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tv   Melissa Harris- Perry  MSNBC  March 5, 2016 7:00am-9:01am PST

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become especially important. from the makers of one a day fifty-plus. one a day proactive sixty-five plus. with high potency vitamin b12 and more vitamin d. hi, everybody. good morning. i'm thomas roberts, broadcasting live from the battleground state of florida. it's a busy saturday where key contests play out in five different states. we're here in the florida panhandle in the beautiful city of pensacola beach, the first district. and it's also known as l.a., lower alabama. in fact, donald trump's win in the alabama gop primary could be seen as a good indicator of how the vote may go here in this part of florida. and florida is really key for the republican presidential hopefuls. the winner of the march 15th primary will earn all of the state's 99 delegates. that's right.
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winner takes all. but today it's all about super saturday, and republicans are holding caucuses in kansas, kentucky and maine, and a primary in louisiana. democrats are also holding a primary in louisiana, along with caucuses in kansas and nebraska. right now we're waiting for dueling rallies to kick off in kansas. donald trump is expected to speak any moment in wichita. and then in one hour, ted cruz is going to hold his own separate event there in wichita. plus, in the next hour, marco rubio is going to be speaking at the cpac conference on day three of the conservative gathering taking place in maryland. rubio was one of the final gop candidates to only recently confirm his attendance for the gathering. trump was scheduled to speak at cpac, but pulled out at the last minute, deciding instead to stay on the stump, adding several new rallies to his schedule. good to have you with us, and we're going to get right into all of this. and as we mentioned, we've got the trump rally coming up, happening in moments, in kansas. and it's expected to start any minute from now. we know that sometimes the trump
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campaign does run a few minutes behind and nbc's shaquille brewster joins us from wichita. what are you hearing about whether or not it's going to start on time or is trump running late? >> reporter: yes, good morning. and donald trump will be taking the stage just in a few minutes here. the music is blaring. they already had the preprogramming, so to speak. but he will have this rally here in wichita and then head over next door in the same building to a caucus location. as you know, kansas is having their caucus today, be one of the four states that you were mentioning before. now i spoke with many of the people who were walking in, who were coming in and we know that caucuses are all about turnout, getting people out there and many people here i spoke with are first-time caucus-goers or will be first-time caucus-goers. so this is a good teal to get people out, get people out on their day and then go caucus right after. now, trump was in the primary state of louisiana yesterday. that was a stop that was marked with many, many protests. here we have already seen a half dozen protesters escorted out.
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one yelled out during the preprogram, saying that there are no illegal humans, and he was escorted out by a law enforcement officer. another group of students were sitting down and yelling things out. and the law enforcement people got -- law enforcement's attention and they were escorted out. we'll be keeping an eye to see if those protesters stay peaceful and to see if law enforcement can effectively get them out without any scuffles that we saw yesterday in louisiana. one thing i do want to note, ted cruz is also going to be speaking at that caucus location that donald trump will be at. in addition, here in kansas, just before i toss it back to you, here in kansas, the state republican party actually is setting up a caucus location in st. louis. that's because the kansas city -- the wichita state basketball team, excuse me. the wichita state shockers are having a conference final in st. louis. so those basketball fans going out to support their team,
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they'll also be able to caucus. so it's a full-court press, so to speak for the caucus here in kansas. >> nbc's shaquille brewster reporting for us in wichita. we'll come back to you once the rally starts and listen to what some of donald trump has to say. so after that last-minute stop in kansas, trump will be heading on to florida, where he's trying to beat back home state senator, marco rubio. trump himself really no stranger to this state, with that ritzy estate he has over in palm beach. nbc's jacob rascon is in orlando, florida, where donald trump is going to be in just a few hours from now. jacob, it really appears that donald trump is not taking that lead in florida for granted with 99 delegates up for grabs. >> reporter: no, taking nothing for granted. he's campaigning hard, even spending on ads, as well. this is very interesting. ted cruz, who knows he's not going to win in florida, has also announced that he is spending here, and he's opening campaign offices, and he is essentially admitting that the reason that he's doing that is
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to make sure that marco rubio does not win. and has to drop out. marco rubio has said that they will win florida, even despite the fact that they have been behind double digits in every poll that puts him against donald trump and the other candidates. donald trump will be here, as you said, in a few hours. this area on this college campus holds more than 10,000 people. there are already thousands of people lined up, several hours still ahead of schedule, though, initially. the rally was supposed to be at noon and now they have pushed it back to 2:30 because of the last-minulas last-minute kansas stop. when you talk to voters here, it's very interesting. they're a very diverse group. but they have a governor here, the governor of florida, who is sort of trump-esque, a businessman, as well. he has refused to endorse, saying let the voters decide. the voters coming out in record numbers. we'll see. this is marco rubio's last stand. and so far, it doesn't look good. >> yeah, and you make a great
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point there about ted cruz trying to act as a spoiler in this political chess match for the delegates. it will be interesting to see in that latest cue poll, ben carson had 4%. we'll see who potentially tries to absorb those voters. nbc's jacob rascon reporting in orlando. appreciate it. and now the other big event trump is skipping today, the annual gathering of grass roots conservatives at cpac. ted cruz addressed the activists there yesterday, as did ben carson, where he officially announced the suspension of his campaign and marco rubio is expected to take the stage in a little over an hour. we're joined from national harbor, maryland. jane, what are people there saying about trump skipping the event, carson not showing up, rubio was a late addition to this. so cpac certainly knows how to move the headlines about these candidates. >> reporter: you know, i think the conservatives here, these conservative activists are disappointed in donald trump for many of the same reasons they say they have been disappointed
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the entire race. they said this feels like a pattern that he said he'll do something and the next day changes his mind. for those who support him, of course, they're a little more die-hard when it comes to donald trump. i spoke to one young woman who came from l.a. and even though she is a trump supporter, she said he could be drinking a mai tai for all i care, he's still my guy. still a lot of people here, people here to see marco rubio this afternoon and saw ted cruz yesterday, they say he should have shown up, come and faced this conservative movement that buoys conservative elections across the country all year long. >> yeah, it does disappoint. i know the folks for cpac, donald trump saying he's adding several campaign stops instead of going there to remain on the stump. but marco rubio's message, jane, what's the expected vibe for what we're going to hear from him and how he's going to try to entice these folks, maybe to get behind him? because it doesn't seem as if he was a late add to this. they had to kind of convince him
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to show up at cpac. does he have a lot of fans in that audience? have you seen them? >> reporter: you know, there's a lot of people here who lined up real early just to get that front seat for marco rubio. i think it's important to remember, there's a lot of young people here. cpac brings out the most young conservatives of any event around the country. and young people feel there is a lot of momentum and excitement in marco rubio, his campaign. but i will say, with marco rubio, it didn't really matter that it maybe took longer to get him on the ticket to show up. because he at least is showing up. with donald trump cans selling at the last minute, as long as he shows up today, i don't think they're going to care. >> msnbc's jane timm at cpac. appreciate it. on the campaign trail it's nonstop with a schedule that can be grueling and the frantic pace taking a toll on marco rubio. take a listen to what he told his folks at the rally. >> my voice sound okay?
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i'm holding on to it, barely. i'm trying to cut my words. i'm like a pitcher on a pitch count, you know? i usually am much louder. but i'm hurting. all right. >> all right. so retail politics takes its toll and certainly can do that on a voice for some. joining us now, tallahassee correspondent for the associated press, brendan farrington, political pollster and analyst and host at news radio 610, wiod for miami. and former state representative anna reef as logan of florida, a republican in office but switched her party affiliation to democrat back in 2014. it's great to have all three of you with me. rubio says he's hurting. we can hear it in his voice. but florida is really make or break for his campaign. he swears he can win it here. but polling starts this weekend. is that a benefit for marco rubio, or potentially for another candidate like donald trump? >> well, it's a benefit for trump if people are voting as
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the polls indicate right now. if he's up in the polls and people are casting those votes now, that benefits him. the one bright spot for rubio is that miami dade county is overperforming in early voting. normally at this point you see 12% of the vote coming out of miami dade county. those are going to be largely marco rubio voters. but whether it's enough to overcome the polls is a different question. >> all right. so certainly that electricity, at least in that section of the state, has to be good news for rubio. let me talk about the latest polling statewide for florida. it shows donald trump in the lead, followed by marco rubio. and then ted cruz. but just yesterday, we find out that cruz campaigning announcing it opened campaign offices across florida between now and march 15th. talk to me about the math and chess game. it doesn't look like cruz is going to win florida. so is cruz just being the spoiler for rubio? and if so, could that end up
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hurting cruz in the long run, because trump wins all 99 delegates here? >> well, i think after super tuesday, ted cruz showed clearly he's trying to establish himself as the anti trump. and if he can knock marco rubio out in florida, which we all know a must state win for him. marco rubio cannot afford to lose the state of florida and continue this presidential campaign. and show he can get in one-on-one. i think cruz is playing for the long-term and that's why it's such bad news for the rubio campaign to see cruz say i'm going to get into florida and knock marco out and take donald one-on-one in other states coming up. >> and anna, you were disilutioned with being a republican and switched affiliations to being a democrat. we mentioned trump being ahead of rubio in the latest polling and sources i've spoken to for the panhandle in this section of florida saying he has basically skipped campaigning here. why isn't rubio's message resonating better in his home state of florida, when we think of what's south of ocala?
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>> well, i think you said it right there. there is the southern florida and then a northern florida. and both of them vote completely different. southern florida tends to be more moderate and northern and central florida -- well, lake okeechobee upwards very much to the right. very radical. marco rubio won that in 2010, because he had frankly a lot of the same talking points that trump has today. those talking points have changed for marco rubio. so those northern floridans are disilutioned with marco rubioo at this time. he ran on the arizona style bill. he ran on a lot of things trump is saying right now. anti immigration, those people voted for him. he didn't come through. he turned on them. and so they're extremely disilutionlutioned with him. i don't see him taking northern florida. >> brendan, i want to turn back to donald trump and talk about what we have been seeing at recent protests, what we witnessed yesterday, interrupting trump several times during a rally. this one from new orleans last
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night. take a look. >> oh, no. not another one of these -- get out of here! get out! get out! get 'em out! get out of here! troublemakers. real troublemakers. this is a wild evening. this is one hell of a way to spend a friday evening. >> so trump has secret security but brought in additional security for rallies because of rowdy crowds, relentless protests happening. so brendan, forecast down the line, how does this add up to a bigger picture problem for trump as a general election nominee for the right? >> well, clearly, it will be a bigger picture problem in november.
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florida has a large black population. and if they turn out, if they're angry, that will only help the democratic nominee. and hillary clinton has done well with that demographic. so, yeah. events now could haunt him later in florida. >> and brendan, do you agree with that, with how diverse this state is, the makeup of florida, and what that means for a general election and donald trump as the nominee for the gop? >> well, i mean, florida is an incredibly diverse state. we mentioned african-american voters, yes. i don't think they're going to be voting for trump. but florida has a lot of transplants too. i had a friend say to me on facebook today that if any state has florida written -- or trump written all over it, it's florida. two-thirds of the people that live in this state come from somewhere else. and as you have seen, trump has done well in other states. you know, right now he's looking
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good in the gop nomination for the gop nomination. november is a different story. i have republican friends telling me they're not going to support him in november. so, you know, let's see if he gets the nomination and then we'll take it from there. >> ferdinand, anna, is this a message what we have seen in the primary of flexibility, where donald trump characterizes he's flexible on the debit debate stage the other night. can he moderate to be a more attractive candidate for a general election here in florida? >> well, you know, i think the clip we saw is evidence of why the open panic in the republican establishment exists right now. because a lot of folks say, hey, that's a dog whistle. the way he throws him out, calling folks troublemakers like that, that's a real problem for donald trump. and if you see that happening in rallies throughout the country, just doubles down on a message that certainly helps him in a republican primary. but i think is deaf for him in a
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general election. unless he pivots back a little bit, you saw him do that in his super tuesday press conference, only to double down in the debate a couple nights later and do the exact opposite. that's why there is such panic right now on the republican side. >> and anna, when it comes to -- the last word here. this is a gift for hillary clinton or bernie sanders. however, this cracks out for him being the nominee. overall, folks might be more attracted to the democratic message. >> for me, this is exactly what turned me off to the republican party as a hispanic female. i saw the way they treated minorities. and you know, we talk about african-americans, but there is a large latino population, especially in central florida, that tends to swing. and they see this and identify with the minorities. i don't see them voting for trump. this is the way he treats minorities. latinos see the way he treats african-americans. who is next, us? >> brendan, ferdinand, and anna.
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thank you for taking time for me this morning. appreciate it. >> thank you. all right. so we remain live in the panhandle here, broadcasting live. look at this beautiful morning at the casino beach bar and grill. come on down if you're nearby, and we'll hang out with you. we're making news here. yeah. it's a good time. next, we're joined by the republican party chair. he is discussing how this may help decide not just who wins the state's primary march 15th but also who wins the gop nomination. also, speaking of voting, look at this. i posted a pic to instagram, along with a challenge. if we get 1,000 likes on this picture, my team and i are going to swim in the gulf before our show at 3:00 p.m. yes, you're going to do it. hash tag polar plunge. let's hear it, gang. you into this? yes, yes! we're having fun. it's a saturday.
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all right. so here we have donald trump. he has joined the rally he's holding in wichita, kansas today. he is talking about how he's leading in the recent polling nationally, saying ted cruz called him the nickname "lion ted" and marco rubio "little marco." trump then moving on to orlando, florida. and back here, places where we are, pensacola beach, likely playing a major part in selecting the gop's eventually nominee, east of mobile. call it l.a. or lower palabama. and on super tuesday, donald trump won big in alabama. he held by a margin of 22 points
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over his nearest competitor. that includes getting 45% of the vote in mow we'll county. here the voter base is quite similar, consistenting of evangelicals. florida's first has more military retirees than any other district in the nation. the most recent census data tells us more. 76% white, 14% black, 6% hispanic. with 99 delegates up for grabs, this means the panhandle may be the republican establishment's last chance to stop donald trump's march to the gop nomination, or help him secure victory. so we went to a local gop dinner in the panhandle to ask voters who they think should be their party's nominee. >> i really like ted cruz. but i like donald trump. if that's what it ends up being. >> the senator of my state alone has become an absolute embarrassment with his behavior. it's like a high school child. this is not what we sent to washington. these people are existing in a
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bubble. trump and i don't agree on everything, absolutely. he's an imperfect candidate, as we all are. but to send a clear message to d.c. and they're terrified, i think he's the man to do it. >> all of them bother me when they speak. because i don't trust any of them. >> so joining me now is martin simmons, republican party chair here in florida's first district. thanks for making time. >> welcome to pensacola, america's first city. >> it's gorgeous, fantastic weather and we will give you credit for that. appreciate it. this is a unique slice of florida. so who do republicans like here? we heard at that dinner, a diverse pick. what do you think? >> we like republicans. honestly, still think any of the four at this point could win. and northwest florida, the panhandle, is unique in its conservatism, the most conservative district. you mentioned some stats about the population here. in florida's first distribution.
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the most conservative. which means we pick conservatives, we have in the past, we will this time. >> you talked about republicans making all of the four. at that dinner, only one person liked marco rubio. marco rubio is the home state son, sitting senator from florida and really hasn't campaigned here. >> he hasn't campaigned in the pan honesthandle much, that's t. we love him as a senator and being first-term senator might be an issue there. there's two or three things i heard last night about his age, being on the young side. but at the same time, those things can be pluses as well. >> so when we think about the diversity of this state of florida, and the -- being hispanic and immigrant populations, if donald trump, who is leading in the polls here, is able to secure a win in florida for the primary, how do you think he's going to do in the general? >> considering that florida is winner take all, i would imagine he would do -- in the general,
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fine. he will take florida. whoever the republican nominee is for florida will take florida in november. >> you feel confident about that. >> absolutely. >> even though this has been questions about the campaign language and rhetoric used, especially for immigration reform. >> we will elect the republican nominee against hillary. >> and the admission of him being flexible as he talked about that on the debate stage the other night. that doesn't scare folks off? >> we know who he is, and we know that hillary is worse. hate to say it that way. but we know donald. he's almost hometown, because -- lives here on the weekends, i think. >> when it comes to marco rubio, though, and now ted cruz making a play by opening up ten more offices, obviously he's acting as the spoiler. or trying to, anyway. because he was in just 12% in that latest cue poll. well behind marco rubio. and certainly well behind donald trump. but do you think that's smart for him to act as a spoiler in florida and then secure those 99 delegates for donald trump? >> well, considering that if marco doesn't win florida, it's
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going to be very tough to continue. absolutely. considering it's winner take all and that's for lots of states. up until now, the 15th starts that. that will be very difficult for him to continue in his home state. >> when we think about the panhandle, definite evangelical, demographic and they're not attracted to a ted cruz. we've got carson dropping out. >> right. >> he only had 4%. but where do you think that likely carson supporters will throw their weight behind now? what's your guess? >> probably the outsider. which could be ted cruz or -- ted cruz or trump. because they're seen as the outsider. marco is not seen as much of an outsider as ted cruz, even though they're both first time senators. >> shares that outsider narrative. thank you, martin. >> thank you. >> we're going back now. i want to dip back into that event, wichita, kansas and donald trump. >> we don't have enough time. some of these protesters are very soft. we had one last night in
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louisiana. the voice was so -- it took a whole 45 minutes before we realized there was a protester. i said, don't worry. let him keep protesting. he's got a very soft voice. don't worry about it. doesn't bother us. but look, we've got -- just so you understand, we're going to strengthen our borders, we're going to build a wall. mexico is going to pay for the wall. we're going to reenergize and rebuild our military with the right equipment, not equipment that's bought because companies have political connections that we're putting stuff in there, that they don't want. we're going to use the stuff that the generals and that the soldiers and that everybody wants. you know, we buy military equipment, based on political connections. if somebody has a plane, and they're connected, and then somebody else has a plane and they're not, but the one that doesn't, that's not connected, the plane is cheaper, faster, better, maneuvers better, we buy the lousy plane, because of connections. not going to happen any more, folks.
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all eyes on the republican primary are beginning to shift to the big winner take all state of florida, and the sunshine state votes march 15th and will award the most delegates until california, and that's in june. senator ted cruz making a major play to upset marco rubio in rubio's home state. cruz is far behind in the latest polls. but the campaign is investing heavily, announcing friday ten field offices. here's what ted cruz had to say friday about the florida primary. >> florida is obviously the home state to one of my competitors. marco rubio, he's a favorite son, and donald trump is formidable, just about everywhere. you know, i would note that any candidate who can't win his home state, that's a real problem. >> certainly new to our campaign. joining us from miami is a ted cruz supporter, and vice chair of the miami-dade republican party. manny, good to have you with me.
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you know marco rubio from your time in florida. but you endorsed senator ted cruz. so why would he be a better president for the citizens of florida? >> you're absolutely right, thomas. i had a reason to support marco rubio, both from miami, both hispanic. we both teach at fiu. i'm a professor of business, he's a professor of politics. at this point, rubio has no past denomination. even today, if he were to win florida today, which is obviously the primary is not today, he would still be behind ted cruz delegates. so it's important to point out why i'm supporting ted cruz. both of them ran on a conservative platform. thomas, when they ran for senate. except one went to washington and did everything he said he was going to do. the other, marco rubio, went to washington and abandoned campaign promises. what you're seeing today in the polls is floridans abandoning marco rubio. >> so when you think about manny what the cruz camp is doing here, because he's behind in the polls by 16 points when it comes to marco rubio. is it wise for him to spend a
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lot of the money and resources here? and act as a spoiler for marco rubio? because there is really no chance for ted cruz to get those delegates. and that makes his path even harder, because it just enhances donald trump's. >> thomas, from the very beginning, you hear that we want to run a 50-state campaign, national campaign. that's what we're doing, including florida. we opened ten offices, have over 300 people among county coordinators. over 10,000 volunteers. so we do want to make a play for florida. and we do know that it's an uphill battle. but it's a battle that only we can make. the anti trump vote has to come to us, because they're not going to marco rubio. they have been burned by marco rubio before. so now that we have seen that donald trump is flexible, on immigration, flexible on his policy, and we all know that flexible in d.c. means you stick it to the voters. we think that those votes are naturally going to come to us. floridans have been burned before by marco rubio. if they see -- if we make it
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clear they're burned by donald trump, the only alternative is ted cruz. and so that's our case. >> manny, we know as we look at the numbers here, cuban-americans made up 8% in fact vote in the primary, marco rubio trying to win that community's vote. ted cruz of cuban heritage, as well. so does this kind of for that demo take out of the equation, if you're picking between those two men, who you can throw your weight behind? obviously, you might be attracted to them because of cuban heritage. but is it something that you look at their voting record? >> yeah, i think floridans, myself included, hispanic-american, i'm going to look at their voting record, how do they adhere to the constitution. do they do what they say they're going to do. and in miami specifically, we have been running a pretty aggressive surrogate campaign. we have been on spanish media very often. we have many cuban-americans supporting ted cruz. and pretty soon we're going to release a very impressive list of cuban-americans supporting
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ted cruz. but this is all part of our larger strategy to run a national campaign, and make it obvious that we're the anti-trump vote. if -- i agree with marco rubio that i don't want donald trump to be the nominee. so if marco rubio wants to do the right thing, it's time for him to step down before march 15th so we can consolidate in florida and beat donald trump. >> all right, ted cruz supporter and vice chairman of the miami-dade republican party. manny, thank you very much for your time. manny roman. i appreciate it. coming up, the democratic nomination, hillary clinton and bernie sanders plans for today, ahead of tomorrow's debate in michigan. i have asthma... ...one of many pieces in my life. so when my asthma symptoms kept coming back on my long-term control medicine, i talked to my doctor and found a missing piece in my asthma treatment. once-daily breo prevents asthma symptoms. breo is for adults with asthma not well controlled on a long-term asthma control medicine, like an inhaled corticosteroid. breo won't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden breathing problems. breo opens up airways to help
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and maine. 155 delegates are at stake for the gop. and the democrats are battling for 126 in the states of kansas, louse and nebraska. we're keeping an eye on caucus locations and polling places. want to give a look here. this is of louisiana, as we see folks up and out pretty early to get their day started. we'll keep an eye, as i said, on the different places happening with sites, polling sites and caucus sites throughout the day. here is a live look in new orleans. so today bernie sanders is going to bring his economic message so cleveland, ohio. this afternoon, he's going to join a, quote, community conversation at a local baptist church and then he's going to be holding a rally in michigan. and hillary clinton will be making her only public appearance in detroit at the democratic predebate reception. both will face off tomorrow in flint, michigan. joining me now is nbc's kelly o'donnell. kelly, sanders has been attacking clinton on trade in the rust belt states. i want to play what he said last
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night at a rally. take a look. >> secretary clinton, when she was first lady or a senator, supported almost all of these disastrous trade agreements. all of these trade agreements together have cost us millions of decent paying jobs. led to the deindustrialization of america and the decline of the american middle class. >> seems like we're hearing this from both sides from the clinton and sanders camp, because clinton gave a message yesterday, kelly, in detroit about jobs and economic opportunity in this country. but how is that message resonating with voters, particularly with the white working class in the rust belt? >> reporter: well, it's so interesting, thomas. because sanders is in cleveland, ohio, today, as you mentioned, my hometown. so i know from a historical perspective personal as well. and we have seen a change in time with jobs departing the northeast, the rust belt, as you call it, really a real challenge
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for people who may not have had a college education, but have had a strong working life, and those jobs not being as available. wages, far more stagnant. and it's really sanders also fighting against a different time. because in the bill clinton era, it was a different economy and he was certainly moving to the political center, which is not where the democratic party is now. and so it is n some ways an effective strategy to go against secretary clinton for her public support of her husband's policies, how she handled things when she was in the senate. and then, of course, she has historically done fairly well with this group of voters, typically older voters also appeal to clinton's sensibilities, and she has been able to make some connections there. so this is a really strong place to see these campaigns at this stage of the competition really try to go after these voters. there is a resonance about trade and economic issues in that section of the country, which is
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really bernie sanders' wheelhouse. he says it's not a sexy issue, but an important issue and one that really echos what he is trying to talk about. clinton is also trying to make this more of her sort of more emphasis with some new ads, as well. it's a little more challenging for her. it's really sanders' turf on this particular issue. thomas? >> kelly o'donnell reporting from the white house for us. thank you very much. appreciate that. so we have a lot more to talk about here this morning. coming up for everybody in the florida stakes, being huge for democrats. 246 delegates up for grabs come march 15th. and unlike the republican primary, these delegates will be awarded proportionally to the democrats. a recent poll out of florida shows clinton with a 26-point lead with ten days to go. joining me from miami, steve litz, wtvj, and tv host sean pittman from tallahassee. good to have you with me. sanders spending most time in
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michigan, illinois and ohio, part of the rust belt there. is he making a strong enough play here in florida, given how the delegates are awarded? >> there's a slight presence so far, mostly on television, thomas. what you can expect to see bernie sanders do is hit some of the college campuses here in florida. we have some of the largest in the country. miami-dade college, university of central florida up in central florida orlando. those are huge college campuses and if bernie sanders is looking to make some in roads on hillary clinton territory, it's on some of those campuses. it's an uphill battle, thomas, because as we were talking about hillary clinton's special relationship with voters in south carolina, the same thing goes here in florida. hillary clinton enjoys tremendous support here in florida, especially from minority voters, african-american, as well as latinos. >> and i know on super tuesday, she had her victory party here after decisive wins. after that, primary day, sean,
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i've seen firsthand the amount of sanders support and the grass roots efforts they have here, because they have been speaking through social media and coming to our broadcasting spot here in the panhandle to show their signs to show their support. so he's made in roads with that voting block. but when it comes to the campaign ground game itself, is it strong enough for a turnout to really be competitive against clinton? >> well, i think it's very difficult for senator sanders in florida. you know, analogous to south carolina. i mean, where there is a large african-american population just over 3 million -- just over 15%. that largely feels like, you know, that we sort of owe hillary clinton. we have always supported the clintons. the only interruption was barack obama. so there's a home for her here. and i think it's very, very difficult for senator sanders to penetrate that. >> so let's talk about, steve,
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the way we always look about the state of florida. i'm here in the panhandle, and we know the demographics of this. but the i-4 corridor, including a large number of latino voters, which way are democratic voters there leaning this year? is that hillary clinton country or does sanders have in roads? >> well, we're about to find out. as i mentioned, there are college campuses right along that i-4 corridor, stretching from east daytona beach, orlando and over to tampa. listen, she has a tremendous machine in place here in florida. and has had for many years. and that i-4 corridor is going to be a very important -- thomas, we not only talk about that during the four-year presidential cycles, but it's also important when it comes to these primaries on both parties. so the i-4 corridor, mostly puerto rican, they lean left. and hillary clinton has done well for many years in florida, with those minority communities, with hispanics. uphill battle for bernie sanders, we're going to see. >> so let me ask you about this, the "miami herald" gave clinton
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some advice. they wrote, first, she should release the private speeches she has made to wall street executives in return for hundreds of thousands of dollars, making sure she is not saying one thing in public and not another thing in private to wealthy supporters. do you think folks in florida care, democratic folks care about that? or is this just something that we in the media are trying to push as a process in the process of vetting a candidate clinton? >> well, i certainly think it's something the media is trying to push. i think, you know, the voters in florida are looking at bernie sanders and his ideas that don't seem to be attainable to the voters in florida. and they're looking at hillary clinton being probably the most qualified of a candidate to run for president, probably in recent history. and so i think you're going to see that weigh very heavily in
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florida, and the issues that the media really is trying to make most important, probably will play much later. but on march 15th, they're going to be voting for hillary clinton. because they like her very much, and think she's most qualified. >> steve, let me give the last word on this. do you agree with that, as well, especially when it comes to the speeches or the e-mail controversy? do democrats -- is this even hitting their radar? >> slightly. we're talking about transparency issues, right? and so not only is it happening on -- with hillary clinton, of course, it's happening with donald trump and everybody is calling for the "new york times" and donald trump to release those off the record conversations that he had. so you have the same thing here on the democratic side, people want to know what was the subject matter of those conversations that she had with those big banking organizations? it's all in the interest of transparency, thomas. and voters want to see a transparent candidate. so it's tweaking a little bit. we're going to hear more noise on it, i'm sure, in the coming days, as we get closer to march
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15th. >> steve litz and sean pittman, gentlemen, thanks very much for joining me. i appreciate it. >> thomas, thanks for having us. >> absolutely. so we have been keeping a close eye on wichita, kansas today, the kansas caucus going on. and donald trump finished his speech there. kansas is one of the states holding the nominating contest today. and we'll have much more from pensacola beach, florida, on a very busy saturday. stay with us. otect you from dia? what if one sit-up could prevent heart disease? otect you from dia? one. wishful thinking, right? but there is one step you can take to help prevent another serious disease. pneumococcal pneumonia. if you are 50 or older, one dose of the prevnar 13® vaccine can help protect you from pneumococcal pneumonia, an illness that can cause coughing, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and may even put you in the hospital. even if you have already been vaccinated with another pneumonia vaccine, prevnar 13® may help provide additional protection. prevnar 13® is used in adults 50 and older to help prevent infections from 13 strains of the bacteria that cause
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voting opens statewide this weekend. ten days out before the march 15th primary here. but how will the folks of louisiana decide their vote today? we'll have special coverage coming up tonight, right here on msnbc. so a special reminder for all of you that we'll be covering this in our election primary coverage and caucus coverage, 4:00 p.m. eastern time on msnbc. ♪ (flourish spray noise) ♪ ♪ (flourish spray noises) ♪ (school bell) ♪ ♪ (sigh) ♪ (flourish spray noise) ♪ share the joy of real cream... share the joy of real cream... (flourish spray noise) ...with reddi-wip. ♪
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so voting is under way today in louisiana's primary. we've got 46 delegates at stake for republicans. 59 for democrats. if you think primary voters around the country are angry, voters in louisiana are heading to the polls, as the state is on the brink of an economic disaster. the state has a deficit of more than $900 million in this year's budget. public universities may have to close. tax increases are on the way. and the governor warned residents a few weeks ago, the worst was yet to come. msnbc's kyle perry is following a primary for us there.
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and cal, if politics is all local, how is the budget crisis there going to affect these primaries and also the notion of establishment candidates? >> reporter: it's a huge issue, as you said. $900 million deficit. that's just this fiscal year. it will probably go up to $2 billion in the next first calend calendar. exactly like you said. so let's assume for a second you're from the fourth ward in the city from the 15th precinct, a city of 17 wards. you come to this table, you give your name, check and i.d. you fill out a roll. here is your sample ballot and you can see you've got some of the local parish executives, folks talking about money. after you sign up, you come in here and this is where you actually put your vote in. and, again, thomas, as you made the point, all politics are local. and that's why you have members of the democratic parish executive committee here. you have the republican committee here. your presidential candidates here. jeb bush, ben carson, a lot of
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people still on this ballot, a lot of people not dropped out yet. same holds true on the democratic side, martin o'malley still lifted, john wolf listed. people who haven't dropped off the ballot yet. a lot of upset voters here, as you referenced. not just the budget issue. a lot of people upset with the tone of the republican party, something we have been hearing outside. we're not allowed to talk to voters inside. that's against the law. so we have been doing straw polling outside for you, thomas. >> we're going to keep an eye on it. cal peri in new orleans. thank you so much. we appreciate it. and thanks to all of you at home. that's doing it for me this hour. i'll be back at 3:00 p.m. eastern time. erica hill takes over back in new york. and just a reminder go to instagram, like this picture of our set here in pensacola beach. at thomas a. roberts. if we get to 1,000 likes, we're going to jump in the water. [ cheers and applause ] the staff is going to do it. this is the panhandle, polar bear plunge. we've still got a ways to go. only at 560. so if you the to see us get wet and cold, go like it.
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can other brands say all that? for grain-free nutrition you can trust, does your food go beyond? learn more at beyondpetfood.com good morning. i'm erica hill, live at msnbc world headquarters in new york. today, of course, super saturday. and we are monitoring contests across five different states. republicans holding caucuses in kansas, kentucky and maine, as well as a primary in louisiana. on the democratic side, a primary in louisiana, as well. along with caucuses in kansas and nebraska. and we'll bring you the latest from those locations throughout the hour. just minutes from now, we are expecting senator ted cruz to hit the stage in wichita,
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kansas. republican voters have already started caucusing there. also this hour, senator marco rubio will address the crowd at cpac, and we'll have a live report from cpac, as well, a bit later on. republican front runner donald trump, meantime, addressed his supporters in wichita earlier today. he, of course, decided to skip cpac to instead focus his campaigning there in wichita. take a listen. >> you know, the republicans are eating their own. the republicans are eating their own. they've got to be very careful. we have to bring things together. what we've got to do is we've got to get out today, we've got to caucus. i'm going to go with you. we're going to caucus and after making this huge u-turn to kansas, if i lose, i'm going to be so angry at you. >> our reporters are stationed across the map for us today, following the candidates on this super tuesday. trump and cruz, of course, duking it out in kansas, as we mentioned. marco rubio, meantime, is making a play for grass roots
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conservatives gathered at the annual cpac conference outside washington, d.c. msnbc's jane timm, is at the conservative compact where rubio will speak later this hour. and there has been focus not just on people there, but on donald trump's's last-minute decision to cancel his appearance there and instead focus on kansas. what are you hearing from folks in attendance there this morning? >> reporter: you know, there's a fair amount of disappointment here. i was going through the crowd and chatting with them today. and they said that this is, you know, one of the many reasons they don't like donald trump in the first place. these are conservative activists who have been long in the movement the, and they're not donald trump sort of natural-based of people who maybe haven't been involved in the conservative movement the or brought out by his unprecedented campaign. and they say, you know, this is another example of him changing his mind, saying he'll do something, and then doing another thing. and they say that they wanted to hear a lot of policy from him. and that hasn't been his strong suit. they said maybe that's why he didn't want to come, because he's only going to tell us he wants to build a wall and win
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and we want to hear more specifics on that. but, of course, donald trump supporters are very die-hard. i spoke with one young woman who said she came all the way from l.a. here, and these are not cheap tickets to get here. not only to the east coast, but to get to this event. and she said, you know, he's my guy. i'm voting for him no matter what. and he can be sipping a mai tai, for all i care right now. he's still my guy and i'm okay with him skipping. >> we heard a little bit of his campaigning this morning in wichita, where he said, and i'm quoting here, republicans are eating their own. so we see these two different parts, these two factions of the republican party. the establishment now trying to gather its resources against trump, and trump essentially -- it looks like he's almost turning the game on themselves with comments like that. >> reporter: yeah. and you're going to see a little bit of that here. there has been a lot of talk of brokered convention. but the sense i get from the people here is that they don't necessarily want to go into a brokered convention. they don't necessarily want to
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have this all-out floor fight. they would like a nominee to come ahead. many are ted cruz supporters and they think maybe he's the guy who can come ahead get votes. >> there will be focus on ted cruz today. jane timm joining us from cpac this morning, thanks. want to turn now to nbc's shaquille brewster, on the phone with us from wichita, where donald trump just wrapped up his rally. ted cruz is set to begin. shaquille, what are we hearing this morning? >> reporter: yes. so right now we are with ted cruz, visiting a caucus location. i'm sure he can see the video right now. this is right next door to where donald trump was. we're still in wichita, still in the same building, but right next door in the convention center, trump had the rally. he had a rally, caucusing, the rally he skipped the cpac convention to come and have. and you heard a little bit from him earlier. he said republicans are eating their own. he had marco rubio's voting record, saying it's the worst in
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history. trump said this is a movement and something is happening. and his traditional barbs against ted cruz, calling him "lying ted" and "little marco." i spoke to people there, and many of them are first time caucus-goers. so he did a good job of getting people out who haven't gone out before, getting them, and absorbing them and voting for him. and we were talking about the republican squabbles back and forth and how they have been hitting each other. and one lady told me it's like brothers fighting in the dirt. they go around, squabble, get dirty. but then at the end, get back up because of family. so people that were there at the trump rally, they say they and expect this. it's definitely something they expect. and think they can bring the party together at the end, despite everything. so we're taking it back to cruz now and he'll be speaking to this caucus here. and then we will continue to travel -- trump is headed to florida. he'll have a rally and also a press conference.
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>> florida a major focus, of course, not just for trump, but also for ted cruz. who is really trying to make in roads, as we know, opening up new offices there. is anything in ted cruz's message this morning that folks there are about to hear expected to be different? is he changing his message at all as we get closer? >> reporter: well, we heard a little bit of that at the debate. we heard ted cruz saying if you want to take down donald trump, you can join me. trying to take away support from marco rubio, because ted cruz is trying to make the point he can beat trump. that he can bring together a conservative coalition that cannot only beat trump, but that can also go and beat hillary clinton in the white house. so he is taking -- he's backing off a little bit on -- trying to bring a unifying message to pull away the marco rubio supporters. because ted cruz knows that if marco rubio doesn't win florida, marco rubio will be under a lot of pressure to get out of this
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race. that's his home state. ted cruz won his home state of texas. so if ted cruz can pull some marco rubio support from marco's state, that would be only to his benefit. >> we'll be watching. shaquille brewster joining us, nbc campaign, from wichita this morning. thanks. republican establishment donors are scrambling at this point, as we have been reporting, to stop front-runner donald trump. there are now just ten days to go before he could rack up those even bigger leads, thanks to the contest coming on march 15th. one anti trump group unveiled new ads this morning, calling him a draft dodger and going after him for his criticism of prisoners of war. >> when i heard donald trump insult my fellow prisoners of war from vietnam by calling us losers, that was the most infuriating comment i think i've heard from a politician in my entire life. trump would not have survived a p.o.w. experience. he would have been probably the first one to fold.
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>> joining me now, msnbc political contributor, robert trainim, former senior adviser. and nbc political reporter, lee ann caldwell. good to see both of you this morning. >> good morning. >> as we're looking at everything, and as it's unfolding at this point, the messaging is so interesting from both sides that we're seeing. and robert, earlier we saw these posts in the "philadelphia tribune" saying it's sad this is what we have come to as a country. at this point, is there a way, for lack of better terminology, rein in the crazy on both sides here, the pro trump and anti trump sides? >> i'm not sure it's reining in the crazy but reining in the rational. it's sad for the country. it's very sad when you even have journalists around the country saying that they have to put the debates on mute because they're unsure about what the presidential candidates are going to say. and this is in the republican primary. you know, this is a republican
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primary where ronald reagan said, the 11th amendment, thou shall not speak ill of another republican. this is a republican primary where we're talking about body parts and not once have we had a substantive conversation about medicare perhaps going bankrupt in 2033. yet we had a conversation about president putin and china and perhaps another recession coming within the next five years. these are serious issues that the american people want answers to. but what the american people also want, clearly, in the republican party, they want a winner. they want someone that speaks declaratively and beats hillary clinton. i am one of those people. but cooler heads have to prevail here. and after all, we are nominating the next president of the united states. >> it's interesting to see the reaction, too, to some tactics taken on both sides. really interesting piece today, just in the "new york times," from some lifelong republicans who voted for mitt romney in 2012, and their reaction. one woman saying she was disgusted and found it disgraceful the way he was
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coming out, telling people who to vote for. lee ann, it's interesting, because normally we see campaigns waged a little bit more for the candidate, as opposed to putting a block of people up against another. is there a sense that the moves by the establishment and specifically by mitt romney coming out, has that had an impact at all, lee ann? >> well, mitt romney is an imperfect messenger. he lost the presidential campaign four years ago. he was convinced to not run, because he couldn't determine there was enough support for him to run this year. so for him to come out and sit pretty much say that trump is not good for the party, people are skeptical. i talked to a lot of donors. yes, while there are three super pacs who are spending some money, trying to take down trump, many of these big time republican donors are skeptical. they're saying, one, first of all, it's going to take too much money, and there's not enough time. and they're also saying, too, it's going to look really bad if
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these wealthy individuals come and try to determine the future of the party. and so as far as if this is going to work or not, you know, we are just ten days away from super tuesday, there's a lot of anxiety out there. but also, since you have trump's major competitors, ted cruz and marco rubio, saying that they will support trump if he's the nominee, that kind of threw water on much of this effort to try to take him down. >> and that seemed to be a really interesting moment, robert. not only in the debate thursday, but in the followup. marco rubio talking with our own savannah guthrie. and she really kind of pressed him on that. of the fact that all candidates said, yes, we would support donald trump. how does that impact their campaigns at this point? >> well, there's a lot of raised eyebrows now. and here's the irony about this. i agree with lee ann to a certain agree. yes, mitt romney is an imperfect messenger, and the reason why,
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conservatives were skeptical about a romney presidency, because he said he wasn't for regular-an bush when running against ted kennedy for the senate. mitt romney is considered to be a moderate. and isn't it ironic, because donald trump has given money to democrats, he is pro choice, he is someone that has flip-flopped on a lot of issues. he's considered to be extremely moderate from a new york perspective on a lot of issues. so it's very ironic that a lot of the conservatives out there are saying, well, mitt romney, you don't have credibility on the issue. but neither does donald trump. that's the interesting thing about this. >> lee ann, we were talking a lot, obviously, about cpac, because it is on going at this moment. does it matter that donald trump cancelled his appearance? >> we'll have to wait and see. today is the first real test to see romney's influence. there are some states, four states on the republican side who hold primaries today. we'll see romney's influence as early as today. and we'll also see if trump cancelling at cpac is going to have any influence, as well.
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i think it's a double-edged sword. on the one hand, that plays into the arguments that his opponents are making, he's not a true conservative. that he doesn't maintain conservative values. but then on the other hand, he's foraging this new coalition of voters. many of them who are independent, some older democrats who want a different path. and so i think that we'll really only be able to determine the outcome of trump's plan, and the opponents and campaigns against him once we see the results at the polls. >> lee ann caldwell, robert traynham, appreciate you joining us this morning. thank you. >> thank you. next, returning to the democratic race a day before hillary clinton and bernie sanders square off in a debate in flint, michigan. just how much will that debate affect voters' decisions when they head to the polls next tuesday? i have asthma... ...one of many pieces in my life. so when my asthma symptoms kept coming back on my long-term control medicine, i talked to my doctor and found a missing piece
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but they didn't know they were all tobacco products.e... ooh, this is cool. it smells like gum. yummy! this smells like strawberry. are these mints? given that 80% of kids who ever used tobacco started with a flavored product, who do you think tobacco companies are targeting? do we get to keep any?
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michigan voters head to the polls on tuesday where a large number of delegates are at stake for both parties. 59 for the republicans, 147 for the democrats. union voters are expected to once again have a major influence on the democratic primary in michigan. however, they'll do so this time without either candidate getting an endorsement the from the three biggest unions. unions, of course, are not the only thing michigan is known for. it also has the second-largest number of militias in the nation. and as msnbc's tony de copy what is finding out today, the men may have a major influence in the republican primary. so tony, good morning to you. what are you hearing today? >> reporter: good morning, erica. we're here in le peer, michigan, an hour and a half outside of detroit. this is a shooting range. people are setting up new targets. we have a bit of a lull in the firing. and what's happening today is
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some small arms training and also heavy gun training. people are working on getting a new pass, what these weapons are here. a service organization, but also a political organization. and so i want to introduce you to lee miracle, the coordinator of the southern michigan volunteer militia. >> how are you doing? >> reporter: can you tell us a bit about where the politics of the militia are leaning this year? >> well, as a group, we don't have a group politics. but as a general rule, pro constitution, pro second amendment. so the candidate that recognizes second amendment, and all the other ones too, they're going to get our support. but as a block, we don't -- we don't endorse or support a particular candidate. but pro constitution, second amendment, if you're a gun banner, generally you're not going to get our support. >> generally republican or democratic? >> generally, libertarian is the automatic default. but there's a lot of guys backing republican candidates.
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if they're backing democrats, they haven't told me about it. >> reporter: all right. thank you very much, lee miracle. erica, i think we better clear out here. they're going to be entering into the second round in just a moment. back to you, and we'll be checking in through tuesday with voters like this, with more from the field. >> all right. sounds good. msnbc's tony de copiel. we want to bring in the mayor, a democrat. good to have you with us sir. >> thank you. we know your votes are coming up. in just a matter of days. there's been a lot of focus when we talk about michigan these days about the situation in flint. some of the removal process started yesterday. we saw some of those lead pipes. can you give an update this morning on how that's going? >> well, the mayor weaver is leading the charge to remove all of the lead pipes, to get the lead out, if you will. there is still debate about where the money will come from. because it's not all committed to get the job done.
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there's a debate at the federal level about -- i know senator stabnow was trying to get another $200 million into flint. getting the pipes out is the easy thing. it can be done in a year. we're helping from the lancing board of water and light to move quicker and with less cost. but you've got nutrition i can use, education issues for families damaged and the state government and federal government needs to make that up. big mistakes were made at the state level with mdeq, the department of environmental quality and mistakes made by the epa. so the state government and federal government has to make that whole. if you break it, buy it. and i would say that process is just beginning. the fix, the recovery is just beginning. we can have a flourishing flint. we should have a flourishing flint. i hope that's part of what the debate will be about. hillary clinton has been to flint. she is committed to that. and it's not just flint. to go beyond flint, the story here is about infrastructure. it is about failing infrastructure in our cities around the country. and that needs to be addressed by all the candidates on both parties. that's not a partisan issue.
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it used to be that infrastructure, highways, biways, bridges, suers, used to be a bipartisan issue. >> something we heard donald trump bring up a few debates ago. you mentioned it is not a bipartisan issue. do you feel like there has been enough said about the crisis in flint and its greater impact? we know we've heard about it from the democrats. but have we heard about it from the other side enough, and how do you get that conversation going? >> that's a great question. again, i think the democrats, by bringing the debate to flint physically will help. but, you know, there's -- one of the leaders in the congress, i forget the republican who said, it's overblown. anybody who says flint is overblown does not get it. has not been on the ground in flint. it is like a neutron bomb where the people are destroyed but the buildings stand. if you don't have water, it's one of the -- the most basic elements of life. and these people can't rely on water. we took the lead pipes out of a house where a couple is living
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there, and she's pregnant. and, of course, lead -- there is no safe level of lead for children. so we need to address the issue. these lead pipes are around the country and need to be removed. there is failing infrastructure around this country. and when you don't have water, you're quickly, basically bombed back into the third world. third-world status. and no city in america should have to face that. and, again, it should not be a partisan issue. and in michigan, we're about making things. we make the things that make america great. we're the home of ford, chrysler and general motors, especially in lansing. we can do this. we've got the know-how. it takes the political will and resources. i give president obama credit. he had the so-called stimulus package. he was starting to invest in the infrastructure. and then it became a political issue. and i really believe it should not be a partisan issue. democrats and republicans drive on the roads and need good water. and need all the infrastructure that makes life and commerce possible. >> so to your point, then, folks in michigan make things. which we are all very familiar with, of course. and your point that this should not be a partisan issue. how do you then make it not a
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partisanish isn't that true how do you bring together lawmakers not just on the state level there and the local level in your state of michigan, but also on a broader national level? is there a way to make this a conversation that is not partisan? >> one way is by talking to you and how we talk about it. how you as a journalist talk about it and how we as mayors talk about it. this weekend i'm going to the national league of cities and i'm launching with mayors from around the country a manufacturing initiative. i've done a lot of work on manufacturing with the u.s. conference of mayors. the u.s. conference of mayors talks about infrastructure. i have never heard, virtually never heard a partisan comment. when mayors get together, we don't worry about democrat or republican. and if the american people, even the militia folks just on, they need infrastructure. they need roads and suers. it's the kind of stuff that binds us together as americans. when eisenhower led the way, he was a republican. republicans and democrats came together. i believe it can happen again. i don't believe this is pie in the sky. i think when the american people
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demand an end to the nonsense, when the american people demand an end to the talk about how big your hands are and how big your ears are and what your hair looks like. when the american people say it's time to have adults, and we want these problems addressed, then the politicians will get with it. now the mayors are doing that, because mayors tend to focus on what works. we don't care, frankly, about the partisanship. i'm a strong advocate for hillary clinton. i think she's going to be great. but regardless of who wins, i will be pushing for bipartisan solutions to the very real problems and challenges we face. and the problems are not bigger than us. we can do this. this is america, for god sakes, we have done it before and we can do it again. >> we appreciate your time this morning. thank you. >> thank you. ted cruz is trailing badly when it comes to the polling in florida. so why is the sunshine state now so important to his strategy, moving forward? we'll be joined by representative from the cruz campaign, next, to explain why.
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we are keeping an eye and frankly a camera trained on wichita, kansas, where ted cruz is expected to speak to caucus-goers at any minute. kansas, of course, up with of the five states voting today. the next big prize in terms of delegates, however, is florida. 99 winner take all votes. in the latest quinnipiac university poll, donald trump has a double digit lead in florida, over senator marco rubio. ted cruz comes in a distant third with just 12% support. nationwide, cruz is still in second. florida, though, could change things. joining me now, the editor in chief for politic-chicks. nice to have you with us this morning. >> thank you for having me. >> there has been a lot made about ted cruz and his push into florida, we're hearing opening at least ten new offices in the state recently. but as we know, it's a challenge here. where does he need to focus to have an impact come march 15th in the sunshine state? >> well, the one thing we know about the republican primary is
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we know absolutely nothing about the republican primary. everything changes. it's fluid. it's changing from day to day. after the debate, there's a new poll out with -- from kansas, showing that donald trump, his lead was originally 12%. now he's down to six points ahead of senator cruz. so anything can happen between now and march 15th. but yeah, he does have an uphill battle. >> anything can happen. but is there anything specifically you can point to that you believe as a supporter of ted cruz could help him overcome that and make some in roads in florida? >> well, we have another debate before then. but also, of course our preference would be for marco rubio to pull out and support senator cruz. that's not going to happen, of course, because that's his home state. but with 99 delegates, the goal here is to knock out donald trump. and if senator rubio and senator cruz could get together, that would be -- that would be ideal.
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meanwhile, we need to focus on advertising. they need to get those commercials out there. they need to show who donald trump really is. and i really have a lot of faith in american voters to see what's really happening. >> you mentioned the next debate coming up. after the last debate, frankly, there was a lot of backlash. a lot of people kind of disgusted at what it devolved into. is there going to be a more substantive debate the next time around? >> erica, it was -- i have never in my entire life seen presidential candidates acting like that. it was -- it was embarrassing. i mean, it was -- genitalia, seriously? that's where we're going with this? both -- but the thing is, too. trump has been doing lots of interviews, saying he thought that rubio and cruz were going to go after him, even harder. so he's -- he's wanting this cage match. he wants things to get dirty.
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and i am really hoping that senator cruz stays where he is. this is a tortoise and hair race. he's blustery, he's got this giant ego. i really hope senator cruz continues his ground game, ground work that he's doing with people like me, with all of -- all of the people supporting him. it is brilliant. >> you mentioned this tortoise and hare game, but there is an important finish line. one of a couple. but an important first one coming up in march 15th. and when we look at florida, and at least the past 30 years, the candidate who won florida, except in one case, really, went on to win. so if ted cruz is not able to take the state of florida, what happens to his campaign? >> he's -- he will stay in the race. again, i'm really hopeful that if donald trump wins florida,
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wins marco rubio's state, marco rubio has got to get behind senator cruz. and so does john kasich. >> so you're saying no matter what, he says in, even if he loses. >> if he loses florida? >> yes. >> i would hope -- i would personally hope so. i still think there is still hope. >> ann marie, we appreciate you joining us this morning. thank you. >> thank you. we have been talking a lot about the republicans. it is also a busy saturday for the democrats. three states voting in primaries or caucuses today. so where will the race stand after today? we're going to do a little delegate math coming up after this. and just a reminder, our special coverage of today's primaries and caucuses will start at 4:00 eastern time. stay with us. we'll be right back. to folks out there whose diabetic nerve pain... shoots and burns its way into your day, i hear you. to everyone with this pain that makes ordinary tasks extraordinarily painful, i hear you. make sure your doctor hears you too! i hear you because i was there when my dad suffered
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louisiana, kentucky and maine. 155 delegates at stake for the gop today. on the democratic side, those folks battling for 126 delegates in the states of kansas, louisiana and nebraska. we are keeping a very close eye on caucus locations and polling places across the country throughout the day. we'll be bringing you the latest from those sites all day long. and also have the latest results as polls close tonight. bernie sanders today is bringing his economic message to the rust belt. just a few hours from now, he will join a, quote, community conversation at a baptist church in cleveland, ohio. from there, he is off to a rally in michigan. hillary clinton will be making her only public appearance in detroit at the democratic predebate reception. both democratic candidates will face off tomorrow, of course, in flint, michigan. joining me now, nbc's kelly o'donnell. kelly, good morning. >> reporter: good to be with you, erica. it is interesting to see how one of the sort of main planks of the sanders campaign, when it
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comes to trade is now front and center, because of the geography and timing in the campaign season. to be in ohio and looking ahead to michigan, jumping ahead in the calendar, as voters today are already making their decisions, trying to win over supporters in places where sanders is hoping he can cut into hillary clinton's delegate lead and her sort of front runner status that has gained some ground over the course of this voting season. so to talk about trade is something that sanders does on a regular basis. he even teases that it's not a very sexy topic, but it does matter to voters in the industrial sections that have seen over a generation a real erosion in jobs, and more broadly in the economy where wages have been stagnant. the timing is certainly catching the ears of voters when it comes to some of their economic worries and concerns. so part of what we're seeing, erica, is that sanders is running against hillary clinton, of course, but in some ways,
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also running against the record of bill clinton as president, because of his support for trade agreements, and then by extension, as first lady, hillary clinton's support for some of those agreements, as well as during her time in the senate. a real division between them. and now we also see hillary clinton taking some new approaches in the campaign too with some new ads and wanting to talk more on some of the things we have been accustomed to bernie sanders making the main stay of his campaign. so the economy always matters. but it matters in terms of those industrial jobs so much in that next section of states that will be getting the chance to make a decision. erica? >> and a lot of focus there and for those good reasons as you point out, kelly. in the few days, though, hillary clinton has had to come back, multiple times through this issue of her e-mails, while serving as secretary of state. are voters paying much attention to this investigation? >> especially democratic voters,
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ten to tell us, when we talked to them at events and things, that it not as big an issue. there have been voters who have said they had some concerns about this issue in terms of her credibility and had she told the full story early on. it is certainly an issue that would play out very big if she is the nominee of the democratic party, because republicans have been very energized over it. clinton has been dogged in a way by the fact that the case that has been related to her e-mails was a decision by the judge to sort of parse out her e-mails in batches after they were reviewed for any concerns for national security and privacy and those sorts of things. and we would get those sections of her e-mails that were made public always bringing the issue back up. and, of course, she's been talking about it, as well. questioned about things like a former staffer who received immunity from the department of justice to talk about his work to protect her private server
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and to work on her e-mail system. erica? >> kelly o'donnell for us. can hely, thank you. always good to see you. hillary clinton headed into today's contest with a wide lead among democratic candidates. as of this morning, here is the count. clinton has 1,333 candidates. bernie sanders, 429. three states, as we mentioned, holding democratic contests today. and then the stakes get even bigger with the contest coming march 15th. so can sanders gain some ground in these weeks ahead? joining me now, jason johnson, political science professor and politics editor at the root.com. good to have you with us. i want to go back to something that you wrote, talking earlier this week. you said, it's not a question of whether bernie sanders will drop out of the race. it's a matter of when. noting his share of votes in every category has decreased. is there any path left for bernie sanders at this point, or do you believe it's really just back to that question of when he drops out? >> erica, i honestly think it's just an issue of when.
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bernie sanders -- it's not just a matter of him winning states. he would have to rack up such huge margins in these upcoming states to make up for the delegate count that hillary clinton has now. and even then, he would have to do much better than the 22 he's at now with super delegates. and i don't see that happening. but he's dedicated to his supporters. he's going to push this probably until may or june, even if mathematically his chances are slimmer and slimmer? >> what's the advantage to him to push it through may or june, even if the math isn't working? >> a couple advantages. one, bernie sanders has made hillary clinton a better candidate. if anybody believed hillary clinton would care about income inequality if it weren't for bernie sanders pushing? of course she wouldn't. so in many respects he's staying in the race because he's forcing the likely front runner and likely nominee to address the issues of his constituency. and we have seen that before. you have seen that with conservatives, you have seen that with democrats, you have seen that with liberals. so i think that's part of why bernie sanders is going to stick
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around. >> and it is forcing hillary clinton to talk about things more like trade. that bernie sanders is focusing on in the rust belt states today. is that, though, resonating with voters? so in him pushing hillary clinton to talk about certain things and making her a better candidate, is it back firing a little bit for bernie sanders? >> well, yes and no. i mean, what often ends up happening is, if you have a really good idea in a campaign, the other side steals it. so once bernie started talking about getting workers back to work and returning blue collar jobs, hillary clinton has done it better and louder. but i think in the end, everybody benefits from it. i mean, the sanders' campaign, no, it hasn't helped him, certainly in southern states with large minority populations, but did help him in places like colorado, it does help in the midwest. and, again, he's still in it to win it, even if the likelihood isn't very high. and, again, i don't think any american worker is not going to be happy you have two prominent candidates talking about returning the rust belt to the prominence of the '60s and '70s.
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>> there is a lot of focus, of course, on ohio and florida in any election cycle. but especially this year. winner take all states. what happens? what is the best push for bernie sanders as he's making his case in those states? >> well, i think his best chances -- best pushes right now are places like michigan, the kansas caucus this weekend, the nebraska caucus this weekend. those are the places where he really has to make a stand. but i think symbolically, and i think as far as those of us analysts, nonpartisan analysts and people who are donors, bernie sanders has to do well in a state that's got over 25% minority voters. like at some point, he's got to democrat dmont that he can not just get young whites and not just get liberals, but he can get moderate african-american voters, he can get hispanic voters, and he can get them to turn out in large numbers. so florida is a chance for him to prove that. ohio is a chance for him to prove that. if he doesn't, not only does it practically mean he can't win, but it would make everybody nervous if he became the nominee and couldn't gal vannize black
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voters against donald trump. >> jason, good to have you with us. thanks. >> thanks, erica. while donald trump has focused part of his campaign on building a wall along the u.s. border with mexico, some of our neighbors to the north apparently have their own plans if trump wins the white house. we'll tell you what one canadian community is offering to americans if there's a trump presidency. when you think about success, what does it look like? is it becoming a better professor by being a more adventurous student? is it one day giving your daughter the opportunity she deserves? is it finally witnessing all the artistic wonders of the natural world? whatever your definition of success is, helping you pursue it, is ours. t-i-a-a.
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in less than three weeks, thousands of americans have reached out to find out how to make their move possible. google actually saw a spike in the search for how to move to canada. the powerful texas board of education may get a controversial new member. former school teacher, mary lou bruner has raised eyebrows across the nation for accusing president obama of being a homosexual sex worker in a facebook post last year. she received 48% of the vote in a three-way gop primary for the board seat. and is expected to win the runoff come may. another local race in texas may mean the ousting of a state lawmaker who made some visitors to her office renounce terrorism. representative molly white instructed her staff to require visitors to announce their allegiance to america. she refused to apologize after her actions garnered national attention. this week, representative white lost her primary by 118 votes. she posted on facebook, she will pursue a recount.
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bernie sanders may not be able to overcome hillary clinton's delegate lead, but has strong numbers when it comes to social media. sanders has 30,000-plus more ins to graham follow was coming out after a peting when he saw the simpson case and referred to it as a quote spectacle. a live look at new orleans where they are casting their votes. which issues will decide who wins that contest? we'll take you live to new orleans after this quick break. i've been claritin clear for 14 days.
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a live look for you there from new orleans, as you can see voting underway in louisiana. voters there head to the polls with their state on the brink of an economic disaster. lawmakers are trying to close a short fall nearing $1 billion. sales taxes are set to increase sharply. university say they may have to temporarily close and the governor warns residents the worst is actually yet to come. msnbc cal perry joins us this morning from new orleans. when you look at those worries this morning, how are you affecting the primary there today? are voters saying about that? >> reporter: i think it's the economy stupid, the old bill clinton line. the state is facing a $1 billion deficit and likely to double next year. it's a big issue on both sides of the parties, both republicans and democrats. we've seen a lot of recent stumping from republicans. we had cruz and trump give rival rallies yesterday and bill clinton was stumping for his wife hillary, yesterday, as well. let me give you a look here at
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the sample ballot here in louisiana and i think, i can get you in to look at the actual ballot here. this is the louisiana state ballot. it's got some local parish executives here, as well as the presidential candidates there. a lot of people presidential candidates still on the ballot. they haven't dropped off yet and filed that paperwork. but as you sort of eluded to, a lot of this is about the economy. this is a state in an economic crisis. that has been the case for really a decade and a lot of people think that may give a push to hillary clinton, who is a known quantity here. she's known to the people of louisiana, certainly her husband was very popular but keep in mind, this is new orleans. this is a liberal city in a sea of red. a lot of hillary supporters and bernie supporters. we talked to one cruz supporter but again, this is a very, very small blue dot in a sea of red. >> you mentioned maybe that small dot. the state itself we're looking at 46 delegates. when it comes to the attention
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that has been focused on this state from the candidates, do voters feel they are getting enough attention from any of these candidates? >> reporter: most people that we talked to don't. most people we talk to say they are excited to vote but not very excited for any results. this is a state that feels like behind in so many ways like the ninth ward for example which is dealing with the effects of hurricane katrina. imagine the demographics since hurricane katrina and the storm passed, about 9,000 white residents didn't return from the storm. compare that to 100,000 african american residents who haven't returned. those are people living in mississippi, alabama having problems getting registered to vote, erica. >> a lot to look at as we continue to follow this process across the entire country. cal perry joining us from louisiana this morning. that will wrap up this hour of msnbc. i'm erica hill in new york.
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decision day in the big easy. live pictures from a polling place in louisiana. one of five states where voting is underway on this super saturday. good day to all of you. i'm alex witt here in new york city at msnbc headquarters. today marks the first day of a critical two-week stretch that could all but resolve the presidential nomination for both parties and just a short time ago, donald trump highlighting the bitter conflict for the heart of the republican party. >> you know, the republicans are eating their own. the republicans are eating their own. they got to be careful. we have to bring things together. >> and the nature of protesters in the nation's

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