tv Morning Joe MSNBC March 15, 2016 3:00am-6:01am PDT
kasich, i want to invite you, come join us. we welcome you to our team. >> i will never take a low road to the highest office in the land. i will not do it. >> we have a big election coming up. we could really change things. and you know, marco's not going to do it. and lying ted. lying ted. l-y-i-n with an apostrophe. >> what we don't have time for is the all that petty, punk-ass little thuggery stuff that's been going on with these quote/unquote protesters. >> good morning. and welcome to another super tuesday. >> do you want to call that super? >> is that the word? it doesn't feel very super today. republican voters will decide whether or not the republican race is a coronation or a battle to the convention from here on out. a total of 367 delegates are at
stake today, across five states and one territory. >> gold-plated states, may i add. >> making today the second biggest delegate haul, huge. and the last one to break 300 until the final contests on june 7th. donald trump has taken about 42% of the delegates so far, with ted cruz staying competitive with 34%. and today is make or break for marco rubio and john kasich in their home states. on the democratic side, voters in those same five states will go to the polls with nearly 800 delegates on the line. that's about a third of the total needed to clinch the nomination. heading into today's contest, secretary clinton leads senator sanders by over 600 delegates. just over 50% of the way to the magic number. with us on set, we have managing editor of bloomberg politics, mark halperin. former communications director for george w. bush, nicole wallace. in washington, columnist for "bloomberg view," al hundredth. and in cleveland, hunt, senior
white house correspondent, chris jiang, along with willie and joe. >> let's go to the man that the kids call the rain man of the morning. >> is he? >> yes, he is, mark halperin. ask him about any qantas fight taking off right now -- >> i'm for wapner. >> okay. so, again, what about today? set it up for us. >> well, look, donald trump could end the race today. he has within hailing distance in some polls in ohio. if he wins all five states, i think this fight will be over. >> does it all come down to ohio? you want to let everybody vote, but donald trump right now is light years ahead, in every single poll. >> yeah. there's early voting there, probably 50% of the people that are going to vote have already voted right now. does it all come down to ohio? for the republican party's last best hope to stop donald trump? >> yes. if you don't stop him in ohio, the race is over. if they do stop him in ohio, it's a much different race. watch ted cruz in illinois and
missouri. trump could win one state tonight. i don't think he will, but he could win one. big difference between winning one and winning five, to say the least. there's talk now of marco rubio not winning the race, to hold on to his delegates to be part of a stop-trump movement. >> does he suspend the campaign? >> he does whatever he needs to hold his delegates into the first -- >> because he doesn't want to keep getting 4, 5, 6%. >> he may not keep campaigning, but he may simply hold on to the delegates he has. we showeded the emergency he has, he's got some delegates. the stop-trump movement is still ineffective, it's not as well organized as it could be. but after tonight, if trump does not win tonight, everybody tries the to figure out, is there a way to keep him from getting a majority. >> well, they were trying to figure that out, al hunt, a couple of weeks ago. they pour in $25 million in the state of florida. donald trump's numbers have only gone up 8 to 10 percentage points, and if you want to
compare polls week to week, his polls just keep going up. the more money they throw at him, the higher his numbers get. i wonder what their new plan is to stop trump after today. >> well, you're right, joe. what they're hoping is there's a big gap between next week's arizona primary and new york on the 19th of april. and the hope is they'll spend a lot of money then. this is the stop-trump movement. they'll have a lot of money. it may have the same result. i'm not going to say it's all over, no matter what happens, because i've learned that i've said too many things are all over for the last six months, and that's a hazardous prediction. i do think that, you know, that data that you put up, really, the 42%, donald trump can't go into cleveland with 42 or 43 or 45%. he has to go into cleveland with something almost at 50%. so therefore, it's not just how many states he wins, but how many delegates he picks up tonight and in the subsequent weeks. >> nicole, i come to the conclusion over the past two
weeks, with everything that's breaking, that if he's at 49%, they will not give it to him. >> but how do they do that, though? >> by saying, we're not going to give it to you. listen, there's going to be a civil war, regardless. >> there is one, right? >> i'm not suggesting this is what they do. i'm just saying, after testimony david duke -- after once again saying islam is against all of us, after friday night, they have what they consider their justification. i think it will split the party in half and -- but, like -- you know, there's already civil war right now. like you said. >> yeah, i think the party's been broken. i think that donald trump has to really tumble in the polls. and the things you mentioned, three days the to disavow donald duke, doubling down on islam, these things create a crisis for him in the part of the party that's already against him.
they give them exhibit a, exhibit b, exhibit c. they give the forceful message you heard ted cruz and marco rubio make in the last 48 hours. those messages aren't turning their supporters against him. because they hear a guy not bought and sold by donors. they hear a guy who's correcting the political correctness, they hear a guy who hears their economic pain. so it is a broken party and it is a completely bifurcated campaign -- how's your dad with this? >> my parents hated the things he said about megyn kelly three months ago, they've hated his personal insult campaign from the beginning. they liked him in spite of those things. they saw the violence, and no one watched the images of violence and it didn't make anyone like trump more, but it didn't peel them off, because they're still committed to the fact that he doesn't have a donor base and that he's going to break what they hate about washington. >> to that point, there's a poll out yesterday that showed 88% either liked trump more or didn't change their opinion based on friday night. so we said that yesterday.
we said, this only helps him among people -- >> all of this helps. >> that didn't change. i think all of that stuff is built in and baked into who he is. if he gets all these states and say he wins ohio and florida tonight, goes to cleveland with those huge states and all these delegates, how, practically, do you peel it away from him and take those millions and millions of people who voted for him and say, your vote doesn't matter, we're going to give it to someone else. >> i think, personally, i think it's a moot point. because here's a poll, 88%, like you said, had no impact or made it more likely to vote for him. and again, this goes to what nicole was saying. all of these things that offend people in manhattan and in washington, d.c., actually strengthens with the base. because what his supporters saw on friday night, willie, was, you know, they saw moveon.org. they saw bernie supporters tearing up signs. they saw -- well, they saw what i saw on tv. they saw people running up to
the cameras, shouting profanities, not even being able to explain why they were there. raising a lot of questions about, okay, why exactly were they there? did someone pay them to be there? they saw black lives matters there. they saw fistfights. they saw trump people leaving the parking lot and people screaming at them. and so even the things that offend us, actually reinforces support for trump among many. and i must say, even the news on fox has become more positive towards donald trump since friday. for a second there, i actually thought we were going to hear some sympathy from megyn kelly, who, of course, has no reason to be sympathetic towards donald trump at all. but as those protests were going on, she called out what offended her and what offended a lot of conservatives. >> there's no doubt that the fox thing is on the leading edge of how this has helped trump with some parts of the party. there are two realities, though, that i think are important to talk about in light of today. one is what al said, which is
the calendar becomes much different now. and i don't know that that will work to donald trump's benefit, because of the second factor, which is, we're going to have a slimmed down field. assuming the voters in florida do not vote for marco rubio and trump wins that state, trump is either in a three-person race with cruz and kasich, or in a two-person race with cruz. and it is possible with the calendar the way it is and a two-person race with ted cruz, trump could, could start losing states to ted cruz. >> so let's look at the latest round of polling, heading into today's key state contests. in two more florida polls yesterday, trump lead by double digits. he's up 17 points in the final monmouth university, 44% for trump to rubio's 27%. with trump gaining 6 and rubio dropping 3 since last week. and trump has an 18-point lead in the new -- >> by the way, i just -- we have to just say, again, the guy has gone up six points, despite the fact he's had $25 million thrown against him in florida. you cannot be in the state of florida without seeing a
negative donald trump commercial every 30 seconds. >> yeah. >> it is everywhere in florida, and the guy has gone up six points. that shows what the establishment money and what the donor class money does and helps explain what usually would hurt any other candidate, only seems to reinforce donald trump. >> and since mitt romney's endorsement, those numbers are a full -- >> mitt romney's endorsement? >> i mean, mitt romney's anti-endorsement, whatever you call it. >> it was an endorsement. trump style. >> it has had the effect of endorsing him, because it's the establishment coming out as strongly -- and you said it from day one. >> a misstatement -- >> i'm trying not to say "i told you so." >> we talked about it here, an endorsement from an establishment figure for any of the others would actually hurt them. >> but these acts have not been accompanied by a candidate driving the same message. it's the only difference for ads to have a difference in a race like this. the ads are on and some of them are okay, but you don't have the
ads coupled with cruz or rubio or kasich driving the same message. that could happen in subsequent states. >> let's go to ohio -- >> you're funny! you're funny. it's not going to happen. people have been saying it's going to happen. it's just not going to happen. >> it hasn't been tried yet. >> the most remarkable thing, that it hasn't been tried. that no one has tried to match -- this is old-fashioned politics 101. >> nobody is able to match him. marco tried. >> no one's tried to match -- >> try to match what, nicole? >> a campaign message with the media ad buy. no one has tried that. and that is traditionally how you drive a message, that your paid media match -- >> with surrogates and e-mails. no one's tried. and when it narrows down, it's possible they'll try and succeed. >> i don't think it's possible anymore. but no one's tried sit the political malpractice of the cycle. >> it's also quite possible that i, willie, could become an
astronaut and be the next person in space. >> there's still time. >> the monmouth university poll in ohio finds governor kasich finishing with a slight edge, taking 40% to trump's 35%, about a half a point outside the margin of error. cruz is at 15%, rubio at 5. north carolina, which also votes today, a public policy poll finds trump in the lead, 44 to cruz's 33. kasich at 11, rubio at 7. >> you see trump, mika, in the 40s in all of these. and every single one of these polls, once again, everything that everybody said about donald trump has been wrong. >> yeah. >> what we've been saying -- >> a ceiling, you mean. >> a ceiling. willie, we have been mocking people that have been moving that ceiling up for nine months. >> but celebrating, you know -- >> no, no, no. it was 15, then it was 20. oh, that was it. >> i remember when it was 29. >> and it will never get to 30. he'll never get to 30. he's in the 40s in every one of these polls. >> and pushing 50 in national
polls. >> the low 40s. >> even in ohio, where he's not in the 40s, and governor kasich may well win today, what donald trump has done there is remarkable. john kasich is incredibly -- incredibly popular. almost 80% approval rating among republicans. he won his last race by 30 points. he's been endorsed by the republican party in ohio, which they haven't done for 50 years. he's got every advantage you can imagine. you walk around ohio, people love him, republicans love him. yet, donald trump is within striking distance. it's one of the most remarkable things that trump has accomplished. to be competitive against john kasich is incredible. >> it's pretty incredible. but you look at the monmouth poll that came out yesterday that shows him doing so well against marco rubio, donald trump is doing well against marco rubio, even among people that give marco rubio high approval ratings for his work as a united states senator. >> well, i mean, he was, at one point, sort of the establishment pick, and the hometown boy. and trump has squashed florida's hometown boy and possibly could squash ohio's hometown, as well.
it's unbelievable. in a final push ahead of today's ohio primary, governor john kasich held campaign events alongside former gop nominee, mitt romney. did he endorse him? what -- >> said super nice things. >> okay. he said super nice things. >> i forget which way the compliment went. >> last night the two held a rally in kasich's hometown -- >> maybe he's going to run, himself, mitt romney, and that's why he's holding back on doing anything definitive clear and helpful. if kasich wins in his home state, it could keep his candidacy alive, but last night he said he isn't willing to sacrifice his morals for his job. >> frankly, folks, i don't care about politics. have you figured that out by now? it means nothing to me, okay? i don't care about polls. i don't care about focus groups. i care about listening to you. when i see you on the corner, the letters you write, the e-mails i get. you see, i hear you.
and all you want is somebody that's going to call them like he sees them. i'm here to be a good role model as best as i can for these kids and my daughters. and i want to tell you something, i will never take a low road to the highest office in the land. i will not do it. >> chris jansing is in cleveland, i believe. so, chris, this is a big day for governor kasich. what's the possibility from what you're hearing on the ground, anecdotally? is it possible he could get edged out in his home state of ohio? >> i've been here all week in columbus and cleveland. they're nervous, republican leaders here who all, as willie pointed out, all of them back john kasich. i thought the most significant thing we heard from mitt romney at two appearances yesterday had nothing to do with being pro-john kasich. it was anti-trump. five words. america is counting on you. he is expressing the deep concern across the party. and when you talk to folks here in ohio who truly do believe
that john kasich would be a great president, who are willing to go out and work hard for him, they think that not just is ohio at stake here, they think the future of the party is at stake. they think the presidency is at stake. when i talk to the head of the party here, he said, look, chris, you know ohio. you know this voter base. there is no way, if donald trump is the nominee of the republican party, that we don't lose ohio. and if we lose ohio, we lose the presidency. they're nervous, but they do feel, though, that they have a little bit of energy going on. and you know, it is worth pointing out that mitt romney did win here and he seemed to fire up the crowds. so we'll see what happens. but this race is unbelievably close. >> wow. unimaginable. >> chris jansing, thank you very much and thanks for being up way too early this morning. it's very early. >> so, al hunt, what do you -- i want to get you in on this conversation about what happens next. do you think, as mark halperin thinks, that there can be an
organized anti-trump movement, that is more effective than the one that we've seen over the past two weeks? because we heard two weeks ago that the building was ton fire and, you know, had people pouring millions and millions of dollars in. is it too late now or is it possible to slow him down? >> joe, there'll certainly be an organized effort and it cannot be less effective, because of what we've seen so far. i think what scares -- i think the people behind -- and it really is quite an eclectic group. it's the establishment, it's the conservative activists, it's some of the donors. and what scares them, as much as david duke and the islam and all the other things about donald trump, is the numbers and your nbc "wall street journal" poll last week. donald trump has a committed 45% -- 40% of the electorate. but his unfavorables were 69%. 64%. and his favorables were 25. that's territory that almost no,
no modern politician has been in. it's incredibly negative territory, when you get beyond that committed base. >> so, al, can we -- as a washington insider, can we also tell the other side of the story, that trump supporters would want us to tell, but we haven't told, because we have been focusing on the things that have offended us in donald trump's campaign. but can we also talk about the fact that it is a nightmare for republicans in ohio and washington, d.c., and across america that have been part of an entrenched system, that have run washington, d.c., for the better part of 30 or 40 years, and this is usually the stage of the campaign where the same usual suspects get lined up, start lining up at the trough, getting hundreds and thousands of people to work on presidential campaigns, so when the candidate gets nominated is and then wins, they can then go into the white house, or they can lobby. it is a washington, d.c. circle of life. and here with donald trump, what makes the trump so dangerous is,
certainly to that established order, win or lose, good or bad, is the fact, as far as just pure power goes for the consulting class, he has no one around him. there is nobody that you can pick up a phone and say, hey, do you know such and such? can you get me in front of donald trump? there is nobody there. and that in and of itself is an existential crisis for washington's established order. i mean, i don't think there's ever been a candidate like this on the republican or democratic side that is completely self-contained. >> yeah, joe, we haven't been pure since you left. >> of course not. >> wait a minute. >> you know, i think that's true. it's a great threat to the establishment. and i think to some extent, the republicans created this. because they promised people in the last three or four elections, that all sorts of great things would happen if you send me to washington. we'll repeal obamacare, cut taxes, end government regulation, we'll be tougher in the world, and of course, given
the way government exists today, none of that happened. so they're very angry p. i mean, every time that donald trump mentions or ted cruz assails mitch mcconnell, they gain votes. so i think you're right about that. and the fact you can't pick up a phone a telephone and get to ted cruz is very appealing to a lot of people. i don't know what it means if he ever should get to 1600 pennsylvania avenue. but we'll see. >> all right. still ahead on "morning joe," we're less than one hour from the polls opening in florida. we'll go live to that political ba battleground, just ahead. and chuck todd and steve kornacki are here to check on the key factors in the race. but first, bill karins with the weather. >> we have some severe weather. yesterday in ohio, we had a tornado go through. today in ohio, it looks a lot better. this was the tornado captured by the englewood, police. this was from near phillipsburg and did damage to a couple of houses there. that did dissipate a little
after that video was shot. let's show you this morning, what we're dealing with. rain for you in boston, up into areas of maine. we'll be voting today in illinois. this is where we'll watch some of the worst weather late today, hopefully after a lot of the polling places are closed. right now a cluster of thunderstorms moving through iowa into illinois. that should be dissipating. let me take you to the maps and show you what we're going to be dealing with, with the severe timeline. this afternoon and this evening, about 20 million people at risk of severe storms, maybe even isolated tornadoes. if we get those tornados somewhere north of st. louis, in between st. louis, davenport, and springfield into illinois, that will be right after the dinner hour until about 10:00 p.m. and then these storms, this evening, will start to move across the state of illinois, but it will be pretty late in the evening hours. chicago, you're clear throughout the daylight hours today. probably not until about midnight for you. but 6:00 p.m., we're voting in missouri, today, too. you'll have to deal with some rain at the polling places, and there's severe storms about 10:00 p.m. this evening. other states that will be voting today, florida looks great. 82 in tampa, 87 in miami, and as
i mentioned, no problems whatsoever in ohio. that's where we should see temperatures very comfortable in the 50s today. a shot of new york city, another dreary day in the northeast, but not as much rain as yesterday. you're watching "morning joe," we'll be right back. wiback like it could used to? neutrogena hydro boost water gel. with hyaluronic acid it plumps skin cells with intense hydration and locks it in. for supple, hydrated skin. hydro boost. from neutrogena
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so here's what happens. here's what happens. so in washington, you have lobbyists. and they have emblazoned on their forehead, like mike tyson, who also endorsed me, iron mike, who i love! what's the greatest expression ever? everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. how you going to fight mike? well, i'm going to weave and they bob. that's true, they're going to weave and bob until they get punched and then they're not weaving and not bobbing. mike tyson did endorse me and i like that endorsement. that's great. >> that's donald trump quoting mike tyson at a rally yesterday in tampa as he continues to tout endorsements from professional athletes. awe day after trump appealed to
an ohio crowd about letting embattled hit king pete rose into hall of fame and tweeting this photo of a ball signed by rose, the cincinnati red appears to be clarifying what appeared as an endorsement. he said, he's making a point not to endorse any particular presidential candidate. the lawyer stressed that rose himself did not send any candidate a baseball or a note of endorsement. >> public policy polling is out with new surveys of likely democratic voters in five states today. hillary clinton leads bernie sanders by 25 points in florida, and 19 in north carolina, but in the midwest, things are much closer. clinton's five-point lead in ohio was just outside the poll's margin of error. her three-point edge in illinois is inside the margin of error. and the two in a virtual tie in missouri. so that's mark halperin, a little bit dicey for hillary clinton. >> she will win two states tonight. big difference for him if he wins -- the difference between winning zero and three, which is
huge. this is his worst day in the rest of the campaign. the upcoming states. you have caucuses, you have states that are better for him. she said she would drive a better economic message since michigan. i don't believe she has, for a variety of reasons. so watch tonight how many states he wins. >> but he could win the three midwest states. >> he could, although the clinton people argue because she's done so well, she'll end up probably netting more delegates. but if he gets three wins tonight -- >> that's a michigan surprise? >> it's a lot of momentum going into more favorable territory. and go back to what al said. it's so important for people who aren't living this as closely as we are. the calendar changes now. the events are spread out. if he gets her one on one with momentum going into arizona, watch what happens. >> you also have, you know, things are not been that great for bernie sanders' campaign since nevada. obviously, michigan was a great upset, but the overall narrative has been bad, because he's been beaten so badly in the deep south. but if you have bernie picking up some big midwest wins, to add
on to michigan, then, suddenly, you do have a guy that can go around saying, i can win, in the heart of democratic territory, where we have to win in the fall, in the industrial midwest. >> oh, yeah. and look, the gop race is about math. the democratic race is about chemistry. it's very hard to imagine bernie sanders as the nominee, but he's going to drive that debate if he wins a couple of states in the midwest tonight. because if you take out the south, for a moment, which will probably go republican, or most of it will, in the fall, bernie sanders is winning the democratic contest. and he certainly is driving the dialogue. so i think bernie sanders winning two or possibly three states tonight really would have a huge impact on the race in the next month or two. >> so, mark, to what end? if bernie sanders steals three states today, and you said the calendar looks good for him, the delegate math is not great. how long does this go? are you suggesting he could take
the nomination? >> just like trump, she's the overwhelming favorite to be the nominee, no matter what happens. trump has his worst possible night tonight, clinton has the worst night, they're still the overwhelming favorites. and he can take this all the way to california. and keep her occupied. and trump could be the de facto nominee and she's fighting for three more months against sanders. what he needs to do so well in these states outside the south, that the super delegates start to think anew. if you're a super delegate, say from missouri, claire mccaskill. if he wince her state, does she then need to say, maybe i should be a super delegate for bernie sanders. he's got to win, win, win, narrow the gap, and make the case to the super delegates. still could make her life horrible. and as al said, she's now moved on trade, she's moved on the death penalty. she's moving further and further to the left. and he's going to raise, if he has a big night tonight, another multi-million dollar night. all right. coming up, florida or bust? perhaps not. marco rubio opens the door to keeping his campaign alive, even
if he loses today in his home state. plus, hallie jackson join us live, who's with the cruz campaign. we'll be back with much more "morning joe." (burke) at farmers, we've seen almost everything, so we know how to cover almost anything. even a stag pool party. (party music) (splashing/destruction) (splashing/destruction)
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ted cruz? what's your plan? >> yeah, well, our plan is to be in utah on wednesday and to continue to campaign hard. i've never said that my campaign is built on the outcome of any specific state, especially the way it's going now. our plan is the to continue to move forward. but right now, to be honest with you, i'm focused 100% on doing what i can do over the next 24 hours to make sure i get these 99 delegates in florida. it would be a huge boost to our campaign, of course, moving forward. >> so that was marco rubio last night. but here's what he said over the last week. >> it comes down to florida. >> whoo! >> tomorrow, this state will elect 99 delegates to one person. and i want it to be me and i need you to help it to be me. >> we've got three days to go. honestly, it was always going to come down to florida for me, but ultimately for our party, it always comes down to florida. >> we have to win here in florida. it was always going to come down to florida. >> i believe with all my heart that the winner of the florida primary next tuesday will be the nominee of the republican party.
>> senator, is florida make or break for your campaign? >> i think that's true for any campaign. florida was always going to be important, always is. in 2008, john mccain basically wrapped up the nomination in florida. in 2012, mitt romney basically wrapped up the nomination in florida. i think that in many ways, that will have the same impact in 2016. >> so he spent a week saying, east got to win florida. we know he's got to win florida. we don't want to bias anything, but it would be a surprise if he won florida. >> it's safe to say. >> but you made the case already this morning, that even if he loses florida, he may hang around in one form or another. does that mean he goes to utah, or shuts down the campaign or stay in? >> there are two reasons to stay in. one is to stop trump, simply by holding the delegates he has now. doesn't compete actively, but holds on to the delegates. the other is, the more delegates he wins, even in this battered shape, if more leverage he'll have at the convention. and it's possible that the way
the stop-trump movement stops at the convention is cruz/rubio, kasich/cruz, kasich/rubio. in other words, two guys that -- >> but mark, he's down to 6%, 7%. you know, just like winning magnifies winning, losing magnifies losing. and nicole, you've been on losing campaigns before. you say it's just, it's soul crushing. they can't continue going week after week after week, getting 4% here, 6% there, 8% there, can they? >> they can't and i don't think they want to. but this was at the root of our kerfuffle last week. they've never had a strategy to win the nomination through delegates. they haven't had one for over two weeks. so the whole purpose of the campaign has been, it's participation and role in depriving trump of 1,237 delegates for a while. >> but he's not getting delegates. >> he's getting some. he's getting some. >> look right there, he got ten delegates on saturday. >> right, right.
your point is he's not getting nearly as many as trump and cruz. >> if trump does the best he can do tonight or close to it, the math is still such that you can keep him just short of a majority and he can be part of that. >> but he seems to be dropping below every threshold -- >> you're talking about long-term devastation of the -- >> i'm just talking about, i think he should have gotten out before florida for his brand. now, not only for himself, but for people who have been working their tails off for a year, how heartbreaking to have a guy who three weeks ago was going to be -- i'm talking about from their point of view -- in line to win the nomination. everybody was lining up to endorse him. i just don't think a campaign can go from state to state to state to state for four, five -- forget about the candidate, think about the people that are working -- >> it is soul crushing. and that's why i make the point, day do it with the hope of winning. they haven't had that hope for weeks. their whole purpose is to simply
deprive trump of getting to this number. i can't even imagine working 23 hours a day on that kind of effort. >> exhausting. >> where at the end, victory doesn't equal you get the number of delegates. but one thing i'll say about them, they feel their candidate has had his best couple of weeks. and that's just a tomato ripening way past season, right? >> where al gore's speech after he lost. >> oh, he's so good. >> his concession speak was remarkable. and marco rubio had the best debate of his life in miami. >> chris christie made him better after that stumble. >> rubio has been really, really good over the last week. and we've been very critical of his abilities, but over the past week, he has been at his best. >> really strong. >> but,, you know -- >> he's recognized his mistakes. >> but it's all about timing. and you are exactly right. this goes to what you and i have been talking about. you play to win. you fight to wind, you fight for first place. if i'm in third or fourth place, i'm not knocking the guy in second place, i'm trying to tear the guy in first place's head off his shoulders.
and i'll stay after him nonstop until either i die politically or he dies politically. >> or he makes you vice president. >> and none of them have done that, joe. none of them did that. if we could do an autopsy right now based on that analysis, if they all fail and trump is the nominee, it will be because that never happened. >> yeah. >> he's been ahead since june, nobody took him on. >> i remember one time, i won't go into great detail, but i had to make a decision about whether we were going after newt gingrich or not, run him out of town, and everybody was scared, and i said, my friends, you are either the hunter or the hunted. and this ends one of two ways. either he kills us politically or we kill him. newt left town. >> and i don't think anyone thought donald trump was going to happen. >> that was their strategic error. >> one guy we haven't talked to about a lot this morning and we should, that is ted cruz. his campaign now being covered by hallie jackson. she's this chicago.
hallie, this is a fascinating night for him. because if john kasich, let's say, loses ohio, he said he'll get out of the race. if marco rubio loses florida, he will likely get out of the race or suspend his campaign. and that leaves two guys standing. donald trump and ted cruz. >> reporter: and that's exactly where ted cruz wants to be, willie. it's interesting, when you look at his strategy going into today. we talk a lot about ohio, we talk a lot about florida. because of marco rubio and john kasich, cruz is looking at the other states that are voting and heading for the primaries today. let's talk about them. we've got north carolina. a place where cruz spent some time. he's hoping to pick off delegates there. missouri is interesting. that was a santorum state back in 2012. there's a fairly high percentage of evangelicals there. that looks like cruz's strongest cans to maybe win, if not win, at least keep that delegate count close. and here in illinois, cruz had this barn-burner of a day yesterday, five rallies throughout the state. not near chicago here, he was out in the suburbs, he was out in the southern part of the state. remember, that even though there are about 15 delegates in this state that go to the winner, there's 54 based on
congressional districts. and the campaign is saying, telling us, that they are drilling down by congressional district and focusing on those regions where they believe they can take delegates away from donald trump. the whole point is to keep the math close and to be able to wake up tomorrow morning and think, this is a two-man race. cruz and donald trump and everybody else. part of his strategy here in illinois that he started yesterday was attacking trump for his ties to illinois politicians, rob emanuel, rod blagojevich. this was a big talking point for cruz as he was hitting these local media markets. you heard them repeat them over and over again, but one of the questions we also asked him was his continued support of donald trump as the gop nominee, even if that were to happen. here's cruz's response. >> well, i can give you one example where i would no longer support donald trump. if, for example, he were to go out on fifth avenue and shoot somebody, i would not be willing to support donald trump. >> the answer is not to cry in your beer about the support
donald has received. and the answer is not to deal what the washington establishment hopes to do in their fevered dreams, which is, they envision a brokered convention. that is not going to happen, and it would spark an absolute revolt, quite rightly, from the voters. the way to beat donald trump is beat him at the ballot box. >> reporter: cruz thinks it's mathematically impossible for rubio, for kasich to end up winning delegates moving forward without a contested convention. but for him, his campaign sees a path to the nomination without a convention, it does seem to rely on some assumptions that cruz picks up a ton of momentum, for example, this month, next month, and leading into some of those states down the road. whatever the result, cruz feels ready to be in this for the long haul. >> and he may well be. hallie jackson in chicago, thanks so much. mark, real quick. let's say kasich wins ohio and rubio loses florida. now you've got that three-person race you talked about between trump, cruz, and kasich, what's
the dynamic look like between kasich and cruz as they fight to be the anti-trump. >> tomorrow morning, in john kasich's won ohio, we'll see if the establishment is ready to make him the choice. if a year ago those would have been the only three guys in the race, you would see all the governors, many members of congress for him. we'll see if that happens. the first step is for him to win ohio. the second step is to convince people, it is a three-person race. >> what's the map look like for john kasich after this? >> i think there are a lot of states where in a three-way, he could be competitive. he could gueet close to a thirdf the vote. if he gets money in the door. will cruz come after him or will cruz focus on trump? we don't know what that dynamic is like. i will say, for a guy who went to princeton and harvard, who thinks the path to the nomination is attacking blago, that seems just wrong. that seems ignorant. >> people in jail make good -- >> all right. still ahead, from trump's demagoguery, to clinton's half-measures. ron fournier's blunt new column
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when you are inviting mob violence, which is what trump is doing in those clips, there's a lot of memories that people have. you know, they're in the dna. people remember mob violence that led to lynching. people remember mob violence that led to people being shot, being, you know, grabbed, being mistreated. and to see that someone who is vying to be president of the united states is using divisiveness, is stoking fear, is pointing fingers, scapegoating against all kinds of people, i think, is so dangerous. and yes, it's wrong, it's offensive. it's also dangerous. >> it's really dangerous. it's time now for the must-read opinion pages. it's also real, that there is a situation in this country where people are really angry. and there's something to stoke. and there's something to royail.
and that both parties have to take the blame for. because this couldn't happen without underlying fear and anger. here's what ron fournier writes. "i fear more violence, much, much more. i fear a further coarseening of the culture, i fear more polarization in politics and even less progress towards addressing the nation's long-term problems. i fear more public sinnism towards the fragile institutions that stand between the democracy and anarchy. i fear the bright young americans will abandon government and politics. i fear -- no, expect -- several more cycles of circling the drain. what i don't know is what comes next, a final plunge into the abyss or re-circling and renewal. the latter only comes if the american public stops settling for demagogues like trump and half-measure s like clinton. could there be something better, a new set of institutions for
campaigning and governing in the 21st century? only if the wake of the country wakes up. i do think that bernie sanders represents one possibility there. but i, you know, ron makes a point, on both sides right now. we don't have a disrupter that's a positive one or one that doesn't have a lengthy legacy of being a part of a system that is broken down and left people in a state of, quite frankly, discouragement. >> and al hunt, it seems that we also think that we are sitting in the worst of times. i would expect in 1968, when you saw the tet offensive in january, you saw over 500 americans being killed every week in february, and when you saw martin luther king's assassination in early april, when you saw bobby kennedy's assassination in early june, and then a month and a half later, you saw the riots this chicago in 1968, i'm sure you, like many americans, thought that was as
bad as it could get. and it just may have been, at that time but we hear this time and time again. i'm curious, reflecting back over some of the darker times, whether it was that year or vietnam or watergate or are these, as ron suggests, the worst of times for american politics? >> well, it's not unusual. it's not just 1968. it was 1979, 1980 when americans were held in tehran and we had, you know, double-digit inflation and unemployment. it was 1951 and '52 when eisenhower was running. i don't think it's any worse. i don't think the country is any angrier or upset than they were during those periods. what's different then is i think whether it was kennedy or eisenhower or whether it was reagan, that they offer more of an uplifting or a "we can do" message than we're getting today. i think ron's pessimism about
the present may be justified, but somehow, we always turn it around. >> yes, we do. yes, we do. >> look, it's not 1968. >> we will. >> okay. um -- >> we will turn it around. >> all right. we will turn it around. we always do, although things are tough right now, you compare the united states to the rest of the world, we're still sitting pretty good. >> but the last person that won two campaigns on a row ran on hope and change, a very positive message. so you've got voters responding to negative messages now, but i wouldn't be surprised if the general turned a different sort of tone. i mean, it works. >> still to come on "morning joe," will early voting in florida spell a big day for donald trump? chuck todd and steve kornacki join the conversation. we're just getting started today. we'll be back on the air at 3:00 p.m.. >> oh, great! >> will you be here?
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but they need that holding action. if he goes into cleveland with 170 delegates, they can't afford for trump to get even 30 or 40 of them. he's going to lose and be effectively out, but there's going to be a holding action. >> al hunt, thank you so much. we'll talk to you tomorrow. coming up at the top of the hour, eugene robinson will be on tv all night long, so we booked him at 7:00 in the morning eastern time to warm him up. right? the pulitzer prize winner joins the table ahead on "morning joe." get ready for a marathon, gene.
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thursday's debate was dominated by marco rubio, who was relaxed and confident now that the pressure of running for president was off his shoulder. >> social security will go bankrupt. and it will bankrupt the country with it. so what it will require is people, younger, like myself, people that are 30 years away from retirement, to make -- to accept that our social security is going to work differently than it did for my parents. >> oh, honey, you're not 30 years away from retirement. you'll be done in about 30 minutes. good morning! and welcome back to "morning joe." today, republican voters will decide whether or not the republican race is a coronation or a battle to the convention from here on out. a total of about 367 delegates are at stake across five states and one territory. >> i'm just curious, have we gold plated florida and the rest of the states because we believe they're going to win them all
tonight? >> look, today is the second biggest delegate haul and the last one to break 300 until the final contests on june 7th. a lot could happen tonight. >> a lot could. >> and a lot really might, actually. >> well -- >> donald trump has taken out 42% of the delegates so far, with ted cruz staying competitive with 34%. and today is make or break for marco rubio and jacquohn kasich their home states. >> keep those delegates up there. you know, i'm going to say, mark halperin, ted cruz has taken a lot of good enough, not only from people around this table, but from the washington establishment, and from a lot of people across this country, i've been critical of him since the government shutdown, but let me tell you something, he has done what marco rubio and a lot of people have not done. he has worked his tail off, nonstop. and the fact that ted cruz, a guy who, himself, says, i may not be the most likable guy out
there, has 376 delegates. >> and he's won several states. that guy, and we said it in iowa, that guy has overperformed week after week after week. and i'm going to say, like, you know, a few candidates i've ever seen. he has overperformed as much as marco rubio has underperformed. and we focus on the negative. we should look at the positive. ted cruz has a great campaign. >> and he's raised money all three ways, super pac money, hard dollars, and low dollars on the internet and direct mail. he has got a chance, after tonight. he cannot be eliminated tonight. he will go forward. and he has a chance after tonight in either a three-way with jacquohn kasich, in all likelihood, or a one on one with donald trump, he has a chance to win states. and look, trump is -- i'll keep saying it, easily the favorite to be the nominee. but what if there are two-person
races and cruz is able to get more votes than donald trump in some of these upcoming states? then the question of ted cruz is upside and potential becomes a much bigger deal than it already is. >> and even his detractors admire his campaign. i think folks that were on the winning '04 bush campaign look at the campaigns that are still on the field and sort of begrudgingly admire absolutely everything that ted cruz is doing, from his ground game to the candidates' message discipline to the schedule to the focus on caucus states, where he can chalk up wins. >> and he gets people to the polls. >> he does. his people go and vote. >> very targeted. >> that's what you can say about rubio. you can't say that about kasich >> we live, certainly, this year, in 2016, with a bunch of candidates that know nothing about getting out the vote. it's a shotgun scattered approach. ted cruz on the republican side is the exception to that. he identifies his voters. his drags them out to the polls. >> right. >> i say that positively. >> no, no.
>> he intimidated them -- >> he drags them out to the polls. >> he al internalized the whole high-tech sort of campaign method that obama pioneered and cruz really got it. >> even if you give donald trump the benefit of the doubt, he's converted on all of these positions. he still has liberal positions. >> you also could bring in the fix on this conversation. >> really? >> chris cillizza. >> i need a fix, because i'm going down. down to the place that i -- >> editor of the fix at "the washington post," chris cillizza. >> hi, mother superior, jump the gun. what's going on here? we were talking about ted cruz. he's doing great, but are we really just talking about at the end of the day, chris, the horse that finishes in second place behind secretariat at the belmont. >> that makes donald trump secretariat, which is fascinating. i think mark is right. before you say anything, the caveat has to be, trump is the most likely nominee, right?
he's going to win florida. the fact that he's in the mix in ohio, look, john kasich is a popular two-term governor of a state that is voting today, and it's like, well, he might be able to eke it out over donald trump. if i told you that six months ago, you would have been surprised. the one thing i'll say about cruz, the map to date has been favorable to cruz. >> a lot of evangelical states in the south. >> a lot of southern states and caucuses. so cruz clearly wants a one on one against trump, he's made no bones about that. but new york, pennsylvania, california, oregon, washington. i'm not sure that those states are -- mark is right that it's a conservative party, but those states are not -- they are not alabama, mississippi, louisiana, kansas, nebraska. so i just wonder if a one-on-one race, that's when you get in the three-dimensional chess game. do you want rubio to stay in? i don't think that's likely. do you think kasich to stay in
just to siphon some of those delegates off of trump. connecticut's a good example. if trump can get to 50 in connecticut, it becomes winner-take-all. if he gets under 50, then it's proportional. so i don't know, can cruz keep him under that in a two-way race, maybe not. a three-way race with kasich, more likely. >> so if trump wins florida but loses ohio to kasich, he has to get 59% of the remaining delegates. is that right? >> that's roughly right, and that's possible. like i said, i think the biggest variable is, assuming rubio loses florida, is this a three-person race or a two-person race? and i think the tale will be told by virtue of whether john kasich can convince the donor class, the elected officials, people like haley barbour, mitt romney, did they all come full-force for kasich, allowing him to be a huge player, in some of these states. the northeastern states, the western states, i think in a three-way, if kasich is a live and well, he can be a
competitor. maybe not win -- >> why wouldn't they, mark? >> i can't figure it out, but not one source i have has called me in anticipation of tomorrow morning and said, i'm going to be for kasich. not one. >> and gene, it is their best way forward, if you have ted cruz taking the conservative chunk of the party. let's talk about connecticut, let's say cruz takes 20 to 25% there. you have john kasich that can take 25, 30%. >> exactly. >> trump takes 35 to 38%. >> below that 50%. >> you need someone to take that moderate chunk. >> but why? i don't understand. john kasich, budget chairman, was in washington, d.c., forever. >> the most successful -- >> the most successful budget chairman in the republican party in the past century. he balanced the budget for the first time in our generation. >> and not to my knowledge -- >> and doing a very good job in ohio. >> and likable. >> and not in my knowledge, not reviled by people the way ted cruz is. he can be a bit grouchy at times -- >> kasich? >> not compared to the -- >> not compared to the rest.
>> exactly! exactly! >> we're grading on a curve this year. and this year he's sweetness and light. >> but don't you think that jeb froze it while he was in and rubio is sort of froze in -- >> but in theory, he should be unfrozen tomorrow. >> but there's going to have to be a texas two-step, where rubio gets to keep his delegates, but he releases those who have endorsed him to go over and endorse john kasich. we need to see a -- >> jeb bush and haley barbour and mitt romney. >> if we are talking about a contested convention. >> i mean, again, i'm just amazed, but li will tell you, nt one person has told me they plan to do that. >> what's the deal there? >> chris cillizza, it's been radio silence. >> i think romney will endorse him tomorrow. that's my guess. >> i think, mark is right. it's sort of fascinating, because i think if you look at the numbers, it's clear that kasich is the best option. because rubio is going to lose his home state somewhere between
10 and 20 points. you can stay in the race for as long as you want, but you're no longer viable at that point. i still think some of it is the result of people within the establishment not just dealing with the reality of the situation, which is, there are two options here. >> exactly. >> donald trump is the nominee or a contested convention. because they look at the case and chuck todd makes this really good point, kasich needs to win 112% of the remaining delegates to be the nominee. that's not going to happen, right? cruz needs to win 80%. trump, if you split ohio and florida, i don't know if he will, but if you do, it's roughly 60%. so if they look at the kasich number and think, 112%, he can't do it. no one can do -- ted cruz isn't going to win 80% of the remaining delegates. i think it's this reality that there are only -- the path diverges in woods. there are only two options. donald trump as the 1,237 delegates nominee or a contested ballot convention. obviously, the establishment prefers a contested ballot
convention. i think they think someone's going to suddenly -- hold on one sec, let me put this behind my back and all of a sudden john kasich -- there's not a secret formula. >> it's not going to happen. and let me say that at 10 after the hour right here, mika, the overwhelming odds have it that donald trump's going to win this thing outright. >> let's look at the polling. the final round of polling he heading into today's key contest. in two polls, trump led by double digits. 44% for trump to rubio's 27%, with trump gaining 6 and rubio dropping 3 since last week. >> gene, i want to keep this up and say it again. i think one of the most remarkable things that will survive donald trump's candidacy in 2016, whether he wins or loses, is the fact that he has not been able to be touched by tens of millions of dollars in negative attack ads, in response
to $25 million in attack ads with instagram posts and tweets. and i'm not joking. i'm not joking. he has completely -- >> but, again, we're talking about primary voters, right? >> but still -- >> it's remarkable, though. >> it rolls off of him. and it's very -- we've learned a whole lot about money and politics in this cycle. >> well, actually -- >> it's not quite as important. >> on the other side, we have a candidate who's comparing -- who complains, i think, justifiably, about billionaires and how they're, you know, they're running the world. and he raises money at the drop of a hat. he raises more money than -- faster than he can count it. and spends a huge amount of money. >> that may be one of the lasting impacts of this election cycle. >> or trump might just be different. >> i don't know, i think people -- >> i mean, he has access to the coverage of his instagram and tweet. you know, it's not just that he's on instagram and twitter. it's that --
>> but bernie sanders did not. >> he does now. >> he does now, but he did not. so how did he do that? that is fantastic and fascinating. >> he built a message against washington, d.c., and just like ron paul did, when ron paul was running, not quite as successfully, but he built it up and raised an awful lot of money. and i think we're seeing actually -- >> a candidate on each side not taking the money. >> think about all the stories, mark halperin, that our good friend nick confessore has written for "the new york times," about 187 families completely dominating the money in american politics. guarantee you you won't find contributions there any of those families or the koch brothers or george soros or whoever. >> and these families running around fund-raising, chelsea doing the fund-raisers -- constantly fund-raising and sucking up to people and owing them favors. it's ridiculous and people know it. >> you won't see these massive
donations in the hands of donald trump or bernie sanders. >> every candidate in this race opened a twitter account, hired the web fund-raisers, thought about how to pitch things. you need an authentic message with emotion and passion that you say every day and that tens of millions of people believe in. it's not that complicated. and bernie sanders, even more than donald trump, has changed politics this cycle, i think. because as nicole suggested, you can't do what trump did. trump is unique. >> right, he's a celebrity, came in with a platform. >> but you could do what bernie sanders did. >> bernie with a message, and by the way, a positive one. a completely positive, loving of this country, and tapping into the anger that is very real out there. >> and a desire for change. >> a desire for change. >> and when trump and sanders say, we're not controlled by special interests, people get it. >> love it! love it. >> and you know, mark brought up a great point about, trump is trump. he's a one-off. he had a best-selling business
book back in the 1980s. that's when my brother first started following donald trump. >> and that's not nothing. >> 30, 35 years ago. and then he had a prime-time hit show that very few people in, you know, sort of the establishment class watched. but americans at vote watched for 10, 11, 12 years. i mean, being in prime-time of this tumultuous era of television is nothing short of remarkable. just like another guy, ronald reagan, who was on ge theater. >> right. >> for, what, five, six, seven years, where 20 to 25 million people tuned in every week to see ronald reagan. everybody called reagan a fool. he got out on the campaign trail and all of those millions of people knew who he was and it does make a huge difference. >> he also picked some political fights. he was the champion of the birther movement, a big
controversial media saturation kind of coverage of political fights. so he had a political -- while he was hosting a successful show on prime-time, he also was leading some really dicey but riveting political battles for, you know, part of the republican brand -- >> and he's pretty skilled at drawing attention to him. to the extent that there is technique there -- he's really accomplished at that. he really knows how to -- >> and do people know what he's about? you know, go with john kasich and ted cruz to kentucky or colorado. people -- they still have -- they barely know who they are. they don't have a good sense of what they're like as people. people know what donald trump is like and they have for decades. >> and that's exactly why after south carolina, people are going to stop donald trump, like they had to stop him in south carolina, because that was the last closely held race after that. they scattered across america. his celebrity, his ability to draw crowds at airport hangers, that was going to trump every
30-second ad, because you couldn't raise money fast enough. for future presidential candidates, and i've said this in 2008, for people who wanted to stop john mccain. i said it in 2016. if you're going to stop somebody, you have to stop them in south carolina, because once day get out of south carolina with momentum, game over. >> you can't laugh at them. >> the game is over. they shoot out, and it's momentum, as nicole said, it's lightning in a bottle. and they can't be stopped. that's why i've been deeply skeptical, post-south carolina, that anybody was going to stop donald trump. chris cillizza, so, how do you balance -- and i'm just -- i throw this open to the table. i'm sure there are a lot of people out there that are angry. say, oh, you're giving trump all of this legitimacy! no, we're just reporting on the realities. and we found that when we report on the realities and the facts, it pisss a lot of folks off. because they don't like the
facts and because we're the ones that have diagnosed it properly for the last nine months, that somehow we must like what we diagnose. >> we must be very powerful. >> we must be. but how do you balance getting the facts out to the people, which is, basically, this guy knows what he's doing. he knows how to win republican primaries. >> they don't like it. >> with, again, all the offensive things we've been talking about for the past week. and we're going to be doing it, i suspect, into the fall. >> one of the things that is hard, and i'm sure you know this, because i do, people say to me, all the time, why don't you guys fact check donald trump and tell people that he's not telling the truth about things. and i said, we -- do you ever read anything we write or watch? this idea, people can hold this remarkable idea, which is, the media is less powerful than it's ever been before, but also, super powerful and able to convince people who hate the
media of things. the idea that -- and i love "the washington post" fact checker, glenn kessler and michelle lee, they do a great job. but the idea that donald trump supporters are going to go and be like, oh, well, they got three pinocchios for that statement. i guess i'm not going to be for him. you ought to be from a different planet. and that's what's hard. we are doing -- people say, do your job! we are doing our job. but we don't reach every single person. and the very fact that we say, sometimes, that on the facts, there weren't hundreds of or thousands of muslims celebrate g september 11th in new jersey, well, that's just the media. you saw sarah palin yesterday, the media is taking the thugs' side. >> wlahat was the deal with her appearance? >> it was canceled and then not cancel canceled? >> what happened? >> i think she was supposed to
campaign with trump for the whole day, and she did it very briefly and walked. >> but she canceled an early morning speech to do a later speech. >> i'll tell you what the probability of that is. i'm speculating, but it's very hard to fly back, so my event is she canceled the event to look for flights, found that she couldn't get a flight to get back there until later, late enough to allow her to do the later event. that would be my guess. >> okay, very good. so we hope todd palin is doing well. gene, it's a real frustration. we had bob woodward come on the show, and he said, why don't you ever ask the follow-up -- and i said, bob, we do. and he said, why haven't you asked about wall. i said, we have. so bob, we've got him coming up. good luck. go! so to bob asked four questions, five questions, six questions, he got absolutely nowhere with him. and i said, bob, would you like me to get you in his office so you can ask him for an hour.
i guarantee you at the end of the hour, the answer's going to be the same. >> and it's the voters the that have been fine with it. >> everybody thinks, gene, that there is a magic question to ask that will make donald trump collapse on a witness stand, just like perry mason, saying, i'm lying, i'm lying about everything! i don't know what i'm doing. >> i am so sorry. >> it's not there. we have asked him questions, accused him of demagoguery, accused him of lying with, and the voters don't care. we're reporting it. they don't care. sorry, talk to them. >> yeah, but right now my twitter notifications are going, you know, speak up and tell the world what a charlatan donald trump is and why don't you -- and the fact is that people are angry that other people aren't reacting the way they would like them to react, to what is being published every day, every hour of every day. and you know, i sometimes tell people that. well, look, here, you know, the
following 25 times, the previous 25 times, that what you say we're hiding has, in fact, been reported. in the last two weeks. >> i had a guy e-mail me, nicole, yesterday, saying, why didn't you criticize film for the muslim ban. >> i remember when he called in. >> is this what germany looked like in 1933? why do people just let him go and why don't they hang up on him. i said, are you kidding me? we hung up on him. and everything they ask to do, we had already done. it's almost like they are angry at the people who don't care about it. >> who don't care about it, exactly. people who aren't reacting in the -- >> or they don't like -- i mean, we have trump supporters in our close family, so -- and i'm sure lots of people are experiencing this. i met someone yesterday whose wife is for trump, and he's for cruz. i said, oh, my god, how's that going? and he said, ugh. but the thing is, i spoke to a lot of the campaigns, most of them out, you know, and i said,
why didn't you make this anti-trump case? and they said, well, part of the quagmire was that trump makes the anti-trump case. everything he says -- and you said this in the fall, he makes more gaffes in an interview than any other candidates have made in the whole cycle. but he has such a buffer. he has such sticky support that they buffer him from consequences that would equal the demise of any other campaign. and that sort of was misdiagnosed, i think, from the beginning. the story actually isn't trump. it's the trump supporter, who decided back in the fall, back in the summer, maybe some of them when they thought he was the only one telling the truth about obama and incredibly polarizing and controversial claims. but his base has been with him in a way that they are not with and have not been and i don't foresee them being with anybody else. >> part of the deal is, trump is transgre transgressi
transgressive. he doesn't play by the rules, he's different. so when he says something crazy, we all point and say, he's being transgressive, he's different. and his supporters say, yeah, that's right. >> it's a lot about his support supporters, but i think it's at least 25% about him. he's one of the two most talented presidential candidates any of us have covered >> who's the other one? >> bill clinton. >> and not barack obama? the black guy from chicago with the name barack hussein obama who got elected twice? >> strong third. look at what donald trump does every day to defy -- >> don't even open your computer. turn it upside down right now. you can't say that. >> in terms of pure political skill -- >> you're going to be attacked. >> barack obama had david axelrod and david plough and a squadron of people around him who knew what they were doing. >> those guys microtargeted -- >> they mapped it all out. >> donald trump has donald trump cory lewandowski, hope hicks. >> a couple other people. >> you've said it a lot on the
show, you cannot understate, overstate how much this is just him. >> just him. >> by the way, somebody called me the other day and said, i want to go on -- i want to go on an interview today. do you have any idea who i would call to get talking points? i said, are you kidding me? there is no press operation, because there is no operation. >> which is -- which makes it one of the most amazing things -- >> it really is. it makes it one of the most remarkable political achievements of our lifetime, what he has done, by himself. it also makes it one of the most dangerous things that we've seen in our political lifetime, that somebody could get elected president with absolutely nobody around him. because even when you have these giant hulking infrastructures, the transition from being a candidate to being a president is absolute chaos. >> yeah. >> all right. >> it's -- >> don't even --
>> it's frightening. and ask bill clinton. ask george w. bush. ask barack obama. the treasury department was m empty for about a year. that's how difficult it is. >> chris cillizza, thank you very much. nicole wallace, thank you, as well. >> are we all depressed? >> i am. >> no, i just -- >> i'll admit it. i'm depressed. >> i bet you he'll fill those positions really quickly. >> yeah, he just wouldn't play by the rules. >> he wouldn't vet anybody. >> not sure with who. >> it's just not that easy. >> it would be very different. still ahead on "morning joe," chuck todd and -- >> a lot of guys running his golf courses will be undersecretary. no, i'm saying, it's very -- donald trump has been his own man for 40 years. where does somebody who has run it all himself go to fill out thousands and thousands of incredibly important positions across the government? we're not getting ahead of ourselves -- >> you're just asking. >> just asking right now.
steve brought his very expensive etch a sketch to explain how tonight can play out. >> that's funny to me and gene. >> why not a chalkboard? we'll be right back. (son) pa, i know we settle for cable... but directv has been number one in customer satisfaction over cable for 15 years. (father) how 'bout over 15 satisfying years with that woman over there boiling your clothes. her layers and layers of...layers. hair that i've rarely seen because it's always under that bonnet. and how she fought off that grizzly and made him into these slippers. that's satisfaction son. (vo) don't be a settler, get a $100 reward card when you switch to directv.
29 past the hour. joining us now, nbc news political director, moderator of "meet the press," and most of "mtp daily," chuck todd. and msnbc's steve kornacki over at the big board. we call it the etch a sketch. steve, what have you got? >> we thought we would take a look at this question. we're always talking about the brokered convention, the open convention, whatever you want to call it. how tough would it be for republicans who don't want donald trump to actually bring that about. we thought we would start taking a look at tonight. these are the states up for grabs and the delegates in each one of them. let's play around and come up with what for trump would be a bearish situation tonight. things don't go that well. florida is winner-take-all, if those polls are even remotely why, winning by even a vote, he'll get all 99 votes there.
but if john kasich wins ohio, a winner-take-all state, that's 66 delegates. let's say things go badly for donald trump, like a state like missouri. gobble up a lot of delegates there. could be a ted cruz state. let's say ted cruz takes the bulk of the delegates there. i'll skip ahead to the punch line here. basically, what you'd come out with tonight is something that looks roughly like this. trump, 646. and again, 1,237 is what you need. trump, 646. cruz, 458. rubio, 179. and kasich, 148. now, if you play that, we're talking about what happens after march 15th. what happens is two things. one, you could have a condensed race coming out tonight if rubio is not in this thing. but then the map shifts a little bit. remember that 646 number for donald trump. and look ahead. this is what comes after tonight, after march 15th. look at this neck of the woods, this region of the country. this is potentially a very rich area for donald trump. what we did is we played out all
of these states to the end. and we said, let's be conservative for donald trump. let's say that in not a single one of these states does he cross even 50% of the vote. he gets a majority nowhere. let's say in seven of these states, ted cruz puts up wins. what would that do to the delegate scenario at the end of this? remember, 1,237 is the magic number. we played it out with those rules and this is the number for trump we came up, 1,197. so we used a pretty conservative scenario for donald trump. we said, he loses ohio. we said, he loses missouri tonight. he doesn't necessarily do that well in illinois or north carolina. we play this out. we give states to ted cruz. we say trump doesn't hit 50% in a single state the rest of the way, and we got him within 40 delegates of a majority on the first ballot. so it is something the republicans could hold him under 1,237, but it is tough to do. >> steve, thank you very much. >> chuck todd, if you look at that calendar steve just showed,
especially the northeast, west virginia, donald trump strongest state. upstate new york, donald trump's strongest region in the entire country. you've got to believe western pennsylvania, rural pennsylvania, central pennsylvania, trump's going to be strong there. the map doesn't exactly play to the hands of john kasich or ted cruz. >> and that's -- i was just going to say, it depends on the strength of kasich coming out of tonight, right? is he a one-state wonder or can he -- you know, there is this -- to me, we'll know a lot about kasich's strength, if he wins tonight, can he immediately turn that into, for instance, a win in utah? he's got to go find -- and here's why that matters. oh, wow, he's able to put something together. then he and cruz, and this is where i think you'll see them start to work together. then he and cruz start figuring out how to split things up, then it becomes a total delegate denial strategy between the two of them. going up against trump. and if you have a semi-strong kasich, you do keep trump under 50 in pennsylvania.
you do keep trump under 50 in a lot of places in new york. and i think that's the key to all of this. it's all about ohio. >> so the strategy would be to try to keep trump from -- not to win the nomination themselves -- >> well, they can't. john kasich needs 112% of the delegates after tonight. that's actually impossible. >> so you're saying, there is a chance. >> exactly. >> a one in a million shot. one in a million shot. oh, wow. but this is the part where trump, though, he can't afford to be sure. but what happens if that week, which we know, he's yet to show any discipline, if he would just show some discipline for a couple weeks, he could put this away. but if the week, couple weeks running up to the convention, he's short, gets himself into another controversy, the general election polls look bad, that's why he needs to -- he cannot afford to be even 50 short, i think. >> you know, willie, i was just asking, donald trump just called
in on the "today" show and "good morning america" and i said, what news was made. he said, no news was made. he was very boring, very calm. and said, no, i never said i was going to pay for that guy's legal defense fund. >> it's tuesday. it's look presidential day. >> he just said, i'll look into it. now, i think, maybe, maybe we may start seeing is a little bit of a turn. who knows. >> i do recall us saying that a couple of times before. he goes through these hills and valleys. >> we go through the same pattern. sunday, monday -- oh, well, trump, he could luds here. he could lose there. the voters vote. tuesday night and wednesday, we're like, trump's going to put this away. and he says something crazy on thursday or friday. we get right back into it. and lucy yanks away the football. >> but it's all calculated and it's all been calculated. you go back over the last nine months, and i started thinking
about this yesterday. i was doing the radio interview about trump and they talked about the nine months. i said, did you ever notice whether it was mccain or megan kelly or whether it was, i think, the muslim ban, whether it was chicago, it's always on a friday or a saturday. >> yeah. >> it's tauls to dominate the sunday talk shows and dominate the sunday newspapers. always. >> the mccain thing happened on a saturday. the megyn kelly thing happened on a friday night. it dominated sunday news, dominated the sunday newspapers. every sunday newspaper for weeks, "the new york times" is predicting the end of his campaign. and it shot him out of a cannon. >> it only does one thing, joe. it only solidifies his support. he's not growing. >> right. >> let's not pretend, he really hasn't grown. yes, it sits. you can say the ceiling's moved from 35 to 39 every once in a while. but he is making it harder and harder to unite the party.
that's the issue, i think, long-term. >> he has -- >> short-term gain, long-term pain. >> he has actually grown within the party. he's into the 40s now, where, before, he was in the 20s, and some people were saying the early 30s. but what he's doing now, by gaining another vote in the republican party, using these tactics. for every vote that he gains inside the party, he's losing three suburban voters. >> he could be -- >> no, he is. he is. for every voter that he picked up friday night in chicago, he lost three women in suburbs across america. >> he has the highest negative rating in the history of -- >> exactly! and there's no ceiling to that! that's going up. >> i said yesterday, willie, it was day trading. it's time he either figures out how to play the long game or there is no long game. >> what's he at? minus 64, unfavorable. and if you look inside cross tabs with latinos, all the things republicans had to fix four years ago. >> it's an college nightmare,
because it matches up demographically horribly for the match. >> he makes the turn or -- >> the voters he does best with are only places that will close the gap with democrats, right? so he loses michigan by six instead of 10. >> all right. chuck todd, thank you very much. coming up, why turbulence on a campaign flight for marco rubio could help explain the predicament the gop is now in. we'll explain that one, straight ahead. we'll be right back. it's more than a network and the cloud.
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how great it would be if protesters were carried out on stretchers and how he's going to pay for their legal fees when they assault someone. there's got to be limits to discourse. it's not about political correctness. what are the limits about what you're allowed to say before you go too far? i don't know if they exist anymore. >> up next, a closer look at battleground florida. we'll talk the a former florida house speaker who switched his endorsement to marco rubio after jeb bush dropped out. and donald trump has cited fdr if his push to ban muslims from entering the u.s. we're going to bring in presidential historian douglas brinkley, who's got a new book out on roosevelt about american politics, then and now. "morning joe" is back in a moment.
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pedorance. we torture him and he still comes back. >> we love him. >> you are the single angriest man on twitter right now. and i absolutely love you. you -- oh, my god, you know what, he's the larry david of twitter. >> now, i'm leaving that -- that is like the best thing anyone's ever said about me. the best. >> sometimes, it's like, way too angry, but then again, so is ra larry. >> you get caught up in these little melees. >> you can go blank -- >> joe scarborough said i'm larry david. that's going to be my bio. my guest twitter bio. >> former speaker of the house of representatives, will weatherford. he endorsed senator marco rubio for president late last month. he previously supported former florida governor, jeb bush. so who's next? who are you going to endorse next? >> stop that! so, will, what is -- i know
you're a big jeb fan. does marco get out of the race tonight if he doesn't win? >> look, it would certainly be tough for him to go forward if he loses tonight. but what i would say is, over half the electorate in florida has already voted, joe. as you know, early voting and absentee is huge in florida. turnout is high in south florida. so it's an uphill battle for marco tonight. but with all the numbers that are showing up, i think it's going to be a little bit tighter than people anticipate. >> you know the state, especially. why does donald trump have such a hold over this state? why is he doing so well in north florida, down to south florida? explain to me -- >> it's been shocking -- >> explain to people outside the state of florida why trump's populism sells so well there. >> well, florida is regional, you know? the panhandle has a different electorate than central florida and the i-4 corridor and then you've got south florida. there are sections to florida. he's certainly going to do well in the panhandle. but i've got to say, joe, i've just been shocked at the way the
republican party has just allowed this person to hijack what i believe are our principles and what we stand for as a party. the things he's said and done are so offensive, i don't know how he wins in november. and he may win in florida in a primary, but you and i both know, when he comes to florida as the nominee, if he were to get there, this is a much different place to run in. and i think the critical error we made as a party and as an electorate was early on, last full, when jeb bush was going after donald trump and everyone else, as jeb called it, was in the witness protection program, we had an opportunity back then to really define donald trump and we lost it. and now here we are. >> so john, quick quiz for you. do you know who else won a florida primary? democratic primary? >> who else? when? >> can you name somebody else? just to see if it translates -- george wallace won a florida primary on the democratic side. >> what did he win, 13 states? >> 13 states. so it doesn't always translate. >> so you do have the history,
obviously, trump, if he wins as the candidate of a major political party, so he's not an independent winning 13 states. but you could see, in some odd way, the wallace coalition being what trump gets in november. i mean, you know, it's kind of eerily similar. i mean, obviously, it's almost 50 years later. but the composition -- >> but it's moving that direction. it's especially moved that direction over the last three weeks. >> and i think you also see that one of the horrifying possibilities that is represented by this election with trump at the head of the ticket is a division of the two parties into the republican party becoming almost explicitly the white party and the democratic party becoming the minority party with liberal -- with very upscale liberal whites in it. you could have a -- for the first time in american history, a practical division where
rather than having ethnic, religious, and, you know, and racial coalitions, you would have a kind of sorting that does not seem racial coalitions, you would have a kind of sorting that does not seem like the sort of thing one would have expected after 2008. >> mr. speaker, it's willie geist here. your candidate said a couple days ago that he still would support donald trump if you were the nominee. he said it's getting harder and harder to do so but he would still support him. begin all the things you have said about donald trump and clearly you are not a fan of his what do you do if he becomes the nominee? i ask you because i think you are in the position a lot of republicans are. do i vote for hillary clinton or bernie sanders? do i hope for a third party? what do you do in that case? >> well, here is what i would say, he hasn't earned my vote thus far, even if he was the nominee. i expect the nominee of the republican party to be presidential. i expect them to care about the poor. i expect them to care about free
markets and free enterprise. i expect them to care about life. this is a person who has not embodied what i look for in a candidate for the republican nomination and somebody i can support in november. now, is there an opportunity for him to earn that, maybe, but he has not shown that thus far and the divisiveness that he created in this political environment and eco system is dangerous, it appears to be very calculating, joe, to what you said earlier and maybe that's what's the scariest part about it. i'm looking for someone who is uplifting, i'm looking for someone who has a positive message and the only thing good going for the republicans is on the democratic side we have somebody who is under criminal investigation as one candidate and another is a socialist, if not for that we would have no chance in november. >> assuming marco rubio loses in florida and it looks like he might, will you then move to a another candidate? are you then support ted cruz or john kasich if he survives and will you encourage other leading republicans in the state like jeb bush, for example, to join in?
you know, why aren't republicans who believe the way you believe coalescing around someone else rather than sort of splitting the support or not supporting everybody -- anybody and allowing trump to rampage? >> well, historically -- that's a great question -- historically the race was consolidated a lot faster than it has this time. here we are, we're halfway through the states, we still have four candidates who are running. depending on what happens tonight, if senator rubio loses which i hope he does not, but if he does and john kasich stays in the race and senator cruz stays in the race it's going to continue to complicate the situation because kasich wins ohio, cruz is going to be viable, they both have an argument to make and at this point they're playing defense to keep donald trump from getting the nomination. it gets complicated to coalesce around one candidate. i think the focus will be on trying to stop donald trump from getting the delegates necessary to win the nomination, but it's very complicated, it's disappointing that we haven't consolidated. this is what happens when you have 17 candidates that run and
there are super pacs out there funding each one of them. >> and none of them seem to work. john podhoretz, after tonight let's say trump has a good night, what's next? >> well -- >> is it kasich if kasich wins ohio -- >> you know, you have kasich and cruz and what they're being asked to do or particularly what cruz is being asked to do is something no candidate has ever actually done, which is essentially to tag team, to play this kind of game, defensive game, in which they work together to deny trump an absolute majority of delegates. i don't know of a circumstance in american -- modern american history in which we actually have, you know, direct elections in primaries that any such thing has ever happened. it is almost -- look, you are an elected politician, it's like an allergic reaction. you have to do something that's never been done before and i don't know that -- cruz so far i don't think has shown at
patienceness of vision to get to this point. >> you can't beat somebody with nobody. they're trying to do that. >> will weatherford thank you very much. john podhoretz, thank you as well. we'll see you on twitter. and we teased earlier why the story of turbulence on a campaign flight for marco rubio could help explain the gop's current predicament. that's in the "new york times," mark leibovich new piece. we will speak with mark this afternoon because we have afternoon joe today. >> thank goodness. i'm thinking we aren't on tv enough. >> we get really, really punchy about that time of day. it's probably dangerous to put us on television. rnia king? getting roid rage. hemorrhoid. these are the worst, right? i'm gonna buy them. boom. i'll take them. impulse buy. ommmmmmmmmmm. american express presents the blue cash everyday card with no annual fee. it's all happening. cash back on purchases.
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win florida, but no matter where i go or where i'll be, i will always be a son of this community. >> if you're here tonight or at home watching on television and you're thinking about possibly supporting marco rubio or john kasich, i want to invite you, come join us. we welcome you to our team. >> i will never take a low road to the highest office in the land. i will not do it. >> we have a big election coming up. we could really change things and, you know, marco is not going to do it. and lying ted. lying ted. lying ted. l-y-i-n with an apostrophe. >> what we don't have time for is all that petty punk ass little thug ri stuff that's been going on with these, quote/unquote, protesters. >> good morning and welcome to another super tuesday. >> do you want to call that super? >> it doesn't feel very super.
today republican voters will decide whether or not the republican race is a coronation or battle to the convention from here on out. a total of 367 delegates are at stake today across five states and one territory. >> gold plated states may i add. >> making today the second biggest delegate haul, and the last one to break 300 until the final contests on june 7th. donald trump has taken about 42% of the delegates so far with ted cruz staying competitive with 34% and today is make or break for marco rubio and john kasich in their home states. on the democratic side voters in those same five states will go to the polls with nearly 800 delegates on the line. that's about a third of the total needed to clinch the nomination. heading into today's contest secretary clinton leads senator senator sanders by over 600 delegates, just over 50% of the way to the magic number. with us on set we have managing editor of bloomberg politics,
mark halperin, former communications director for president george w. bush, nicolle wallace. in washington columnist for bloomberg view, al hunt. and in cleveland, ohio, nbc news senior white house correspondent chris jansing. >> let's go to the man that the kids call rain man this morning. ask him about any quantity tus flight taking off right now -- -- >> i'm for wapner. >> what about today, set it up for us. >> donald trump could end the race today. he's within hailing distance in some polls in ohio, if he wins all five states i think this fight will be over. >> does it all come down to ohio? florida looks -- you want to let everybody vote but donald trump right now is light years ahead in every single poll. >> yeah. >> there's early voting there, probably 50% of the people that are going to vote have already voted right now. does it all come town to ohio for the republican party's last
best hope to stop donald trump? >> yes, if they don't stop him in ohio i think the race is over. if they do stop him in ohio it's a much different race. watch ted cruz in illinois, watch him in north carolina and missouri. trump could win one state tonight, could. i don't think he will, i think he will win more but he could win more. big difference between winning one and winning five. there's talk in some circles about marco rubio not leaving the race. >> why is that? >> to hold on to his delegates to be part of a stop trump movement to do everything possible to keep him from getting the majority of delegates. >> does he suspend the campaign. >> he does whatever he needs to to hold his delegates. >> he doesn't want to keep getting 4, 5, 6% state after state. >> he may not keep campaigning but he may hold on to the delegates he has. we just showed the percentage he has, he has some delegates. the stop trump movement is ineffective, it's not as well organized as it could be, but after tonight if trump does not win tonight everybody tries to figure out is there a way to keep him from getting a majority.
>> they were trying to figure that out, al hunt, a couple of weeks ago. i mean, they poured in $25 million in the state of florida, donald trump's numbers have only gone up 8 to 10 percentage points. if you want to compare polls week to week, i mean, his polls just keep going up the more money they throw at him, the higher his numbers get. i wonder what their new plan is to stop trump after today. >> well, you're right, joe, but they're hoping that there is a big gap between next week's arizona primary and new york on the 19th of april. the hope is that they will spend a lot of money, then, this is the stop trump movement, a lot of money, have more attention because there aren't elections every week, it may have the same result. i'm not going to say it's all over no matter what happens because i've learned that i've said too many things are all over for the last six months and that's a hazardous prediction. >> yes. >> i do think that that data you put up earlier, the 42%, donald trump can't go into cleveland with 42 or 44 or 45%, he has to
go into cleveland with something almost at 50%. it's not just how many states he wins but how many delegates he picks up tonight in the subsequent weeks. >> nicolle, i have avenue come to the conclusion over the past two weeks with everything that's been breaking that if he's at 49% they will not give it to him. >> how do they do that, though? >> by saying, we're not going to give it to you. i think things were far different two for three weeks ago. listen, there's going to be a civil war regardless and i'm not suggesting that this is what they do, i'm just saying after the david duke demur, after -- once again, saying that slam is against all of us, after friday night, they have what they consider their justification. i think it will split the party in half and -- but, you know, there is already a civil war right now. >> i think the party has been broken. i think that donald trump has to really tumble in the polls and the things you mentioned, the three days to disavow david
duke, the muslim ban, doubling down on islam, these things create a crisis for him within the part of the party that's already against him. >> right. >> it gives them exhibit a, exhibit b, exhibit c. they give them the sort of forceful message that you heard ted cruz and marco rubio make in the last 48 hours. those messages aren't turning his supporters against him because they hear a guy not bought and sold by donors, they hear a guy who is correcting the political correctness, they hear a guy who hears their economic pain. so it is a broken party and it is a completely bifurcated campaign. >> how is your dad with this, how is your brother with this? >> my parents hated the things he said about megyn kelly three months ago, my parents have hated his personal insult campaign since the beginning. that has always been the thing that they liked him despite those things. they saw the violence and they -- no one watched the images of violence and it didn't make anyone like trump more but it didn't peel them off because they're still committed to the
fact that he doesn't have a donor base and that he's going to break what they hate about washington. >> to that point there was a poll out yesterday that showedel -- showed 88% either liked trump more or didn't change their opinion based on friday night. i think all that stuff is built in and baked into who he is. the question is if you get to all these states and he wins -- say he wins ohio and florida tonight, goes to cleveland with those huge stagts and all these delegates, how practically do you peel it away from him and take those millions and millions of people who voted for him and say your vote doesn't matter we're going to give it to someone else. >> personally i don't ng that -- i think it's a moot point because here is the poll, 88% like you said had no impact or made it more likely to vote for him. again, this goes to what nicolle was saying, all these things that offend people in manhattan and in washington, d.c. actually strengthens him with the base because what his supporters saw
on friday night, willie, was, you know, they saw move on. org, they saw bernie supporters tearing up signs they saw -- well, they saw what i saw on tv, people running up to the camera shouting profanities not even being able to describe why they were there. raising questions why were they there? they saw black lives matter there. fist fights. trump people leaving the parking lot and people screaming at them. so even the things that offend us actually reinforces support for trump among many and i must say even the news on fox has become more positive toward donald trump since friday. for a second there i actually thought we were going to hear some sympathy from megyn kelly who of course has no reason to be sympathetic toward donald trump at all, but as those protests were going on she called out what offended her and
what offended a lot of conservatives. >> there is no doubt that the fox thing is on the leading edge of how this has helped trump with some parts of the party. there are two realities, though, that i think are important to talk about in light of today. one is what al said which is the calendar becomes much different now and i don't think that that will work to donald trump's benefit because of the second factor which is we are going to have a slimmed down field. assuming the voters in florida do not vote for marco rubio and trump wins that state he is either in a three-person race with cruz and kasich or a two-person race with cruz. it is possible with the calendar the way it is and a two-person race with ted cruz trump could start losing states to ted cruz. >> let's look at the latest round of polling heading into today's key state contests. in two more florida polls yesterday trump led by double digits, he is up 17 points in the final monmouth university, 44% for trump to rubio's 27%. with trump gaining 6 and rubio dropping 3 since last week and trump has an 18 point lead in a new -- >> by the way, we have to just
say, again, the guy has gone up 6 points despite the fact he has had $25 million thrown against him in florida. you cannot be in the state of florida without seeing a negative donald trump commercial every -- every 30 seconds. >> yeah. >> it is everywhere in florida and the guy has gone up 6 points. that shows what the establishment's money and what the donor class money does and helps explain what usually would hurt any other candidate only seems to reinforce donald trump. >> and since mitt romney's endorsement those numbers are a full -- >> mitt romney's endorsement? >> mitt romney's anti-endorsement. >> anti-endorsement. >> it was an endorsement trump style. >> it has had the effect of endorsing him because it's the establishment coming out as strongly -- you said it from day one. >> the misstatement. >> i won't say i told you so. >> an endorsement from an establishment figure from any of the others would actually hurt
them and i think that was the case. >> these ads have not been accompanied by a candidate driving the same message. it's the only way for ads to have a difference in a race like this. the ads are on and some of them are okay but you don't have the ads coupled with cruz or rubio or kasich driving the same message. >> right. >> that could happen in subsequent states. >> let's go to ohio. >> could. >> you're funny. >> it's cute. >> you're funny, rain man. it's not going to happen. people have been saying it's going to happen. it's just not going to happen. >> hasn't been tried yet, though. >> which is the most remarkable thing, that it hasn't been tried. no one has tried to match -- this is old fashioned politics 101 like -- >> nobody is able to match him. marco tried and screwed up. >> no one has done politics 101. >> no one has tried a campaign message along with an ad. >> no one has tried and when it narrows down it's possible that
they will try and will succeed. >> i actually disagree. i don't think it's possible anymore. no one has tried it is the political malpractice of the cycle. >> it's also possible that i, willie, become an astronaut and be the next person to go into space. >> the monmouth university poll in ohio finds governor kasich finishing with a slight edge taking 40% to trump's 35%, about half a point outside the margin of error, cruz is at 15%, rubio at 5. north carolina which also votes today a public policy polling finds trump in the lead 44 to cruz's 33 cruz's 33, kasich at 11, rubio at 7. >> you see trump, mika, in the 40s in all of these, in every single one of these polls, once again, everything that everybody said about donald trump has been wrong. >> yeah. >> what we've been saying here -- willie, we have been
mocking people that have been moving that ceiling up for nine months. it was 15, then it was 20. that was it. it was 20. >> remember when it was 29. >> and then it will never get to 30. he will never get to 30. he is in the 40s in every one of these polls, willie. >> i tell you you showed that -- even in ohio where he is not in the 40s and governor kasich may well win today, what donald trump has done there is remarkable. john kasich is incredibly popular, incredibly popular, 80% approval rating among republicans, he won his last race by 30 points, he has been endorsed by the republican party in ohio which they haven't done for 50 years. he has every advantage you can imagine, you walk around ohio, people love him, republicans love him and yet donald trump is within striking distance. it's one of the most remarkable things trump has accomplished, to be competitive in ohio against john kasich is inn cred sniebl it's pretty incredible. mika, the monmouth poll that came out yesterday that shows him doing so well against marco
rubio, donald trump is doing well against marco rubio even among people that give marco rubio high approval ratings for his work as a united states senator. >> well, he was at one point sort of the establishment pick and the hometown boy and trump has squashed florida's hometown boy and possibly could squash ohio's hometown as well. it's unbelievable. in a final push ahead of today's ohio primary governor john kasich held campaign events alongside former gop nominee mitt romney. did he endorse him? okay. >> he said super nice things. >> super nice things. >> last night the two held a rally in kasich's hometown -- maybe he's going to run himself, mitt romney. and that's why he's holding back on doing anything definitive, clear and helpful. if kasich wins in his home state it could keep his candidacy alive but last night he said he isn't willing to sacrifice his more or less for his job. >> frankly, folks, i don't care
about politics. have you figured that out by now? it means nothing to me. okay? i don't care about polls, i don't care about focus groups, i care about listening to you when i see you on the corner, the letters you write, the e-mails i get. you see, i hear you. and all you want is somebody that's going to call them like he sees them. i'm here to be a good role model as best as i can for these kids and my daughters and i want to tell you something, i will never take a low road to the highest office in the land. i will not do it. >> chris jansing is in cleveland, i believe. so, chris, this is a big day for governor kasich. what's the possibility from what you're hearing in the ground anecdotally, is it possible he could get edged out in his home state of ohio? >> i've been here a week in columbus and cleveland, they are nervous, republican leaders, as willie pointed out, all of them
backed john kasich. i thought the most significant thing we heard from mitt romney at two appearances yesterday had nothing to do with being pro john kasich, it was anti-trump. five words, america is counting on you. he is expressing the deep concern across the party and when you talk to folks here in ohio who truly do believe that john kasich would be a great president, who are willing to go out and work hard for him, they think that not just is ohio at stake here, they think the future of the party is at stake, they think the presidency is at stake. when i talked to the head of the party here he said, look, chris, you know ohio, you know this voter base. there is no way if donald trump is the nominee of the republican party that we don't lose ohio and if we lose ohio we lose the presidency. they're nervous, but they do feel, though, that they have a little bit of energy going on. you know, it is worth pointing out that mitt romney did win here and he seemed to fire up the crowds so we'll see what happens, but this race is
unbelievably close. still ahead on "morning joe," pete rose calls an error on donald trump and later we're breaking out the maps to see where bernie sanders goes after tonight if he doesn't get another michigan miracle. plus. >> he's always calling me little marco. >> he's taller than me,' 6'2", which is why i don't understand why his hands are the size of a guy that's 5'2". have you seen his hands? they're like this. and you know what they say about men with small hands -- you can't trust them. >> he hit my hands. nobody has ever hit my hands. i've never heard of this. look at those hands. are they small hands? and he referred to me hands. if they're small something else must be small. i guarantee you there's no problem. i guarantee it. okay. >> wow. -- by the way, willie, you know, donald trump says nobody has ever talked to my hands before. how do you say something like
that when you have had graydon carter and kurt anderson and the people at spy talking about this and terror rising him about his hands since the 1980s. >> short fingered vulgarian, that's been out there for 30 years and clearly a weak spot for mr. trump which marco rubio identified last week. >> we will talk to the man we have to thank for that political gem that will live forever. kurt anderson weighs in on the politics of hand size. really? >> no. no. he doesn't. >> no. >> hands are normal size. i actually saw the fix actually did something, they're normal size. >> we're not? >> we're just talking to kurt. >> we're not getting into that. >> we won't talk about the politics of hand size. >> it can come up. >> no, it's not coming up. >> here is bill karins. he has a check -- listen, the kids can stay. don't worry. they can continue to eat their frosted flakes. >> just toss to bill.
>> here is bill karins, he has a check on the forecast. >> we're way above all that stuff. yeah, right. heavy rains continues to the north from boston up into maine this morning, even a little snow in northern maine, winter not done there yet. some thunderstorms rolling through iowa. everyone is worried how we will have the weather and severe storms impacting areas of the ohio valley today because we're voting in ohio and areas of illinois. yesterday in ohio we did have one confirmed tornado, you can see it in the dead center middle of your screen, you can see the lowering of the base of the cloud and that funnel that goes down to the ground. i do know because we did get confirmation that a couple houses and roofs were destroyed, about 100, 110 mile per hour winds with that tornado. today 19.5 million people are at risk, but the storm coverage is not going to be great, not everyone will see the strong storms, but the storms that do form in this area could have a couple isolated tornadoes, hail and damaging wind. here is the timing of it. of course, everyone will be voting in illinois and missouri here today.
10:00 to 11:00 some storms from davenport, iowa, heading over through chicago. then that will exit. round two through missouri. kansas city 4:00, 5:00, st. louis it looks like most of the storms should be to your north. if you get any it will be around 8:00 or 9:00 as the polls close. as the state of illinois goes a lot of the bad weather will be after the polls are closed and even in ohio i don't think we will have any issues with weather whatsoever. so that's good. so today's forecast we are also voting in north carolina, sunny, warm, beautiful weather after yesterday's storm, no problems in florida today, temperatures in the mid 80s. we're good in most locations just in missouri and illinois maybe some minor problems with isolated storms. leave you the shot of a gloomy new york city. ♪jake reese, "day to feel alive"♪
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so here is what happens -- here is what happens. so in washington you have lobbyists and they have, you know, emblazoned on their forehead like mike tyson who also endorsed me -- iron mike. i love iron mike. everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face. that was mike tyson. how are you going to fight mike? well, i'm going to weave and bob. he said that's true until they get punched and then all of a sudden they are not weaving and they are not bobbing. it's one of the great expressions. actually, mike tyson did endorse me and i like that endorsement. >> donald trump quoting former world heavyweight tramp mike tyson yesterday in tampa as the republican front runner continues to tout endorsements from professional athletes. a day after he embattled to a crowd about letting pete rose in the hall of fame and sharing this photo of a personalized
ball signed by rose the former cincinnati red appears to be clarifying to what was an endorsement by trump. he said he is making a point not to endorse any presidential candidate. the lawyer stressed that rose did not send any candidate a baseball or a note of endorsement. now you know. >> public policy polling is out with new surveys of likely democratic voters in five states here, hillary clinton leads bernie sanders by 25 points in florida and 19 in north carolina, but in the midwest things are much closer. clinton's five-point lead in ohio is just outside the poll's margin of error. her three-point edge in illinois is inside the margin of error and the two in a virtual tie in missouri. mark halperin, that's a little dicey for hillary clinton. >> she will win two states tonight. big difference for him if he wins -- the difference between winning zero and three, which is huge. this is his worst day in the rest of the campaign. the upcoming states, you have caucuses, states that are better
for him. she said she would drive a better economic message since michigan, i don't believe she has for a variety of reasons, watch tonight how many states he wins. >> i think he could win the three midwest states. >> the clinton people will argue she will end the day netting nor delegates. but she gets three wins too tonight it's a lot of momentum going into, again, more favorable territory. go back to what al said, it's so important for people who aren't living this as closely as we are the calendar changes now, the events are spread out. if he gets her you one-on-one with momentum going into arizona watch what happens. >> you also have, you know -- things have not been, al, great for bernie sanders' campaign since nevada, obviously michigan was a great upset, but just the overall narrative has been pad because he's been beaten so badly in the deep south, but if you have bernie picking up some big midwest wins to add on to michigan then suddenly you do have a guy that can go around
saying i can win in the heart of democratic territory where we have to win in the wall in the industrial midwest. >> oh, yeah. look, the gop race is about math. the democratic race is about chemistry. it's very hard to imagine bernie sanders as the nominee, but he is going to drive that debate if he wins a couple states in the midwest tonight because if you take out the south for a moment, which will probably go republican for most of it will in the fall, bernie sanders is winning the democratic contest. and he's certainly driving the dialogue. so i think bernie sanders winning two or possibly three states tonight really would have a huge impact on the race in the next month or two. >> so, mark, to what end? if bernie sanders steals three states tonight and you say the calendar looks good for him, the delegates math still isn't great. how long does this go? are you suggesting he could take the nomination from hillary clinton or make this a longer fight. >> she is the overwhelming favorite to be the nominee. just like trump.
if trump and hillary clinton have their worst possible nights they are still the overwhelming favorites. he can take this all the way to california and keep her occupied and trump could be the de facto nominee and she's fighting for three more months against sanders. what he needs to do so well in these states outside the south that the super delegates starts to think anew. if you are claire mccaskill and he wins her state does she have to say i have to be a super delegate for bernie sanders. he has to win, win, win, narrow the delegate gap and make the case to the super delegates. not impossible. still an underdog but can make her life horrible. she's moved on trade, sh she's moved on the death at, she's moving further and further to the left and if he has a win tonight he will raise a multi-million dollar night. coming up historian douglas brinkley -- >> he would say i would win all
50 states and i might just take over canada so i could win that, too. that's what he would say. >> brinkley is here to discuss how one of the former presidents most controversial decisions in world war ii may have influenced some of donald trump's propos s proposals. but, we made do. vo: know you can craft an investment plan as strong as your values. al, how you doing. hey, mr. hamilton. vo: know that together you can establish a meaningful legacy. with the guidance and support of your dedicated pnc wealth management team. the access informationlows us to 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
look, we are at war with radical islam -- >> well, that was donald trump on "morning joe" back in december drawing parallels between his proposed muslim bans and the policies of roosevelt in world war ii which is what i'm sure douglas blankly wrote this entire book about. no, it's not. he is professor of history at rice university, douglas brinkley the author of "rightful heritage, franklin d. roosevelt". >> along with co-founder of spy magazine kurt anderson, also host of the award winning radio program studio 360. >> kurt, i saw on twitter a couple days ago that you said that your life has made because i think you were quoted on access hollywood, is that it? >> they did short fingered vulgarian which was coined by spy magazine 28 years ago. there was a great photograph at
the nonrally in chicago of an old guy with a sign that state short fingered vulgarian. >> and today somebody told me it's in the oxford dictionary. my work is done. >> i would have never dreamed that when i was reading that in the late '80s -- >> you could write a dissertation on how perfect that is. i don't know if it's the juxtaposition of something sort of cerebral and something dumb, you know, that skort of thing -- >> exactly. >> exactly what it is. and it's homeric. >> certainly what i would say. you've got to tell you who coined the phase, was it you? >> it was graden definitely who had get him and pro filed him for a piece before as we were starting spy and saw that he had stubby fingers, short fingers, and came back to our office and said, god, this guy has -- who nobody then knew -- has weirdly short fingers for a guy who is
6'3". when we were inventing these ep thets we thought, short fingered vulgarian. >> you do understand that t"the washington post" has has done an examination and his fingers are normal size. >> but it doesn't really matter. >> i know in my gut what is true. >> so it doesn't matter if it's true or not. >> just check the polls. the polls show that -- >> and by the way i just want to make a point that we never intended it to be a proxy for his genitals. that was a marco rubio/donald trump vulgar zags of the thing. it was just a funny stupid thing to attach to him. >> and now you have brought that vulgar zags to "morning joe." thank you so much. why don't we raise the level. >> thanks for the lead in, joe. >> the lead in. douglas. >> talk about d day and -- >> first of all, before we get to your great book here, let's talk first of all about what donald trump said on the way in using fdr's internment of japanese, 110, 120,000 japanese
during the war as an excuse for his muslim band. >> i thought it reprehensible when he did that. franklin roosevelt made a blunder i think by doing that is correct it's the low mark of his presidency when he did the japanese internment one of the things -- >> and really even blunder grossly understates what happened. >> grossly understates. it's horrific. >> horrific, right. >> why did fdr do it? he was terrified that the forests of the west would get sabotaged and burned that that that would be scrap niece arsonists, there had been a balloon of gasoline that hit an area of santa barbara so he did that as an immediate executive order and it's the low mark of fdr's entire four-year tenure, but donald trump seems to pick that up as the one to celebrate, the worst of fdr, not the best. >> let's talk about the best of fdr and rightful heritage and what fdr's vision was for america. >> it's amazing what i really discovered. everybody talks about the stock
market crashing during the great depression but the whole of america was deforested, we had soil erosion everywhere, agricultural was dying and he came in in 1933 and incidentally while trump's fear mongering, fdr we have nothing to fear but fear itself and was leading, pulling people together through optimism but what fdr immediately did was start employing unemployed people, men, and i write about the civilian conservation core, roosevelt's tree army, they planted over 3 billion trees in america because we had so ruined our lands. >> 3 billion trees. what is the percentage of the trees -- you told me the other night -- what's the percentage of the trees in america today? >> it's close to 50% of the trees. >> 50. >> yes. >> 50% of the trees that we have in this country because of what fdr did. >> close. >> close to it. i'm a politician. but based on what fdr did back in the '30s? >> yes, they did massive forest projects, they did a shelter
built in the great plains, a zigzag of trees. if you go anywhere in america and you see a farmhouse with the trees around it, this is fdr -- fdr's policy, but i can't tell you how deforested we were. so wherever he went, joe, fdr would write -- occupation on a farm he would write tree farmer or tree glory. he sent winston churchill his christmas trees every year as a present. he'd take ads out and try to market his evergreen trees and in farm springs, georgia, summer white house was a tree plantation. this game a huge passion for him. >> gene. >> tell me about fdr as a politician. we are evaluating politicians and their skills, we see in donald trump an unusual but extraordinary political performer. what would fdr have made of these -- of these guys and could he have taken them all? >> joe nailed it a little bit ago he would say i will win all 50 states and take canada. you nailed it.
>> no, he would. >> famously stall listen said winston churchill will come next to you and try to put his hand in your pocket to steal a coin. fdr comes in front of you smiling and then puts both hands in your pockets and pulls everything out. and he would have treated, i think, today's crop of political candidates just like this, blown them off, because he was the master of communications. you talk about trump and twitter. fdr and radio and the way he took that form of communication and the way he learned to speak, but also his personal biography. the fact that he was in a wheelchair, he couldn't walk, just to get from, you know, our desk here it would have taken help of a son or something to sit and yet he is the person that pulls us through the great depression. >> look at new media quickly. fdr and the radio, kennedy and television and now we have trump and twitter. >> yeah. but of course we had the hue ee long's and father coughlin's, we
had the arguably fascist i can, you know, cooks, i think fringed people back then they just never got to this level of democratic success that donald trump has gotten. also in terms of the internment, you know, his -- this extraordinary support of fdr's internment policy of t, tin ame square, the chinese did great there by tamping that down, putin he's great because he's tough. this isn't just a wacky outlier among the things he says. he has certain impulses and it seems to me just those three, the rule of three suggests this is -- this is, yes, a funny cartoonish guy who has -- is probably going to get the nomination, but maybe not a guy we want to be president of the united states given his authoritarian impulses. >> when fdr was president do you realize states like utah and
idaho voted for fdr every time and that the entire south watts democratic? i mean, boy did our country change. when did it change? when lyndon johnson signed that civil rights legislation in the 1960s and said there goes the south. so when you write about fdr you are looking at a very different america, but it was a an agricultural country still and fdr was the voice of the farmers and the downtrodden of the country, but also what's amazing to me and what i write about this this book is he decided here is the great depression, we're going to build state parks, like texas, all the state parks built by fdr, we will create new national parks. so he does the smoky mountains, shen nan dough a, everglades, big ben, olympics, kings canyon, jackson hole, on and on, all during the great depression. >> how extraordinary that both roosevelts within a span of 30 years, 40 years changed this country in such a dramatic way.
fdr just following what tr did 35 years before. >> they loved america so much -- they were both believers in the beautification of america, city beautiful movements, public parks and recreation, you know, rivers and national recreation areas where people could get the outdoor life. we haven't had any presidents that felt like the two of them did, but if you go around this country you will see all your national historic sights and all of our battle fields fdr pulled them all in the national park service and this year is the 100th year of the national park. fdr believed we had to study american history and celebrate our past because it would unify us. i write about all those battle fields and places that he went and saved. >> douglas, thank you so much for being with us. the new book is rightful heritage and kurt stay with us, if you will, make more uncomfortable statements about the anatomy of the republican front runner. the day's top business stories straight ahead on "morning joe."
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it's time now for business before the bell with cnbc's sara eisen. what are you looking at this morning? >> we just got a disappointing read on the state of the u.s. consumer. february retail sales dipped from the month before. we also learned that january was also revised lower showing a pretty sharper drop than originally reported. signals a wave of caution for american consumers to start the year. breaking it down a bit further no surprise spending on gasoline fell sharply, those lower gas prices at the bump, but also consumers are spending less at furniture and electronics stores, at department stores as well. in terms of the bright spots, stronger spending on sporting goods, books and music, health and personal care, restaurants and bars. so we're digesting that somewhat negative economic data. there's also some anxiety for investors ahead of a two-day federal reserve meeting which begins today. the big news will come out
tomorrow 2:00 p.m. eastern time and then -- >> but, sara, we are not expecting any bump, are we, in interest rates. >> no. >> because the economy is underperforming what we expected a month ago. >> no change in policy, but investors want to know how janet yellen will characterize the economy. how she balances what are some soft pockets in the economy like retail what we saw today and some of the stronger ones like the jobs market which continues to create jobs and the unemployment rate continues to fall and she she telegraphs when the next move on raising interest rates will come, which theoretically should be happening, joe, when you have a stronger economy. she also has to watch some of the cautionary signals as well and you know it's a delicate balancing act investors will hang on to every single word she says. >> thank you very much. more "morning joe" in just a minute. the wonderment of nature. the detail on this surface book is amazing. with the tiger image, the saliva coming off and you got this turning.
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john kasich needs 112% of the delegates after tonight that's actually impossible. >> so you're saying there is a chance? >> what are my chances? >> not good. >> not good like 1 out of 100? >> i'd say more like 1 out of a million. >> so you're telling me there's a chance. yeah! >> playing the republican establishment in that clip, mr.
carrie. so what have you learned today, gene? >> you know, what i've learned is that the anti-trump republicans keep trying to beat somebody with nobody. they can't figure out who they want to support against donald trump. they are going to get beaten again tonight and it's just going to go on and on until they decide who to coalesce around and they don't decide. >> somebody quoted richard nixon saying he once said show me a campaign where everybody is teamed up against candidate x and i will show you a landslide for candidate x. >> what have you learned today? >> i'm a storyteller so i like this whole idea of momentum, but i'm also a geek and the delegate numbers are -- mean that i would bet huge money that donald trump is going to be the nominee and i would bet huge money that hillary clinton can be the nominee even though she has a
terrible nerve-racking the sky a falling embarrassing night and loses a couple, three states. so let's not -- momentum in physics is a real thing, momentum in politics is a metaphor. >> yes. and we have -- speaking of momentum, alex, we are able at 8:54 a.m. in the morning able to make our first call today. graphics. alex, what's happened? >> donald trump has taken the north mariana islands. >> okay. >> that's a surprise. >> well, there you have it. >> as north marianas go. >> so go american samoa. >> we are going to be back this afternoon at 3:00 p.m. for an afternoon edition of "morning joe." going to be here from 3:00 to 5:00 setting up the big events for tonight. right now stick around steve kornacki will be picking up the
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circled on our calendars for weeks now. it is the day that could put donald trump on the verge of the republican nomination or it could put us on the path to a floor fight in cleveland this summer. something we have never seen in the modern era. if marco rubio and john kasich can't win their home states it could effectively end their campaigns on the spot tonight. as we speak the polls are open in all five states now, in florida, ohio, illinois, missouri and north carolina. in total nearly 400 he will gats up for grabs. that is almost one-third of the magic number needed to win the nomination and that is just at stake today. with most of the voters just beginning to cast their ballots right now we also have our first result of the day already. it comes from way out in the pacific ocean in the northern mariana islands. according to the executive director of the islands republican party