tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC April 14, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT
don't mess with old people, republican party. and don't mess with the local news reporters all over the country who are watching out for them. this story makes me so mad. we'll see you again tomorrow. all across this country people are waking up and help is on the way. >> ted cruz is riding high. >> the democrats we've got a wild eyed socialist and bernie sanders. >> now he's on his rival's home turf. >> i've got this guy looking at me talking about new york values with hatred of new york. >> you want know what liberal democratic values are follow donald trump's checkbook. >> can cruz win over new york voters and cut into trump's big lead in the empire state? >> we will not give up on our
country. >> good evening. welcome to the msnbc town hall with senator ted cruz of texas. we are here at the university at buffalo right here in western new york. home of the university of buffalo bulls. let's go bulls. we're just five days away from the new york primary. this might be donald trump territory. he's counting on it. it could be critical for senator cruz to keep trump from sweeping all 95 of new york's delegates. let's get right to it and welcome the senator from texas, ted cruz. [ applause ] there's a reception. look at that.
>> maybe buffalo will be good to you. >> let me just say god bless new york. >> there you go. obviously, we're going to get to some substantive questions in a bit. have you had your wings yet? >> i'll confess, i flew in late last night. i can do a lot of things but wings for breakfast was a bit much, so not yet. >> what you talking about. just dial it down on the hot sauce. >> i had wings for dinner. that's one of my most common dinners. >> we all joke. politicians, you get handed food. you have to eat it whether you like it or not. how often is you said i like something and said i can't wait to dump this in the trash? >> never. >> food on a stick, you can't go wrong. >> we need to put wings on a
stick. we had bacon coated chocolate. that was amazing. trust me on this. bacon and chocolate, it works. >> your whole thing is trust ted. >> i enjoy nachos and chunky soup. >> we're going to get right to it. let's go with the first question. it's daniel. >> you received a bit of controversy for your comments about new york values. in upstate new york, we built our economy on hard work and family. >> thank you for that question. the values of upstate new york is tremendous.
the phrase new york values came from donald trump. it was an interview he did with chuck's predecessor on "meet the press." his explanation for why he supported partial abortion, he said those are my values. it's not iowa's values. i said that's how donald was explaining it. the people of upstate new york, you have been suffering under the misguided policies of liberal democratic politicians a long, long time. [ applause ] the state of new york has wonderful people. this is state that has attracted people from all over the world.
i lived her for a summer. she lived her for three or four years. it attracts the best and brightest from all over the world. that can do spirit is the essence of america. at the same time there's so many new yorkers. you look at the politicals of governor cuomo. just next door in pennsylvania, they've been experiencing incredible economic boom. you can have thousands and thousands of high paying jobs if the politician would let you develop the resources that are here. >> do you regret using that phrase? >> i don't regret it.
repeating his words had an interesting affect. it caused reporters hair to catch on fire. new yorkers understood what i meant. as i travel the state, people come up to me and say i know exactly what you mean. i'm sick and tired of it. you want another example of new york values. mayor bill deblasio, one of the first things he does is goes up to harlem and tries to shut down charter schools and throw out a school young african-american and hispanic kids. that's wrong. we need to be fighting for those kids. i think the people of new york know this first hand in way they are ready to get some relief to get washington off their back. if the state is not going to get off their back get washington off their back so we can see jobs coming up.
we can see manufacturing jobs coming back to upstate new york. that's what this election is about. >> in your victory speech in iowa in february, you promised you would be a big champion to first responders like those who ran into burning buildings. when you gave that speech, an lapd officer forced to retire because of 9/11 related cancer, he wrote an op-ed and said you didn't vote for the act. many republicans voted for it including senator blunt, burr, senator cotton. a lot of people supported this that are normally your allies. why did you vote against it? >> it's real simple. i supported it. it was the right thing to do. >> you voted against it. >> it was rolled in as washington -- the way washington works they roll that in to that funded every single one of obama's priorities. you had to vote to fund obama
care. you had to vote to fund amnesty and bring refugees to this country. i wasn't going to fund all these liberal priorities. if you had given me clean stand alone, i would have voted for it. cops and firemen say thank you for standing up for me. they're so tired of seeing democrats siding with the criminals and the thugs and rye rioters instead of the men in blue. >> senator, with all due respects, i run into a lot of politicians who say i supported that part of the bill. that's the way the senate works. that's the way congress works. how are you going to -- do you really think you can -- you've tried to change the way the
senate works and it hasn't changed. how will you change the way it works as president. >> you say it hasn't changed but it has. that's the way washington works. it's corrupt. it's career politicians. >> it's also compromise. some people say you want that in new york. i get it. i need this for my residents this texas. that's another way the system works. >> here is how compromise works. you want to do a compromise in washington. you sit down with career politicians we say we'll spend for your project, your project and your project. the only people left out are the taxpayers and the kids. what that means is that is real. that means our kids, if we don't stop this, they will spend their whole lives not working to meet their priorities. not working to immediate the needs of the future but trying to pay off the debts of their
deadbeat parents and grandparents. i'm putting me in that category. >> you're calling us dead beats. >> if we give our kids $20 trillion in debt, no other generation in history has done that. our parents didn't do that to us. i've said young people, when they vote out the voting booth they ought to turn around and punch their parents in the nose. >> generational warfare right here with senator cruz. >> by the way, one of the things that has been interesting, if you go to our rallies, they are filled with young people. it should be terrifying hillary and bernie. young people are excited to change the path we're on. part of the reason is you look at our national debt, it's as if we went out, got a credit card, went to vegas, partied it up and stuck our kids with the bill and
said good luck. have fun paying it. it's time for responsible adult leadership. that's been the washington game. the way to change it, the only force strong enough to change washington is we the people, the grass roots. the last time we did it was 1980. it was the reagan revolution. i think we're at a similar moment in time where people want washington to listen to the people again. >> let me ask you a quick question about the process. who's picking the republican nominee, the delegates or the voters? >> both. it's a democratic process. it's been in place from the very beginning. we're campaigning with the voters. i spend every day on the campaign trial often doing five, six, seven, eight, nine events during the day. i think anyone who wants to get elected needs to look in their eyes and be held accountable. it's the people electing the delegates. it will be the delegates elected
by the people who make the final decision. they have been elected by the people in the first place. >> the washington cartel you rail against may be the ones that rescue you. it's going to take insiders in cleveland to give you this nomination. >> it's not ironic at all. the way to win and turn the country around, with have to unite the party. my focus is uniting republicans. chuck, let me give you a historical analog. if you think of the last time we broke the washington cartel, now as you know, washington despised ronald reagan. in 1976 he had primaried gerald ford. you want to cause republican leadership to loathe you, come within an inch of beating the
incumbent republican president. what he did, think about what reagan did in '77, '78, '79. he didn't fly to washington and sit down and say you have to stand for something. he took the case to the american people. i'll tell you, buffalo new york played a critical part in that because it was jack camp's economic vision empowerment. >> there you go. you're always going to do well with jack. >> i grew up idolizing jack camp. he understood the way you took people out of poverty is having them stand up on their feet. it united republicans. all the people who hated reagan, when they saw the voters show up in massive numbers. you interview a lot of people.
you cannot find a republican today who will not swear that ronald reagan's tattooed somewhere on his body. >> do you have him tattooed somewhere on yours? >> that's between me and my wife. >> fair enough. let's go to another question. shawn mccormick. >> a large portion of the american public is unhappy with how the government functions. it's no secret that you championed the government shutdown in 2013. why should we elect you the number one proponent an instigator to the shutdown. >> a good follow up to the conversation. >> fits well. people are frustrated and furious with washington. something i've said many, many times. the biggest divide we've got politically. i don't think it's between republicans and democrats. it's between career politicians in washington and both parties and the american people.
what we have right now isn't working. the most common thing i hear is we keep electing people. they go to washington and they're not listening to us. i hear it from republicans and democrats and independents. they don't listen to what we say. we had a massive takeover of the senate with republicans in 2014. the people rose up an overwhelming number and gave republicans a majority retired harry reid. gave us the biggest majority of the house since the 1920s. the battles i've had with republican leadership have been simple. they have focused on one question. if and when we can stand up to barack obama and i'm someone who doesn't believe you fight on everything, i think you pick your battles. what i have fought on is obama care and stopping the debt that's disrupting our kids and grand kids.
i believe we could stood and fought much more effectively. we can't stand and fight against obama. we can't give in. fine. if i'm elected president, i think i will work closely with leaders in congress. we're not going to have tactical disputes about whether we can stand up to obama. we're going to have a strong principled, conservative president to pass legislation repealing obama care, stopping amnesty. passing a flat tax. i think we'll see washington responsive to the people in way it hasn't been since the 1980s. >> we're going to sneak in break here. we'll be back at the university
we're here at the university of buffalo. the town hall with senator ted cruz continues. welcome back. you and i have kids about the same age. i think my kids are a couple of years older than yours. it's not been the easiest campaign to explain to kids. my son turns nine tomorrow. i think the star of the cruz family is kathryn. what is it like if she's hearing the name calling. how do you handle it? do you turn off the tv?
>> it's an interesting daughter. my daughter turned 8 today. let me say happy birthday. >> there you go. i owe you a happy birthday carolyn. we'll see in about 12 years, maybe they'll meet if my son is lucky. >> i will say i'm going to confess, the most selfish reason i want to win the presidency is -- >> secret service. we talked about that. >> i'll confess i've rehearsed the speech. i'm envisioning some tnager with braces showing up to take carolyn out. number one sitting him down in the oval office and when i'm contemplating saying is son, i'm not telling you that the cia has a satellite that could disintegrate you but you're going to have her home at 7:30.
>> let's go on to the questions. mary has the next question. >> senator cruz, i respects and admire you. >> thank you. >> it doesn't seem that the republican establishment does. could you share your thoughts on why that is? >> thank you very much for your kind question. i think a lot of folks in washington, when they got elected they came there wanting to do the right thing. most people who run for office run for office because they believe in something. they want to serve and make a difference. washington is an amazingly corrupting place. it corrupts you incrementally. i'm reminded of one of my favorite movies is the godfather. he went to good schools and going to be legitimate.
every movie it's a series of small decisions. it starts off his father shot, his father is in the hospital an he's got to be a good son. he's got to defend his dad and the family. he makes small decisions that you can understand. at the end of the movie he murders everybody. every godfather movie ends with everyone getting whacked. that's a bit like washington. people get there and want to make a difference and told you can make a difference but not today. you've got to wait until tomorrow. you've got to be around a little longer. you have to become a committee chair. the most corrupting thing is people want to get reelected. there's an old joke that politics is hollywood for ugly people. my wife says i resemble that remark. what happens is people get terrified of not being in office anymore and any time you're facing a big problem to fix it takes risks.
you've got to be prepared to take a risk. what happens is gradually people become so risk averse, they don't want to take any big steps because they might not get reelected. you end up with everyone giving in to washington. it's not malicious. the good news is it can be changed. a lot of people say can we fix it? what the reagan revolution demonstrated is when you have a mandate from the people, it changes the incentives of washington so everyone comes together. i think that's the only force powerful enough to change washington. >> i want to follow up on her question. they will tell me, i can never support donald trump. i want to play a clip for something you said last summer about mitch mcconnell. >> the majority leader looked me
in the eye and looked 54 republicans in the eye. i cannot believe he would tell a flat out lie. not only what he told every republican senator but what he told the press over and over and over again was a simple lie. >> look, there was context to this. i understand it has to do with some dirty laundry behind the scenes getting aired out in the senate floor. you called him a liar on the senate floor. that's not sat well with your colleagues. do you regret calling him a liar on the senate floor? >> washington is an amazing place. when someone lies to you -- >> he lied to you. you still stand by it? >> every word i said was true and accurate. no one disputed a word. the reaction is how dare you say that out loud. they're not upset somebody lied to them. that's the amazing thing.
>> if that's the case, how do you stand working with someone who lies to you and how can you work with him going forward? >> what i have done from day one is endevoured an it's a promise i made to the people who elected me. i'm going to tell the truth, and i'm going to do what i said i would do. [ applause ] >> let me go to the next question. >> let me say doing that enables others to come together. i think i'll be able to work very, very effectively with republican leadership. you look at the heart of this campaign, what i'm focusing on every day is job, freedom and security. that's what the american people care about. they don't care about the games in washington. they don't care about the politics. they care about improving their lives. they want their kids to have brighter future. we want to see jobs coming back. we want to see wages coming back.
we want the see opportunity expanding. that's an agenda that brings people together across the spectrum. that's how we unite the party. . >> thank you for taking my question. the gop has become a party of noninclusion especially where personal believes infiltrate into government policy. in our current political state we need a president who can bring our nation together, compromise on issues without compromising on values and work across the aisle to provide solutions. moderate, pragmatic and practical republicans like myself who are fiscally conservative and socially liberal finds ourselves out voiced by the extreme conservatives and under represented this gop primary. can you tell me why you feel yourself the best candidate for this underrepresented group, the moderate republican? >> thank you for that question. >> some say in washington it's an endangered species.
>> it may be in washington but not in america. you have to bring together a big tent. you have to bring a broad consensus in other words to win. that's something we're working hard to do. it's the reason why i mentioned what the heart of our campaign is focused on jobs, freedom and security. none of those are narrow 50% wedge issues. they're issues that unite us and bring us together. there will be issues that we disagree. let's take social issues. hillary clinton's views on abortion are radical and extreme. she supports unlimited abortion on demand, partial birth and no parental notification. 9% of the americans agree. 91% of americans disagree with hillary.
that's an extreme position. you asked about people of faith. i've spent my entire adult life finding to defend the constitution and bill of rights. every one of us have a right to seek out god, worship god and live according to our conscious and faith. that's empowering in the diversity of who we are as americans. i think those principles about trusting and empowering the individual and keeping government the heck out of your way, those are unifying principles. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, sue. you brought up abortion, you've
been on both sides of the personhood issue. you were hesitant to support it and did sign a pledge that you support it. the minute of conception that the fetus has rights. that's a divisive issue and gets into contraception disputes. are you going to pursue this or just supporting the idea? do you know what i mean by the difference? >> some of the labels can get confusing because different people mean different things by labels. i believe every human life is a gift from god. we should cherish and protect. >> who decides when life begins? i'll be honest. that's been the dispute here. when does life begin? who do they have constitutional rights? >> when it comes to birth
control, it is clear that americans have a right to birth control. i'm not interested in any legislation -- >> all kinds. >> any restrictions that restrict birth control. >> all kinds. iud is a big one because of what some people view it's not contraception because of -- >> it's interesting this debate. it illustrates something that the media doesn't understand. the media describes and says life is an issue that's an advantage to the democrats. you know who doesn't believe that? >> that didn't answer my question. >> let me go with this for a second. i'm going to loop back. do you know who doesn't believe that? democrats. name the last presidential race where democrats campaign trumpeting their support for abortion. you think about the 2012 election. the democrats focused over and over again on the war on women, which was a totally made up threat but it focused on contraceptives. it wasn't on abortion. i have been around conservatives
my entire life. i've never met a single human being in any place who wanted to ban contraceptives. >> there's some people not thrilled with it. >> there are people for because of their faith they don't use contraceptives. you have a right follow your faith. that's not my faith. i'm southern baptist. my faith doesn't have a problem with contraception but i respect those whose faith differ from mine. you can live according to your faith. if your faith says don't use birth control then you don't use it. in my family, i've joked. we have two little girls. i'm glad we don't have 17. we can have some tolerance and diversity but the fact that the democrats had to create this made up threat on contraceptives shows that most americans want to protect life. i hope we have a culture that values every human life from the moment of conception until the moment of natural death. >> are you going to pursue
personhood? >> i told you i'm not going to get into the labels. we should protect life but i'm not interested in anything that restricts birth control or that restricts in vitro fertilization. i think parents that are struggling to create life, that's a wonderful thing. >> there's not a legislation yet that you can support? >> i believe we should defend life. i have a long record of defending life, of defending. >> no one is questioning whether you're pro-life. this is different. would you pursue this? >> i will support anything that protects life. protecting life is a value that matters whether it is stopping partial birth abortion or whether it is fairly enforcing the criminal laws against planned parenthood. a few months ago, we had this series of videos that were
horrifying. i will say virtually none of the network news that show the videos on air. these videos showed planned parenthood officials admitting to the pattern of federal felonies. >> some of it was made up. >> no it wasn't. there's no controversy about it's a federal crime. it's a crime to sell the body parts of unborn children for profit. that's a federal crime. these videos shows them laughing, sipping champagne and bargaining and selling body parts of unborn children. even if you're pro-choice, selling the body parts of unborn children is a commercial endevour is a horrifying things. it's one of the sad indictments of the obama administration. you don't think and nobody else
thinks the obama department would investigate planned parenthood because they're a political ally of this administration. >> going to pause here. let's take another break. msnbc town hall in buffalo. we'll be right back. mary buys a little lamb. one of millions of orders on this company's servers. accessible by thousands of suppliers and employees globally. but with cyber threats on the rise, mary's data could be under attack. with the help of the at&t network, a network that senses and mitigates cyber threats, their critical data is safer than ever. giving them the agility to be open & secure. because no one knows & like at&t.
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welcome back to the msnbc town hall with senator ted cruz. north carolina, what's going on down there and figures it's a good follow up for the conversation we had. do you support the law itself that the governor signed? he signed this law last month thats bathroom access for transgender people and eliminates ordinances locally done in charlotte. statewide law saying you can't make this special protections. it took away the power of charlotte and other cities to do their own ordinances. what do you think? >> i'm a constitutionalist. the state has the power to pass their own laws to make it statement that men should not go in the bathroom with little girls. as the father of daughters i'm
not terribly excited. about men going into the bathroom with my daughter. i think that's a perfectly reasonable determination for the people to make. that's why we have a democracy to respect the values of the people. >> did this law go too far? the governor was worried if law would go too far and make it so you could discriminate against lesbians. >> the political correctness that we have embraced, enough already. the obama education department it's going against a junior high invest assisting that the junior high must allow a teenage boy to shower with teenage girls. now, that's just nuts. that's not a reasonable position. that's crazy.
i think big business gives into political pressure and willing to trample on religious liberty. >> did the governor make a mistake signing this? >> one of the saddest things we've seen is the retreat of the democratic party from religious liberty. a couple of decades ago, license liberty united us all. used to be that democrats and republicans we might disagree on marginal tax rates. when it came to protecting the rights of americans, democrats and republicans stood united. national legislation passed congress virtually unanimously. it was signed into law by bill clinton. in the last 20 years the modern democratic party has gotten so extreme and radical they decided there's no room for religious liberty and excoriating anyone
who pass legislation identical to what they supported. the little sisters of the poor are perfect example of this. they're a catholic charity of nuns. they spend their lives caring for the poor and elderly. the obama administration is litigating against the little sisters trying to impose millions of dollars of fines in order to force the nuns to pay for abortion inducing drugs and others. a really good rule of thumb in life if you're litigating against nuns, you probably done something wrong. >> you were critical of the governor in georgia for vetoing the bill. >> if we get to a debate, you may be moderating one.
i can't wait to stand on the debate stage and let hillary explain why she supports suing nuns. that doesn't make any sense. >> did he make the mistake? >> i don't know the terms of what he signed. >> you're not ready to judge. >> the states have the authority to pass laws that reflect the values of their citizens. i will always, always, always defend the religious of americans of any faith because that's who we are as americans. >> good evening. thank you for coming. my question is about border security. looking at the presidents that we've had back to reagan, both democrat and republicans, nobody ease secured or southern border. trump's got a clear plan and has verbalized it quite well. what is your plan to do with the border and protect our country? >> thank you for the question.
i have a detailed plan. there's 11 pages, single space chapter and verse. if you want to read it, you can go to the website, tedcruz.com. >> he's giving you homework. >> i'll give you the details. we're going to put in place a strong e verify system so you can't get a job without proving you're here legally. we will end sanctuary cities and do that by cutting off taxpayer dollars to any jurisdiction that defies federal immigration law.
we're going to end welfare benefits for those here illegally. let me say two more points on this. number one, we know how to solve these problems. we have the tools. what's missing is the will to do it? trump has talked about immigration a lot. i'm grateful for him raising the issue and talking about it. if you look at his actual record, in 2013, donald trump was funding the gang of eight. of the eight members who pushed for amnesty nationally. he gave over $50,000 to five of them. i led the fight against the gang of eight amnesty plan and
defeated it in congress. we've been on opposite sides of this issue. in january of this year, donald sat downtown the new york times and had an interview with them where it's been reported he told them he doesn't believe what he's saying on immigration. he's not going to build wall. he's not going to deport anyone. that's language to tell the voters because he's gullible. that whole conversation is on tape. the new york time said they are happy to release the tape if donald gives the permission. he will not allow the tape to be released. it should be worrisome if he's telling the new york times i'm lying to the voters and not going to do anything on immigration. he should release the tape and let people judge for themselves. i'll tell you this, as president i will secure the border and together we will keep this country safe.
>> we have to take a break and pay a few bills. msnbc town hall with ted cruz will be back right after this. this is joanne. her long day as a hair stylist starts with shoulder pain when... hey joanne, want to trade the all day relief of 2 aleve with 6 tylenol? give up my 2 aleve for 6 tylenol? no thanks. for me... it's aleve. ♪
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protects life. i think back when our daughter carolyn was two years old and heidi was pregnant with kathryn. carolyn had this blanket that she called bink. she loved it. it was the nastiest thing you've seen. she dragged it everywhere. it was practically alive. i remember she was talking to heidi's tummy. she was talking to her sister kathryn. she said kathryn want to chew on bink. she held it to her mommy's tummy. it was the most precious exchange. even at two she knew that wasn't a lump of cells in there. that was her baby sister.
one of the amazing things about science more and more people, any parent who has looked at a sonogram or seen their daughter or son kicking and sucking on their thumb, it's an amazing thing. with abortion we've had not only over 50 million children never get to breathe the life of air but have had women who are victims of this. women who are pressured to having abortions and struggle with the consequences of it. i think we need to work towards nation that values and celebrates every human life. for that to happen we're going to have to persuade our fellow citizens. it's not going to happen with waving a magic wand. it will happen with moving hearts minds one person at a time. i believe that's happening. this generation of young people is the most pro-life we have seen in modern times. i think that's because science is making more and more clear
that unborn children are people who can feel pain, who can feel suffering and we ought to be protecting them. >> when does public opinion influence you and when do you say i know where the public is? it's always this line. you're saying i'm principled when they disagree with you. what's your line? >> this is related to the question that conservatives get asked is whether you ever compromise. no one seems to ask elizabeth warren or bernie sanders that. >> sanders gets asked the compromise question a lot. >> my view on compromise is what reagan's was. he said what do you do if someone offers you half a loaf? you take it and come back and ask for more.
if we're protecting our rights moving forward advancing freedom. let me give you a specific example of compromise. i'm campaigning on a simple flat tax. 10% for every american filling our our taxes on a postcard a abolishing the irs. as president i intend to fight for that. i'm come back and keep fighting for flat tax. you don't compromise the constitution and bill of rights. that's the difference between values and negotiating and reaching a middle ground on
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you have zero interest in being vice president with donald trump. are you saying you will not accept being his running mate? >> chuck, it ain't going to happen. >> if nominated, i will not run. >> let me tell you why it's not going to happen. one of the reasons we're seeing republicans uniting by, i think the entire country is hanging in the balance. we lose the supreme court for a generation. our basic rights are put in jeopardy. our kids are buried in trillions more in debt. we're trapped in economic stagnation. it is indisputable if donald trump is the nominee and not prepared to give her the white house. we're going to beat donald in
cleveland. we're going to beat hillary in november. >> i've got to beat the clock. senator ted cruz, thank you. thank you everyone here at the university at buffalo for coming. up next, a special edition of rachel maddow focusing on the 2016 election. donald trump's biggest rival is ted cruz. >> only one campaign has beaten donald trump over and over again. >> but john kasich may be trump's biggest problem. >> nobody is going to have enough delegates to go to the convention and win on the first ballot. >> kasich shouldn't be allowed to continue. the rnc shouldn't allow it. >> donald trump has created a toxic environment. >> could it give kasich momentum. >>he