it doesn't in so many ways tilt toward the wealthy, people are not going to get ahead, they're not going to feel they're getting ahead and they're going to still believe the government is rigged against them which is bad for our democracy. >> as you know, your opponent senator sanders has been hitting you on wall street contributions and including some paid speeches
you did for goldman sachs among other banks. let me ask you this -- why do you think one of these big banks paid you over $200,000 for a speech? >> well, look, i gave speeches to a wide array of groups from health care groups to auto dealers and many, many more, and i think what they were interested in because what we talked about was the world coming off of four years as secretary of state in a complicated world, people were interested in what i saw, what i thought, they asked questions about matters that were on their minds. a lot of interest in the bin laden raid, how such a tough decision was made and what i advised the president. you know, i think americans who are doing business in every aspect of the economy want to know more about the world. i actually think it's a good conversation for people to be having. >> you don't think they expect anything in return? >> absolutely not. you know, first of all, i was a
senator from new york. i took them on when i was senator. i took on the carried interest loophole. i took on what was happening in the mortgage markets. i was talking about that in 2006. they know exactly where i stand. and i'll tell you, chuck, it's really interesting to me that now karl rove has taken money from the financial interest to run an ad against me to influence democrats not to support me. why? ask yourself why. he knows number one i know what must be done and number two i know how to get it done to make sure that wall street writ large, not just the banks but the investment banks, hedge funds and everybody else, no longer can wreck our economy the way they did in 2008. >> two more quick questions. the "des moines register" editorial, in praising you and your experience, did bring up the e-mail issue as one of those things that they're frustrated with how you responded to it. let me just ask you this question. last week you were asked about the fbi investigation. are you concerned? you said you haven't been contacted by them. are you concerned this investigation is taking too long?
that it's putting an extra cloud over your candidacy and until it gets behind you, you're going to have these issues and michael bloomberg even cited it as a reason why he's thinking about running. >> no, i'm not concerned because i know what the facts are. i never sent or received any material marked "classified." i cannot control what the republicans leak and what they are contending. and i thought it was interesting, chuck -- you'll as a political observer understand why -- back a couple months ago kevin mccarthy spilled the beans that the benghazi investigation was all about bringing me down, something that i suspected but i went ahead, testified for 11 hours, answered all their questions, and even they admitted there was nothing new. and now senator grassley shows up at a trump rally yesterday in iowa. he's the chairman of the judiciary committee who has -- and his staff have been behind and pushing a lot of these stories, and announces he's there for the simple reason, to
defeat me. i can't control what the republicans are doing. but i know what the facts are and i will just keep putting them out there. this is something that i think is very clear about what happened and i know it will be over and resolved at some point. but i can't control what the republicans and their allies do. but i think it's important voters know what they're doing. >> and michael bloomberg? your reaction to his potential candidacy? >> he's a good friend of mine, and i'm going to do the best i can to make sure that i get the nomination, and we'll go from there. >> so you're not worried about him getting in? >> well, the way i read what he said was if i didn't get the nomination he might consider it. well, i'm going to relieve him of that and get the nomination so he doesn't have to. >> madam secretary, stay safe on the trail. we'll catch up with you soon. >> thank you, good to talk to you. >> now let's turn to her chief opponent, senator bernie sanders, also on the campaign trail in dubuque, iowa. senator, good morning to you. i want to start with getting your reaction. i've not heard your reaction to
this. your colleague, senator claire mccaskell, said that republicans were licking their chops getting ready. essentially "they won't touch him right now because they can't wait to run an ad with a hammer and a sickle." what do you say to her? >> well, what i say to her is that if she would look at the matchups taking place between bernie sanders and donald trump right now she would find that we were 15 points ahead of them nationally, that in states -- tossup states, battleground states like iowa and new hampshire or even further ahead of them, that i would very much look forward to a race against donald trump, a guy who does not want to raise the minimum wage but wants to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the top two-tenths of one percent who thinks wages in america are too high and who thinks that climate change is a hoax invented by the chinese. chuck, there would be nothing more in this world that i would like to take on donald trump. we would beat him and we would
beat him badly. >> but as you know, a lot of democrats are concerned and not a single one of them has endorsed your candidacy, i just read through that. not a single democratic senator has endorsed your candidacy. not a single democratic governor has endorsed your candidacy. what does that tell you? >> it tells me that we are taking on the political establishment, we're taking on the economic establishment, the financial interest in this country and we're taking on the corporate establishment. that is what is unique about this race: that, in fact, we are trying to make a political revolution bring millions of people into the political process that washington and all of these politicians have significantly turned their backs on. so yes we have the establishment supporting secretary clinton. that's not a secret. but the reason that our campaign is generating so much interest and enthusiasm is people think it's time that we take on the establishment. take on wall street, take on big money interests. and that's why i believe we're
doing as well as we are. >> well, you have been calling for political revolution and there have been some critiques over it, though, that you're sort of narrow in where you call for revolution. ta-nehisi coates, one of the more respected thinkers in the civil rights movement these days wrote in the "the atlantic" why aren't you for reparations for having to -- because of slavery for african-americans when you're calling for economic justice on so many other levels? why do you stop short on that issue? >> well, for the same reason that barack obama has, the same reason i believe that hillary clinton has. that is that it's absolutely wrong and unacceptable that we have so much poverty in this country and it is even worse in the african-american community. that african-american kids between 17 and 20 who graduate high school have unemployment rates and underemployment rates of 51%. that 36% of african-american children are living in poverty. this is an issue that we have got to address.
and my intention as president of the united states is to be very aggressive in dealing with those issues. to put our kids to work rather than see them go to jail. to improve our schools. that's what we have to do and i think that's what the american people want. >> i understand that. but you didn't understand the question why you were -- why you weren't in favor of reparations. >> well, again, the same reason that the president is not and i think hillary clinton is not. >> what is that reason? >> we have got to invest in the future. what we have got to do is address poverty in america, something that very few people talk about and especially poverty in the african-american community and the latino community. if you look at my record, and if you look at my agenda, raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour, focusing on high rates of youth unemployment, i think our candidacy is the candidacy talking to the issues of the african-american community. >> well, let me ask you, though, many african-americans hear that and some will say okay, he's talking about major economic justice but an african-american raises his hand and says can't get that through congress, can't
deal with this because it's politically very difficult, a lot of your other plans will be politically difficult if not impossible. >> well, look, this is what i think: that is looking at politics today as a zero-sum approach. and what i am try dog in this country is say, you know what? in the last election, 63% of the american people didn't vote. 80% of young people didn't vote in the midterm elections. that is why the rich get richer and that is why billionaires were able to buy elections. what we are trying to is do the say that in american democracy maybe it's a radical idea but congress should represent working families and the middle-class rather than just wealthy campaign contributors. so, chuck, what i am trying to do now is change the dynamics of american politics, bring millions of young people, working class people into stand
up and fight for their rights. when you that, yes, we can raise the minimum wage, we can create jobs. we can make public colleges and universities tuition free. that is what we have got to do. >> in 1988, you talked about a major difference between yourself and, at the time, the sort of insurgent candidate on the democratic party, jesse jackson. and you simply said "jesse believes that serious social change is possible within the democratic party. i don't." do you still believe that? >> well, obviously not, i'm running for president of the united states in the democratic party. and, by the way, when you talk about my relationship to the african-american community, check out how many white public officials, elected officials, supported jesse jackson in 1988. i did. and he won my state of vermont, he came to vermont, jesse jackson is a friend of mine. i thought he ran a brilliant campaign. but what my view is right now and the decision that i made as
the longest-serving independent in the history of the united states congress, i said if we are going to win this race, we have to do it within the democratic primary process, that's what we're doing. >> and if you win, apparently you're going to have a third candidate in the race. michael bloomberg has vowed if you are on your way to the nomination, he's running as an independent. what's your reaction? >> well, my reaction is that there will be -- if donald trump wins and mr. bloomberg gets in, you'll have two multibillionaires running for president of the united states against me. and i think the american people don't want to see our nation move toward an oligarchy where billionaires control the political process. i think we'll win that election. >> bernie sanders, i'll leave it there. from dubuque, iowa, we'll see you next week, i imagine, as we head to iowa to find out what happens. thank you, sir, stay safe on the trail. >> thank you. when we come back, trump versus cruz, each guy knows the other is the obstacle to the nomination. donald trump joins me next. does your makeup remover take it all off?
welcome back, as tight as the democratic contest is, it's the republican race that's become to resemble the end of a quentin tarantino movie, think "reservoir dogs" where everybody winds up shooting everybody else. jeb bush spent millions attacking marco rubio. rubio has blasted chris christie with super pac adds. christie has questioned rubio's work ethic saying "dude, show up to work." donald trump ridiculed bush for being low energy. bush called trump a jerk.
and then the non-aggression pact between trump and ted cruz crashed with each attacking the other. in fact, here's the latest trump ad going after cruz on immigration. . >> sounded like you wanted the bill to pass? >> of course i wanted the bill to pass. what -- my amendment to pass. what my amendment did -- >> you said the bill. >> -- is take citizenship off the table but it doesn't mean -- it doesn't mean i supported the other aspects of the bill. >> and here's a cruz ad hitting trump on greed. >> i think imminent domain is wonderful. >> it made him rich, like when trump colluded with atlantic city insiders to bulldoze the home of an elderly widow. trump won't change the system, he's what's wrong with it. joining me on the phone right now is donald trump. mr. trump, welcome back to "meet the press." >> good morning, and i have to tell you, his ad is wrong because i never knocked down that house. i wanted to get the house to build a major building that would have employed tremendous numbers of people but when the woman didn't want to sell
ultimately i said forget about it. so he's got me bulldozing down a house, i never bulldozed it down. it's false advertising. >> all right, i think the accusation was that's what you wanted to do -- >> no, the accusation was i wanted to and did do it. you know, if you didn't have eminent domain, you would haven't highways, the keystone pipeline because they need it if it's going to be built. you wouldn't have roads, schools, hospitals, i mean, i don't love imminent domain but you need it or you don't have a country. >> this race between you and ted cruz, he wants to make it about who's the real conservative. here's what he said yesterday when it comes to you and conservatism. i want to get you to react to it. here he is. >> perhaps one of the reasons that the washington establishment is rushing so quickly behind donald trump is that donald has been an active supporter. he gave $100,000 to the clinton foundation. he's actively supported hillary clinton as a political candidate. he supported chuck schumer, he
supported andrew cuomo, he supported emanu eed rahm emanue know he will cut a deal. >> i know you've embraced the idea of cutting a deal but some conservatives fear you're not a conservative, that 60 years you weren't a conservative, you've only been one the last eight or nine. >> most conservatives love me or i wouldn't be having the poll numbers -- fox just came out, their numbers are through the roof. i would haven't the poll numbers i have that. i am a conservative but i get along with people. ted cannot get along with people at all. the biggest problem he has, he's a nasty guy, nobody likes him. not one republican senator. he works with them everyday. not one republican senator endorsed ted cruz. when you think of it, that's impossible to believe. not one. >> i'm curious. you've been theying into cruz the last ten days on this issue. for six months you talked about how much you liked ted cruz. >> he was very nice to me and i kept saying when is it going to happen, ted? i was waiting because i want to
counterpunch. i don't want to be the first one. and during the debate which everyone said i won he got nasty and started hitting me and i hit him back. anything i said was okay to him. anything i said and he was really -- look i had people that have been terrific on the stand. i like the candidates on a personal basis. during that period of time i said come on, ted, when is it going to happen? i understand ted, ted is a nasty guy who is not a very well-liked person. >> it sounded like -- you said you wouldn't vote for him if he's the nominee. is that true? >> i talked about the fact that i'm not sure that i can vote for him because as you know, he has a major issue. in fact, illinois is looking at it seriously. i don't know if he's going to be okay to run in illinois in the state of illinois. he was born in canada, he was born on canadian soil, he was a citizen of canada -- >> can you sign a pledge? >> chuck, chuck -- >> can you sign a pledge that
you will support the republican nominee? >> that was relating to canada. the question was that and relating to canada. the question is whether or not he can run. i tell you something, from the standpoint of voters in iowa and new hampshire and all these places that have to vote, how can you vote for a candidate -- how can you do it when you don't even know if that candidate is able to run. laurence tribe from harvard said it's totally unsettled law. a number of top constitutional lawyers have come out recently over the last few days and said he's not allowed to run, he was born in canada, he can't run. so there's a real question and i said he should get a declaratory judgment. he has to do something because how can you have a campaign when it's very possible you are not allowed to run. >> let me ask you about "national review," i've seen your tweets, i know how you feel about the magazine and how you feel about this issue. let me get you to respond to one quote from erick erickson. he writes this "like the angels in heaven who rejoice for every new believer, we should rejoice for donald trump's conversion to
conservatism, but we should not put a new conservative in charge of conservatism or the country. what do you tell conservatives that will make them believe you won't leave the ideology if it's convenient or unpopular. >> well, that's not an insulting quote. it really is. i was going to hit him hard. it wasn't an insulting quote. the "national review" is a failing magazine and you get that. they did it because i'll get nice publicity. i'll say this, ronald reagan, he was a somewhat liberal democrat and over the years he evolved and became a fairly conservative -- not overly -- but fairly conservative republicans. he became a great president also and i've evolved and a lot of people changed positions on things over the years and by the way, ted cruz has changed his position. he was a very, very -- he was very weak on illegal immigration. and now all of a sudden because
of my stance he got strong but cruz was weak on immigration now he got stronger. so let's see what happens. but i use the term "ronald reagan, i use the name ronald reagan and that's pretty good to me. >> you know, just about -- well, about 15, 20 minutes ago mitt romney put out a tweet saying four years ago today he put out his tax returns and he believes that every 2016 candidate should release their returns before the first contest. just so you know, every nominee, mr. trump, has released their tax returns going back to 1980, but clinton, by the way, hillary clinton, we have every tax return that her name has been on since 1977 in the public domain. will you release any of your tax returns for the public to scrutinized but? >> well, we're working on that now. i have very big returns and i have everything all approved and very beautiful and we're working on that over the next period of time, chuck. absolutely. >> what's the period of time? before the voting begins? >> i don't know, this is not
like a normal tax return, this is a big tax return and i will say this and i'm very proud to say it, i think the country is run horribly, i hate what they do with our money and unlike everybody else, i try and pay as little tax as possible because i hate what they do with my tax money. i hate the way they spend our money, the way they give it to iraq, the way they give it to iran, the way they give it to -- everything. they give it to everybody. >> you are going to release it? >> i hate the way our politicians spend our money. i hate the way they give it away to everybody but us. we have to rebuild our country. >> but you will release it? >> and i say it and a reporter said "that's the most refreshing answer i've ever heard on taxes." because everyone tries to build it up, like mitt romney, he built it up, tries to build up how much he pays. it doesn't work that way. at the appropriate time you'll be satisfied. >> finally i have to ask you about bloomberg. what do you make of the idea that if you're the nominee, if
sanders is the nominee, that would inspire mr. boomberg to go third party. >> michael has been a friend of mine over the years. i don't know if we're friends anymore. i would love to have him run. i would love that competition. i'd do very well against it. i would love to see michael bloomberg run. >> all right, you embrace its. mr. trump, i'll leave it there. stay safe on the trail, see you next week in iowa. >> thank you very much. >> you got it. back in a moment, folks, with more on the republican race and the republican party's bank shot strategy of late. support donald trump now to defeat cruz then hope somehow you can defeat trump later. good luck with that. we'll be back. bleeding gums?
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it's possible the republican field can be narrowed down to two candidates. both camps are making the electability argument. who's right? let's look at cruz. according to our latest nbc news "wall street journal" poll, among these five groups the republican party has struggled to win, cruz is underwater across the board. more people have an unfavorable view than a favorable one. that's bad news for the republicans, right? but now here is how trump's numbers look among the same
groups. the negatives are much worse. look at where he is among african-americans. his net negative rating is 72 points in the wrong direction. in fact, trump's best numbers in these groups of voters, independents, suburban voters and latinos, his worst numbers are still better than cruz's worst numbers -- excuse me cruz's worst numbers are better than trump's worst numbers. so looking at it by the data at least suggests trump would start a general election campaign in a much deeper hole than ted cruz. when we come back, the republican party's double bank shot plan to support donald trump now in order to beat him later.
. welcome back. while the democrats are experiencing the traditional mainstream versus insurgent split, the republican party is in a much different place. it appears totally talk from which you ared. the establishment is willing to back trump, at least temporarily, in order to beat ted cruz now. then they'll worry about how to beat trump later. let me bring in the panel, mr. fix, political reporter for the "washington post," two of our campaign reporters, i got them to stay here for the blizzard, kristen welker who has been covering the clinton campaign a lot and kasie hunt, we've had you all over the place, most recently with mr. sanders and david brooks, columnist in for
the "new york times." welcome to you all. before we get things started, we have this great little trump versus cruz this week. it's nasty and personal. take a look. >> right now the washington establishment is is abandoning marco rubio. they made the assessment marco can't win this race and the washington establishment is rushing over to support donald trump. >> his new line of attack is that i've become establishment. give me a break. [ laughter ] because bob dole is a terrific guy and said trump will do better than cruz which i -- believe me, i will do better than cruz. >> if, as a voter, you think what we need is more republicans in washington to cut a deal with harry reid and nancy pelosi and chuck schumer, i guess donald trump is your guy. >> guys like ted cruz will never make a deal because he's a strident guy. "no, you cannot have that." >> as our poll numbers have surged, as donald's numbers keep dropping, he's getting more and more rattled. >> he's a very tstrident person
nobody likes him. >> david brooks, before "national review" came out, you came out earlier in the week beggings by clay all of the -- the governing wing of the republican party you called this'm to revolt against both. >> this is going to go on for a long time. this is the iran/iraq war, i want them both to lose. i think that's going to happen. i'm the last person in america. this is not trump/cruz. this is going to go on for months and months and months. if you have a attacking b and b attacking a -- >> who's c? >> it'm telling you, it will be rubio. right now you have the conflict between the philosophical conservative wing, which is the "national review" crowd, and the rogue wing, which is talk radio and trump. so it's interesting to see how that breaks down. right now trump has the advantage in that because the conservative movement is less than it was 10 years ago. the financial crisis has hit people hard and they want a government on the side of the liberal guy as long as it's not filled with liberal values but trump in the short term.
do not panic. there will be months of this. wait for rubio. >> if you are part of the republican establishment, you should not go through this scenario that you just talked about, chuck, this triple bank shot. what you want is in my opinion trump versus cruz for an extended period of time. this idea that well, okay, we'll get rid of cruz and handle trump, if trump wins, iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, there is no handling. the race is effectively over. i think you want cruz to win iowa, then trump wins new hampshire, then it's a muddle. that's the way that a rubio emerges. this idea that trump will win the first four or five states, we'll get rid of cruz and insert our candidate, that doesn't seem to be likely. >> kasie, you've been covering the republican side for a while. david -- i feel like he is the last man standing. i am starting to question whether the establishment can even find a candidate. >> i think that's why you're seeing so many of them turn and focus on trying to figure out, okay, would i be okay with donald trump? most of them feel that trump -- and he said this again in his interview, trump's attack, that cruz is a nasty guy, is
ultimately right. they all feel like he's a nasty guy and they feel like while some of those numbers you schroedshowed showed trump's egg in tifrs overwhelmingly, they feel that it could be worse. >> i think ha what's interesting in my conversation with republican members of the establishment, they have shifted their own when they talk about trump. they're now saying he's the best person to make deals, he's someone who we can work with whereas cruz is not. and he's also -- >> that's panic! that's establishment panic. >> that makes no -- >> we have such a sum establishment. >> by the way, you will get universal agreement. conservatives love to go after you, on that they will. >> that is just embrace ago poison. i mean there will be an inauguration in january, 2017 and a man or woman will be standing up there, that's where abraham lincoln stood. that's where fdr stood. that's where ronald reagan stood. donald trump is going to stand there?
i do not believe that. >> you sound like the "new yorker" cover. i should put it up. it was quite cute. it has all these former presidents watching donald trump on television with fdr with the remote and they're all like aghast at this. >> so there's -- i talked to a smart republican consultant who worked for a presidential candidate -- not one in this race but in past races and he said, look, yes, this trump thing is real, it's going to go on, the one question i have -- and i think this is interesting -- there the a can i imagine this person being president in a hurricane, in a blizzard, being the empathizer in chief after a mass shooting and that trump -- it's impossible for the majority of america to conceptualize donald trump in that role and at some point, though it won't be on february 1 and it probably won't be on february 9 and might not be until march or april or may, that reckoning will happen at some point and the goal is to have someone who looks the role of the president, whether it's rubio or jeb, which is unlikely.
but someone else other than him. >> that's the argument the republican establishment has been making ever since donald trump got into this race. >> june 16, yes. >> and here we are. and the reality is, the challenge for these establishment candidates is that you still have to prove to the voters that you are big enough to run for the presidency before you get to the point where you're handling hurricanes and none of these guys -- marco rubio, jeb bush -- none of them have been able to stand up in a way that makes them seem bigger than donald trump. >> if he gets an electoral victory under his belt if trump were to win iowa i think that perceptions but starts to change. and based on my reporting his ground game is more robust than initially thought. >> i'm just wondering, david, early-state voters, they don't vote with their head. they've been conditioned to vote idealistically. either on the left or right. so this is where i think the establishment -- both hillary clinton and the establishment are suffering. >> well, at some point but then you get to later states. at some point these early states vote identity more than who's going to make the change, who will deliver. >> because they've been fed this. >> this is like a big cultural
event in these early states. in the later states i think emotions are lower and they are more pragmatic, second -- something will happen in the middle east. events will happen and third cruz and trump going after each other week after week, that will start to look ugly. >> well, that a buy and then the question is is there a candidacy left? that's the question. let's take a pause. we'll be back in a moment and talk about the democratic race with my fine quartet here and how hillary clinton's 2016 run has some wondering if it's the 2008 model all over again.
with just over a week until the iowa caucuses, a lot of people are thinking what about is best suited to lead the country. my next guest, robert gates, has a unique insight into what it takes to be commander-in-chief having served under eight presidents, most recently as secretary defense under both presidents obama and bush and in his new book it has a topical title "a passion for leadership." secretary gates, welcome back to "meet the press." >> thank you. >> let's talk about that leadership test. what is it you wish voters would use as a test to decide who to support? >> i think it's the question of who can lead the country and equally who can run the government. government is different and especially the federal government is different in many
ways than running a business or anything else and people who have never run a government often have no idea how complicated it is and how difficu difficult. if you're a ceo, you don't have 535 members on your board of directors. >> you may have 12 or 15. you're here, we should talk about isis. i won't tell you which candidate is saying these things, i just want you to assess the different ideas. one candidate "we won't weaken them, we will utterly destroy them, we will carpet bomb them into oblivion." another candidate says "you take away their wealth, knock the hell out of the oil, take away their oil." another says they want a no-fly zone. another coalition says you have to bring together a muslim coalition, sunni and shi'a fighting side by side. what's realistic? >> i think bringing in some kind
of arab coalition to try and help, creating some kind of humanitarian corridor or safe haven. they're both tough but you could do them. the first alternatives, i think, are completely unrealistic. and further more wouldn't accomplish the job and i can't figure out whether those who are arguing that really believe they can do that or whether they're being cynical or opportunistic. >> the first two you were cruz and trump, the second to two that you say are realistic are clinton and sanders. voters are told they can find a coalition to do this but are they cynical and think nothing ever changes in the middle east? is that why voters are more susceptible to bold or brash? >> or simple. and the problem is most of these problems are not simple and it requires -- first of all building coalitions in washington. it will be useful in terms of
foreign policy and national security to have coalitions in washington where washington speaks with relatively one voice, one sum unity before we form coalitions around the world. >> only eisenhower, ford and bush 41 did not evoke deep animosity. the next president will be polarizing. just due to the nature of our politics. >> but it doesn't need to be that. >> okay, i hear it doesn't need to be but your examples, two of them couldn't even win -- one couldn't win a full term on their own and the other couldn't win reelection. polarization helps these guys win. that's part of the problem, isn't it? >> well, i think the question is who can move country and that will require reaching out to the other side and we have had polarizing presidents that nonetheless were able to reach out to the other side and move the country forward.
after all harks very, harry tru of the most unpopular presidents in american history yet established extraordinary things. >> you said until you were 10 you didn't know his first name. you thought it was "gosh darn." so you should be on the michael bloomberg side of the aisle. he is a potential candidate that is saying he wants to create a campaign that would have people on both sides. >> practically speaking, i don't see how a third candidate works. how a third candidate can be elected. >> but you must like the message. >> what i'm interested is a candidate for president who talks about how to bring us together as people, who says we have a common destiny and who can emphasize that we can work together to address problems in the country. >> wise words from you. we'll see if the voters will listen to your way of figuring out how to decide who can lead this country.
robert gates, congrats on the new book. >> thanks, chuck. >> thank you, sir. we'll become be in a moment with our end game segment and one washington resident who thought the blizzard of 2016 was the best thing that could possibly happen. 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. the democratic side, david brooks, what did you make of clinton v. sanders this morning? >> if i didn't know anything about these t race until i saw these back-to-back interviews today i would think sanders has honed his message and captured authenticity and joy and hillary clinton hasn't honed her message. there's a lot of chinese menu stuff, a, b, c, d, so you can see why he's doing well. you have to pick that message, hone it, deliver it, velocity. >> i think they have a message but they don't -- they know it doesn't fire voters, which is experience counts. >> i was struck, chuck, when you asked her what her top priority was going to be, the number one thing she was going to spend political capital on, i don't feel like she had a clear answer about what it was she cared the most about. she in some ways backed into it, talked about health care. >> i was surprised she made it health care in an odd way. really? we're going back to the 1990s. >> the whole argument is this is about the future not the past. when i was watching these
interviews back to back, it's remarkable that a 74-year-old former mayor of burlington vermont, avowed socialist who on your show refused monthsing too say i'm not a socialist, he's the change and future candidate. it's -- the way that she has found herself in this race, it's deja vu all over again. her only benefit is bernie sanders does not equal barack obama in that bernie sanders at least doesn't have support in the black community anywhere near barack obama. so she may benefit from that. from her perspective. who she is as a candidate is still the same, that's the problem. >> the primary calendar is her friend here. there's a lot of states with large african-american voting blocks. >> she continues to invoke health care because she continues to hug president obama and his policies. it might not be as effective in a place like iowa and new hampshire but it matters in a place like south carolina. she's very focused on building up a fire ball that the south and in those supertuesday states in case she does lose in iowa. >> it feels like she's setting
up a march message. going to your point, the federal message is idealism and she doesn't have it. >> i think the same is on the republican side. we'll get more pragmatic, both races will be long, some big terrorist blow up somewhere, she'll look a lot better. but right now lacking the joy. >> i just -- i mean this with trump and hillary, this idea that you can simply lose to a socialist 74-year-old who no one thought had any chance of being anywhere close to her. the idea that you can lose iowa and lose new hampshire and people are go on their merry way. david may be right, that it's an extended race with twists and turns that she eventually wins. that's the only pass that she wins a race -- >> you know the last pull to pull that off? their last name was clinton. i'm just saying. bill clinton has familiarity. >> much lower expectations, though, chuck. >> he had his own bernie sanders. jerry brown. stay. >> stayed in forever. >> and his own billionaire. ross pro. >> second round of the come back
kid in new hampshire. >> but, chuck, if you're a hillary clinton supporter, they've been saying this from the beginning, this is the toughest part for her, the campaigning, the getting out there and selling her message. >> connectivity. >> being authentic. but they say she has built a ground game in iowa very much modeled after barack obama's ground game. they still think they'll get the people out. >> "new york times" -- paul krugman had a great piece, he said "bernie sanders is thea aay >> and whether people will get pragmatic for five years, i've been saying bob gates should be president. >> i couldn't even get him to endorse bloomberg there. i thought i would. >> if people want somebody who can actually manage they'll go for her. there's some part of the country that does want it. >> we'll see where they are and if they live in iowa. we spent a lot of time on this show talking about how politicians in washington can't agree on anything. but guess what? in this town we can't even agree on how much snow fell this weekend. there was a mix-up in the measuring process, the bureau of measurements at reagan national airport meaning the official
numbers underestimated the amount of snow which had fallen. some people probably think our deficit gets dealt with that way on math, too. there is one thing everyone can agree on in this city that it's impossible not to smile at this video of d.c.'s most famous chinese resident tian tian, the panda having a lot of fun in the show. wow, that was something else. >> that's what i did on my way to work yesterday. >> looked just like my sister. less fur. >> a little more of this in our lives. >> panda for president. i'm going to leave it there. next week we'll be in iowa. we'll see you then. if it's sunday it's "meet the press."
it's monday, january 25th. right now on "first look," the record blizzard of 2016. a number of people lost their lives and the financial costs are staggering. digging out and heading back to work for millions. super bowl 50 is set. a battle between old and young as peyton manning takes on cam newton with the panthers favored. crunch time with one week to go after iowa voters caucus, and donald trump says this -- >> i could stand in the middle of fifth avenue and shoot somebody and i wouldn't lose any voters, okay? it's like incredible. >> we've got the last-minute scramble of the candidates. plus, an all-new "snl." "first look" starts right now. good morning,