tv MSNBC Live With Jose Diaz- Balart MSNBC March 7, 2016 6:00am-8:01am PST
and good morning. i'm steve kornacki. we begin with the death of nancy reagan, one of the most influential first ladies in history, passing away over the weekend at the age of 94. this morning the flag at half-staff over the u.s. capitol building in washington, the nation mourning the loss of mrs. reagan. and at last night's democratic presidential debate bernie sanders and hillary clinton, hillary clinton of course herself a former first lady, observing a moment of silence for nancy reagan. tributes also pouring in from the republican candidates on the campaign trail on sunday. the white house tweeting out pictures with a note from president obama and from first lady michelle obama. we remain grateful for nancy reagan's life, it said. let's go to the reagan presidential library in simi valley, california. joe fryer is there.
joe, i know we are learning more about the funeral plans for nancy reagan. what can you tell us? >> reporter: good morning, steve. we are still awaiting details on exactly when the funeral is going to happen, maybe we'll learn a little more about that later on today. of course, we do know it will happen here at the presidential library. this is also where nancy reagan will be buried beside her husband. the library is closed to the public this week and will be closed until after the funeral. still that did not stop mourners from showing up here yesterday. they dropped off flowers and flags, leaving them on the sign at the entryway. we're told there will be an opportunity sometime this week for the public to pay their respects to nancy reagan. this morning ron reagan, jr., spoke with matt lauer on the "today" show about his parents' incredible love story. take a listen to what he had to say. >> once they had bonded together, they really were i
inseparab inseparable. it sounds cliché, i don't think they ever spent a day apart where they didn't call, speak on the phone, he wrote her letters all her life, all his life. they were in love. and they stayed in love for, you know, 52 some odd years. >> that love story never stopped. even though it became harder to travel here to the library in her later years, mrs. reagan always made a point to be here in june on the anniversary of her husband's death and we're told that she would spend quiet moments sitting beside his gravesite. steve. >> joe fryer in simi valley, california. thank you. more now on the influence and impact of nancy reagan here is nbc's peter alexander. >> reporter: for a person generation nancy reagan may be best remembered for these three words. >> just say no. >> reporter: her signature cause and anti-drug campaign helped earn the first lady into a pop culture icon, appearing as
herself on the nbc comedy different strokes. >> i'm concerned about drug abuse, especially among the young and i was very impressed by the way you spoke out. >> reporter: a message hand-delivered to millions. >> if someone offers you drugs, what will you do? >> say no. >> reporter: even celebrities joined the cause. >> what would i do if someone offered me these drugs? tell them to take a hike. >> reporter: by the end of her husband's administration more than 12,000 just say no clubs had been formed worldwide. mrs. reagan has fiercely protective of her husband. especially after the 1981 assassination attempt that nearly took his life. >> every time he went out and talked to, you know, thousands of people, my heart stopped. >> reporter: accused of overmanaging her husband she was a force behind the scenes with enormous influence on who served in his administration and what
policies he pursued. most noticeably encouraging president reagan to negotiate with the soviet union, a gamble that helped end the cold war. even in their twilight years this loving wife's advocacy never waned. >> ronnie's long journey has finally taken him to a distant place where i can no longer reach him. >> reporter: with alzheimer's disease robbing her husband's memory mrs. reagan was cast into a supporting role with a new cause. a champion of stem cell research, an effort that went against the party of reagan. >> i just don't think they understand that it's -- it's not taking a life, it's trying to save countless lives. >> all right. thank you for that report, peter. now to the race for the white house where the republican contests are getting a lot more interesting today with one day to go now before more states cast their ballots. ted cruz is closing the delegate gap with donald trump and could
be squeezing marco rubio out of the picture all together. cruz picking up 70 delegates over the weekend compared to trump's 61. saturday night was certainly a great night for ted cruz, it was a shaky one, though, for the front runner. ted cruz scoring a pair of blow out victories, one in maine, one in kansas, defeating trump by double digits in both states. on the other hand, trump's wins were much closer, it was a narrow victory for him in kentucky where they held caucuses on saturday and in louisiana, the biggest state on the board. >> we have a dynamic party and as a party we should come together and stop this foolishness. >> if you want to beat donald trump we have to stand united as one. >> i can unite this party. with all due respect to everyone else still in the race they cannot unite this party. >> marco rubio had a very, very bad night and personally i'd call for him to drop out of the race. >> you have not had a pattern of winning state after state and i
would encourage every candidate to prayer flee consider coming together. >> hillary clinton does not want to run against me but i can't wait to run against her. >> he has not been able to win and i think it's time that he drops out. >> saturday night was also an absolute disaster for marco rubio, finishing a distant third or even fourth in all four contests, also missing several critical delegate thresholds. there was, however, a bit of good news for rubio over the weekend. yesterday in the puerto rico primary with 23 delegates on the line he did absolutely run up the score on his competition posting a victory there, taking all three delegates from puerto rico. we're joined by jacob rascon, he's following donald trump on the trail in north carolina, gabe gutierrez is with the rubio campaign in florida. jacob, we'll start with you. so donald trump he gets the two wins, it could have been a little bit worse for him in fact on saturday, he does get the two wins and he is now calling for
marco rubio to get out of the race. what's the mood around the trump campaign this morning? >> three times during his victory speak he called for marco rubio to get out of the race. he's still ahead in every state out with a poll in most cases by double digits, for example, in am i where we have a new poll out they're voting tomorrow he's way ahead in the polls and he has yet to lose a primary where he was ahead in the polls, but as you mentioned the trump campaign may have reason to worry because as you pointed out in louisiana it was so close in the end and yet he was ahead by double digits in the polls previously. he talked a lot about florida had his victory speech, he is spending a lot of time there, he's putting money into that area. of course, ted cruz is as well. here is what he said during his victory speech about florida. >> they say if i win florida it will be, you know, pretty much over, but we'll see what happens. i have a nice lead now, but, again, you know, there are
corrupt people, they are spending $100 million on ads and the money is all begin as you know by special interests because they want something, whether it's oil and gas or any one of a number of things. >> reporter: another note on the polls and how trump did eventually, he lost in five states where he was ahead in the polls but those were all caucus states. now, with the exception of maine there wasn't really polling there as you know, but the governor there had supported trump. one note on the voters here, i've been to about a dozen rallies and talked to maybe a hundred or more people and they all express this same thing, that if donald trump were to be the front runner eventually moving forward and the republican leaders would not give him the nomination, these voters almost all of them tell me the same thing, they would not vote for anybody else. they would be extremely angry. so very interesting to see what's going to happen if trump ends up not getting the
delegates that he needs. steve. >> all right. jacob rascon in north carolina. they will be voting on march 15th there. thank you for that. we will turn to gabe gutierrez covering marco rubio. so, gabe, rubio does get a win in puerto rico on sunday, but, look, this is a story we've seen before. he was expecting more out of this weekend than he got and meanwhile ted cruz certainly overachieved this weekend. there a risk here now for marco rubio of being squeezed out of this race a little bit? >> it was a very big chance for him to be squeezed out of this race. ted cruz saying he's putting more resources into florida hoping to squeeze out marco rubio. donald trump calling on marco rubio to get out of the race. the question will be now can marco rubio somehow turn this around in his home state, a state that has campaign says it will win on march 15th? it is absolutely crucial for the rubio campaign right now. look, this is not where the rubio campaign wanted to be. they have been trying to set
expectations swchs they can and do say they are still trying to pick up delegates, they were able to pick up 23 yesterday in puerto rico, but still it was a difficult weekend, difficult night on saturday night to see ted cruz pick up those two key victories and now cruz making the argument that this is a two-man race with him and donald trump. still the marco rubio campaign as they often do is trying to put the best face on t he was in idaho campaigning yesterday and this is what he had to say about his puerto rico victory. >> the island of puerto rico i won 70% of the vote. i won that primary and the 23 delegates. [ applause ] >> in an open primary where anyone can vote, not just reaps, democrats and independents, i got over 70% of the vote. >> reporter: still many critics of his campaign are wondering if it is already doomed. here is the thing in florida. more than half a million republicans have already voted either early or absentee here so
it might be very tough to overcome this deficit. as you mentioned donald trump up double digits in that quinnipiac poll, the rubio campaign discounting that poll, say they have polling showing this is a tighter race. marco rubio hoping later in this week, perhaps the debate may give him momentum going into florida but it's going to be an uphill climb. we are in the i-4 corridor, he plans to campaign here in tampa and orlando later today. the conventional wisdom is that donald trump will have a strong showing in the panhandle, rubio might have a strong showing in south florida. what will be the deciding factor is here in central florida. steve. >> gabe gutierrez in florida with the rubio campaign. thanks for that. ted cruz this weekend not only picking up momentum with those double digit wins in kansas and maine, but also a surprisingly close second finish in louisiana. there's a reason we say surprisingly because we broke down the louisiana results by
those who voted early, those who had cast their ballots before the primary on saturday and those who actually showed up and voted on saturday and we found a major difference here. take a look at this. donald trump winning the early vote in the state by an almost two to one margin over ted cruz. when you saw polls before louisiana showing trump far ahead that's what was happening, people voting early were voting overwhelmingly for donald trump but when primary day actually came around on saturday ted cruz got more votes on primary day than donald trump and that's why it was a surprisingly close result in louisiana. a lot of people today are talking about that big difference and saying did something change? does that show that something changed in this election in the final days before louisiana that will have big implications going forward. to discuss it let's bring in susan page the washington bureau chief for "usa today." some people say, well, look, it just means that donald trump's
voters are more committed, they have a chance to vote early, they vote early, not don't read too much into this but other people say if nothing else marco rubio falling off so much from the early vote to what we actually had saturday could suggest that maybe that anti-trump vote is coalescing around cruz and not rubio. what do you think? >> steve, i think that's a smart point because if you look at the numbers that you have, cruz was drawing for smor from people who we thought were going to go with rubio than those who were going to go with trump. it may be a sign that the establishment attacks, especially that mitt romney speech that launched a series of those critical attacks by the mainstream republicans against trump are having an effect. the republican establishment has generally when they've made endorsements endorsed rubio over cruz but they may be facing a day of reckoning where if they want to stop trump they need to get behind cruz. >> that's interest, too. the fact that we saw after super tuesday the last couple weeks basically as you say there is this almost flood of endorsements for marco rubio and we're sort of trained in
politics to say, follow where the endorsements go, if you want to know who is winning look where all the endorsements are going. it looks like it backfired on marco rubio. >> it may have backfired. i think more likely it just didn't have much effect. i think in this day and age, especially in this political climate endorsements by office holders seem to not carry much weight. maybe it helped him a bit to finish a bit better than he would have in south carolina, for instance, with nikki haley's endorsement. it's not enough to put you over the finish line. we see ted cruz benefiting from the organization he has created in these states. ted cruz has the most sophisticated organization in states of any of the republican candidates. donald trump may have the weakest. you know, he has been pretty slow to get organized in traditional ways in states. we may be seeing the effect of that as well. >> you mentioned the idea of a day of reckoning for the establishment where they're left to decide do we let trump have this thing or get behind cruz as the only vehicle who can stop
him. it looks like ted cruz is trying to push rubio out of this race, trying to get that one-on-one with trump and i think then the strategy it looks like would be deny trump the first ballot majority and hope that you can use those rubio and kasich leftover delegates to leapfrog them. does that sound like a plausible scenario to you? >> i'm not sure it's plausible but i think that is the scenario. i think that the nontrump forces, nontrump candidates behind it very difficult to see a path to where they arrive at the convention with a majority of convention delegates. their best hope is to deny that status to donald trump. i'm not sure it serves cruz's purposes for rubio to get out before florida if he could beat cruz there, if he couldn't beat cruz there, yes, he would want rubio to get out. if trump wins in florida and ohio i think this is over. i think it would be impossible for the republicans to deny him the nomination. their hope, have kasich defeat him in ohio, have rubio come on stronger and defeat him in florida and then there's really a path to what we all hope we
can cover, right, a contested convention. >> one of these years, susan. one of these years we will get to go to one of these conventions and it will be more thannen infomercial. that's every reporter's dream. >> susan page with "usa today." thank you fou joining us. welch more on the 2016 campaign coming up including how the race stands now for the democrats. they had a bunch of contests over the weekend, they also had a big debate last night, some fireworks there. we will cover the morning after on the democratic side. but after the break much more on the life of former first lady nancy reagan. i'm going to talk with presidential historian michael besh laws and andrea mitchell. that's next. . >> you can't be pessimistic about anything. you always have to be optimistic that you can -- that you can solve something. anything in life.
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she loved her husband. she loved her country and she's always been fair and decent and i won't forget that. >> she was an incredible lady. she was very strong and a total class act. >> she will join him now in heaven and this love affair between the two of them will start all over again. tributes from the 2016 campaign trail for former first lady nancy reagan who passed away yesterday at the age of 94. funeral services are going to be held later this week. we're joined now by nbc's andrea mitchell, she covered the reagan white house and nbc news presidential historian michael beschloss. >> andrea, i think a lot of people look back at the role of first ladies, they think of hillary clinton, she had a formal policy setting role in the bill clinton administration,
but unofficially nancy reagan every bit as influential in reagan years. >> she had a different kind of power. her power was that she was the chief protector of the president, ronald reagan, she was his eyes and ears, his political and ten my. he was so jean y'all and he got along with everyone and he didn't see people who might have ulterior motives or might be out for themselves. she spotted it right away. she had that radar for anyone who didn't have right hand's best interests at heart. in particular the campaign staff and white house staff she spotted those people and made sure that they were either moved aside or eventually moved out as donald regan was the first of staff who was fired precipitously. she really protected his best interests but most importantly after the assassination attempt which was only three months into their tenure in the white house she was every day from then on fearful that something would happen to him and she was
zealous about guarding his schedule, making sure that he rested enough, that he recuperated pause he was, in fact, more grieve yusly injured in that assassination attempt than any of us knew at the time. he almost died. she wanted to make sure that he regained his strength and that he was protected in all kinds of ways from then on. >> michael, if you talk about her public role in the 1980s, i sort of grew up in the 1980s so, i mean, just say no, dare, this was a part of our education growing up, but that was sort of her signature cause as first lady. >> sure. yeah, that's right. and, you know, the other thing is that, you know, she was seen as the first lady of what was at that time considered to be a very conservative president, but, you know, while she wanted to protect him and help him, you know, andrea and i have talked about this, she wasn't that fascinated by policy or especially ideological. you know, in 1984 she was the one who went to her husband and said, you know, this policy of
being very tough on the soviet union during your first term, challenging them, you know, trying to compete with them and show them that they couldn't win the cold war, it's now causing problems because our polling numbers are showing that that might be a danger to your reelection. that's the reason why she went to him and said, you know, meet with the soviet foreign minister, which hadn't happened for four years and try to show that you're equally committed to peace. you know, a lot of what she did was political, but it wasn't ideological or really polly driven. >> andrea, take us back to the start of the regan presidency. this is a couple, a hollywood couple by way of sacramento that makes its way into washington, d.c. there was controversy in the early days over redecorating the white house. the reagan adjustment to washington. what was that like? >> well, it was fascinating because of course only two years in a terrible recession hit and here they brought the flamer, the luxury, designer gowns,
controversy over buying white house china. so she was roundly criticized for that and for being elitist and not just hollywood, but just too glamorous. at the time it hurt them but she famously appeared at a show, a skit, journalists and power breakers -- power brokers i should say and people from the hill and all of these people seeing her dressed as a char woman and singing secondhand clothes to the tune of secondhand rose from funny girl. after that she began to regain some -- you know, some grudging respect in washington. then with her just say no campaign that substantively got her into the realm of public service more than just being part of the glitzy scene. but i think it was also seeing her devotion to her husband after the assassination attempt and then gradually he went
through cancer, she had breast cancer, they had their ups and downs in the white house and she weathered all of those storms and most famously the iran-contra mess, a huge scandal that at one point threatened to take down the presidency in the second term and she basically cleaned house, got rid of don regan. brought in the highly respected majority leader from the senate as the with you white house chief of staff effectively ending any of his presidential ambitions which he well knew when he took that assignment and that really made a big change and forcing the president to acknowledge mistakes, to have a high level commission, the tower commission, to examine what had gone wrong and that of course led to a joint meeting, congressional committee, investigative committee and star chamber hearings, it was quite a big business but he recalibrated and she had a lot to do with that. >> i do want to share here we
have this clip, andrea, your colleague at nbc news had shared a story of encountering nancy reagan at a state dinner after he had done a story she wasn't quite happy with. >> so i got to her and i said, nancy, back to square one. she laughed. this was the moment. in which she said to me, tom, back to square one. this picture arrived the next day in my office autographed by her. tom, back to square one. that's how good she was, how nimble she was and how political she could be. >> a very politically savvy first lady. >> absolutely. >> andrea mitchell and michael beschloss, thank you both for the time. coming up, we turn back to the race for the white house, just one day until the voters go to the polls in four more states including the big one in michigan. hillary clinton and bernie sanders clark in that state in their final debate before the big michigan primary. a live update next.
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state's republican governor, rick snyder. >> i believe the governor of this state should understand that his dereliction of duty was irresponsible, he should resign. >> i agree. the governor should resign or be recalled. >> and the new nbc news "wall street journal" marist poll shows clinton still comfortably ahead in michigan, a 17-point lead, 57 to 40, again, with just a day to go in that critical contest. let's go live to flint and kristen welker. we played before the break there were some tense moments as usual in this debate. i guess the question is was bernie sanders playing from behind out there? were there any moments that could shake up that race in the last minute here? >> reporter: i think there is one moment potentially, steve, it's one of the most contentious moments of the entire night, senator sanders took aim at secretary clinton for supporting past trade deals which a lot of folks here in michigan blame for
costing jobs. he thought he had the upper hand on that argument but she was ready, she fired back essentially accusing him of opposing the auto bailout which as you know saved millions of jobs throughout the midwest. that is something that resonates with voters here. take a look at this exchange. >> we're going to stop this kind of job exporting and we're going to start importing and growing jobs again in our country. >> i am very glad, anderson, that secretary clinton has discovered religion on this issue. but it's a little bit too late. secretary clinton supported virtually every one of these disastrous trade agreements. >> we just had the best year that the auto industry has had a long time. i voted to save the auto industry. he voted against the money that ended up saving the auto industry. >> your story is fore boegd for
every sis ast trous trade agreement and voting for corporate america. >> so will this sway any undecided voters or make any sanders supporters change their minds? that's the big question. we will have to wait and see. a big day of campaigning here in michigan. this is a critical state for senator sanders. right now secretary clinton has a big lead in the delegate math chlgt he needs to win a state like michigan not only to try to catch up mathematically but also to prove that he can win in a larger more diverse state and this is the type of state that he should win because it has a large working class population that should take to his message about economic equality. so the stakes could not be higher heading into tomorrow's primary. steve. >> that's right. no, kristen, he needs a marquis win. that would be a nice one for him. kristen welker in flint. thanks for that. and the democrats sparring with each other in that debate last night, but the republicans weren't too far from their minds, either. >> you know, we are if elected president going to invest a lot of money into mental health and
when you watch these republican debates you know why we need to invest in mental health. >> and dan balls is the chief political correspondent for "the washington post." let me ask you about the state of the republican rate after this saturday. some people saying ted cruz overachieved, performed better than expected, donald trump did okay on saturday and marco rubio had a really bad day on saturday. does that signal to you that at least potentially the nontrump wing of the republican party may be coalescing around ted cruz right now and abandoning marco rubio? >> no question that marco rubio had a bad weekend, though he did win puerto rico on sunday, quite handily, but in all other ways he had a tough weekend. i'm reluctant to say at this point that the nontrump wing is coalescing around ted cruz, it may just simply be that ted cruz
has found a series of states where he is able to do well. i think as we go forward tomorrow in michigan and mississippi we will see what cruz's ability is to win in some of these northern states or to do extremely well. trump seems to have a healthy lead in am i. that's an important development. we will go to march 15th with florida and ohio and what happens to rubio in florida and john kasich in ohio. i think there's a number of steps that we have to go through yet before we have a really clear sense of what this race finally looks like. >> although we do see the news that ted cruz is playing pretty aggressively in florida in marco rubio's home state and the super pac backing cruz, also going after rubio there. i guess it raises the possibility that does ted cruz do enough damage to marco rubio that he keeps rubio from -- does ted cruz base dlee assist donald trump in florida by taking shots at marco rubio there? >> well, i think ted cruz is trying to help himself and i think that the cruz people always have thought that if they
could isolate donald trump they can beat him. that they have the wherewithal and the support that they can take him out. they think they are the only candidate that can go one-on-one with trump and win. you know, i'm sure that some of the other folks feel the same way, but they have had this sense for quite a while. it's not surprising, i think they sensed that rubio is weaker right now than he appeared to be a few weeks ago, i think we are they're going in to try to play wherever they can to emerge as the single alternative to donald trump. >> you had a column over the weekend with the head line, how the republican party created donald trump. what do you mean by that? >> well, we've been trying to figure out or understand as much as we can about the trump constituency and one element that we know is that though he has support across the board in the republican party his strongest support is with blue collar workers, with workers without a college degree. that is a group of voters that
has part of the republican coalition for some time and yet in many ways has not gotten much out of that bargain and trump has tapped into that. the other aspect about that is the degree to which the republican party has in a sense encouraged obstructionism, encouraged some of the dislike and opposition to president obama and in a sense have set off some of the forces that trump is now taking advantage of. >> all right. dan balz with the pennsylvania post. thanks. >> thank you. up next, is the rate for the republican nomination coming down to trump versus cruz? we will talk strategy for donald trump as he moves forward with one of the few members of congress who has endorsed him. r favorite tul® brand pen, do you sign invoices like they're autographs? then you might be gearcentric. right now, buy two get one free on all pens, pencils, and markers! office depot officemax. gear up for great®.
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out of the race. says he is looking forward to facing ted cruz one-on-one going forward. i want to bring in congressman tom marino from pennsylvania, he is the fifth member of congress to formally endorse donald trump. thanks for joining us. let me start with this. >> my pleasure. >> there is a little bit of a delay here bear with us. i will read it to you, i think you saw it earlier, though, there was this big difference on saturday in louisiana between the votes that had been cast in early voting, that had taken place a week or two before the primary and then the actual primary day votes. you see donald trump absolutely cleaned up in the early vote and then i primary day ted cruz actually got more votes than donald trump. trump winning the state because of that early vote, but people voting just this saturday went for ted cruz. i wonder what you make of that dispari disparity. >> i think that there are a
number of people that go to the polls and they are just not certain what they are going to do before they get to the polls. several things go through their mind, particularly romney came out with his speech and things like that have an impact that overall i think the numbers are ther there. i'm sure that trump is going to win the primaries, it's not a slam dunk at this point, but we will know if someone drops out of this, particularly rubio, when florida has their primary. >> so it sounds like you think maybe mitt romney coming out and saying what he said about donald trump did move votes at the last minute in louisiana. >> i think it could have had an impact. i'm disappointed in what mr. romney said. obviously there is no loyalty there. and he apparently doesn't believe in ronald reagan's 11th
commandment that you should vote for the republican. romney is just an example of the insiders, the establishment, trying to steal this primary and people are not going to put up with this at this point. i hear it constantly in my district across the state of pennsylvania, hard working taxpayers, blue collar workers, people all across the spectrum, republicans, democrats and independents saying trump saying what we are feeling and he's going to make a change. this man has created thousands and thousands of jobs and you and i had discussion before, but how has it been going over the last 40 or 50 years with vice presidents and governors and senators and career politicians becoming president? it hasn't been going well. $19 trillion in debt and over $15 million people out of work. >> you mentioned, too, the appeal there -- the appeal to independents and democrats potentially for donald trump. i did want to ask you about that
as well because this is a criticism your candidate's campaign gets from his fellow republicans which is these states that are closed primary or closed caucus states meaning you have to be a registered republican to compete they say he's doing a lot worse in those states, like saturday kansas a closed state, maine is closed state, even louisiana where he won but it was a closed said. they say when it's just republicans making the decision donald trump is not doing so well. >> yeah, but you're going to see more and more people register to vote. if you think the numbers were large before romney gave his speech, the numbers are now going to explode because that is driving american voters to let the republican establishment know you are not calling the shots anymore. it hasn't worked and we, the people, are going to make the decision who our candidate is
and who is going to be president. and it just -- it just makes me sick to hear romney say, well, i cannot vote for trump. well, maybe the reason romney can't vote for trump is -- and he could vote for hillary clinton is he doesn't -- he was a hedge fund manager, he probably still is to a certain degree and the hedge fund managers they don't like what trump is going to do as far as making them responsible for paying their share of the tax. maybe romney is just sort of protecting his own turf. >> all right. congressman tom marino from pennsylvania, a donald trump supporter. thanks for the time. we appreciate it. there is also some breaking news this morning out of the supreme court in a case over the rights of same-sex couples in adoption cases. nbc justice correspondent pete williams is there live. pete, what is happening? >> reporter: well, this is an unsigned opinion by the court, meaning it's -- it may not -- may or may not be unanimous,
there is no break down of the justices. this involved two women who lived together in alabama, they wanted to jointly adopt their children. so one of them went to georgia, rented a house and got a court order from georgia saying that both parents had legal custody, they had joint custody. eventually the women who lived in alabama broke up, one sought custody, the other challenged it and the alabama supreme court said, we are not going to honor that court ruling in georgia. so the question was the constitution's requirement that every state has to give what's called full faith and credit to the judgments of another state. the alabama supreme court said we don't have to honor the georgia ruling because it didn't have jurisdiction to do that and if that had been the rule, gay rights organizations argued that that would undercut the ability of gay couples to do adoptions, but today in this unsigned order the supreme court said, no, the alabama court got it wrong, you have to respect the ruling in georgia. so it is a victory for gay
rights advocates even though it involved two couples to eventually split up. >> all right. nbc's pete williams in washington. thanks for that. and coming up former democratic presidential candidate howard dean is going to join us, but first donald trump's news conference on super tuesday last week prompted a lot of talk thanks in large part to that somewhat awkward appearance by former candidate chris christie who was standing behind him while donald trump conducted the press conference. you knew it was only a matter of time before "saturday night live" would give its spin on that moment. here is what they came up with. >> i mean, everyone loves me, racists, ugly racists, people who didn't even know they were racist, people whose eyes are like this. as i was saying, everyone loves me. i even got this fat piece of crap behind me now. isn't that right, chris? >> yes, sir. thank you sir. please, sir, may i have another?
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all of the presidential candidates this cycle are relying heavily on social media and the internet to reach out to voters. if udon't believe me, check out donald trump's instagram feed. hard to imagine a time when online presence wasn't a basic and fundamental part of every campaign for every office at every level of the ballot. but the first person who really truly harnessed the power of the internet and its potential to reach out to younger voters was my next guest. howard dean took a long chance when he built his 2004 campaign on the internet. he ended up transforming american politic s in the process. today, we're kicking off a week long series, the seven days of genius. this is a series of conversations with thought leaders focused on the transformative power of genius to change the world for the better. the former vermont governor
howard dean joins me now. governor dean, i'm sure you love being the first guest in our segment about genius. let me ask you to go back, though, to your 2004 campaign. really to the summer of 2003, because i can remember this well. i think it's one of these things now we take the internet for granted. what your campaign was doing in the summer of 2003 with meet-ups, with organizing, with connecting people online, took you from entering that race in absolute obscurity to being the national front-runner in the course of a few months. tell us what was involved in that. >> well, the only genius i have is trusting a whole lot of 23-year-olds who worked for us. you know, i still don't know that much about the internet. i'm not that good at it. we had a huge influx of 23-year-olds and 20-year-olds into the campaign because of the position i took on the iraq war. and they built all this stuff. there was no twitter, no instagram, no facebook. they just built this from basically from e-mails. it was an extraordinary
achievement. but the only credit i get is inspiring a bunch of people to come to work for us for free who built all this themselves. it was incredible. >> there's also a real legacy, too. i think obviously your campaign didn't quite work out in 2004, but a lot of people say what you showed was possible in 2004. in terms of online organizing, created a model that barack obama and his team perfected four years later. >> that's true. but i think obama's people should get credit for what we didn't have, which was an incredible discipline. the internet is great, and it's a great outreach tool, but it's not a substitute for personal contact. i think what the obama folks did was to understand that the internet was an organizing tool, but it was not a substitute for personal contact. and they did revolutionize politics. we showed the way, i suppose, and many of the young people that organized my campaign, joe rospars, nick o'malley, people like that, ended up working for
obama. and so it's not a coincidence, but i think that the obama campaign had something else that we did not have, which was discipline. they also honestly had a better candidate. i was pretty free form, and unfortunately, you can't get away with that when you're running for president. >> i'm curious, too, where you think this is all going. one of the most surprising things to me about the 2016 campaign has been we thought television advertising, who had the most money for television advertising, whose super pac had the most money for television advertising would be determinative in the race, yet you look at it, and donald trump, the front-runner, hasn't spent much on television advertising, neither, by the way, has ted cruz, who is in second place here. are we entering a phase where the internet is basically supplanting traditional television advertising as the way you get voters connected to a campaign? >> there's a simple one-word answer, and the answer is yes. most people in the country are not going to be watching television in another 15 years. we just bought a new tv last
year. and we had to get the kind you can hook up to a computer because that's what everybody is going to be doing. they already are doing that. we watched the debate last night on a computer. so this is -- i mean, the technology is moving so very, very fast. television advertising is still important, because people don't really believe you're a real candidate unless you can be on television. but for the most part, that is not where the dollar should be spent. it's still where the dollars are spent because the cult nlts make so much money out of television advertising, but it's not a smart investment. you have to do some, but you shouldn't make that dominate your campaign. >> a cautionary tail for many candidates betting on the big bucks on the airwaves. howard dean, thanks for the time today. we appreciate it. >> thanks, steve. >> all week long, msnbc is talking genius together with the 92nd street y. we want to know who you think is
the ultimate genius. choose your pick from 32 people and categories. check out msnbc.com/genius to cast your vote. that's going to wrap up this hour here on msnbc. i'm steve kornacki. i'm going to see you right back here at 5:00 p.m. eastern today. for mtp daily. up next, we head to florida. eight days from the critical vote in the sunshine state. jose diaz-balart is live from garcia seafood grill in miami. that looks like a pretty good spot. this is msnbc, the place for politics. woman: it's been a journey to get where i am. and i didn't get here alone. there were people who listened along the way. people who gave me options. kept me on track. and through it all, my retirement never got left behind. so today, i'm prepared for anything we may want tomorrow to be. every someday needs a plan.
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seafood grille. this is a family-owned extraordinary restaurant right here on the miami river. owned by the garcia family. they have been here since they wir exiled in the 1960s from cuba. you'll find a lot of political conversation at these tables day in and day out. we're going to be talking a lot more about florida politics in just a little bit. i want to go now with erica hill with more on the death of nancy reagan. >> good morning to you. funeral services for the former first lady will be held later this week. nancy reagan, of course, died alt her home in california on sunday. she was 94. the flag above the u.s. capitol is flying at half staff on the orders of paul ryan. and this nation mourning the loss of one of the most influential first ladies in history. we want to take you to the reagan presidential library in simi valley, california, where joe fryer is this morning. as i understand it, the tributes
there continue to pour in. >> yeah, that's right, erica. this morning, a lot of the tributes pouring in online because it's been pouring outside here in simi valley. thankfully, we're inside right in front of the air force one pavilion here at the reagan presidential library. but still, yesterday, when news was learned that nancy reagan had died, a number of mourners came here bringing flags and flowers. the library is closed to the public, and will be closed throughout the week until the funeral happens. but we're told there will be some sort of event for the public to help them pay their respects. also expecting a little later today to learn details of the funeral arrangements, when the funeral is going to happen. we know it will be here at the library. and that she will also be buried here at her husband's side. it is an incredible love story, as we have been talking about for the past couple days. and this morning on the "today" show, while pespeaking with mat lauer, ron reagan jr. talked about the love story. >> nancy reagan was a woman who
was totally dedicated to her husband. and i know that that sounds, you know, anti-feminist, but i don't really mean it in that way. she loved her husband. more than anything in the world. and i think that you can make the case that the ronald reagan that we all came to know as president would not have existed without nancy reagan. >> nancy reagan was deeply involved here at the reagan library. up until the very end, people here say she was a boss. she was like a mentor. in fact, there is an exhibition that was slated to open yesterday about the vatican and she play eed a key role in bringing that exhibition here, even reaching out to the pope and the vatican to help make that happen. she's deeply missed by everyone who worked here. they say she treated everyone with respect, whether it was the person who worked the elevator or someone who was on the board of the foundation. erica. >> joe fryer for us this morning.
thank you. nbc's andrea mitchell covered the reagan white house in the '80s. she has more on the life and legacy of a pioneering first lady. >> she always dreamed of being an actress and in a way, she became one on a world stage. born in 1921 in new york city, nancy davis making her way to hollywood, landing small roles in films for mgm. it was there that she met ronald reagan. the chemistry was instantaneous. they married in 1952. appearing in 11 films, the young actress starred alongside her husband in 1957's "hellcats of the navy." >> i began to think you were playing the south seas circuit. >> you knee better? >> how did i know? >> soon, she shifted her focus, devoting her life to him and his budding political career. her influence quickly extending beyond the home and into politics. >> thank you very much. >> becoming first lady of california in 1966.
and then of the nation in 1981. at first, she was criticized for wearing designer gowns during a recession. then lauded for her anti-drug just say no campaign. >> when it comes to drugs and alcohol, just say no. >> but it was the 1981 assassination attempt that nearly took his life that overshadowed his entire presidency. nancy reagan became fiercely protective, even consulting an astrologer at times before scheduling his trips. an embarrassment exposed by a tell-all by his embittered chief of staff who had been fired largely at her behest after the iran contra scandal. >> she was ronald reagan's closest adviser. she was also among other things his constant protector. >> during her eight years as first lady, nancy reagan changed world history, encouraging her husband to negotiate with what he had called the evil empire, the soviet union. and its new leader, mikhail
gorbachev. >> he knew he could do a deal with gorbachev. he just needed to be allowed to do it. and she ran that interference for him. >> after leaving the white house, nancy reagan became an advocate for stem cell research for alzheimer's after the ex-president wrote a heartbreaking letter to the nation disclosing he was suffering from the disease. >> he made the decision to write his letter to the american people and the people responded. >> his care giver until his death in 2004, she remained devoted to him for all her days. carrying the torch for both her husband's legacy and her own. >> and again, that was andrea mitchell reporting. we will have more on nancy reagan's place in history as one of the most influential first ladies later in the hour. for now, let's send it back to jose in miami. jose. >> erica, thank you very much. i remember covering the reagan white house. she really was an
extraordinarily close tie with the president all the time. you know, back here in florida, we're less than 24 hours away from the next slate of presidential contests. the most consequential on the republican side, where ted cruz has narrowed donald trump's delegate lead and trailed by less than 100. cruz and trump both picked up big wins on saturday, splitting maine, kansas, kentucky, and louisiana. marco rubio on the other hand had a pretty bad showing, coming in no better than third in those races. he did, however, manage to bounce back by picking up a resounding win in the puerto rico win last week. despite all that, he's facing increasing calls to bail out of the race. >> he comes in third, he comes in fourth. every time he comes in third or fourth, he says, you have to be able to win. and he has not been able to win. i think it's time he drops out. >> if the republican field remains divided, that benefits donald trump. >> i would love to take on ted one-on-one.
that would be so much fun, because ted can't win new york. he can't win new jersey, can't win pennsylvania. he can't win california. >> if donald is our nominee, and all likelihood, we lose to hillary clinton. we lose the u.s. senate. we lose the supreme court. for a generation. >> and we've got it all covered for you this morning. jacob rascon is following donald trump in north carolina. gabe gutierrez in florida where marco rubio is campaigning today. let me start with you, jacob, in concord, north carolina. jacob, let's talk a little bit about what exactly trump and his campaign's expectations are going into tomorrow. >> so tomorrow, the big prize is michigan. our latest poll has him ahead by almost 20 points. so the campaign will be confident there. he's also ahead in mississippi, expected to win idaho, and not much polling in the hawaii caucus. a couple notes about the polls. we have donald trump has lost five caucus states. he was expected to win them. so there's that note. the other note is that he has
yet to lose a primary where he was ahead in the polls. but last weekend, we saw him barely win louisiana. when he was ahead by double digits. so despite donald trump winning the overwhelming majority of states, his delegate lead is not that substantial. it's in fact less than 100, as you pointed out. he was asked recently about the gop's efforts to take away the nomination from him, even if he is still the front-runner going into the convention. here's what he said. >> what do you make of the effort to try and take the nomination away from you? maybe even by going to the convention? >> i'm very surprised by it and very surprised to hear about a third party because i'm going to appoint conservative judges. and a third party would mean that hillary would win or whoever's going to be running. it's really playing with fire. >> they say they can't be in a party with you as the head of it. >> i don't understand that. i get along with people. i'm a unifier. very much a unifier. maybe people don't see that, but
they will see that. >> as you mentioned, he's very focused on florida. he called on marco rubio to get out. he mentioned it three times in the victory speech last saturday and he's ahead by a lot in florida. another note there, ted cruz has been spending money. he's been opening campaign offices. ted cruz, it seems, also wants marco rubio to get out of the race. jose. >> jacob rascon, thank you very much. i want to go to gabe gutierrez in tampa, florida, where marco rubio will be holding a rally this evening. they're putting all their focus on florida. any evidence it's paying off for the rubio people. >> good morning. it's really hard to tell. not much polling in florida since that quinnipiac poll a few days ago that had marco rubio down by double digits, down by 16 points. his campaign is discounting that poll. they point to other polling that shows marco rubio within single dimgts here. this is a tough spot for the
rubio campaign. they're facing increased calls to get out of the race, a disappointing showing on super saturday. they picked up 23 delegates yesterday in puerto rico, but that's hardly the cornerstone of any winning presidential campaign. he wept to idaho yesterday ahead of tomorrow's primary there. and here's what he told voters in idaho. take a listen. >> it's crunch time now. i need your help. i need to win here. and i need your votes to do that. i don't just need your vote. i need you to find other people to vote for me. because i'm telling you, if we nominate the wrong person, god bless them, i like everybody who is running, i like everybody who is running. but some more than others, right. this is not about that anymore. put all that aside. i'm done with all that. i want to win. >> he called this crunch time. that's really an understatement. looking ahead to the florida
primary on march 15th, this is marco rubio's home state, where he's staking his entire campaign. later today, he'll be here in the tampa area as well as the orlando area. this i-4 corridor crucial to so many presidential campaigns. and this is where he hopes to make some inroads, if anything, donald trump is known -- or the conventional wisdom is donald trump will do well in northern florida, in the panhandle, marco rubio in south florida. the question is will any of the ads, the attack ads that these outside groups and pro-rubio super pacs are going to be running against donald trump, will that move the needle at all. will the debate on thursday in miami, will that make any difference? and a big variable as well, what happens with jeb bush's endorsement if that comes at all? depending on who you talk to, he could potentially endorse marco rubio. at this point, after his showing there and after the stinging primary battle that they had, will jeb bush weigh in on this at all? all these questions right now. the rubio campaign, of course, saying they will win florida,
and they hope that will give them the momeantm to continue on in this race, jose. >> gabe gutierrez, thank you so much. joining me are two people who know how critical their home state of florida is. congresswoman ileana ros lehtinen, and carlos. welcome to both of you. not a bad place to have the show, here at garcia seafood. >> we would welcome you, but this is your hometown. >> both of you endorsed marco rubio since jeb bush got out of the race. florida is clearly a make or break state for the senator. senator rubio. it doesn't seem that so far he's had a lot of traction. donald trump is leading by double digits in the last quinnipiac florida poll. what does rubio have to do to win the state, congresswoman? >> there have been many chapters in american politics about the comeback kid. marco has the youthful looks. i think it can apply to him. he's shown great leadership in other states where we thought maybe he was done, and then look at louisiana.
he came in a very strong showing there. he's going to show people that he's a man of principle. he's a man of intellect. and i think that he's going to -- florida is going to come through for him. >> congressman, you also, by the way, have beaten the odds at times in your political career. but this is a situation where all the polls seem to show that trump is 20 points plus over rubio. just a week and a day over the elections. can he do it? >> well, here's what we do know. that about two thirds of republican voters are rejecting donald trump. those voters are coming to the realization that here in florida, if they want to stop donald trump, they have a wonderful option in marco rubio. senator who has represented this state with integrity, done a great job in the u.s. senate. >> can he win? >> of course he can win. we saw that. >> how important is it that he win? >> is important. >> how? >> we saw in puerto rico what he can do with the hispanic vote. here in florida, we have a big hispanic republican population
that i think is going to turn out for marco rubio. does he need to win? yes, it's very important for him to win. now, this has been a very unique political season. >> yes, it has. >> unlike any other. to say people should stay in or get out, i think that's out of the question right now. >> so congresswoman, back in december, you told the hill you would back whoever the nominee is. so if the nominee is donald trump, will you be backing him? >> i feel very confident that the nominee is going to be anyone but donald trump. so that's a hypothetical that i don't have to look at as a donald trump possibility. >> let me rephrase that. let me rephrase the question. let's say it's not marco, let's say it's not someone else. will you back the republican nominee if the nominee is trump? >> it's one of those hypotheticals like would you kill baby hitler? i don't know why people were answering that question. it's not going to be trump. i won't have to face that choice. it's going to be marco, and he's going to be our nominee or someone else like that. not trump.
>> representative, you spoke to the hill in december, and had some harsh words about donald trump, saying, quote, he would have to start by apologizing to all the people he's offended, and for the mockery that he's made out of the presidential campaign. i take it you are a little bit more dogmatic about where you stand on trump. >> well, here's the thing. donald trump, to me, is not a true republican. he's not even a conservative. he's an opportunist. i don't feel like allowing someone like that to hijack our party, to destroy our message, so i said from the beginning, and i agree now with a lot of our leaders like mitt romney, like senator ben sass and other colleagues who say, look, this is someone who we cannot support. >> what is it about him and his campaign that you feel you can't support? >> for me, it's not a political decision. it's a moral decision. you hear the things trump is saying, you see the way he's behaving. asking people to pledge allegiance to him. this is just ugly stuff, unlike anything we have seen in this country. i have two little girls. i can't explain to them that i
would support someone like donald trump. i can't do it. i know a lot of my colleagues want to wait to see what happens. i agree. i don't think he's going to be our nominee, but yeah, i have been out there on the record. i stand by every statement i have made. >> congresswoman, this is an odd political year. why? why do you think it's been so turvy and crazy and unexpected? >> i think so many people from all walks of life think that becoming president is something that they were destined to do. they see president obama, who became president after just a little time in the u.s. senate, and they think, hey, i can run for president, too. they don't have the vision, they don't have the story line, but now everybody thinks they can be president. donald trump's record, i think, is going to show to the american public and the more they know about him, the more that they will reject that. >> so far, that hasn't been the case. >> but when you look at the early votes as opposed to the voting on that day, you see a
steep decline. >> got to go, very quickly, what happened to jeb bush? do you think he needs to step in and stand behind rubio before the primary? a quick yes or no. >> i don't think he's going to do it, but i hope he does. >> i know jeb and marco remain good friends. jeb is trying to understand or come to the conclusion as to what would be the best thing for him to do at this point for the party and the country. the bushes can always be counted on doing the best thing for the country. >>. >> welcome home. >> thank you so much. great being here. you know, you can't go to garcia seafood and not have their food. top of the line today. >> it is good. and their coffee, too. >> thank you so much. so much happening live this hour. coming up, the next big test. tomorrow's primary in michigan. governor john kasich is there now. holding a town hall. there you see it at a community college in monroe. senator bernie sanders also in the wolverine state to hold a rally in kalamazoo. and we expect to see former
president bill clinton campaigning for his wife in raleigh, north carolina. meanwhile, the auto bailout and the flint, michigan, water crisis were front and center in last night's democratic debate in flint. that crisis is still going on. can you believe it? what an outrage. the latest on that side of the race when we come back from garcia seafood on the miami river. the microsoft cloud allows us to access information from anywhere. the microsoft cloud allows us to scale up. microsoft cloud changes our world dramatically. it wasn't too long ago it would take two weeks to sequence and analyze a genome. now, we can do a hundred per day. with the microsoft cloud we don't have to build server rooms. we have instant scale. the microsoft cloud is helping us to re-build and re-interpret our business. this cloud helps transform business. this is the microsoft cloud. more of the old lady. i'd like to see her go back to her more you know
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you have to -- you know, the government is big. so when you want to balance the budget, you have to think big. you can't think small. you have to think big. so you just affect every program. and when you affect every program, you think you make people happy or do you think you get them upset? which do you think it is? upset, right? why do you think we don't -- why do you think we have a $19 trillion debt? >> that's ohio governor john kasich holding a town hall at a community college in monroe, michigan. welcome back here to miami. we are at garcia seafood grille on the miami river ahead of the florida primary next week. first, michigan is in focus with hillary clinton and bernie sanders campaigning there today ahead of tomorrow's primary. just a day after their fiery debate in flint. the two squared off on several key issues for michigan voters including trade and the auto industry. both agreed on one thing. the state's republican governor
is the blame for the flint water crisis. >> msnbc political correspondent kasie hunt is live in detroit. first want to start with nbc's kristen welker who joins us on the phone from flint. ladies, good morning. kristen, what are both sides saying this morning about last night's debate? >> you're breaking up just a little bit, but you're absolutely right. fiery debate last night. it comes as the polls show secretary clinton has a 17-point lead here. if you talk to the campaigns, they both think it's probably a lot closer. so that's why you see the candidates aggressively campaigning here. courting voters, working voters, african-american voters who are going to be critical to winning the state. that was the backdrop to last night's debate. one of the most contentious moments came when secretary clinton slammed senator sanders for opposing the auto bailout.
it's credited with saving a number of jobs. take a listen to that exchange. >> i voted to save the auto industry. he voted against the money that ended up saving the auto industry. i think that is a pretty big difference. >> well, if you are talking about the wall street bailout, where some of your friends destroyed this economy through -- >> you know -- >> excuse me, i'm talking. >> if you're going to talk, tell the whole story, senator sanders. >> let me tell my story. you tell yours. >> i will. >> your story is voting for every disastrous trade agreement and voting for corporate america. >> so, jose, senator sanders' tactic there was to invoke wall street again. the question is will that work? how are voters going to respond to that exchange? and i can tell you that that is what folks are talking about today. that tactic on the part of
secretary clinton allowed her to hug president obama, making the argument she stood by him oin the auto bailout. it's also interesting because it's a tactic president obama deployed in 2012 against mitt romney. it helped him to win states like ohio. will it work this time around? we'll have to wait and see. this is a critical state for senator sanders to stay competitive in the game. this is a larger, more diverse state. large population of working class voters and he really needs to be able to win it to move forward, jose. >> kasie, where are the candidates focusing their efforts today ahead of tomorrow's primary? >> hey, jose. they both have pretty full schedules. hillary clinton in grand rapids this morning, visiting a small business. bernie sanders in kalamazoo, then later in dearborn. he'll close out with a rally at the university of michigan. a place i cannot pretend to be unbiased about. go blue. but that's expected to be a pretty big event. one of his trademark rallies. the question, as kristen was alluding to, is whether or not
he can close the gap in michigan. now, our new nbc news/marist poll shows hillary clinton with 57% here and bernie sanders with 40%. but if you dig into the numbers a little bit, the numbers where you expand the democratic electorate show bernie sanders closing. and both campaigns are engaged in something of an expectation setting game. the clinton campaign doesn't want to be viewed as that far ahead because they know if it doesn't work out that way, it could be considered more of a loss for her, more of a win for bernie sanders. but the reality is there's a lot of pressure on him here. it's in some ways a potential last stand if he doesn't actually manage to post a good number. this is, of course, a state with a lot of those white working class voters that have come out for him in droves. it's also a northern state with a significant african-american population. there's some questions in the sanders campaign about whether that might work better for them, especially because so many people here were affected by the recession and do have negative
feelings about those trade deals. i will say, you could see on the stage that bernie sanders was taken aback by the auto bailout hit by hillary clinton last night. it wasn't something he was immediately prepared to answer for. he tied the auto industry, which is very much loved and appreciated here in michigan, into wall street. kind of an interesting and potentially difficult connection. his advisers were out in the spin room after, saying he voted for the stand-alone auto bailout. this isn't quite what it seems. it may have been a little too late, jose. >> kasie hunt and kristen welker, thank you so very much for being can me this morning. up next, we continue remembering the extraordinary life of nancy reagan. aplive look at the white house flag being lowered to half staff in her memory today. >> i have opinions. he has opinions. we don't always agree. but neither marriage nor politics denies a spouse the right to hold an opinion or the right to express it.
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helping you pursue it, is ours. t-i-a-a. i'm jose diaz-balart live in miami. we'll have much more from the 2016 campaign trail in a bit. for now, let's send it back to erica hill as we continue covering the passing of nancy reagan. >> jose, thank you. as i mentioned just before the break, we were seeing pictures there of the flag at the white house being lowered. we got word just moments ago that president obama has ordered the american flag to be flown at half staff at the white house, and at all federal buildings around the country in honor of nancy reagan. flags are also being lowered at u.s. embassies around the world. the flag is flying, as we showed you earlier, at half staff at the u.s. capitol building. as we continue to remember the first lady, i'm joined by larry and allen. good to have both of you with us. we heard from ron reagan jr.
speaking with matt lauer this morning on the "today" show. i want to play a little bit of that sound. >> i think that you can make the case that the ronald reagan that we all came to know as president would not have existed without nancy reagan. >> that's what we hear so much about, her enormous influence. allen, she took a little heat from that, though, at some points as well. >> absolutely. you know, the story of nancy reagan is absolutely fascinating one because it's one of overcoming real issues. you know, at first, she was seen as the symbol of 1980s greed and richness with her gowns, her jewels, her $200,000 set of china. but she overcame that, following ronald reagan's model of self-deprecating humor. going to the gridiron dinner of the great journalists dressed in a crazy salvation army outfit
and singing second hand rose, and she brought the audience down. then, of course, she came under great criticism when she was influential in engineering the resignation of don reagan, chief of staff, for ronald reagan. probably a good move, but he blasted her for consulting an astrologer on his schedule. and she overcame all of that through her incredible devotion to her husband during those difficult alzheimer's years, and through her support of embryonic stem cell research, going against republican and conservative orthodoxy. >> allen, you mentioned the devotion to her husband in the alzheimer's years. larry, i know there's been so much talk about this love story that nancy and ronald reagan shared, which you wrote about. that devotion started early on. talk to us a little bit about that personal side of their relationship, if you would, larry. >> well, in terms of overcoming,
she was a child of divorce. her mother was an actress. they got divorced. at a time when there were very, very few divorced in america. ronald reagan was a divorced man. his wife, actress jane wyman said he was a garrulous bore and didn't want to be around him. he suffered from that. he was a classic divorced man. he was not interested in getting married again. he started dating nancy. she became pregnant. and that's when he married her. out of that, this great love, overcoming that, this great love begins. it was the two of them together. they didn't need their children. they didn't need anyone else. she was totally devoted to him in a way that is totally gone from america these days. >> one of the things we're hearing more about, of course, all these little moments. as we look back to the attempt on the president's life very early on in his presidency, nancy reagan was asked about it a year later. let's listen to what she had to say. >> do you and the president talk about it ever? >> uh-uh.
>> doesn't mention it? >> uh-uh. >> do you think about it? >> oh, yes. oh, yes. every time he leaves the house. particularly to go on a trip, i think my heart stops until he gets back. >> larry, how did that moment impact their relationship moving forward? >> well, she was the guide. she was the person who dealt with the negative. he was this incredibly positive force, unlike anything in american politics before and after. when he was shot, it was nothing, the way he dealt with everything. and she had to deal with the negativity, the darkness of it. that was a mark of her courage that she could do this, and he could remain that incredibly positive force in the american politics and in american life, and one of the reasons he's so beloved. >> allen, how would you define
her role as first lady? in many ways, she really changed that position. >> absolutely. you know, some well known first ladies like eleanor roosevelt were known for their outward advocacy. she was a great voice for women and african-americans. nancy reagan operated fabulously behind the scenes. you know, not every president can be all things to all people. reagan was a great leader, but he wasn't all that great administratively. she was very important in making a personnel decisions within the presidency and within the presidential campaign. she also encouraged perhaps his greatest initiative, his negotiations with the soviet leader gorb shauv, that led to the critical intermediate nuclear forces treaty that took the horrible missiles out of europe and was a prelude to the end of the cold war. she also was very important in persuading him at the lowest point of his presidency after
the iran contra scandal, you know, the selling of weapons to a terrorist state of iran, funneling the money back to the contras. she was influential in persuading him to make the kind of half apologetic speech that many said saved his presidency and may have even stopped him from impeachment. she was a critical influence. i have to comment on something else larry talked about. the positive force of the reagans. you know, it's kind of in contrast to what you're seeing today among the republicans. reagan was a staunch conservative, but he was a smiling, not a snarling conservative. and he was able to work across the aisle. he was tough with his opponents, but he never resorted to petty personal insuts. and nancy reagan was the same elegant way. i think today's republicans could take a lesson from both of them. >> interesting you bring that up. katie couric was talking about that earlier, saying in a conversation she had with nancy
reagan ahead of the 2012 campaign, she was sort of lamenting what politics had become. we have to leave it there. thank you both for being with us this morning. jose, we'll send it back over to you now in miami. >> erica, thank you so very much. former president bill clinton is in raleigh, north carolina, campaigning for his wife. let's listen in. >> as all of you know from the speech i gave in charlotte in 2012, he's done a better job than he's gotten credit for, but here's the deal. so why is it such a wacky election? because millions and millions and millions and millions of people look at that pretty picture of america he painted and they cannot find themselves in it to save their lives. that explains everything. that explains a lot of the intensity in our party and what looks to the outside observer like a grade school playground fight in the other debates, in
the other party. people are upset, frankly. they're anxiety ridden, they're disoriented because they don't see themselves in that picture. hillary is running for president to put every single american in the picture president obama painted. >> bill clinton in raleigh, north carolina. coming up in less than 24 hours, polls open in michigan and mississippi. we're live in both states for a look at the issues driving voters at the polls. we're live in garcia's seafood grille in miami, on the miami river, where you can get medium, large, jumbo, or colossal stone grabs. colossal for all of you who aren't here, would be like huge. but in a very real term, a lot of meat on those things.
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will be making a stop in mississippi, which is one of the poorest states in our nation. according to the 2014 u.s. census. mississippi's poverty level is almost 7% higher than the rest of the nation. the average median income being less than $40,000. the center for american progress ranked mississippi last in the nation in terms of poverty rate. msnbc's cal perry is in mississippi where he's been talking to people about the primary election day tomorrow. cal, good morning. >> hey, jose. good morning. well, we were inspired by your seafood grill. these are oysters. over 1,000 pounds of oysters fresh off the docks. let me take you to the next boat and talk to you about the state of mississippi. this is a state that is very red. so red that it's maroon. and when you talk to people, all
the talk is about trump. among registered republicans when asked the question is the country headed in the right direction or the wrong direction, 89% of people polled said it's headed in the wrong direction. as we have been talking to people here all morning, most have been saying first i'm a republican. i'm trying to decide between cruz and trump. but especially here on the delta where jobs are so important, where regulation is so important, and where taxes are so important, because again, this is an industry and a service that is only a few days out of the year. it's each individual day becomes so important. each of these bags, the weight in each of these bags becomes so important to these fishermen that those issues of taxation, of jobs and of regulation become paramount, which gives you an idea why trump's message is getting so much traction not only here but in states like lose lose where we saw him win the primary. >> cal perry. as you see in the bottom of the screen, senator bernie sanders
is holding a rally in kalamazoo, michigan. >> -- to end these horrific mass killings in america. and i applaud -- i just met with some of the families, and i applaud those families who have used their shock and their grief not just to get the press but to get out and fight to make sure that other families do not have to experience the tragedies that they have experienced. and i thank the whole community here for coming together to support those families in their moment of need. thank you very much. our campaign is doing something very different than other
campaigns are doing. and that is, we are telling the truth about what's going on in america. and the truth is not always pleasant. you know, sometimes you don't want to really know what's going on because it's confusing and it's painful. but the reality is, we cannot go forward unless we have the courage to deal with the reality. you know, it's like going to the doctor. if you're sick, you have to know what's going on so you can get better. you don't want to hide it. that's really true about honest politics. here's some truths. truth number one, all of you know that men and women have put their lives on the line and some have died to defend american democracy. and as the former chairman of the veterans committee, i have
had the honor of meeting so many brave veterans from world war ii to today, who did just that. some of them came home without arms and legs. they did everything that they were asked to do. to make sure that our way of life and at the central part of our way of life is democracy. and democracy is a pretty radical idea looked at from a world perspective. you know what i mean by that? 200 years ago, you had kings and czars and queens. they decided if there was a war. some people had a divine right to say you're going to war or you're paying taxes. you don't have power. i make all of the decisions. and great people fought to change that. to create democracy. and what democracy means is that every person in this country has the right to determine the destiny and the future of the united states of america. [ cheers and applause ] >> bernie sanders in kalamazoo, in his rally this morning. coming up live from garcia
seafood grille along the miami river, a lot of talk is the make-or-break florida primary just a week away. a winner-take-all contest for the republicans. 99 delegates up for grabs and considered crucial for senator marco rubio, who is trailing in the polls here. but confident about his home state. the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon... then quickly fell back to earth landing on the roof of a dutch colonial. luckily geico recently helped the residents
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and here in florida, people are starting to get very excited about next tuesday's big election. march 15th could make or break the campaign of at least one candidate. senator marco rubio. who is spending today campaigning around the sunshine state. rubio banking on winning his home state, but well, he's polling well behind donald trump here. meantime, ted cruz is reportedly making a big play to knock rubio out of the race here on rubio's home turf. how much can change in the next eight days? joining me now, amy hollyfield, deputy managing editor for politics and business for the
tampa bay times. nice to see you. >> nice to see you. wish i were there to enjoy some of the seafood. >> the best in town. is there still time, you think, amy, for rubio to stage a comeback here in florida? >> he's absolutely playing the biggest game of beat the clock. you know, more than a million people have already voted between absentee ballots and early voting that got under way last week. he's making a push. he's got two big rallies today between tampa and orlando. but it's going to be close. he hasn't led a poll in six months in florida. >> and let's talk a little about that early voting because the fact is a lot of the folks that would, for example, vote early have voted for jeb bush. he's no longer on the ticket. and so a lot of people are saying, well, i wasted my vote. is there the late voters that could go to rubio that maybe trump is expecting? is it -- could the polls be so wrong? >> you know, i think polls are always a great question of whether or not they're right or
wrong. the rubio camp was touting something over the weekend, an anti-trump poll that showed him just single digits behind him. there's a lot of time. there's so many voters. but you have to wonder if there's enough time. he kind of got started late. he's been in other places. he was in puerto rico, in idaho. you know, 99 delegates is a ton of, a ton that could change the scope of things here. >> and you know, a pac supporting cruz has just released a series of ads hitting rubio in an effort to really hurt his chances here. listen to what part of one of them says. >> marco rubio once said -- >>
if you don't want to vote on things, don't run for the senate. >> really? rubio talks up his national security experience, but did you know he skipped 18 defense votes? including one to arm the kurds to fight isis. what does rubio say about skipping votes? >> in essence, not voting for it is a vote against it. >> if not voting is a vote
against 2, was he voting against defense spending and fighting isis? >> how do you think this is going to play here in florida? >> i think
that's a really good attack line on marco rubio. i mean, he's only had one state-wide race in the state, and for the office that he's really getting knocked for not doing his job for. it's getting some traction. >> amy, if he loses florida, do you think he has any path forward? >> i think it's really hard to see a path forward. and you know, his team is really confident. they say they're going to win here, and maybe that will happen and maybe that will be the change, but he's had such a hard go here. he doesn't seem to be the number two against donald trump. >> and amy, i mean, look, the fact is there are a lot of candidates that ran against rubio expecting to win and were beaten by him. so if there's a possibility, but this just seems different this time around. >> it absolutely seems different. you know, he got behind the game because of jeb bush, and all the
support he had in the state from the establishment, and some of that has swung rubio's way, but not all of it. and like i say, it's just a huge game of beat the clock. here you are in the final days hoping to change it, but you know, the story has been written, and the pencil is starting to dry, and it's just a question of whether he can make a change. >> we'll see. he's got a week to do it. see what happens. tampa bay times amy hollyfield. good to see you this morning. >> you, too. >> and that wraps up this hour of msnbc live. thank you for the privilege of your time. we'll be back here tomorrow from miami. 10:00 a.m. eastern time. we are from garcia seafood grille. if you come to south florida, come to the miami river. this is an incredible place, and the food here doesn't get much better. tamron hall is up next. i'll see you tomorrow. u're an as expert? sure am. my staff could use your help staying in touch with customers. at&t can help you stay connected. am i seeing double? no ma'am. our at&t 'buy one get one free' makes it easier
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live from our msnbc headquarters in new york. this morning, we're awaiting details of the funeral being planned for former first lady nancy reagan. just in the last hour, take a look at these images. president obama ordering flags at the white house lowered to half staff. and joining flags at the capitol lowered in mrs. reagan's honor. more on her life and legacy shortly. meanwhile, we turn to the 2016 presidential race that's even she was said to be following. right now, bernie sanders is holding a rally in kalamazoo, michigan, ahead of that state's delegate-rich primary tomorrow. by the numbers, 130 democratic delegates will be up for grabs. hillary clinton will also hold a rally in grand rapids, michigan, and that's later this hour. it, of course, follows perhaps their most combative debate. it all went down last night in flint, michigan. >> i voted to save the auto industry. he voted against the money that
ended up saving the auto industry. i think that is a pretty big difference. >> well, if you are talking about the wall street bailout, where some of your friends destroyed this economy -- >> you know -- >> excuse me, i'm talking. >> now, there's also a democratic primary tomorrow in mississippi. 40 delegates available up for grabs there. now, the latest nbc/"wall street journal"/marist poll shows secretary clinton with a 17-point lead over senator sanders in michigan. the latest polls show she's also got a huge lead in mississippi. now, let's go to the republican side. our poll shows donald trump with a 19-point lead in michigan, with ted cruz in second place. trump also has a big lead in the latest poll in mississippi. besides those two states, there are also republican contests tomorrow in i