tv The Place for Politics 2016 MSNBC March 17, 2016 6:00am-7:01am PDT
for those who've served and the families that have supported them, we offer our best service in return. usaa. we know what it means to serve. get an insurance quote and see why 92% of our members plan to stay for life. good morning. i'm chris jansing. there's big news this morning on capitol hill. any minute now michigan governor rick snyder will testify before a congressional panel that's trying to figure out how the city of flint was exposed to toxic water for well over a year. we'll bring you that as it begins. and in campaign 2016 it is increasingly clear this morning that the republican party is at a crossroads, divided over donald trump, on one side you have a growing number of rank
and file party leaders now resigned to him as the most likely nominee, but on the other side party activists who are holding out hope that they can find some way to stop him. today conservative activists are gathering in washington to discuss their path forward. erick erickson the conservative activist who disinvited trump to the red state gathering over his attacks on megyn kelly told npr they have their own so-called nuclear option on the table. >> there is going to have to be the groundwork for a new political party in the country that represents people who typically have been republican voters in the past. >> but following his near sweep on tuesday some key republicans seem to be resigned to the fact that donald trump will most likely lead this party into the general election so at this point trump has a clear and plausible path to clinching that nomination outright, he needs just 55% of the remaining delegates to get to that magic number and he says he doesn't even need that because if he gets close, tramp argues, he should win.
or else. >> if we're, you know, 100 short and we're at 1100 and somebody else is at 500 or 400, because we're way ahead of everybody, i don't think you can say that we don't get it automatically. i think it would be -- i think you would have riots. i think you would have riots. i think bad things would happen. i really do. i believe that. i wouldn't lead it, but i think bad things would happen. >> there he is warning about unrest from supporters, but his opponents say they're gearing up for a fight as well. they're threatening massive protests in washington and nationwide. in the meantime the republican candidates are taking a breather today. none of them are on the trail and that debate that had been set for monday is now canceled because trump said he had a speech already scheduled. ted cruz says if trump won't come to the debate he will take the debate to trump. >> he chose to speak right in the middle of the debate because he's scared to debate and, you know, he just -- he looks down on the voters, he thinks they're gullible and lbl whatever he's
saying, i'm going to be in d.c. for aipac as well, since donald is running away from the debate i'm happy to debate him there. >> the other man in the race john kasich whose only shot at a nomination would be via a floor fight in cleveland but there's word today from "politico" that, quote, advisors to donald trump and ted cruz say there's no way they will allow john kasich to even compete at a contested national convention let alone prevail. >> lots going on today. let me beginning with kelly o'donnell. you are back from covering john kasich but you have been out on the campaign trail with a lot of different candidates. from the people you're talking to do the republicans seem to, a, have a heart for a contested convention and, b, if they did would they really have leverage to keep john kasich out of it? >> well, good morning, chris. this whole political season for republicans seems to be a journey of acceptance and that is really focused on a couple of different things, you have some who are now believing that trump is the most likely nominee and they're trying to get used to
that, others are looking at john kasich and saying he is really the last man standing in the so-called establishment lane that we've talked so much about this year. he as ohio governor believes that he has the best chance in a general election and that's the argument he's making even though the math isn't adding up, but there's this ongoing frustration that is kind of in the way of acceptance because conservatives and republicans are so not on the same page this year. we have a lot of animated voters, energized voters, many of whom have not been in the process before, who have been coming out, but those who are not supporting trump really have had a problem galvanizing behind one single candidate. that just hasn't happened. and we have seen that with endorsements moving around, we've seen it with kind of the highs and lows of a campaign, directing attention to somewhere else for a time, it certainly looked like the establishment was going to line up behind marco rubio, now we see he is out of the race. spending time with john kasich and watching voters and talking
to voters who were at his event there is a sense of could this be the person who might be a viable? of course, ted cruz will tell you he has won the most against donald trump, john kasich only winning ohio, however important that is, both of our home state and yet we have this frustration, this question, this how do they figure out an answer without completely alienating the voters and no one has quite figured that out yet, chris. >> kelly o'donnell in washington for us. good to see you back at home for at least a few face. thank you, kelly. on the democratic side you all know massachusetts senator elizabeth warren is a key figure in the party. she has yet to endorse in i candidate. she did speak with chris haze on all in last night. chris started by asking her about the republican reaction to president obama's nominee for the supreme court. take a listen. >> one of the most solemn
undertakings that we have in government is filling a vacancy on the united states supreme court. the president has just completed his constitutional duty, article 2, section 2, he has nominated someone to fill that vacancy. and now what we want is for the republicans to join us in doing the job that the senate is supposed to do, hold our hearings and have a vote, give our advice and consent on this nomin nominee. it's pretty straightforward, it's there in the constitution what we're asking for is do your job. >> do you think there is a relationship between -- i mean, we're seeing the republican party in some ways come apart at the seams through this nomination process, the primary that's happening. the folks that you work with, your colleagues, represent essentially the establishment to the extent there is one, they're elected leaders. do you see a relationship between the behavior of your colleagues who are senators and what's happening in this
primary? >> so, look, what they're doing right now with the supreme court is completely unprecedented. there has never been anything like this in history, but i have to say the republicans in the senate have been building this for a long time because they have truly given into the extremists in the party. remember that right after president obama was reelected in 2012 by 5 million votes that the response of republicans in the senate was to try to block him from filling any of three vacancies on the d.c. circuit court of appeals, second most important court in the united states, tried to block him from filling any vacancy on the nlrb. why? so they could shut down the nlrb because they wouldn't have a quorum. tried to name him from naming anyone from the environmental secretary agency, the consumer financial protection bureau.
why? because they were trying to hold those as vacant so they could shut down parts of government. and when you've given into your extremists like that, when the whole animating of energy of the united states senate is in effect to try to deny the legitimacy of the president who was democrat i can clee elected. the legitimacy of what's called for in the constitution means they really have just gone the extremist route and, let's face it, trump is the natural consequence of that. so i think all these pieces are weaving together and they've all hit this -- this high point now or low point with trump as the presidential nominee and senate republicans having picked this position that says we're not going to even hold hearings and a vote on a vacancy in the
united states supreme court basically for a year. this is really pretty stunning. >> and when you put the two together you have the last nominee that this party nominated, mitt romney, calling the current front runner essentially a sharl ton, a fraud, a con artist, possibly a threat to the republic and at the same time his party saying we must preserve this seat so said sharl ton, fraud, con artist may be able to fill it in the future. >> exactly. look how mitt romney plays into all of this. the kinds of things i was talking about, where the senate republicans said, we don't want anyone for the next four years in the d.c. circuit court of appeals, we don't want anyone over at the nlrb because we just want to shut it down. where was mitt romney then? where were the supposedly cooler heads of the republican party at that point? the answer is they were in bed with the extremists and now look what they've got on their hands.
>> are you someone who is scared by donald trump? do you find what's happening around his rallies, around his rhetoric deeply worrisome and scary? >> i take donald trump very seriously. what he is promoting is a form of hate that is virulent and that is bad for this country and my view on this is this is it, it is time for all of us to speak out. republican, democrat, independent, libertarian, vegetarian, everybody, to say no to the donald. we cannot have a man like this as a serious candidate for president and have him threatening to take over the white house. this is not a reality show. this is real life and this is our country and when we're talking about president of the united states we've got to take
a deep breath here and get really serious, not donald trump. >> you have been very careful about your relationship to the primary on the democratic side, you have not endorsed either candidate. my seasons is you don't really love talk being it but i would feel remiss if i didn't ask you about it. a lot of people are asking if you will endorse, if you have plans to endorse before the convention and what your current thinking is on the race. >> let me say one thing about it. as you call it my relationship to the primary, the way i think of it, i've been cheering them on because i am really proud to be a democrat and this primary has made me prouder, even prouder, to be a democrat. why? because our candidates are out there talking about the issues. our candidates are out there debating the very best way to make sure that our young people can get an education without being crushed by debt, our candidates are out there talking about trade deals that leave workers in the dirt and saying that we're not going to support
that kind of thing anymore. our candidates are out there talking about how we get more money into rebuilding infrastructure, roads and bridges, so that we have better jobs, not overseas but right here in america. our candidates are having the kind of debate that we should be having in a democracy. it makes me proud and i've got to tell you it makes clear the difference between democrats and, boy, that show that's going on over on the republican side. so right now i tell you what my timeline is, i like what we're doing on the democratic side and i think it's what we ought to be doing. >> all right. senator elizabeth warren, always a great pleasure. and the senator obvious one people are looking at closely to see what she's going to do going forward with the democrats on that side of the presidential campaign, but this is obviously secretary of state john kerry, this is out of the state department, breaking news this morning, he gist started speaking about the islamic state
in the middle east. secretary kerry is making a very important distinction, designating the terrorist group's actions against christians and other minorities as genocide. we will be following this story this morning and will bring you updates as we get them. here we are in washington, d.c., this is governor rick snyder, there is a hearing here on the house side, we saw just a couple of days ago the questions really focused on him, even though other people, the flint emergency manager and former mayor, the people who were on the hot seat, now it is him on the flint water crisis let's listen in. >> -- as i close, so, yes, i agree the epa should have snatched control out of governor snyder's hands even sooner than they did, but governor snyder's administration caused this horrific disaster and poisoned the children of flint. on the governor's website his motto is, and i quote,
reinventing michigan. getting it right. getting it done. end of quote. it's hard to imagine a more misleading slogan. it also says this, and i quote, we will learn from this experience, end of quote. and so as i said earlier in the other hearing, these children when we are dead, when we are dead and gone, these children will suffer for what we failed to do. and so, mr. chairman, as i've said to you before, we have to be the last line of defense. we have to be it. because generations yet unborn will suffer, but we've got to do everything in our power to mitigate that. i look forward to the hearing and i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. we will hold the record open for five legislative days for any members who would like to submit a written statement. we will now recognize the first and only panel, pleased to welcome the honorable -- and this is jason chaffetz
who is leading this, but as you know snyder's initial response to water quality issues in flint and the way he used budget cutting in the state with a financial dead issues in michigan were sort of themes that have resonated through this. he has taken a lot of heat, you heard it from elijah cummings, we will have much more on this hearing coming up in just a bit. we will take a quick break and be back with more on msnbc. technology... say, have you seen all the amazing technology in geico's mobile app? mobile app? look. electronic id cards, emergency roadside service, i can even submit a claim. wow... yep, geico's mobile app works like a charm. geico. expect great savings and a whole lot more. or if you're young or old.are if you run everyday, no matter who you are a heart attack can happen
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how much responsibility will governor rick snyder take in the flint water crisis? right now in front of the house oversight committee he's talk being all the things i did to make it better. >> i urge congress to pass the bipartisan bill for aiding flint immediately so we can further protect the health and safety of flint residents and families. from identifying every pipe that
must be replaced to providing long-term medical support we're working with local leaders like karen weaver and our representatives here in washington to deliver the assistance our citizens deserve. we are holding those who failed accountable and we are being open with the public about how these failures came about, including releasing my e-mails and my staff e-mails relating to this water crisis. we are in the process of publicly releasing relevant documents from the state agencies involved so the people will have an open, honest assessment of what happened and what we're doing to fix it. we also began a thorough investigation of what went wrong. we've uncovered systematic failures at the michigan department of environmental quality. the fact is bureaucrats created a culture that valued technical competence over common sense and the result was lead was leaching
into the residents' water. that's why i'm committed to a complete and comprehensive change in state government that puts public health and safety first and why i've called for a thorough investigation of the michigan department of health and human services by the auditor general and inspector general. we're taking responsibility in michigan and we're taking action. and that's absolutely essential here in washington, too. inefficient, ineffective and unaccountable bureaucrats at the epa allowed this disaster to continue unnecessarily. i'm glad to be sitting next to the administrator from the epa because all of us must acknowledge our responsibility and be held accountable. i do want to thank miguel del toro, a water specialist at the epa who spoke up early about the crisis, tragically his superiors at the epa told local leaders at flint to ignore his call for
action. the truth is there are many communities with potentially dangerous lead problems and if the epa and the deq do not change and if the dumb and dangerous federal lead and copper rule is not changed then this tragedy will bee fall other american cities. professor edwards has been sounding this alarm for years and i look forward to joining with him to address this failure of government. i'm grateful to have been elected to serve the people of michigan. i understand their anger. i've been humbled by this experience and i'm going to make flint and every community in michigan a better place to live. we have a lot to learn and we have a lot to do. i close with the simple plea, partner with me in fixing this. not just for the people of flint, but for the people all over the country. ranking member cummings is
right, the american people -- this is america and this should never have happened. the american people deserve rules that make sense and professionals to enforce them who know that health and safety are urgent matters. i can make sure that happens in michigan. you can make sure it happens for every american. thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, governor. i will recognize the administrator of the epa, ms. mccarthy, you are now recognized. >> good morning, mr. chairman, ranking member cummings, distinguished members of the committee. i want to thank you for the opportunity to testify about epa's response to the drinking water crisis in flint, michigan. i want to start by saying that what happened in flint should never have happened and can never be allowed to happen again. so we will listen in, we expect some pretty heated questioning here, especially after what we heard from the governor laying the blame on federal and state agencies. so we will keep our ear to that and we will be watching it for you and with you throughout the
morning, but he we want to get back now to the pig political news of the day and this fight over donald trump. let me bring in david corn and "new york times" political correspondent nick come if he is sorry. it's not really clear in anti-trump donors are going to keep putting money up, money that frankly so far if you look at it florida, for example, has been a horribly losing effort. and then we see these headlines, the atlantic talks about the final stage of republican grief is accepting trump as the nominee, "the washington post" says stop trump campaign vows to press on as many in the party retreat to the sidelines and the "wall street journal" old guard party members are becoming resigned to a trump nomination. has the anti-trump movement suffered a fatal blow as in what happened tuesday night, david? >> well, it certainly didn't help. the republican party faces an
existential crisis at the moment. from now until the convention, maybe until the general election, only one question will matter for every republican candidate, office holder and voter. are you with donald trump or not? it's going to be a civil war within the party and those who want to stop trump may keep him under 1,237 but he's probably going to get pretty darn close to that number if he doesn't get over it and then the options are very limited whether you run an alternative candidate, which is hard to do that late in the game, you can't really create a third party that late in the game, but you can get an independent -- >> let me ask you guys about that. we heard erick erickson talking about the possibility of a third party candidate. nick, that would seem to be jumping the gun maybe a little bit. is there a shorter term path forward stopping trump without leaving the party or a contested convention? >> i think the short term path is to beat trump in california. i think the clearest and most
direct shot at keeping him from reaching that threshold in delegates is if he doesn't win california, so you could see another all in effort of donors and operatives, you know, with outside money and working with -- >> even after what happened in florida? they see that as a different equation? >> i didn't say it was a good idea, i said it was the only straightforward path to do t i would say, look, there is a choice these forces have to make, right, they can go against trump, try to deny him the nomination at the convention and suffer the consequences to save the party in their view. so they may decide that a divided party without trump at its head into november is better than a divided party that has trump as the nominee. and there's an argument for that if you are one of these republicans who believe that he does not stand for what the party stands for. we'll see. >> david, i want to pick up on the point that you were just making because you wrote about it how trump impacts every other republican race in the country. from dog catcher want to bes on
up every republican office speaker will have to say whether he is or she is standing with trump or not. this will become the fundamental fault line in the party. okay. but you're also talk being a guy who just won every single county in florida but one, who has been going up against two other candidates and still getting in the 40s. are you in danger of being one of the people who are underestimating donald trump? >> no, i haven't underestimated him from beginning. from the very beginning i thought he was in contention for the republican nomination and if he gets the nomination i think he is in contention for the presidency. i mean, that's down the road, but i do think that the republican party for years has encouraged and exploited, call it politics of extremism of hatred, whatever you want to call it, obama derangement syndrome and now they have their base so far to the right that they can't control it any longer and it is going to split up the party in the way that the wigs split in the 1850s over the question of slavery.
if the base wants to go one way and the elected officials want to go another way that is a recipe for a party kind of collapsing and falling apart. >> in terms of the short term you also don't have a debate coming up on monday, nick, really quickly, is the debate season over at least within the republican party? >> you know, it seems like trump has all the cards here, chris. he has decided that he has no need or desire, i think, to give a platform to his rivals when he has the upper hand. so he has his excuse he he had a previously scheduled speech, i guess he lost the invitation in the mail or something to monday's debate, he didn't know about it somehow. it seems pretty transparent to me. he has the upper hand, he does not want to have those debates. it is certainly possible that the final debate that we are all going to have watched is the one from last week. >> nick and david, thank you. >> thank you. let's head out west because five days from now there is the next set of presidential contests the biggest state up
for grabs is arizona, 58 delegates at stake for the three remaining gop candidates and a recent poll shows donald trump leading that state by more than 10 points over ted cruz. 20 plus over john kasich. for the democrats hillary clinton and bernie sanders will battle it out for 85 delegates. recent polling there shows clinton with a huge lead. joining me now to talk about the key issues in the state senior congressional reporter for the arizona republic rebecca sanders. let me lay out how diverse a state arizona is 6.8 million people, 31% of it list panic. what are the key issues here and how is this different than maybe anything we've seen before? >> well, as you know arizona is ground zero for the debate over immigration reform and border security and so that's definitely a top issue here and certainly something that both republican and democratic candidates for the presidency have been talking about on the trail here. and so we saw ben carson back
last summer visiting the border and seeing a hole in the border fence, you have heard trump rallying here about building the wall with mexico and then on the left we had bernie sanders here and hillary clinton's advertisements talking about stopping deportations, keeping undocumented families together. so that's certainly one of the top issues here. >> and what are the rules there? one of the things we've seen a lot is these crossover votes, we saw it in ohio, a lot of democrats who decided to vote republican because they wanted to have an anti-trump vote. what's going to happen in arizona? >> as you noted the polls -- we haven't had a whole lot -- we haven't had a lot of polls here, but you've seen definitely trump and hillary dominating, but, you know, there's also a segment of the population here that's very independent and that is looking
for an alternative to trump. >> i think 1.2 million people there registered as other. rebecca sanders, thank you so much for your time. over to the democrats now, despite what appears to be an insurmountable lead by hillary clinton bernie sanders is sold ring on and his campaign is making the argument why he should stay in the democratic race for president. in spite of tuesday's night stinging losses in five states. msnbc's kasie hunt joins us from sedona, arizona, not a bad place to be anytime of year. what are you hearing from the sanders folks about their path forward? >> reporter: chris, we are in sedona because bernie sanders has some family here, they took a day and a half or so off the trail to regroup and think about how to go forward. he huddled yesterday with his top advisors here in sedona and jeff weaver and tad divine two of those top people in his campaign said the strategy is to continue sold ring forward exactly the way they had always planned.
they do believe that the calendar for the rest of this primary favors them, there are more western states, places where he's stronger and it's a little bit more spread out so he will have the chance to go to one state, campaign hard there, but the reality is this delegate lead that clinton is massing has gotten potentially insurmountable at this point and sanders still has to prove that he's capable of consistently winning these bigger states and not just by a small margin. winning them by a lot. so the next big contest like that is wisconsin coming up in a couple of weeks, arizona of course the battle ground ahead of next tuesday. there's also caucuses in utah and idaho. the clinton campaign feels like arizona is the best chance for them to put a win on the board over the course of the rest of the month, but, you know, jeff weaver the campaign manager was also on that call yesterday talking about how bernie sanders could potentially be a shield for hillary clinton against trump because when sanders himself drops out all that fire
is going to be turned on hillary clinton. my sense is that that fire is going to be turned on hillary clinton either way and this is more about, you know, bernie sanders doesn't want to be counted out here, he doesn't want to be pushed out of this race, he still has thousands of people showing up at his events, thousands of people giving small donations, as long as those are still adding up in the millions of dollars i think you can expect him to stick around, chris. >> thank you so much. we want to go back now to capitol hill, that hearing is continuing, michigan governor rick snyder, let's listen in. >> if that's the case what can you tell us about whether there is a connection between an outbreak of legionnaires' and the flint river? >> well, obviously begin the change in water source it's a concern and we're going through the investigation at this point and all parties are cooperating, the federal government, state government, outside experts are all working this issue. we actually brought in expertise from wayne state university that i know you're familiar with,
congressman walberg, an outstanding institution in terms of a researcher to look at the causation collection. i'm happy to share information but that will give perspective on the number of cases and what we have information on so far. i actually have a chart, i don't know if it's available to people, but i would be happy to share that in terms of seeing some of the numbers themselves. >> i would ask the chairman if we could have that submitted for the record. >> without objection it's ordered. we will get a copy and distribute it to members as soon as we can note co copy it. if staff can get that piece of paper that would be great. >> what i would also say is i've also asked for an investigation by the inspector general and the auditor general of the state of michigan, which is an independent organization, to go look at the department of health and human services with respect to this whole discussion of what was disclosed, the processing of this, because this should have
been handled better. >> administrator mccarthy, does the -- >> i think that statement everybody would agree with that this needed to have been handled better, the question is by whom and how do we make the changes. we will continue to listen into this house committee hearing. up next john kasich and ted cruz both vying to prove they could beat donald trump in a two man race but do either have a chance at closing a challenge to donald trump? we will check in with both campaigns ahead. this needed to have been handled we will check in with both 80% of women say a healthy lifestyle is a priority.
i'm the only one that can win a general election. these folks aren't going to win a general election. there's a second part to it, too, it's more important that we get the country fixed than to score political points. i'm not interested in that. that's why i have good relations across the aisle. >> the road to the republican nomination can only come via the contested convention for ohio governor john kasich. with 143 delegates kasich needs
to win more than 100% of the remaining delegates to get to that magic number of 1,237 that's needed to clinch the nomination, but the kasich strategy of ing a contested convention is at odds with the strategy of ted cruz who needs kasich out of the race for him to have a good clans for him to gobble up enough delegates to challenge donald trump. we will talk to supporters of both campaigns about their conflicting strategies. joining us ron christy and a supporter of john kasich. good to see you, ron. good morning. >> good morning. >> you can do the math and what's needed for john kasich. but is a contested convention which is the only path you have forward what you want for your party? >> well, absolutely, chris. first of all, if you look at the last time we had a contested convention back in 1952 then robert taft was the person people thought is that the most conservative people, what did republicans end up doing, we nominated eisenhower, why? because he was the consensus candidate that we felt could win the general election which he did. >> do you think we are in the
same political environment or we have the same electoral environment that we did in 1952? is that that fair comparison? >> i think it is. i think it's fair to look at where we are in this country with the challenges that we face confronting a difficult foreign affairs terrain, confronting a very difficult economy here at home, chris. yes, there are very similar comp sons. here is the key, we need somebody, republicans, who can beat hillary clinton. governor john kasich would pete secretary clinton far better than the other candidates, it's his sunny disposition and willingness to work across the aisle that we need at this time. >> that's speculative, you have only one state, one won, it's his own state, the next two coming up utah and arizona he is far point. let me ask you a pointed question the governor was clear if he didn't win ohio he was going to drop out. what do you have to do between now and the convention to be able to make a claim that he belong there? >> to continue to win delegates, chris, and to continue to get --
>> how many? >> well, no -- >> right now you are behind marco rubio. >> correct. the thing is this, we believe that senator rubio's delegates will turn to governor kasich, we believe that governor kasich -- >> marco rubio just had a phone call with supporters yesterday saying ted cruz is the only real conservative in the race. so why would you think that they would go to governor kasich? >> because once you get to a convention the delegates are released after the first ballot and they are free to go behind whichever candidate they're looking for. look, we're talking about winning a presidential election we are not talking about taking down ted cruz or taking down donald trump. we're talking about winning an election with john kasich's proven leadership. so to have the no eggs that shower' trying to fuzzy up the math or not do this correctly, no, it's adding delegates to his delegate total, getting his message out to the american people and putting forth a positive mission and vision to turn the economy around, to
confront the foreign challenges that face us and to beat secretary of state hillary clinton the presumptive democratic nominee. >> ron christy always good to see you. thanks for coming on the program. so now to a ted cruz surrogate and strong tea party support on why cruz believes he is the only viable alternative to donald trump. we're also monitoring capitol hill where rick snyder is testifying on the flint water crisis. lots going on this morning. you're watching msnbc. level... before earning 1% cash back everywhere, every time... 2% back at the grocery store... and 3% back on gas... vince of the flying branzinos got a bankamericard cash rewards credit card, because he may earn his living jumping through hoops, but he'd rather not earn cash back that way. that's the spectacle of rewarding connections. apply online or at a bank of america near you. people are taking charge of their type 2 diabetes with non-insulin victoza®.
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debating talk about your path going forward. >> well, you know, it's very clear that both donald trump and john kasich are afraid to debate ted cruz and i honestly as brilliant as ted cruz is and as good of a debater as he is i would be afraid to debate him, too. a path going forward, look, here is what poll after poll has shown, one-on-one ted cruz versus donald trump cruz wins, comes in at 55%, trump is stuck at that 40% or less ceiling. that's a huge problem for donald trump. as we go forward there are a lot of states, some of them still proportional, some of them winner take all, but a lot of the states are closed primary states and those are the states that senator cruz does exceptionally well in. >> we know why you guys are upset about this debate going away, let's let ted cruz talk about it, here is what he had to say. >> his excuse is silliness and it reflects his assumption that he thinks the voters can't
figure out that he's not telling them the truth. listen, aipac would have allowed him to him at any time, it's a multi-day conference, he chose to speak right in the middle of the debate because he's scared to debate. >> and trump answered almost immediately on twitter as he often does, great news that fox news has canceled the additional debate. how many times can the same people ask the same question? >> is it tear to a he's afraid to debate? he has done a dozen debates on the republican side. he's answering questions all the time, he calls into various shows, makes appearances on shows. is that really fair? >> yeah, i think it is because this is the first time it would really be a one on one debate, ted cruz versus donald trump. when this thing started there were 17 candidates out there, but with one-on-one i think donald trump fairs very poorly because let's face it donald trump's responses are basically kind of an explosion of word salad, make america great again, let's talk about how great the cops are, but he never really
answers any question with any type of da i will. >> realistically how do you make that happen when you have the third candidate saying i'm not going anywhere? >> well, who takes john kasich seriously? i mean, he won ohio, barrely, ad he is the sitting governor of ohio, but there should be a one on one debate ted cruz versus donald trump and since donald trump is a media creation, guess what, if donald trump won't debate i think msnbc, cnn, fox and all the others ought to just invite ted cruz on for a one hour town hall and see how quickly donald trump joins y'all. >> judd son phillips good to talk to you. >> as always, thank you. up next, republicans have vowed to block president obama's nomination of merrick garland to the strekt but do democrats have a strategy for moving it forward? we'll ask new jersey senator cory booker next. i take pictures of sunrises. it's my job and it's also my passion. but with my back pain i couldn't sleep... so i couldn't get up in time.
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stepping up the pressure to give merrick garland a hearing. >> every judiciary committee chairman over the course of the last several decades has given a hearing and vote to the supreme court nominees. we think that is what this committee should do and the senate. it's fairness on top of the constitutional responsible. we feel they should be fair, as the president has said, and we think at the end of the day, they will be. >> joining me is cory booker. good to see. >> you good morning. great to be on again go i understand the strategy and i was on a phone call with senior white house advisers and they were pressed repeatedly. what's the strategy to move this forward and there wasn't a clear
answer. is it clear that this is how they are going to get this done? >> to me, it's not about political strategy. it's appealing and to sit down and meet with them. this goes to the bedrock of who we are going to be, to go deeper into raw partisanship, disrespecting not just the constitutions but the oaths of office that we swear. i've only been here two years. this is so clear and so patently wrong the way the republicans are going about it, violating not just what democrats are saying but what independents and a large group of republicans believe should happen. never before in american history have we allowed this kind of dissension into partisan politics and stopping of doing the job that we have sworn our oath to do that the constitution lays out in article 2, section 2. >> i assume you're not suggesting that the nomination of the supreme court justice has never been about politics.
even when barack obama was in the senate, he voted against president bush's choices of roberts and alito, both of which had good credentials. why do you think it's different this time? >> i don't think you understand the distinction i'm making here. the political posturing is nothing new. the question is, when there's a vacancy, with a president who has nearly a year left in his term. presidents are not elected for only three years and then the last year some of their powers are taken away. he's done his job. it says "the president shall nominate" and it also indicates that "the senate shall give advice." but to not even hold hearings or vet the candidate or meet with the candidate, that's what i believe is our constitutional obligations and that's a level of partisanship that we'll begin to undermine the various
institutions that we have sworn to uphold. >> so making this argument -- and you say it's not about strategy -- that you're appealing to fairness. fairness of your colleagues, particularly obviously on the republican side, the fairness of the american people, do you have a realistic expectation that mitch mcconnell is suddenly going to do something different than he has said categorically he's going to do, and, in fact, made a phone call to merrick garland and said we're not going to consider this? >> well, again, this is a time in my two years in the senate where lots of my expectations both ways have been jarred, undermined and completely dashed. the reality is, i don't know what's going to happen. i just do know that i've gotten to know a lot of my senate colleagues here. i've seen honor and good faith with which they have done their work. my hope is that more republican senator also come forward and say, you know what, i'm going to vote against this guy but this is the right thing that we should do, is to hold hearings
to vet him, meet with him and put it on the floor for a vote. by the way, they have a majority. vote against the person if you want to. but to shut down this process i think will become a precedent that all of us will regret. >> orrin hatch voted to confirm merrick garland in 1997 and talked to reporters yesterday. let me play for you what he had to say. >> he's a good man but he shouldn't be brought up in this toxic environment. i'm tired of the supreme court being used as a battering ball back and forth between both sides. >> he shouldn't be brought up in this toxic environment. is this fair to judge garland? is this going to be essentially a situation of him being a sacrificial lamb? >> no. i don't even understand the logic of what i'm hearing from some of my colleagues saying. i string a lot to understand people's perspectives.
but the rhetoric that i've been hearing now is let the people decide and that's what i don't understand, is that the people decided, when they elected president obama for a four-year term. this is a guy that senator hatch has praised, lauded with surperlatives in the past. so clearly this is not about the justice's qualifications. the argument i hear being made over and over again, whether he's calling this a toxic environment or fulfill their constitutional duties for a full four years. and whether you expect me who has a six-year term to stop in my fifth year of performing my constitutional duties or a president, that's dead wrong. the argument makes no sense. again, we should hold hearings,
put this person up for a vote. and if the majority of the republicans in the senate want to vote against him, so be it. >> senator booker, we're out of time. great to see. >> you great to be here. thank you so much. i'll see you back here at 4:00 eastern. jose diaz-balart is live from miami. whole communities are living on mars and solar satellites provide earth with unlimited clean power. in less than a century, boeing took the world from seaplanes to space planes, across the universe and beyond. and if you thought that was amazing, you just wait. ♪ i am totally blind. i lost my sight in afghanistan. if you're totally blind, you may also be struggling with non-24. calling 844-844-2424. or visit my24info.com.
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good morning. i'm jose diaz-balart. live pictures here from capitol hill where michigan governor rick snyder is testifying on the flint water crisis. first up on this thursday, could we see convention chaos? the gop establishment and top conservatives finally seem to be acknowledging the elephant in the room. three leading members of the conservative movement are meeting behi