tv MSNBC Live MSNBC May 4, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
stop taking victoza® and call your doctor right away if you have signs of pancreatitis such as severe pain that will not go away in your abdomen or from your abdomen to your back, with or without vomiting. tell your doctor about all the medicines you take and if you have any medical conditions. taking victoza® with a sulfonylurea or insulin may cause low blood sugar. the most common side effects are headache, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. side effects can lead to dehydration, which may cause kidney problems. if your pill isn't giving you the control you need ask your doctor about non-insulin victoza®. it's covered by most health plans. good afternoon to you. i'm steve kornacki here in new york. thanks for joining us in what is now shaping up to be a very busy and historic wednesday afternoon. any moment now, we expect to hear from president obama from flint, michigan. the president is there meeting with residents, dealing with
that city's ongoing water crisis. this marks president obama's first trip to flint since that crisis began last year. meanwhile, about an hour from now, about 250 miles south of flint, michigan, we also expect to hear from john kasich that he is suspending his presidential campaign. he'll be making that announcement in the state capital in columbus, ohio. that would further clear donald trump's path to the republican nomination for president. we are monitoring reaction from the trump campaign in the wake of that pending announcement, at least potential announcement from john kasich. but we're going to begin this hour in flint, michigan, where the president is going to be speaking any moment now. tony dokoupil is there live. tony, a lot of emotion in that room you're in right now. tell us what's been going on there today. i know there's already been some interesting developments there and what we can expect from the president a few minutes from now. >> reporter: yeah, a lot of
emotion and fireworks already. excitement. just a few moments ago, an aide to the president came out with a disk, the presidential seal and put it on the podium. i didn't know that was a removable item, but it travels separate from the podium. when that went on, people cheered. a few moments before that, that was a surprise visit from governor snyder, he was not on the original plan for today, but he met president obama on the tarmac earlier in the afternoon and made an appearance. this is his first address in flint to residents of flint since this crisis began, and it did not go so smoothly. when he appeared, boos rippled through the crowd. he said what we face here is a short-term water crisis. the crowd correcting him -- actually, we have that sound. let's go ahead and toss to that. it's a remarkable moment and the exchange is very significant. take a listen. >> and i look forward to the president's comments and again i thank him.
thank you. [ crowd booing ] >> reporter: so it the anger th is, we are two years from when the lead problem began and the water here is still undrinkable without a filter. and the funding to fix the pipes, that's also yet to be secured. it's important to remember, part of the improving mood here, the fact that all this hoopla, the president's visit is all dependent end on a letter sent from an 8-year-old girl, little miss flint. in march she traveled to washington, d.c. to see her governor testify before congress. she wrote a letter to the president, saying, i'm going to be in the neighborhood, i'd like to meet. he did not get back to her at that point, but eight days ago, he wrote back and said, i'm proud of you for standing up, lending your voice to the people of flint, marching, protesting, asking for fixes here, and the president announced his visit. and backstage just now i spoke to the mother, they are awaiting
a visit from the president. so before the president comes out, he's got a very important pre-briefing from an 8-year-old girl from little miss flint. steve? >> tony dokoupil in flint, michigan. we're expecting the president any minute now and we'll be going back as soon as that starts. while we wait, turning now to a woman who has been at the forefront of the fight in flint, flint resident and founder of the group, water you fighting for. she joins us on the phone right now. we're waiting to hear from the president. what would you like to hear him say when he takes that podium in a few minutes? >> i would like him to say, the water is not save to bathe, not save to drink. the levels of cloro form are dangerous and this is a disastrous. when we cannot be safe in our
homes, it's a disaster and the federal government is going to take over because the state is not in a hurry to help us. >> the governor was booed fairly intensely. what was your reaction to that? >> i was shocked that he showed up. this is the first time he's come in with residents in the same building since this has happened, for two years. the fact that he was booed shouldn't shock anyone. i can't believe he had the guts that this was okay to do, that she's sorry and he's going to fix it, when no fixes have been done. >> do you feel that he's shown more seriousness, more focus on this? he announced recently that he would be drinking water brought to him from flint. he'd be drinking the same water that people in flint are drinking. >> well, that's not true. because where he received his water was a pub downtown that has a $10,000 water filtration system, and the residents of flint can't afford that. we don't have that level of
safety in our homes. so it's not the same as we are. it's just more pr spin and the residents are fed up and i think it shows with the boos. >> take us through what it's been like. this has been a crisis than been in the news for some time. something you've been living with and trying to figure out how to live with for so long. take us through what the experience has been like the last couple years. >> it's exhausting. we have to live every day bottle to bottle. you have to arrange your whole day, your recipes, your schedule around picking up the water, making sure you have enough water, collecting all the bottles, trying to find safer ways to bathe, the rashes have not diminished. it's become worse. the one fix is to replace the pipes, all the metals were damaged and it's not happening. so you get this hopelessness because we don't want people to give up, but it's hard when you see someone like our governor
just saying i'm sorry, i'm going to drink super filtered water, good luck to the rest of ya. we want to keep fighting and we are, more people are standing up, so i think we're only going to get louder. >> melissa maze, a flint resident and activist. appreciate you taking a few minutes. again, waiting for the president to speak there to that crowd in flint, michigan, his first visit to the city to address this issue since the crisis began unfolding. the governor rick snyder, who has been loudly criticized within and without flint, over the last year or so. he appeared in the room a short while ago. he was booed by the crowd, by the residents of flint. when the president begins speaking we'll bring it to you. while we wait, we'll bring you up to speed on the other big story we're following this hour. sources now confirming to nbc news that ohio governor john kasich will be dropping out of
the 2016 presidential race. that would mean that from a field that initially stood at 17 candidates on the republican side, one now remains. so you can forget about a contested convention, forget about the second ballot, forget about all the delegate scenarios we've been talking about for so long. right now, this means that donald trump's party takeover is practically complete on the republican side. this is a political odyssey, the likes of which we really have never seen before. in 11 months now, from billionaire businessman and reality tv star, now to the republican party's choice for president of the united states, while hillary clinton fights off a pesky bernie sanders, trump will get a head start on the general election and he's going to need that head start. the numbers say he'll enter a race against hillary clinton as the clear underdog. the democrats already saying he's dead on the arrival. that shehe's done too much dama with too many voters from all of
the things he's said and done to win the republican nomination. what would it take for trump to win in november? is there a path for him? he will need to unite as much of the fractured republican party as he can, a party made up of a large group of voters and leaders, many of them in washington, d.c., who are insisting, they will never vote for trump as the candidate for president. some of them going so far as to say they would support hillary clinton over him. we are going to fire up the big board in just a few minutes for our official general election preview. taking a look at what it would take to make donald trump president. you're not gonna want to miss that. but first, the news on john kasich dropping out of the republican race for president. nbc's kelly o'donnell is here in new york city. kasich's team released a statement this morning, saying they're here to say. now a very different message we're about to hear. what's going on there? >> preparing to exit the race in one of the big opportunities for a candidate, and that is the
speech to say goodbye to the campaign trail. because in that, steve, you can expect governor kasich to try to push the themes that he thinks the party needs to really consider going forward. on the trail with him, many, many times and at many of his events, town hall-tile most often, he would talk about the party's responsibility to be uplifting at a time when donald trump has made so much of the attention surrounding his campaign about tearing down rivals, and raising questions that bring division among groups. so expect john kasich to try to begin to knit together some of the ideals that could be the republican party for the fall campaign. that will be important. and of course he remains ohio governor, so he has a day job to continue. and of course, he will be in charge as the host governor when all of the republicans and their delegates go to cleveland this summer. steve? >> kelly, we'll get back to the story on john kasich, but the president is at the podium in flint. let's listen in. >> well, it is good to be back
in flint, michigan. [ cheers and applause ] >> obama! >> that's me, yeah. all right, settle down, everybody. [ laughter ] thank you, sir, i appreciate you. all right, let me do some business here. let me begin by recognizing some of the guests who are here, your mayor karen weaver is here. [ cheers and applause ] i know governor rick snyder is here. [ audience boos ] >> no, no, no, because he's here to -- we're doing some business here. members of congress are here, including your outstanding senator, debby stab gnaw.
flint own dan gild is here. debbie dingell is here. brenda lawrence is here. john conyers is here. and sandy levin is here. an outstanding michigan delegation. we've got secretary sylvia burwell, who is the head of health and human services, works for me. and administrator gina mccarthy is here as well. i want to thank superintendent bilal tal ab, and principal tim green for their hospitality. and i want to thank all of you for being here. now, not too long ago, i received a letter from a young lady, an 8-year-old girl named marie cope nen.
you may know her as little miss flint. those of you who have seats, please feel free to sit down, so folks can see behind you. if you don't have a seat, don't sit down. and like a lot of you, marie's been worried about what happened here in flint. she's worried about what it means for children like her. she's worried about the future of this city and this community. so in the middle of a tragedy that should have never happened here in the united states of america the denial of something as basic as clean, safe drink g wauing wat water, this 8-year-old girl spoke out, and marched, and like many of you, protested.
and as she was getting ready to hop on a bus to washington, she wrote to ask if she could meet with me while she was in town. there she is. [ applause ] now, i would have been happy to see mari in washington, but when something like this happens, a young girl shouldn't have to go to washington to be heard. i thought her president should come to flint to meet with her. and that's why i'm here, to tell you directly that i see you and i hear you and i want to hear directly from you about how this public health crisis has
disrupted your lives, how it's made you angry, how it's made you worried, and i just had a chance to meet with a few of your neighbors in a roundtable discussion. and i heard from them what i know a lot of you are feeling. that a lot of you are scared. that all of you feel let down. and i told them that i understood why you'd be afraid. not just for yourself, but for your kids. i also wanted to come here, though, to tell you that i've got your back. [ cheers and applause ] that we're paying attention. so i met and heard directly from those who are leading the federal response and who are working hard to make sure that
flint is whole again. and to make sure that this proud city bounces back, not just to where it was, but stronger than ever. and i want all of you to know i am confident that flint will come back. [ cheers and applause ] i will not rest and i'm gonna make sure that the leaders at every level of government don't rest until every drop of water that flows to your homes is safe to drink and safe to cook with, and safe to bathe in, because that's part of the basic responsibilities of a government in the united states of america. [ cheers and applause ] >> so as president, i've sent flint the best resources our federal government has to support our state and local partners.
the agencies that serve you, the agencies that specialize in house and housing, and those that support small businesses and our kids' education, those that are responsible for the food that our children eat. and, of course the water we drink. everybody's on duty. the national guard is on duty. this is a hands-on deck situation. all hands on deck. because if there's a child who feels neglected on the north side of flint, or a family on the east side who wonders when they should give up on their hometown and move away, or an immigrant who wonders whether america means what we say when we say america is a place that takes care of their own. that matters to all of us.
flint's recovery is everybody's responsibility. and i'm going to make sure that responsibility is met. so i just talked with some of the team of responders that are on the ground, to make sure that they're coordinated. and they're doing some incredible things. they've distributed enough water to fill more than three olympic-sized swimming pools. they've distributed thousands of filters. they're helping students afford nutritious food that work against contaminants in bad water. they're making sure new moms have access to instant formula that doesn't require water. they have expanded health services for children and pregnant women and education programs for flint's younger children. they're testing homes for lead and testing children for exposure to lead. but like all our best responses in tough times, this is not a government effort alone. we need our businesses and
non-profits and philanthropists to step up. and what's incredible about flint is how many volunteers have already been leading the way. [ applause ] we have members of one union, ua local 37 that have donated tens of thousands of dollars and 10,000 hours of their time. they've installed thousands of filters, hundreds of faucets by going door to door, night and day. they're not asking for anything in return. they're just doing the right thing. so many americans here in flint and around the country have proven that you don't have to be a plumber or pipe fitter to pitch in, although it's very helpful if you're a plumber or pipe fitter. the red cross teamed up to help
residents recycle the plastic water bottles piling up. religious and community groups are supporting families, offering free medical services. the director of a local draance studio, i understand, she's letting people use her studio as a space to support one another, by sharing their stories and realizing they're not alone. even inmates at an indiana prison came together to donate more than $2,500 to the people of flint. [ applause ] and a second grader from virginia, a young man named isaiah brit, set up a website to see if he could raise $500 for hand sanitizers to send to the kids at eisenhower elementary
here in flint. [ cheers and applause ] so isaiah, it's fair to say, surpassed his goal, because he raised $15,000. [ applause ] and he explained that the experience taught him, just because you're small doesn't mean you can't do big things. so when you think of all those stories, it should be clear that the american people care about flint. the american people are paying attention and they care about you. and as is true when disasters strike in other ways, people pitch in, they come together. because they imagine that could have been me. that's the good news. the bad news is that this should
not have happened in the first place. [ applause ] and even though the scope of the response looks sort of like the efforts we're used to seeing after a natural disaster, that's not what this was. this was a man-made disaster. this was avoidable, this was preventable. now i'm not here to go through the full history of what happened. like a lot of manufacturing towns, flint's economy has been taking hits for decades now. plants closing, jobs moving away, manufacturing has shrunk. and that's made it harder for the city to maintain city services.
and let's face it, government officials at every level weren't attentive to potential problems the way they should have been. so they start getting short-staffed, they start getting a shrinking tax base, more demand for services. things start getting strained, and there's not enough help from the outside. and then when flint's finances collapse, an emergency manager was put in place whose mandate was primarily to cut at all costs. and then some very poor decisions were made. all these things contributed to this crisis. many of you know the story. now, i do not believe that
anybody consciously wanted to hurt the people in flint. and this is not the place to sort out every screw-up that resulted in contaminated water. but i do think there's a larger issue that we have to acknowledge. because i do think that part of what contributed to this crisis was a broader mind-set, a bigger attitude. a corrosive attitude that exists in our politics, and exists in too many levels of our government. and it's a mind-set that believes that less government is the highest good, no matter what.
it's a mind-set that says, environmental rules designed to keep your water clean or your air clean, are optional. or not that important. or unnecessarily burden businesses, or taxpayers. it's an ideology that undervalues the common good, says we're all on our own, and what's in it for me, and how do i do well, but i'm not gonna invest in what we need as a community. and as a consequence, you end up seeing an underinvestment in the things that we all share that makes us safe, that make us whole, that give us the ability to pursue our own individual
dreams. so we underinvest in pipes under ground. we underinvest in bridges that we drive on, and the roads that connect us, and the schools that move us forward. [ applause ] and this is part of the attitude, this is part of the mind-set. we especially underinvest when the communities that are put at risk are poor or don't have a lot of political clout. [ applause ] and so are not as often heard in the corridors of power. and this kind of thinking, this myth that government's always the enemy, that forgets that our government is us.
it's us. you know, that it's an extension of us, ourselves. you know, that attitude is as corrosive to our democracy as the stuff that results in lead in your water. because what happens is, it leads to systemic neglect. it leads to carelessness and callousness. it leads to a lot of hidden disasters that you don't always read about and aren't as flashy, but that over time diminish the life of a community and make it harder for our young people to succeed. in one of the roundtables, listening to somebody, i think it was a pastor who told me, you know, it made us feel like we
didn't count. and you can't have a democracy where people feel like they don't count. where people feel like they're not heard. and that attitude ignores how this country was built, our entire history, which is based on the idea that we're all connected and that what happens in a community like flint matters to everybody. and that there are things that we can only do together, as a nation, as a people, as a state, as a city, that no man is an island. you know, we've been debating this since the republic began, what are our individual responsibilities and what are our collective responsibilities, and that's a good debate.
but i've always believed what the first republican president, a guy named abraham lincoln said. he said, we should do individually those things that we do best by ourselves. but through our government, we should do together what we can't do as well for ourselves. [ applause ] so it doesn't matter how hard you work, how responsible you are, how well you raise your kids, you can't set up a whole water system for a city. that's not something you do by yourself. you do it with other people. you can't hire your own fire departme departme department. or your own police force. or your own army. they're things we have to do together. basic things that we all benefit from. and that's how we invested in a rail system and a highway
system. that's how we invested in public schools. that's how we invested in science and research. that's how we invested in community colleges and land grant colleges like michigan state. we invest -- can i get some water? [ cheers and applause ] come on up here. give me some water. i want a glass of water. i want a glass of water. sit down. i'm all right. i'm going to get a glass of water right here. just make sure we find one.
it will be filtered. hold on, i'm gonna talk about that in a second. settle down, everybody. where was i? we invested in our communities, in our cities. and by making those investments in the common good, we invested in ourselves. that's the platform we create that allows each of us independently to succeed. that's what made america great. so the people in flint and across michigan and around the country, individuals and church groups and, you know, not for profits and community organizations, you've proven that the american people will step up when required, and our volunteers, our not for profits, they're the life blood of our
communities. we so appreciate what you do. [ applause ] but volunteers don't build county water systems and keep lead from leaching into our drinking glasses. we can't rely on faith groups to reinforce bridges and repave runways at the airport. we can't ask second graders, even ones as patriotic as isaiah brit, who raised all that money, to raise enough money to keep our kids healthy. you hear a lot about government overreach, how obama, he's for big government. listen, it's not government overreach to say that our government is responsible to make sure you can wash your hands in our own sink, or shower in your own home, or cook for your family. [ applause ] these are the most basic
services. there's no more basic element sustaining human life than water. it's not too much to expect for all americans to believe their water is safe. now, where do we go from here? i'm still waiting for my water. somebody obviously didn't hear me. usually i get my water pretty quick. hold on a second. now the reason i know i'm okay is because i already had some flint water. there we go. i really did need a glass of water. this is not a stunt.
now, i'm gonna talk about this. everybody settle down. this is a feisty crowd. hold on a second. all right, everybody settle down. i got some serious points to make here. so where do we go from here? now, mayor weaver has a plan to fix the pipes in flint. and unfortunately, because the state initially cut so many corners, it's gonna end up being much more expensive now than it would have been to avert the disaster in the first place. but the good news is that michigan does have the funds it can use from the federal government to help flint. the governor indicated that in his budget, he's put forward additional funds to replace the pipes. in order for it to happen, and i said this to the mayor and the
governor. i had them both in my car, the beast. i told them, i wasn't gonna let either of them out until we figure this out. had secret service surrounding everybody. [ applause ] but what i said was, is that the city and the state and the federal government, everybody's going to have to work together to get this done. so it's not gonna happen overnight. but we have to get started. we have to get the money flowing. we've got to work with our plumbers and pipe fitters, but also train local residents. and start getting apprenticeship programs going, so that even as we're trying to deal with this disaster, we're also hopefully lifting people up and giving them an opportunity for
employment. congress, led by your congressional delegation, needs to act in a bipartisan fashion, do their job, make sure flint has the necessary resources. and so it's long past time that flint has a well managed, monitored, modern water system that protects not just against lead, but other con tam nants. so that's our goal. that's one goal. but we have to do more than just ensure the integrity and safety of your water for the long-term. what we also have to do is work as one team, federal, state and local leaders, democrats and republicans, to address some of the broader issues that have been raised by this crisis. the federal officials i met with today are committed to staying on the job until we get it done.
but -- [ applause ] -- that requires the state of michigan to step up and be fully invested in this process as well. today's vote in lansing to increase funding for health care was a good start. but part of keeping the faith with the people of flint means making sure that you're first in line for the jobs this effort will create. it means that since the state voted this afternoon to expand medicaid, every child who lived in flint while the water was bad, needs to be able to get seen by a doctor, diagnosed, make sure that there's follow-up. we can't just promise it. we've got to deliver. and that means everybody's got to cooperate. everybody's got to cooperate. and keeping the faith with you also means the state has to step
up and deliver the resources that will help not only fix the water but transform flint so that it is once again a functioning city with the capacity and the democratic structures to work. the city government has to be on a firm foundation. the mayor can't do it by herself. she's got to have a team and a staff. and there's got to be a budget that works, that's sustainable and a plan for long-term economic development, and a plan to make sure that health care is available to all of our kids, and a plan to make sure that education is top notch in this city, and that more jobs are being created. and that will require many more of the good works that we've seen from citizens and community groups who care about your families. but it's not enough just to fix the water. we've got to fix the culture of neglect, the mind-set i was
talking about, that has degraded too many schools and too many roads, and hurt too many futures. we gotta fix the mind-set that only leaves people -- >> all right, that's president obama addressing a crowd in flint, michigan. this is the president's first visit to flint since that water crisis began in that city, now two years ago. the president talking about the role the federal government has to play in providing resources for that city, also the role he's saying the state of michigan needs to step up and deliver resources in flint. there was a moment there where the president, he had been coughing there several times during the speech. at one point he stopped and asked, can i get some water? which prompted a very animated reaction from the crowd. the president ultimately was delivered a glass of flint water. he said he had been drinking some before coming out on stage, took a sip right there on stage. he also talked about, saying at one point, he was addressing the
issue, he said, the president said, i do not believe anybody consciously wanted to hurt the people of flint. but he did implicate what he called a broader mind-set, a bigger attitude, a corrosive attitude, he said, that less government is the highest good, saying that that attitude contributed to the water crisis in flint. lawrence o'donnell is with me now. lawrence, what is your reaction to what you heard there? >> first reaction is, people should take in this kind of speech with the knowledge that we will not see speeches like this again in the presidency after this year. this president uniquely connected to this audience in flint. this president with unique credibility to this audience in flint. and by the way, the water moment was fascinating, because i've never seen a bigger failure, by white house advance. there's supposed to be water in the presidential podium. >> took him five minutes to get there. >> he had to ask for it a few times. >> he was getting frustrated. >> by the way, it must tell us
something about how the water crisis is affecting that very building, it took them that long to find how can we get a glass of filtered water here. but it's stunning to think, here's the president talking about all the neglect the infrastructure has gotten in this country. this is the same government that spent $65 million to build the water supply just in the green zone in baghdad. not to mention how much more the army corps of engineer spent around the country, rebuilding water supplies after they destroyed again and again. so the gap in our commitment to that kind of building, versus building at home, it couldn't be more stunning and more better demonstrated by this story. >> and what do you think ever t -- of the point he was making? he said i do not believe anybody conscious he wanted to hurt the people of flint. he said it's about choices that government makes, but he said it's not an intentional decision
to hurt the people of flint. >> it's really stunning that the president had to say something like that in that room and that's not believed by everyone in that room, according to what we're hearing from flint. there's a feeling there that, no, this was malicious. i think his analysis was correct, that this all comes from this kind of dream scape of, we can cut the budget for everything, including the budget for the water supply and there's no limit to how much we can cut the budget. and that's a new republican philosophy. that's not the way republicans approached water supply in the 1980s, even in the age of reagan. this is a new notion that there's always something to squeeze out of the budget. they were trying to squeeze out hundreds of dollars at the key decisions where they created a lethal water supply. >> do you sense there has been a shift? governor rick snyder was in the room just before the president was there. he was booed by the room.
we had an activist on the line wh who said she was even surprised he showed up. this is not something she expected him to do ever. but the fact that he was willing to be there, take the heat from the audience, does that suggest the response is changing from the leadership in michigan? >> i don't think he had any choice. when the president comes to your state, a governor shows up. when the president comes to your state in crisis, the governor absolutely shows up, as we saw it in new jersey, when it was very controversial and became kind of a curse, you know, in the presidential campaign. so he had no choice. it's also the safest possible way for the governor to appear in flint, as basically the warm-up act for president obama. this is an audience that is here for president obama. they are eager to hear from president obama. you know, it's been screened by the secret service. it's as, you know, calm and responsible an audience as he's ever going to have in flint. the question is, when will he go back to flint? when is the next time the governor will go back to flint
and appear in front of an audience like that? and how do you create that event for the governor? >> what do you think in terms of the president making this appearance today? about two years into this thing. what comes out of this, do you think? >> what should come out of it is the full commitment of the federal government. and it's strange, this shouldn't be the case, but it is amazing how much this activates agency heads in washington, when the president physically goes somewhere, meets with the people, has memories of these specific individuals. it's very different from the president trying to run command and control on a crisis from the oval office. no matter how many times he tells them in washington how important this is to them, they do, in fact, at a subconscious and to a certain extent, conscious level, judge how important this is to the president by, did he go there? it's not just the public who judges it that way. it's the administration, it's assistant secretaries, it's
undersecretaries, they notice this. so they know when he's calling them and pushing them about flint, that there's a new energy to this, this afternoon in washington, that as strong as the energy's been before this afternoon, it's now stronger. >> you see it on your screen there, the president addressing a crowd in flint, michigan, again about the ongoing water crisis there. the president has been speaking for about a half an hour now. also want to dress the other big news in politics today. it will be taking place a couple hundred miles away from flint in about 15 minutes. we expect to hear from john kasich, the governor of ohio, we're expecting he'll end his presidential campaign. there's the podium where he'll be about 15 minutes from now. lawrence, looks like kasich dropped out and that's it. we started with 17 republican candidates. at that moment, we'll be down to one, donald trump. >> yeah, the lesson and the
reason kasich stayed as long as he did is the tim pawlenty model of four years ago. he was one of the early ones to drop out. mid western governor, everything looked good on paper. i thought he was going to do very well. i was wrong. but everyone, including tim pawlenty eventually concluded that he dropped out too early. because after he dropped out, people like newt gingrich and weaker candidates like herman cain publicbubbled up to the to the polls and everybody watched that and said, how can i harbor my resources so i can stay in as long as santorum who is the one who measured the resources enough to stay in for the long run. nobody wanted to be the tim pawlenty who dropped out too early and no one was. >> waiting for the lightning bolt that never came, though. >> right. it's not there. >> looking ahead to the fall, trump versus hillary clinton,
these debates, this could be the most watched event in history. >> if he shows up for the debates. you know, he's set a precedent for not showing up for debate in the primaries. he has to agree to do the debates. he may look at the polls and think, what can the debates do for me? there's nothing positive they can do for me. he doesn't have to show up. and they won't hold them. they won't just stand there and ask questions of hillary clinton. so he may make the tactical decision not to show up for those debates, but if he does, i think he will probably be able to survive the debates reasonable well. they kind of announce the basic jurisdiction of a debate. this one's about foreign policy, this one's about domestic policy. so he can do his best to memorize the 50 index cards you need to get through that thing. the debates are structured basically for the lame. that's what the time limits are about. you're limited to 90 seconds
response. there's negotiations about how long the responses are, the rebuttal, and the shorter they are, the more they help the lame debater who has very little to say, because you just run out the clock. so we've seen lame debaters make their way through the presidential debate. they're not the gauntlet that people like to think they are. >> thanks for the time, lawrence. catch the "last word with lawrence o'donnell" tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern time. for more on the flint water crisis where the president is speaking right now in flint. today at 5:00 eastern, mikel moore will react to president obama's comments from flint. and tomorrow morning, governor rick snyder will join morning joe for an exclusive interview to talk about the flint water crisis. that's only here on msnbc. back with much more in just a moment.
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to unite ahead of the general election. ben ginsburg, republican strategist and partner at jones day. karen from "the washington post." and alexander burns, with "the new york times," thank you all for being here. donald trump was asked if he can unite the republican party. his reply was he thinks he can unite most of it, but there will still be some who say never trump, i don't need them, i'm better off without them. is he right, can he get by without full unity of the party? >> yes, i suspect he can. what he showed in the primary, he can bring in low propensity voters in record numbers, so all political life is a trade-off of coalitions. and yes, i suspect he does see that path. >> how many do you think, ben, this term, never trump, when we come to it in november, on election day, how many do you think are really in that camp on the republican side, where they
can't check his name off on the ballot? >> i think that's unknowable right now. i think it depends very much on the campaign that he runs, how he sounds about issues, the substance he can show on policy positions, and the ability he exudes to have people actually see him sitting in the oval office. >> alex, we've talked about this on the air before, how so much of the conventional wisdom was completely wrong in this campaign, and the nature of the trump campaign, about how this was all going to play out. about a month ago ted cruz put a win on the board in the wisconsin primary. he got up there and said, that's the turning point in this campaign, the stop trump people are all coming together, gonna stop trump now. after that night, after the wisconsin win, donald trump seemed to just take off in the polls. he's won every state since then by more than 50% of the vote. seemed like the challenge to him ended that night. what happened and what was missing for the stop trump force after the big win in wisconsin?
>> i think it's two things. you saw cruz pay a real price for his shoddy relationship with the rest of the republican party over the years. he was absolutely right, that winning wisconsin gave him the opportunity to unite a bigger swath of the party than he had had behind his campaign before and he clearly failed. and you think it's an open question whether there was ever a real chance that a bigger stretch of the republican coalition was going to embrace ted cruz, just because of past history. on top of that, i think there's a more basic tactical and strategic explanation which is that cruz took all this momen m momentum, all the political capital that he accumulated in wisconsin and took it straight into the bronx. he took it to the new york primary and to a particularly difficult part of the state for him to try to prove that he was this national candidate who could challenge trump on his home turf. that was never going to be a winnable primary for him. he ended up competing in a race that he was destined to lose. >> and we're waiting for this announcement from john kasich
and, you know, donald trump took to calling him 1 for 42, or whatever the number was. he only won one state, ohio, his home state. and even there, trump wasn't too far behind him. there's a lot of dispute about the effect john kasich had on the race. people saying he spoiled it, got in the way, kept them from consolidating. how do you look at the kasich role in this campaign? >> i think, you know, as donald trump said, you know, a candidate who won only his home state, and last i looked, something like seven counties outside of it, can hardly be viewed as a spoiler. i think all along, john kasich was sort of the platonic ideal of what a lot of republicans would -- a lot of mainstream republicans would have liked to have seen in the race, back when they were congratulating themselves on the most qualified distinguished field they had put
forward in a generation. this was what they thought the race was going to come to. but the fact is, john kasich was not in tune with the mood of the republican electorate. and donald trump was. and he was just not going to be stopped. >> yeah, on that point, ben ginsburg, i feel like the last year, we've learned that the fact that trump's going to be the nominee, the last man standing against him, this came down to cruz versus trump, told us something about the republican party itself. what do you think we learned about your party over the last year, that we didn't know before? >> well, there were certain precepts of the republican party, that you had to be strong on national security, on certain economic policies and on social issues. donald trump has taken a position that's contrary to republican doctrine and orthodoxy on each one of those three legs of the republican stool. so all of a sudden republicans have to be thinking, is there a new and better way to form a
cohesive governing strategy than what we've been doing for the past couple of decades, including losing two presidential elections in a row. >> so alex, looking ahead to the general election, i feel like we're repeating history. a year ago, donald trump got into the race and everybody said he has no chance, he'll never win, forget about it. i'm already seeing the headlines, forget about it, donald trump will never be president. do you see a path for him to win in november? >> i think a big difference between the general election and the primaries, in the primaries, he was leading in the polls for most of the race and a lot of folks chose to believe that was not sustainable, and there were good arguments for that. right now, the polls do not show him winning. this is not people saying, who do you believe, me or your lying eyes with the polls. trump will need to bring in a lot of people who are not typical republican voters and jettison a decent party of the
republican party to make that trade. you heard him in the victory speech on tuesday night talk about reaching out to the hispanics and the african americans with a message about jobs, and that's going to be, you know, i think a tall order for this candidate. >> alex burns, ben ginsburg, karen tummel tee, quite a week for politics, and it's only the start of may. that's going to do it for this hour. i'm steve kornacki. stay with us. in the next few minutes, we're expecting to hear from governor john kasich from ohio as he announces he will end his presidential campaign. and "mtp daily" starts right now. ♪ ♪ wednesday it is. the empire didn't strike back. there's no new hope. the force of donald trump's presidential bid is wide awake. and if there's a phantom menace still trying to stop him, we haven't found him. may the force be with you, this is "mtp daily" and it starts right now.
♪ good evening, i'm chuck todd, welcome to "mtp daily." we begin tonight with donald trump. he's just moments away from actually locking up this contest. why? you'll see in a minute. he won big in indiana and it forced ted cruz to exit the race. right now, we have live pictures of a podium in columbus, ohio, where at any moment, governor john kasich will formally announce he too is leaving this race. clearing the way for what is now an uncontested march to the nomination for donald trump. unless jim gilmore is still in this race. we will bring you the john kasich official announcement when it begins. let me check in with hallie jackson. she's in columbus, where we expect john kasich any minute now. we saw that he drove up. we assume they're running somewhat on time. what can you tell us about any conversations, for instance,