tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC January 28, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm PST
they ought to relax and the more you learn what they have been through over the past two years when they've been told everything was fine and it was not, and in some cases told that by people who knew it was not fine, it is easy to see why they are suspicious. it doesn't count as paranoia when you live through what they have lived there. now it's time for the last word. >> that was an award winning program you did last night. did you see any of this trump event, the counter vent to the debate? >> way too much. >> i was watching the debate. would you mind running over here and filling me in of whatever you saw of the crazy trump event. >> i'll reenact it for you. >> all right. tonight, there were two events filled with amendment political rhetoric, but only one of them
had donald trump. >> as you might of heard, it's a debate that's missing the party's front-runner. part of a long standing fight with fox news and moderator megyn kelly. >> she might ask a mean question an who knows what could happen. his hair could stand on end. >> and that's a sight no one wants to see. >> when you're treated badly, you have to stick up for your rights. >> he's holding his own competing event. >> it's not a competition. >> his own protest event. >> you have donald trump in one place and everybody else potentially overshadowed by whatever he does, but fighting among themselves to emerge. >> there's a lot of drama. >> he's going to show up, not going to show up. >> i have to believe jeb bush is excited about it. it's like when the bully stays home sick from school, you get
one day of not getting beat up. >> donald trump knows two things, he is ahead in the polls and he is a terrible debater. he knew there was nothing he could possibly gain on the debate stage tonight if he faced solid questions by the moderators p and attacks by ted cruz and the other candidates so he made the choice that a terrible debater with a lead in the polls should make, refuse to debate. if donald trump becomes the republican nominee you can expect him to refuse to debate lrkz or bernie sanders. donald trump has repeatedly demonstrated himself to be an utter ignore ramus in all matters. he has appeared on debate stages with people who agree with him on most of the issues. his only memorable moment as a debater was defending so called new york values on 911. that was an easy moment that was handed to him by the guy who is supposed to be the best debater
among the republicans. it was an idotic hateful thing said by ted cruz who proved himself to be a terrible debater too. in a one-on-one debate with the democratic nominee trump would never be handed a hateful statement about new york. donald trump would be challenged on every one of his vague policy ideas by another candidate who is opposed to every one of those ideas. donald trump could not survive ten minutes of that. and the last two and a half hour debate donald trump only had to speak for 17 minutes. in a one-on-one general election didn't, the candidates have to speak for at least 40 minutes and they faced real challenges about policy from the moderators and the opposing candidate. if you watch megyn kelly on a regular basis you know that she leans republican on every issue of the day. she is very clearly anti-obama
on virtually every issue of the day. donald trump is right to say that she's not objective, but she's not objective in a way that favors donald trump. there is no way that donald trump will accept the objectivity of general election debate moderators from news organizations that don't lean republican. he will complain that the made raters are bias against him and he will refuse to debate in the general election if he is the nominee because he knows he could not survive a general election debate against a candidate who is a policy expert. the donald trump campaign set the precedent tonight for refusing to debate, a precedent that donald trump will follow if he is the republican nominee. we may have already seen donald trump's final presidential debate. at his rally tonight in iowa,
donald trump got one of his biggest reactions when he said this. >> when you're treated badly, you have to stick up for your rights. and i have to go a step further and say that fox has been extremely nice the last number of hours actually and they've wanted me there and they said how about now. they called a few minutes ago, how about now, can you come over? i said hasn't it already started. and we thought what we'd do is let them start and we wanted to be about 15 minutes into that hour so that by now they're all tuned in. look at all the cameras. this is it like the academy awards. >> you made it. rachel maddow got across the hall. we have the republican strategist and chuck todd, political director for nbc news.
rachel, i floated this idea last night when you were in flint that this is the first debate that donald trump will refuse to participate in and this is setting the predense so he can refuse to debate one-on-one against a candidate that opposes his views. to say he's a good debater is based on these small minded slogannearing nothing debates that he's been in. there's no debating skills that he's exhibit in had. compare what he would bring to bernie sanders and hillary clinton and he will stay home. >> he's been such a prohibitive front-runner and his lead has been so solid, but the down side of that for him is that he's never gotten like a bump out of a debate. he's never had a sustained upward adjustment because of doing well in a debate. he's doing well despite the debates.
and there's a lot of precedent in vaguely modern american history of people not wanting to debate for the presidency. lbj didn't want to debate. and a lot of the candidates of days your, it doesn't kill them to not debate. but it's now an expectation to at least try. >> chuck todd, have you been watching the difficulebate or t event or both and you can review either one. >> i'm two thirds, one third split screen. >> my favorite part was rick trying not to look like he was behind the podium directly. i don't want the trump name in front of me. it was sort of like but i'll get up on stage. i went there before and it is interesting it had a rock concert atmosphere. there are -- there is this -- i've been to a lot of trump
events now and there's always this same feeling, but particularly when it's on a college coampus. it is sort of like this rock concert feel that has a dedicated group that i think fish concert or dead head or things like that. what was amazing was just how much energy and excitement was at drake. on the outside everybody's freezing and then you came here to the debate and it was just so proper. i don't know how else to put it. it was fine, but to borrow a phrase it was low energy. >> one of the things that i saw happen there at drake, which i thought was interesting, was that drake had to put out a statement telling people basically you're going to be disappointed if you turn out for this event. the venue seats about 700 people, and they drastically oversold it so they knew they would get a big line outside and not everybody would get in.
>> they had a big video screen outside, but i consider myself hardy, but it was too cold to stand out there. >> i want to have a private technical word. my sound is going in and out every once in a while, if i point to you start talking. steve schmidt, steve, the debate without donald trump, which is what i spent the last hour with, is a decidely boring event. >> nice debate, very low energy. >> steve, the debate without donald trump obviously fox is freaked out because it's not going to rate compared to a debate that would have donald trump in it, as a republican who cares about policy substance is a republican debate without trump showing a better side of
the republican party? are people comporting themselves in a way that you're happier with as a republican? >> i think when you look at the debate, donald trump pulled off a remarkable political feat here. he raised $6 million for veterans. he had the last two winners of the iowa caucuses show up at his event and he turned the entire fox republican debate into an undercard vaept. it doesn't have a particular amount of relevance without his presence there. in fact, he set up a scenario where the establishment candidates going after ted cruz weaken cruz's position in iowa and of course the establishment candidates are in competition for who comes in third in iowa and who is going to emerge out of new hampshire. and i would just say at the beginning of this, the notion that donald trump won't aquit himself well if he should be a
nominee against bernie sanders or hillary clinton, i disagree with it. first i don't think either one of them are particularly effective debaters. secondly, i think that donald trump has shown throughout the entirety of the campaign a phenomenal talent to be able to communicate. and he's won all of these republican debates from the first one to the last one. he has in fact strengthed in his polling numbers coming out of all of them. so as we come in now to the final weekend before iowa, donald trump is in complete command of this race as he has been literally from the second he got into it. it's amazing to watch it at a political level. >> can you name me one policy challenge he actually faced and handled in any one of the debates? >> i think that he's gotten a
range of questions on policy issues, but i think he's effectively communicated a departure from republican orthodox on a couple of key issues that have really broken through. the first is on trade. it's not a free trader and i think that connects with a blue collar base in the republican party, noncollege educated deeply impacted by the recession and there's a lot of democrats that fall into that category as well that i think he has the potential in a general election to connect with. >> so in a general election debate with bernie sanders he would hear bernie make the case on a factual basis and then donald trump would say i agree with bernie? >> look, i think at the end of the day that may not be an ineffective way to campaign or communicate in a debate.
this is a game of emoetion. you've seen that play out. bernie sanders campaign is fueled by passion, by conviction, by ana then tisty. there's a connective tissue between sanders and trump in that they're the two candidates talks about the corrupting influence of politics. donald trump departing from orthodox. should he run against hillary clinton, it would be very interesting in the debate when that discussion turns to national security policy. hillary clinton's support of the iraq war, donald trump was always opposed to it. so i think he has conveyed two elements of the republican party who are fed up, sick and tired of a failed republican establishment that he's different and i think you can judge the debate at a college debating level scoring points for fluidity with policy details or the big points that are made,
the big points. i think he's been very effective in these debates. >> will inco her answer work in general election debates? >> that's interesting because there is a certain solid phenomena to the way that he both speaks at his stump speeches and the way he answers things. i think he is more directive that his sentences tend to be shorter and more direct in the debates than he does when he's doing one of these long speeches like he did tonight. i think the insight that you had that he will refuse presidential debates, i think that's a 50/50 shot. i think that's a possibility. it's going to be so weird for the republican party when he gets the nomination that i think the idea that that previous republican party normals are going to predict what happens next is going to be pretty dead at that point and if he decides he doesn't want to debate, he's not going to debate. i think it will be interesting
to see what his ratings are tonight on the various networks that showed him at drake university tonight compared to the debate that they did without him. i'm not sure fox -- i understand why fox was desperate to get him. >> thank you both for joining us tonight. coming up, another democratic debate coming up right here. hillary clinton against bernie sanders without of course hillary or bernie.
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full of guests on the waye and a cold with sinus pressure, you need fast relief. alka-seltzer plus severe sinus congestion and cough liquid gels rush relief to your tough symptoms. to put you back in control. [doorbell] woman: coming! alka-seltzer plus sinus. that was amazing. isn't that better than this debate that's going on? they're all sleeping. they're all sleeping, everybody. >> well, i was able to watch the first hour of the republican debate. let's see what our guests thought of it. we have chuck todd with us tonight and jonathan allen, and
joining us now also tom davis, former republican congressman. tom davis to you, what did you make of that first hour of debate? well, it was ginger al without the fiz. >> it sure was. >> the candidates went at at it a little bit. it was pretty well structured. >> there's more to go, but one thing i was surprised at was there was no big marco rubio versus ted cruz flare up. we say a bigger flare up in the plast debate when donald trump was standing idly by. >> i think in part the other candidates don't want to give donald trump what he's hoping for, which is they beat up ted cruz while he's not there. so you haven't seen fireworks. i didn't see a lot of new
drowne ground. they're saying the same things they were before without donald trump in the midst of it to keep he everyone's attention. >> fox news tried to get donald trump in the mix they released a statement tonight saying they had three brief conversations with donald trump today about possibly appearing at the debate. he said in the course of those conversations we acknowledged his concerns about an observation we made in order to kwel the attacks on megyn kelly. donald trump has said it was more than acknowledged they apologized. he didn't name names, but i think we can assume who since they're admitting who called him, calling up and apologizing trying anything they could to get him into the debate tonight and we see why they needed him. >> it's no doubt. it just feels dry. i can't top the met for that my
friend just used, but let me disagree a little bit on whether there was engagement here. there is a cold war between cruz and rubio. you feel it throughout the debate. there are these subtle shots that they take at each other. one person goes -- there's a question there having to do with the issue of the phone records and which side cruz voted on. rubio's been attacks on him on the idea of who should collect the meta data and rubio goes out of his which i respect rand paul for his positions on this, but let me tell you why, but there was actually the most fascinating part actually took place while we were at the start of the show and i was doing my two-thirds listen there and fox played a long clip of ted cruz during the immigration debate and about whether was it a poison pill or whether it wasn't. what made it fascinating was you didn't see them make other
candidates clarify other things. cruz feels as if he is on the defensive tonight, sometimes from the moderators and sometimes from those on stage. >> and cruz is the one who more than anybody at stake on that iowa stage. this is the state he has to win. >> he does. he was making a plea. you probably saw at the beginning and he's not going to call it fly over country. he'll be in iowa in 2017. you can tell, something changed. this goes back to something i wanted to talk about in the first segment which is this idea of donald trump's effectiveness. he is -- anybody that has caught him, he's symptomatic just emass ka lats in some way and makes them pay for a long period of time and then they struggle. jeb bush, rick perry, ben
carson. there was a time he was a front-runner and ted cruz -- cruz was on the move ahead in iowa, he focuses in on him in ten days and he can feel at his campaign events and -- they know they're suddenly the underdog again. we can't under estimate donald trump. >> it takes me back to the first two weeks of the trump campaign where i was underestimating him along with most other people, but the one thing i kept noticing after day two was how long can the bush people let these attacks go on because when he began there was only one person he was attacking and it really wasn't barack obama. it was jeb bush. and once we were two weeks into the attacks on jeb bush, i was stunned that there was still no response and now we're seeing the focus from trump almost entirely on ted cruz and cruz is
holding -- is hanging in there a little bit stronger than jeb bush did, but it's pretty relentless. >> cruz has a stranger base within the party among religious conservatives. he has courted these people. bush has the bush fatigue. he gives a fire side chat and the fire goes out. i think at one point when trump said low energy he said it all and that image stuck and it's been hard for bush to recover from that. but one thing on the debate tonight, cruz is an excellent debater on debate points, but not particularly lickable. he got into it with chris wallace a couple of times and i think was more concerned about the debate points than he was in winning the audience. my consultants used to tell me do you want to like the speech or the speaker and i think he's forgotten that. >> i'm with tom there. i thought that -- i think early
on cruz didn't give a great impression in this debate. i think that can set a tone and it set an off-vibe. the joke fell flat. >> ted cruz challenged donald trump. let's go one on one if you're afraid of going against megyn kelly go one on one with me and of course trump's response was i'll do that as soons you can get a court to certify that you're a natural born citizen. >> you have to win a couple of fights before you get the heavy weight out there. also and cruz went after chris wallace and he looked terrible doing it. >> yeah, he did. it was an ugly little spat there. chuck todd, tom davis thank you all for joining us tonight. coming up, a democratic debate, about time between bernie sanders and hillary clinton. their supporters will be here.
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going to people who suffered because of the republican recession and asking for you to help us make the investments for the future. >> if you are paying now $10,000 a year to a private health insurance company and i say to you hypothetically you're going to pay $5,000 more in taxes, but you're not going to pay any more private health insurance, are you going to be complaining about the fact that i saved you $5,000 in your total bills? >> joining us now professor at the university of michigan law school and a former treasury department secretary of sta. and a former advisor to the federal reserve bank of new york. he supports bernie sanders. michael barr, hillary clinton says she will not raise as she calls it middle class taxes. does that include the gasoline
tax, which was last raised over 20 years ago under president clinton? we've seen the price of gasoline which is now at a national average about $1.82 it will it has been double that during the obama administration so obviously there's a tremendous amount of price available within the price of gasoline that we've seen in the last couple of years alone, isn't there room there to raise the gasoline tax both for revenue and for environmental impact and is that something that hillary clinton would be opposed to as a middle class tax increase? >> i think that you said it exactly right, that hillary clinton has made clear that she is not going to raise taxes on middle income families. she said very clearly she wants to raise the income of middle class families, not their taxes. and instead she would focus on raising taxes on the wealthest
americans who have benefited in the last 15 years with a sur charge on those earning more than 5 million a year, imposing the buff et rule so that the wealthest americans don't get away with paying a lower rate than others. that's really been the focus of her plan, protecting middle class families, investing in the country, making sure the wealthest pay their fair share. >> the last time the gas tax was raised was 4.3 cents. it was pushed by vice president gore as an environmental measure and an important revenue measure. does bernie sanders believe that there is room to increase the gas tax and it should be increased, both for environmental reasons and revenue. >> it's certainly not his focus now. the focus of senator sanders is raising the margin rate ot top
earne earners. and then of course the other plan is to fund medicare for all program essentially by assessing a premium about $45 a month which would save the average working american about $6,000 a year on health insurance costs. >> robert, the basic problem with that is he's made it clear he's going to raise taxes on middle class families to fund that attempt to redo our health care system. it's quite risky. >> i have all the respect in the world for michael, but i don't think that's right. i think it's better to look at that as a premium because if you're going to offer health insurance to all americans and you're going to charge $45 a month and you're going to save them nearly $6,000 a year plus save the employers $9,400 a
year, one ought to view that as a premium. >> the problem is we have a very strong tradition in this country of developing our health care system increment alley over time and there's many countries in the world that have done that with very good outcomes. we've just gone through a debate where we expanded the basic access to health care in this country through obamacare and i think it's a risky proposition to say we're going to throw that away and start over and in the process impose this middle class tax at a time when families really can't afford that. >> i have to agree with you that it's good to raise and expand the coverage incrementally. but it's time go even beyond that and there's no scrapping involved in what we have. >> i think you can go beyond that quite easily and secretary
clinton has a strong plan to do that including a new tax cut for low income and middle income households to afford better than the out of pocket expenses. i think that's the approach that can make a difference ur, but i you say. >> let's let robert respond here. >> so michael, i applaud secretary clinton's plans to expand health care coverage, but i don't think it goes far enough. if she can save $6,000 per american and $9,400 to employers there by opening the door to employing more people and or raising salaries or wages then i'll be very impressed, but at this point it seems to be only senator sanders promising those things. >> i think those promises, they're empty. you don't want to promise things
that are extremely difficult to deliver and in the process of doing that undo the gains that we fought so hard to get. i think obamacare is a sing yar achievement -- i think obamacare is an achievement that secretary clinton has a clear plan to build on that. and i think -- >> michael, let me interject this before we go. it is arguable that everything each of the candidates is proposing in taxation and health care is theoretically impossible if -- especially if paul ryan is the speakerer of the house because this legislation would have to begin as the constitution requires in the house of representatives. it would not get a hearing. so when we discuss this area of it the actual likelihood of legislating might be something that we don't spend a lot of time on because both of these -- >> i think we need to care. i think we need to care about what is -- it can actually
deliver. >> the answer is nothing. >> if you're going to play that -- hold it. michael, stop. michael stop the filla buster. please stop. will you stop? okay. now another person can speak. if you're going to play the game of realizism, then the realism is that nothing that either one of them are talking about will even get a hearing in paul ryan's house of representatives. that's a separate game to play. arguing the actual merits of the policy is something i'd like to do here. we're out of time for tontd. we will come back and we will continue these debates on the policy levels and also michael some night we will have that discussion too about the realistic possibilities with a republican congress or in the eventually alt that we get a democratic congress. thank you both very much for joining me tonight. up next, a new poll shows
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it's all about turn out but it matters in iowa more than ever. consider the poll in iowa that estimates 170,000 republicans participating in the caucuses on monday. donald trump gets 30% of the support of caucus goers, but when it increased the turnout projection to 200,000, but when it decrease it the gap between cruz and trump bakely becomes a tie at 26. it projects 110,000 democrats. if you do that in the iowa caucus it shows hillary clinton would get 47% of that, bernie sanders getting 42%. if you increase that to 150, clinton's lead narrows. if you go way up to 200,000 the race is even tighter, 45%, 44.
joining us now reporter for the new york times. covering this campaign for the past year. the highest that i recall -- the highest iowa turnout we've seen before is lower than the numbers they're using in that poll even the lowest number they use there is higher than the records we've seen. >> reporter: it doesn't have a lot of experience polling in iowa and i question those numbers. talking to the people on the ground who have done this i don't think we're going to see those upward numbers reached by either party. >> so bernie sanders is very clearly making the argument to his people it's all about turnout and they must have polls indicating exactly, maybe in a different curve with a different set of thresholds, but for bernie sanders it seems turnout is everything.
i'm not sure if you can hear me there. >> i didn't hear that question. i'm sorry. >> for bernie sanders it seems more -- that campaign seems much more dependent on turnout than the clinton campaign. >> that's right. the same is true for donald trump and bernie sanders, they both appeal to voters who have not caucused traditionally so they're new vote eshz and the higher the turnout numbers the better eep of them will do. >> which of those campaigns is doing a better job of basically instructing its supporters who aren't familiar with this about how to get involved? >> the sanders campaign is doing a great job. they have over 100 paid staff here sort of comparable to the hillary clinton campaign. the republicans do it differently. they don't have anywhere near that amount of field staff. they're relying on the enthusism for donald trump.
they're really relying more on people to self motivate. >> thank you very much for joining us from iowa tonight. really appreciate it. coming up, the story of a real hero and how she saved lives. want to get their hands on. if they could ever catch you. you know the symptoms when they start. abdominal pain. urgent diarrhea. now there's prescription xifaxan. xifaxan is a new ibs-d treatment that helps relieve your diarrhea and abdominal pain symptoms. and xifaxan works differently. it's a prescription antibiotic that acts mainly in the digestive tract. do not use xifaxan if you have a history of sensitivity to rifaximin, rifamycin antibiotic agents, or any components of xifaxan.
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think of it as a seven seat for an action packed thriller. and now tonight's her story. susan jordan, the principal of a public school in indiana. in the age of school shootings probably most public school teachers have asked themselves what would i do if if happened here, but none of them could have imagined what happened at her school tuesday. in a freak accident a school bus suddenly jumped the curb right
in front of the school. jacob was on the bus. >> we started going forward and we hit a tree and i was just really scared because i didn't know what was going to happen. >> what happened is 69-year-old susan jordan pushed kids out of the way of that bus just before the bus hit her and killed her. the head of the school's parent and facty organization said this yesterday. >> she was much more than the principal of my children's school. she was my friend. she was an amazing leader. she made the staff understand how much she believed in them and the staff in turn felt so empowered to make sure that the children would thrive at that school. she was just amazing. >> every morning when parents send their kids off to school
everywhere in the world, they're hoping they're sending them into the temporary care and custody of people like suzan. there are thousands and thousands of susan jordan's working in our schools all over the country and every one working in those schools know exactly who they are. >> when you heard that in her final moments she was pushing kids out of the way to save them from that bus. >> i said that's our susan. that's our susan. she's a hero. she was a hero every day. >> susan jordan was in one of those occupations like nurse and doctor where every day they do heres the occupations where the heros never get thanked enough. everyone at her school thought of her as a hero long before yesterday.
the school made a youtube video last year that gave susan jordan the gift that matters most to teachers, the loving gratitude of her fellow teachers, and the kids to whom she devoted her life and tuesday for whom she gave her life. >> mrs. jordan you rock. >> thank you, mrs. jordan. to you mrs. jordan. to you mrs. jordan. love you mrs. jordan. thank you mrs. jordan. we love you. thank you mrs. jordan. j is for joyful to be around. o is for honor all you do. r is radiant. you demand we do our best every
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. donald trump is out there tonight saying he's all about the vets, right, he's there to support veterans. well he's been stingy about that in the last five years. in the last five years 1.5% of his chartable giving has gone to veterans organizations, but that didn't stop him tonight from pretending to be the big champion of veterans. >> once this started, it's for our vets, there's nothing i can do. i don't know. is it for me personally a good thing, a bad thing, will i get more votes or less votes? nobody knows, but it's for our vets and you're going to like it because we raised over $5 million in one day. over 5 million. donald trump another great
builder in new york, donald trump gave $1 million. >> joining us now is the chairman of the vote vets.org. i don't know about you, but i won't believe any of it until there is a provable paper trail about where this money goes. >> yeah, obviously he doesn't know any veterans organizations. all day people have been pressed about where the money is going go and he doesn't know where it's going because he hasn't been involved. those of us that have been involved, donald trump has not been a player in helping veterans. what he's best known for is fighting the state of new york for the ability that they give people in new york to be vendors if they're disabled or veterans. so he's known for doing things that hinder veterans employment, not helping them. when i see this grandstanding tonight, it really hurts me and i think i speak on behalf of our
veterans to tell donald trump do not hide behind veterans because you're afraid to face megyn kelly in a political debate. >> what we do know about the money tonight is it is going to the donald trump foundation which he personally controls and what we don't know about that foundation is how salaries are paid out of that foundation. a lot of foundations use money recklessly. we saw one group out there wounded warriors where according to the new york times about 50% of the revenue they get is spent on salaries, first class travel, things like that. >> i don't know how his found dash's run, but i think the larger points there is how many veterans groups have come out and said we want your money. he's not someone that has any relationship or on the board of any veterans organizations.
it's a term we use when you want to look good for the kmuz you bring them out and pet them for the kmuz. we'll see if the money goes anywhere. but if he was close to us and wanted to help veterans, he would know exactly what those organizations are and what they do, he knows none of that so the only place he could put the money is in his own foundation and then we have no idea where it goes or who it goes to. >> there are a lot of prominent people who have been working very hard in the chartable arena for veterans over the years, john stewart and others, and donald trump knows some of those people. we could have gone to some of those events if he wanted to. >> yeah, look there's a lot of great organizations out there. there's all these organizations right now in sort of the social welfare spaces, there's teams that go out and help veterans in
emergency situations so donald trump hasn't been a player in that whatsoever. >> thank you for joining us. >> thank you. msnbc special joining us tonight. >> thank you. >> msnbc special cov of the republican debate begins now with analysis from chris matthews live with chris matthews. ♪ >> tonight the cat was away. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. we are following one of thele wildest nights in political theater we have seen in a long time w. four days before the iowa caucuses there were two big events. on one stage seven candidates took part in the final debate before the